John Phillips

Principal | Southern California | 858-678-4304 |

John Phillips is a Principal in Fish & Richardson’s Southern California office. He was previously with the firm from 1994-1999 and rejoined from 2001-present. His practice emphasizes client counseling, inter partes and ex parte post grant work, due diligence and freedom-to-operate investigations, patent opinions, and strategic patent prosecution with special expertise in Internet-related technologies, computer software, communications, and electronics. Mr. Phillips’ Internet and software experience includes e-commerce applications, enterprise software systems, 3D computer graphics, electronic imaging, user-interfaces, electronic messaging, methods of doing business, digital rights protection, database technology, and computer networking. His other experience includes medical device technology, telecommunications, and avionics. His clients include individuals, startups, mid-sized businesses, and large corporations.

Mr. Phillips was previously general counsel for MercExchange LLC and, Inc. (2000-2001), an associate and law clerk with Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto (1990-1993), a Staff Electrical Engineer with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (1988-1989) and a Research & Development Engineer with Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1985-1988).


  • United States Patent and Trademark Office 1992
  • District of Columbia 1994
  • California 2003
  • The Honorable Alvin A. Schall, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1993 – 1994


Selected Speeches and Publications
  • Quoted, “Federal circuit and USPTO seek to clarify business method patents,” Managing Intellectual Property, January 2013.
  • Author, “Sui Generis Intellectual Property Protection for Computer Software,” 60 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 997 (1992).
  • Co-author, “Modifications to the Sea Beam Bathymetric Survey System,” OCEANS ’88, October 1988.
  • Co-author, “Multiple Sound Source Synchronizer for Seafloor Surveying, Society of Petroleum Geologists,” Offshore Technology Conference, May 1988.
Awards and Honors
  • Named as one of Top 25 Leading Portfolio Managers in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
  • Listed as one of The Daily Transcript’s “Top Influentials” for 2007 and 2008.
  • Listed in The Legal 500 US – IP survey of top law firms and lawyers in the area of patent reexamination
  • Listed in The Southern California Super Lawyers, San Diego 2007 and 2010 surveys for Intellectual Property.
  • BS, University of Michigan 1984
    Electrical Engineering
    cum laude
  • JD, George Washington University Law School 1992
    Valedictorian and Order of the Coif

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