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Background

​John Thornburgh focuses on patent litigation, especially for computer-related cases (hardware and software) and medical devices.  He regularly manages cases for clients large and small, providing guidance, strategy, and advocacy.  Outstanding examples of his work include briefing and arguing the successful motion for judgment as a matter of law to overturn the $1.5 billion verdict in the Lucent v. Microsoft MP3 case, which established that Lucent does not own MP3 technology.  He has also been a key player in precedent-setting cases such as Uniloc and Lucent, both of which set important new standards for patent damages.  He argued another case to the Federal Circuit worth hundreds of millions of dollars, securing affirmance of noninfringement.  In addition to representing large clients, he has led smaller clients to victory in "make or break" cases, such as atomic force microscope maker Asylum Research.  He conducted the key technical depositions in that case, won summary judgment that four patents were not infringed, and then negotiated a settlement while the motion on the last patent was pending.  As these examples illustrate, Mr. Thornburgh has significant experience managing cases, serving as primary client contact,  seeking and opposing summary judgment, arguing in court, taking and defending depositions (including inventors and experts), examining witnesses at trial, participating in ADR, negotiating and drafting settlement agreements and licenses, and handling appeals. Forums where he has appeared include all Districts in California, the Eastern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Virginia, and Delaware.  His practice also extends to international disputes; he has appeared in the ITC, conducted depositions abroad, served overseas clients like SAP, and worked a year at a law firm in Paris.

Mr. Thornburgh was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 and has been selected as a San Diego Super Lawyer by his peers each year since 2007. In 2006, he was voted as one of the "Top Attorneys" in Intellectual Property Litigation in survey conducted by the San Diego Daily Transcript, and he is listed in the 2010 Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition.

Education

J.D., Stanford Law School 1991
Order of the Coif (ranked first)


B.A., Rice University 1988
Economics, Philosophy
summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • California 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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