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John A. Dragseth

Senior Principal

Minneapolis, MN
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John Dragseth is a Senior Principal of Fish & Richardson, and has been named one of the top 50 IP attorneys in the country under the age of 45.  He has also been named a Minnesota SuperLawyer multiple years.  His practice centers on complex legal analysis and writing – in federal appeals, patent prosecution, reexamination, pre-suit and due diligence investigations, and patent opinions.  His prosecution work centers on cloud computing, mobile computing, software, medical devices, and mechanical technologies (including HVAC).  John has led the briefing on more than 60 appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where he was previously a law clerk to the Honorable Raymond C. Clevenger III.  He has extensive experience in taking over cases on appeal and framing them for the Federal Circuit, while working closely with trial counsel.  He also enters cases frequently as a “fixer” — helping with tough and important issues.  (The similarities with George Clooney’s “Michael Clayton” character end there.)  John writes and lectures frequently on a variety of patent law topics. He is also an adjunct professor teaching IP litigation at the University of St. Thomas Law School, and has authored case books on patent law and IP litigation (very exciting reads).  He was raised on a small grain and sugar beet farm in Northern Minnesota.


J.D., University of Minnesota Law School 1996
Managing Editor, Minnesota Law Review
Order of the Coif

B.S., University of Minnesota 1992
Mechanical Engineering
summa cum laude, Tau Beta Pi


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 2002
  • Minnesota 1997
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, The Honorable Raymond C. Clevenger III, 1996 - 1998

Other Distinctions

Selected publications and presentations

Quoted in Law360, “Fed. Circ. Gives Patent Damages Experts More Flexibility,” January 19, 2018.

Interview, Fish Post-Grant Radio: Episode #6,  July 7, 2017.

Quoted in Law360, “Fed. Circ. Issuing More ‘Hidden Decisions’ Amid Case Influx,” March 1, 2017.

Quoted in Law360, “Fed. Circ. Taking Harder Look At PTAB Appeals,” March 1, 2017.

Quoted in Law360, “The Federal Circuit Judges You Want On Your PTAB Appeal,” March 1, 2017.

Alert: Federal Circuit Narrows the Types of Patents That Can Be Challenged in a Covered Business Method Review,” Fish Litigation Blog (November 22, 2016).

Quoted in Law360, “Fish’s John Dragseth Quoted in Law360 Article “PTAB Appeals Face Tough Road After Latest Fed. Circ. Ruling,” September 28, 2016.

Quoted in Law360, “AIA Appeals To Watch At The Federal Circuit,” August 16, 2016.

Quoted in Law360, “Fed. Circ. Can Handle Crush Of PTAB Appeals,” March 8, 2016.

Quoted in Law360, “Newman Cements Status As Fed. Circ.’s Great Dissenter,” March 8, 2016.

Quoted in “Decline in patent suits raises questions for attorneys, law firms,” San Francisco Daily Journal, November 11, 2016.

Quoted in “Saying `Do It On A Computer’ Not Enough For A Patent, Supreme Court Rules,” Forbes, June 19, 2014.

Co-authored, Validity Challenges: District Court Vs. Patent Office, Law360, December 18, 2013.

Quoted in The National Law Journal, Minnesota Draws Accolades for Settlement With ‘Troll’, August 21, 2013.

Interviewed for Law360 Q&A, April 2013.

Quoted in New York Times, “Business Owners Adjusting to Patent System Overhaul,” and recapped in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, “How patent law changes are impacting startups.”

“Patents: A Historical Perspective,” manuscript of casebook co-authored with Frank P. Porcelli, the John A. Reilly Visiting Professor of Patent Law at Harvard Law School.

“Federal Circuit Year in Review: 2007-2008″ Chapter One, The IP Book (Midwest Intellectual Property Institute [MIPI] (2008)); “The Federal Circuit Year Being Reviewed,” Chapter One, The IP Book (MIPI (2006)); “Top Ten Federal Circuit Issues of 2004-2005,” Chapter One, The IP Book (MIPI (2005)); “Top Ten Federal Circuit Issues of 2003-2004,” Chapter One, The IP Book (MIPI (2004)); “Federal Circuit Year in Review: July 2002 to June 2003,” Chapter One, The IP Book (MIPI (2003)).

“Districts and Decisions: Does Location Really Matter,” IP Law Review (Oct. 29-30, 2008) (presentation given in New York City on venue selection for patent cases).

“Hot Topics in Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Law: Implications for IP Strategy & Licensing,” IP Symposium (Apr. 15, 2008)

“Remedies After eBay,” Presentation given in Seoul, Republic of Korea (Dec. 10, 2006).

“Recent and Pending Supreme Court Decisions in Intellectual Property,” Suffolk Law School (Oct. 5, 2006) (with Frank Porcelli).

“Infringement Licensing from a Licensee Perspective,” Hot Topics in IP Licensing 2006 (Minn. CLE) (June 9, 2006).

“Substantive Issues for Pre-Suit Investigations,” Minn. CLE (Feb. 2006).

“Are Patent Attorneys Environmentalists? Post-Sale Restrictions on Use and Re-Use of Medical Devices,” Patent Protection for Medical Devices (Minn. CLE) (May 17, 2004).

“Update on Attorney Opinion Issues in Patent Litigation,” Chapter Fourteen, The IP Book (Midwest Intellectual Property Institute 2003).

“Claim Drafting in Contemplation of Implied License and Exhaustion Issues,” AIPLA Spring Meeting (May 14, 2003).

“The Unappealing Prospect of a Federal Circuit Cross-Appeal,” Technology Law Alert (Mar. 2001).

“Intellectual Property Law Catches Up With the Internet,” Technology Law Alert (Feb. 2001).

“The Coming Scourge [sic, Surge] of Internet Patents,” Magazine (Apr. 2000).

“Coerced Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege for Opinions of Counsel in Patent Litigation,” 80 Minn. L. Rev. 167 (1995).

“Are Business Methods Worthy of Being Patented?,” S.F. Daily J. (May 8, 2008) (quoted); “Federal Circuit Ruling Impacts Patent Owners,” Nat’l L.J. (Apr. 9, 2007) (quoted); “Patently Good Publicity,” IP Law & Business (May 2006) (quoted); “Lawyers Turn to Old Websites for Evidence,” Mass. Lawyers Weekly (Aug. 29, 2005) (quoted); “Panel Tosses the Dictionary in Patent Cases,” San Francisco Daily J. (July 13, 2005) (quoted).

Additional information

Recognized as “Outstanding Litigator in Minnesota,” Managing Intellectual Property (2017).

Recognized as “IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals” (2016-2017).

“IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property (2013-2017).

“Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal (2016).

Named as a “Top 50 Under 45″ attorney in IP Law & Business (May 2008).

Editor-in-Chief, Technology Law Alert (M. Lee Smith Publishers) (2000-2002).

National Champion, 1996 Giles S. Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition.

Former Co-Chair, Litigation Committee, Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association

Cargill Award recipient.


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