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John C. Adkisson

Principal, President and Chief Executive Officer

Minneapolis, MN
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About John

John C. Adkisson, the president and chief executive officer of Fish & Richardson P.C., is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction. He has a reputation for his in-the-trenches work ethic and passion for promoting Fish’s culture of innovation and teamwork. His priorities include expanding the firm’s global reach and continuing to offer extraordinary value to every client in every matter. Mr. Adkisson has been a member of the firm’s management committee since 2017 and served as the managing group leader for the firm’s 200-plus lawyer litigation group since 2017.

In addition to serving as president and CEO of the firm, Mr. Adkisson has 20-plus years of experience as a patent infringement litigator. Over the past decade, Mr. Adkisson has focused on high-stakes pharmaceutical cases, including representing clients in Hatch-Waxman and the rapidly emerging field of biosimilar litigation. Mr. Adkisson has also acted as lead counsel in numerous post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Some of Mr. Adkisson’s high-profile cases include helping Repligen Corp. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology win a $65 million settlement from ImClone Systems. He was on the team that represented Coherus BioSciences Inc. and succeeded in getting three key patents covering AbbVie Inc.’s arthritis medication Humira® — the world’s best-selling drug — invalidated by the PTAB in 2017.

As the managing group leader for the firm’s litigation group, Mr. Adkisson played a pivotal role in investing in and shaping the firm’s next generation of trial lawyers.  He is a strong proponent of Fish’s 1L Diversity Fellowship program, which awards scholarships and summer associate positions to diverse first-year law students.

Mr. Adkisson’s contributions to the field of intellectual property law have been widely recognized. In 2020, Law360 featured Mr. Adkisson in his new role as CEO. In 2015, The National Law Journal profiled his long-standing successful work on behalf of 3M Co. He has also been named a Minnesota Super Lawyer for the past six years and has been included in Best Lawyers in America® every year since 2015.



Media Mentions

Immunex Corp and Amgen Manufacturing, Ltd. et al v. Samsung Bioepis Co., Ltd., (D.N.J.) Serving as counsel for Samsung Bioepis against Immunex and Amgen in case involving ETICOVO, Samsung Bioepis’s biosimilar product to Enbrel. Case is ongoing.

Janssen Biotech, Inc. v. Samsung Bioepis, Co., Ltd., (D.N.J.) Served as counsel for Samsung Bioepis against Janssen in case involving Renflexis, Samsung Bioepis’s biosimilar product to Remicade.  Janssen dismissed all claims against Samsung Bioepis with prejudice in November 2017.

Athena Diagnostics Inc. v. Mayo Clinic (D. Mass.)  Served as counsel for Mayo Clinic in patent case related to detection of autoimmune disorder in patients. Case dismissed in Mayo’s favor on all counts in August 2017 and dismissal affirmed by Federal Circuit in 2019.

Coherus BioSciences, Inc. v. AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd., IPR 2016-00172 (P.T.A.B.)  Served as counsel for Petitioner Coherus Biosciences in IPR proceedings related to patents covering AbbVie dosing regimens related to Humira. All claims invalidated in Final Written Decisions issued in May and June 2017, cases settled in 2018.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. AbbVie Inc., (D. Del.)  Served as counsel for Gilead against AbbVie in case involving solid formulations of pharmaceutical products related to treatment of Hepatitis C.  Case settled in 2016.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Repligen Corp. v. ImClone Systems, Inc., (D. Mass.) Obtained $65 million settlement on morning of trial in September, 2007 in patent case in District of Massachusetts involving cancer drug Erbitux. Case reported in articles, “Twin Cities Lawyers Take On Most Bizarre Case of Their Lives in MIT v. ImClone Systems,” and “Twin Cities Lawyers Score in Boston.”

Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd. v. Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals L.P. (D. Del.)  Counsel for Amarin Pharmaceuticals in patent case involving cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The Regents of the University of Michigan and Repligen Corp. v. Bristol Myers Squibb, (E.D. Tex.)  Counsel for the University of Michigan and Repligen Corporation in patent case related to patent for method for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Arctic Cat v. Polaris and Polaris v. Arctic Cat  (D. Minn.)  Lead counsel for Arctic Cat on series of patent infringement cases and PTAB proceedings related to off-road vehicles.  Argued and obtained successful PTAB rulings on behalf of Arctic Cat.  Cases currently pending in the District of Minnesota.

3M Innovative Properties Co. v Avery Dennison Corp., (D. Minn.) Served as co-lead counsel for 3M in patent and antitrust cases related to retroreflective sheeting used on highway road signs.  Argued and obtained successful Markman and summary judgment rulings on behalf of 3M.  Cases settled in 2013.

Halo LLC v. Pulse Engineering, Inc., (D. Nev.) Counsel for Halo LLC in patent case related to surface mount transformers used in electronics products.  Case resulted in a jury verdict of willful infringement on Halo’s behalf in November 2012 in the District of Nevada, affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in 2016.

3M Innovative Properties Co. v. Avery Dennison Corp., (D. Minn.) Trial counsel for 3M in case tried to jury in Minneapolis in December, 2005. Jury returned verdict for 3M on all counts, permanent injunction granted in March, 2006.

NUTech Ventures v. Syngenta Seeds, Inc., (D. Neb.) Counsel for NUTech Ventures (associated with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in patent case related to genetically modified corn. Argued and obtained successful Markman ruing on behalf of NUTech. Case settled in 2014.

  • Named a “Life Sciences Star” by LMG Life Sciences (2018-2022)
  • Recognized as a notable practitioner in Intellectual Property, Chambers USA: Minnesota (2022)
  • Named a Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Patent, Minneapolis, The Best Lawyers in America (2021-2022)
  • Selected as a Best Lawyer In America (2015-2023)
  • Named a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers (2012-2014, 2016-2021)
  • Named a “Leading Patent Professional” by IAM Patent 1000 (2020-2022)
  • Named a “Healthcare/Life Sciences Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal (2020)
  • Named a “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer – Individual & Group Award Recipient (2018)

“John Adkisson is the trial supremo… Adkisson focuses on big-ticket pharmaceutical cases in district courts, although he also has ample post-grant lead counsel experience.”

— Client testimonial, 2019 IAM Patent 1000

“John Adkisson is very, very good. He’s unflappable in negotiations, he doesn’t bang his shoe on a podium, he comes across well and he’s persuasive to folks on the other side. He always takes a thoughtful approach, he’s not emotional, and he’ll say why if he disagrees.”

— Client testimonial, 2017 Chambers and Partners

Focus Areas

J.D. ​cum​ laude​, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1996) Member, ​​Wisconsin Law Review​​

B.A. ​cum laude​, University of Nebraska (1993)

  • Minnesota 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
Memberships & Affiliations

Member of the American Bar Association

Federal Circuit Bar Association

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)

Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association

What's trending with John

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October 24, 2022
Fish & Richardson Recognized by Leadership Council for Legal Diversity as 2022 Top Performer and Compass Award Winner
Press Release
September 29, 2022
LMG Life Sciences Awards Top Rankings to Fish & Richardson; 16 Principals Named 2022 “Life Sciences Stars”
Press Release
September 8, 2022
Fish & Richardson Receives Top Rankings in 2022 Edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals
Press Release
August 22, 2022
96 Fish Attorneys Included in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
Press Release
September 22nd, 2022 | 2:50 pm EDT
Longwood Healthcare Leaders Fall Meeting
Speaking Engagement
May 25, 2022
Lex Machina Lists Fish & Richardson as Most Active Firm for Defendants and at the PTAB
January 27, 2022
Fish & Richardson Named 2022 Best Place to Work by Human Rights Campaign
Press Release
January 11th, 2022 | 1:30 pm EST
Webinar | Biosimilars 2021 Year in Review
October 5, 2021
LMG Life Sciences Awards Top Rankings to Fish & Richardson; 13 Principals Named 2021 “Life Sciences Stars”
Press Release
August 19, 2021
Fish Attorneys Recognized in 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America
July 20, 2021
Fish & Richardson Attorneys Named to 2021 Minnesota Super Lawyers List
July 7, 2021
Fish & Richardson Receives Top Rankings in 2021 Edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals
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