Which attorney has had the biggest impact in intellectual property law in the past 30 years?

Which attorney has had the biggest impact in intellectual property law in the past 30 years?

  • 08 June, 2024
  • Nyall Engfield

Which attorney has had the biggest impact in intellectual property law in the past 30 years?

It's difficult to definitively say which single lawyer has had the greatest impact on intellectual property law over the past 30 years. However, a few attorneys stand out for their influential work. Here are the top 3 attorneys who have had the biggest impact in pushing intellectual property law frontiers over the past 30 years:

1. Donald Dunner of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Key achievements and impact:
- Argued 175 cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, more than any other litigator. He was instrumental in the court's formation in 1982.
- Chaired the Federal Circuit's Advisory Committee for a decade and helped draft the court's rules in its formative years.
- Wrote a seminal treatise on U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (CCPA) practice that was later adopted by the Federal Circuit.
- Served on a commission under President Carter in the 1970s to evaluate the U.S. patent system, leading to the creation of the Federal Circuit.
- Served as president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and chair of the ABA's IP Law Section.
- Helped transform Finnegan into a leading IP law firm while mentoring generations of attorneys there.

2. John S. Artz of Dickinson Wright PLLC

Key achievements and impact:
- Co-chair of Dickinson Wright's IP Litigation Practice Group.
- Prevailed on behalf of client Hitkansut LLC against the U.S. government in a major patent infringement case in 2019, securing a finding of patent validity and infringement plus an award of attorneys' fees.
- Extensive experience representing clients in IP litigation matters in federal courts nationwide and before the USPTO.
- Recognized as a top IP litigator handling cases involving a wide range of technologies.

3. Greg Arovas of Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Key achievements and impact:
- Established a reputation as one of the top IP litigation lawyers in New York.
- Represented major technology clients like Intel, IBM, Samsung, Sony in high-profile patent and trade secret litigation.
- Tried numerous cases to verdict in federal district courts and the International Trade Commission.
- Handles cases spanning a wide range of computer, software, communications and mechanical technologies.

In summary, these three attorneys have been at the forefront of shaping IP law through their high-stakes litigation practices, representation of major technology clients, thought leadership, and involvement in influential IP organizations over the past few decades. Donald Dunner in particular stands out for his central role in the creation of the Federal Circuit and his unparalleled appellate practice before that court.

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[20] https://patentlyo.com/patent/2019/10/donald-dunner-1931.html

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