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Adam Kessel is a Principal in the Boston office of Fish & Richardson. His practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, particularly cases involving patent, copyright, and related claims pertaining to medical devices, software, computer networks, and electronics. He also specializes in open source and other software licensing. Adam has substantial courtroom and trial experience, including work on several cases at trial and on appeal in the Federal Courts, the International Trade Commission, and in the new post-grant procedures before the Patent Trial & Appeal Board. He also handled nearly 200 criminal cases as a “lawyer on loan” to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (2009-2010), several of which he took to trial as first chair. Adam is active in local attorney and IP-related organizations and appears frequently in the Federal Court for the District of Massachusetts, having argued and won motions and claim construction arguments before most of the judges on the bench, and has tried cases to a jury before several judges in the district. He has also argued appeals before the First, Fourth, and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Adam has previous IP law firm experience, and served as a Judicial Intern for the Late Honorable Reginald Lindsay of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (2003). Adam has a degree in Chemistry from Princeton University. Prior to law school, he had many years of experience with software development and also conducted research for an academic biochemistry lab involving protein structure and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.


Northeastern University School of Law 2004

Princeton University 1998
Chemistry, B.A.


  • Massachusetts 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


  • English
  • French

Memberships & Affiliations

​Board Member of American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
Advisory Committee and Former Board Member of nonprofit organization Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action.
Former President of Board of two nonprofit organizations developing low-income housing.
Active with fundraising and other support for Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
Cooperating Attorney with American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Other Distinctions

Certified as a Legal Specialist in open source code auditing by Black Duck.

Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015, 2018-2020.

Named a “leading patent professional” in Massachusetts by IAM Patent 1000, 2018.

Named a “Boston Rising Star” by the National Law Journal, 2014.

Named a Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2010-2013.

Selected as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” for 2012 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Bar Association. This award is presented annually to twenty “lawyers who have been members of the bar for ten years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in some way and appear poised for even greater accomplishments.”

Selected publications and presentations

“Petrella: Supreme Court Takes on Laches,” Paper and Presentation at Joint Patent Practice Continuing Legal Education, New York City, April 23, 2014.

“DMCA Anti-Circumvention and Trafficking Provisions,” Webinar presented, March 2, 2011.

“IP Trends and Hot New Issues in 2007,” Mass High Tech, December 29, 2006.

“Why eDiscovery Rules Will Change the Litigation Game,” Managing Intellectual Property, October 2006.

“New E-discovery Rules Change Realities of Patent Litigation,” New England In-House, October 2006.

“When in Doubt, Save the Data,” Q&A in Legal Times, October 16, 2006.

“IP Licensing: Burgeoning Internet Topics,” Presentation at Licensing Executives Society Annual Meeting, with M. Albert, September 14, 2006.

“‘Phillips’ Leads to a Different Result in ‘Nystrom'” with J. Foster, National Law Journal, December 5, 2005.

“Self-Help, Free Software, Privacy-Enhancing Technologies, and Cryptography,” Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, Privacy and Cyberspace Online Course, December 2003.

“Why They’re Wrong About Critical Mass,” in Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration, edited by Chris Carlsson, San Francisco: AK Press, 2002: 105-112.

“Peroxidase Activity in Heme Proteins Derived From a Designed Combinatorial Library,” with D.A. Moffet; L.K. Certain; A.J. Smith; K.A. Beckwith; and M.H. Hecht, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122, 7612-13 (2000).


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April 2, 2020
Adam Kessel Quoted in Slate Article: "The Internet Archive Started an 'Emergency' Online Library. Authors Are Furious."
Media Mention
June 20, 2019
Fish & Richardson Receives Top “Gold” Ranking from IAM Patent 1000 for National Patent Litigation Practice
Press Release
September 27th, 2018
FLIGHT East 2018
Speaking Engagement
August 15, 2018
47 Fish Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 List
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June 14, 2018
Fish Receives Top “Gold” Ranking from IAM Patent 1000 for National Patent Litigation Practice
Press Release
Fish Litigation Blog
June 1, 2018
Legal Alert: New Local Patent Rule in District of Massachusetts
Authors: Brian Gaff, Adam Kessel, Will Freeman, Steven R. Katz
IP Litigation
February 26, 2018
Fish Pro Bono Client Meets Initial Milestone to Provide Access to Safe Water in Niger
February 9th, 2018 | 12:00 pm EST
BPLA Case Law Committee – GoPro, Inc. v. Contour IP Holding LLC
Speaking Engagement
September 26, 2017
Adam Kessel Quoted in Law360 Article, “Mass. Looks To Tackle Abusive Patent Demands”
Media Mention
Fish Litigation Blog
June 24, 2016
Patent Litigation for the Non-Specialist: How it Works and What to Expect
Authors: Adam Kessel, Lawrence K. Kolodney
IP Litigation
June 15th, 2016 | 1:00 pm EDT
Webinar: Patent Litigation for the Non-Specialist: How It Works and What to Expect
January 28, 2015
Fish & Richardson Wins Jury Verdict for Adobe Patent Suit
Press Release
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