For more than three decades, Ruffin Cordell has been lead counsel representing the world’s most prominent brands in multibillion-dollar, high-stakes, high-risk patent and trade secret litigation worldwide.

Ruffin has handled more than 70 cases at the ITC, many involving multijurisdictional disputes in U.S. District Courts. He has served as lead counsel in more than three dozen trials, including jury trials in the Northern District of California, Delaware, and the Eastern District of Texas, and has argued more than two dozen appeals at the Federal Circuit.

He excels in taking on the most complicated, bet-the-company cases. Over the course of his impressive career, Ruffin has prevailed in highly publicized and hotly contested patent licensing disputes, infringement cases, and trade secret misappropriation cases, averting billions in damages for clients, fiercely protecting their intellectual property and their market share, and shaping patent law in the process.

Very few lawyers are as agile and experienced in navigating the complexities of patent and trade secret litigation as Ruffin. His career highlights include:

  • Representing a Fortune 50 consumer electronics manufacturer as lead counsel in its worldwide, multi-billion dollar dispute with Qualcomm.
  • Obtaining a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order at the ITC for client Samsung. This gave Samsung a powerful marketplace advantage and negotiation advantage in its global dispute with Sharp Electronics. He also represented Samsung adverse to Ericsson in a series of highly publicized and hotly contested patent licensing disputes involving 24 mobile device patents in the Eastern District of Texas and at the ITC.
  • Averting a $1 billion in damages claim against client Marvell Semiconductor by obtaining a verdict of no infringement in the Eastern District of Texas.
  • Influencing the creation of new law regarding the use of prospective royalties in patent cases – while also securing a significant jury verdict for an automotive manufacturing client in an Eastern District of Texas case involving hybrid vehicle technology.

In 2012, Ruffin was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in recognition of his exceptional career and remarkable success in the courtroom.

Prior to joining Fish & Richardson, Ruffin served as a patent examiner in computer interface device technology at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


IP litigation

Represented a Fortune 50 consumer electronics manufacturer as lead counsel in its worldwide, multi-billion dollar dispute with Qualcomm.

SEVEN Networks v. Samsung (E.D. Tex.). Lead counsel for Samsung in case alleging infringement of seven patents by Samsung mobile phones and tablets. Secured favorable settlement after pretrial hearings.

Lake Cherokee Hard Drive Techs. v. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (E.D. Tex.). Trial counsel for Marvell in a memory storage case in which the plaintiff sought more than $1 billion in damages. Obtained jury verdict of noninfringement.

Ericsson Inc., et al. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. (E.D. Tex.). Represented Samsung in a series of hotly contested and highly publicized patent and licensing disputes in the Eastern District of Texas and the ITC. The cases involved 24 patents covering software and hardware for mobile devices, including phones and tablets.

PAICE v. Toyota Motor Co. (E.D. Tex.). Obtained a significant jury verdict in favor of his client against Toyota. In the process, created new law regarding the use of prospective royalties in patent cases.  Mr. Cordell also tried later cases for the same client against Hyundai Motors and Ford Motor Co.

Virtual Solutions LLC v. Microsoft Corp. (S.D.N.Y. & Fed. Cir.). Obtained favorable summary judgment ruling on behalf of client Microsoft and subsequent affirmance on appeal to the Federal Circuit.

Intergraph Corp. v. Intel Corp. (E.D. Tex.). Trial counsel in bench trial on two Intergraph patents relating to parallel processing.

01 Communique Laboratory Inc. v. Citrix Systems Inc. et al. (N.D. Ohio). Won a significant jury verdict of noninfringement for client Citrix Systems in patent case alleging inducement.

International Trade Commission, Section 337 investigations

Certain Robotic Vacuum Cleaning Devices and Components Thereof Such as Spare Parts (Inv. No. 337-TA-1057). Represented complainant in an investigation relating to robotic vacuum cleaners, autonomous behavior, and embedded systems processing. Succeeded in obtaining limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

Certain Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1042). Represented complainant and secured favorable settlement prior to the initial determination.

Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-631, -634). Represented Samsung in the ITC portion of this global dispute that resulted in actions filed in Japan, Korea, Europe, and the United States. Obtained a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order against Sharp before successfully settling the case, which provided valuable leverage for future negotiations.

Certain Unified Communications Systems, Products and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 377-TA-598). Represented Microsoft in patent litigation against Alcatel-Lucent. The Administrative Law Judge found infringement and no invalidity of one of the asserted patents and recommended an exclusion order.

Certain Flash Memory Devices and Components Thereof, and Products Containing Such Devices and Components (Inv. No. 337-TA-552). Lead counsel for respondent in case involving three patents related to flash memory technology, securing a finding of no violation after full hearing on the merits (affirmed by the full Commission).


Ruffin Cordell is “extremely good on his feet and a top IP trial lawyer.”

“He is hard working, engaging and articulate, and fantastic at managing the strategic aspects of his cases.”

“Ruffin has a high level of seniority and experience and manages big cases brilliantly. His performances in court are always great – he’s extremely sharp thinking on his feet and has a folksy, unpretentious style that goes down well.”

2018-2019 IAM Patent 1000

“He’s strategic; he has a way of thinking about litigation as a whole, and presenting things in a very straightforward manner.”

“Ruffin brings a tremendous amount of experience in large multi-patent litigations. He has a great line of trial experience and a great reputation.”

“Ruffin is an extremely talented trial lawyer.”

“Ruffin is a three-in-one person, he does it all.”

Client testimonials, 2017-2019 Chambers and Partners

Professional associations

  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers