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About John

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.

Publications

Mr. Thornburgh is a contributing author to Fish’s IP Law Essentials.

Speaking Engagements

Media Mentions

  • Favorable jury verdict for Fish client Seirus in Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. v. Seirus Innovative Accessories Inc. was featured in the Daily Journal’s Verdicts & Settlements column (August 27, 2021)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America (2022)
  • Listed in the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition (2010)
  • Selected as a San Diego Super Lawyer (2007-present)
  • Voted as one of the “Top Attorneys” in Intellectual Property Litigation by the San Diego Daily Transcript (2006)
Focus Areas
Education

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


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

Admissions
  • California 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Memberships & Affiliations

Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

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