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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.


J.D., Northeastern University School of Law 2004

B.A., Princeton University 1998


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

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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Fish Litigation Blog
June 24, 2016
Patent Litigation for the Non-Specialist: How it Works and What to Expect
Patent Litigation for the Non-Specialist:  How it Works and What to Expect
Authors: Jolynn M. Lussier, Adam Kessel, Lawrence K. Kolodney
IP Litigation
January 28, 2015
Fish & Richardson Wins Jury Verdict for Adobe Patent Suit
Press Release
September 26, 2017
Adam Kessel Quoted in Law360 Article, “Mass. Looks To Tackle Abusive Patent Demands”
Media Mention
June 15th, 2016 | 1:00 pm EDT
Webinar: Patent Litigation for the Non-Specialist: How It Works and What to Expect
Fish & Richardson #1 PTAB Law Firm in the U.S. for 2014 – Managing Intellectual Property
March 2nd, 2011 | 1:00 pm EST
What Your Business Needs to Know About Copyright: DMCA Anti-Circumvention and Trafficking Provisions
Speaking Engagement
September 17, 2014
Fish & Richardson Announces 38 Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015
September 9, 2014
Fish & Richardson Principal Adam Kessel Named a “Boston Rising Star”
Press Release
July 24, 2014
Fish Successfully Defends Teacher’s Free Speech Rights In Important Pro Bono Settlement And Secures School’s Promise To Train Staff On Importance Of Free Speech
Press Release
Fish Trademark & Copyright Thoughts Blog
May 20, 2014
Supreme Court Rules Raging Bull Claims Not Down for the Count – A Follow-Up Post
Author: Adam Kessel
April 10, 2012
Fish & Richardson Principal Adam Kessel Named 2012 “Up & Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Press Release
January 11, 2012
Fish & Richardson Elevates 18 Attorneys to Principal
June 2, 2011
Fish hosts the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts popular Artist's Professional Toolbox series
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