Senior Principal / Twin Cities / 612-337-2550

John Dragseth

John Dragseth is a Senior Principal of Fish & Richardson, and has been named one of the top 50 IP attorneys in the country under the age of 45. He has also been named a Minnesota SuperLawyer multiple years. His practice centers on complex legal analysis and writing – in federal appeals, patent prosecution, reexamination, pre-suit and due diligence investigations, and patent opinions. His prosecution work centers on cloud computing, mobile computing, software, medical devices, and mechanical technologies (including HVAC). John has led the briefing on more than 30 appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where he was previously a law clerk to the Honorable Raymond C. Clevenger III. He has extensive experience in taking over cases on appeal and framing them for the Federal Circuit, while working closely with trial counsel. He also enters cases frequently as a “fixer” — helping with tough and important issues. (The similarities with George Clooney’s “Michael Clayton” character end there.) John writes and lectures frequently on a variety of patent law topics. He is also an adjunct professor teaching IP litigation at the University of St. Thomas Law School, and has authored case books on patent law and IP litigation (very exciting reads). He was raised on a small grain and sugar beet farm in Northern Minnesota.


J.D., Order of the Coif University of Minnesota Law School (1996) Managing Editor, Minnesota Law Review

B.S., summa cum laude, Tau Beta Pi, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota (1992)


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 2002
  • Minnesota 1997
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, The Honorable Raymond C. Clevenger III, 1996 – 1998

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Former Co-Chair, Litigation Committee, Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Editor-in-Chief, Technology Law Alert (M. Lee Smith Publishers) (2000-2002)


  • Named a “Leading Patent Professional” by IAM Patent 1000 (2021)
  • Recognized as a notable practitioner in Intellectual PropertyChambers USA: Minnesota (2020-2021)
  • Recognized as “IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists” (2020)
  • Named to “Best Lawyers” by Best Lawyers in America (2020-2021)
  • Recognized as a Leading Attorney at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by IAM Patent 1000 (2020)
  • Recognized in “The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” by IAM Patent 1000 (2016-2020)
  • “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property (2013-2020)
  • Recognized as a “North Star Lawyer” by the Minnesota State Bar Association (2020)
  • Recognized as “Outstanding Litigator in Minnesota,” Managing Intellectual Property (2017)
  • “Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal (2016)
  • Named as a “Top 50 Under 45″ attorney in IP Law & Business (May 2008)
  • National Champion, 1996 Giles S. Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition
  • Cargill Award recipient


Software and Electronics
Wireless mobile devices, videogames, AJAX techniques, search engines, e-commerce, CAD/CAM, communications protocols, databases, process control, fraud prevention, location-based services, ATM machine operation, product activation, digital signal processing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), various investment vehicles, GPS, computer hardware, networking, telecommunications, and semiconductor processing.

Medical Devices
Biopsy devices and methods, cryotreatment, defibrillators (implantable and external), blood centrifuges, infusion pumps, stents, surgical tools, endoscopic instruments, ultrasound, catheters, heart remodeling devices, implantable heart pumps, medical scanners, nucleic acid microarrays, telemetry systems, blood analysis chips, implantable sensors, and molecular modeling systems.

Green Technologies
Wind generators and blade design, control systems, power supplies, thermal solar, semiconductor fabrication, hybrid vehicles, super-efficient HVAC systems, wave-powered and wind-powered systems, and green building techniques.

Recent Appellate Cases

Obtained affirmance of district court ruling and dismissal of part of appeal on behalf of client Google Inc. in iLor LLC v. Google Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Dec. 11, 2008)

Led appeal in obtaining full reversal of two independent claim construction issues in Predicate Logic, Inc. v. Distributive Software, Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Oct. 9, 2008)

Represented Microsoft in separate successful appeals against Lucent, including one that zeroed out a $1.5 billion jury award – the largest patent defense victory ever on appeal in Lucent Technologies , Inc. v. Gateway, Inc. and Microsoft Corp., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Sept. 25, 2008) and __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. May 8, 2008)

Obtained complete reversal for our client (the patent owner) on 10 separate issues, and affirmance on all four issues raised by opponent. The technology related to computer architecture. Took over responsibility for appeal from another firm.

Lead counsel at Supreme Court opposing petition for certiorari after obtaining full reversal of summary judgment entered against client 3M. On remand, 3M won a judgment of infringement after a jury trial. The Federal Circuit’s precedential opinion centered around claim construction. The technology was repositionable adhesive signage. 3M Innovative Properties Co. v. Avery Dennison Corp., 350 F.3d 1365 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 2, 2003)

Obtained full reversal of judgment previously entered against client R.E. Service Co. (and against company’s founder personally) before the en banc Federal Circuit, in a case that solidified the “disclosed but unclaimed subject matter” limitation to the doctrine of equivalents. Johnson & Johnston Associates v. R.E. Service Co., 285 F.3d 1046 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 28, 2002) (en banc). Took over responsibility for appeal from trial firm.

Obtained full reversal (on six separate issues) and reinstatement of jury verdict and damage award for client Mentor. The technology was use of ultrasonic technology in medical procedures. Mentor H/S, Inc. v. Medical Device Alliance, 244 F.3d 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2001). Took over responsibility for appeal from another firm.

Led briefing in appeal that secured full affirmance of a jury verdict of noninfringement in favor of client Sunny Fresh Foods. (a Cargill company). The plaintiff had sought over $100 million in damages but ultimately obtained none; it instead paid substantial costs to Sunny Fresh. The technology was liquid egg pasteurization techniques. Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., 2005 WL 858015 (Fed. Cir. Apr 15, 2005). Took over responsibility for appeal from another firm.

Obtained affirmance of substantial attorney fees award to client Acorn Mobility in case announcing that a patent applicant must explain a failure to disclose highly material information to the Patent Office when the applicant is charged with inequitable conduct. Technology was home stairlifts for handicapped individuals. Bruno Independent Living Aids, Inc. v. Acorn Mobility Services, Ltd., 394 F.3d 1348 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 11, 2005)

AT&T v. Microsoft Corp. – filed amicus brief with Supreme Court on behalf of Autodesk Corp., arguing that 35 U.S.C. § 271(f) does not apply to copies of computer programs made outside the United States.

KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. – drafted Supreme Court amicus brief that was filed by 3M, General Electric, Proctor & Gamble, DuPont, and Johnson & Johnson, relating to the “motivation to combine” requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 103

Medimmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. – drafted Supreme Court amicus brief that was filed by 3M, General Electric, Proctor & Gamble, and DuPont, relating to the predicates for declaratory judgment jurisdiction in the context of patent license agreements.

Knorr-Bremse Systeme Fuer Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH v. Dana Corp. – filed amicus brief with the en banc Federal Circuit on behalf of Microsoft, advocating more restrained application in certain circumstance of the inference that a patent defendant’s infringement has been willful.

J.E.M. Ag-Supply v. Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l, Inc. – filed amicus brief with Supreme Court for Cargill in support of victorious party Pioneer. The appeal addressed whether sexually-reproducing plants should be eligible for utility patent protection.

Schism v. United States – was lead counsel for Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the National Organization for Veterans Advocates (NOVA), pro bono before Federal Circuit and Supreme Court. The appeal centered around governmental refusal to pay promised benefits to thousands of career soldiers.

Has consulted on numerous other litigations – before, during, and after appeals – for Fish & Richardson litigation teams and teams from other firms.


Speaking Engagements

  • “Post-Grant for Practitioners: Post-Grant Appeals,” Fish Webinar (November 10, 2021)
  • Post-Grant for Practitioners Webinar | Post-Grant Mid-Year ReviewFish Post-Grant Webinar (June 30, 2021)
  • Post-Grant for Practitioners Webinar | After Arthrex: What the Supreme Court’s Decision MeansFish Post-Grant Webinar (June 23, 2021)
  • Post-Grant for Practitioners Webinar | Post-Grant AppealsFish Post-Grant Webinar (November 5, 2020)
  • Patent Law Year in ReviewMidwest IP Institute (October 1, 2020)
  • Post-Grant for Practitioners Webinar | Just the Facts – A Mid-Year ReviewFish Post-Grant Webinar (August 8, 2020)
  • “Looking Ahead:  Practical Implications of Oil States Energy Services and SAS Institute” Fish Post-Grant Webinar (April 26, 2018)
  • “Post-Grant Appeals at the Federal Circuit” Fish Post-Grant Webinar (March 14, 2018)
  • “Federal Circuit and Supreme Court Yearly Review” Fish Litigation Webinar (September 21, 2017)
  • Fish Post-Grant Radio: Episode #6 (July 7, 2017)
  • “Districts and Decisions: Does Location Really Matter,” IP Law Review, New York (October 29-30, 2008)
  • “Hot Topics in Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Law: Implications for IP Strategy & Licensing,” IP Symposium (April 15, 2008)
  • “Remedies After eBay,” presentation, Seoul, Republic of Korea (December 10, 2006)
  • “Infringement Licensing from a Licensee Perspective,” Hot Topics in IP Licensing 2006 (Minnesota CLE) (June 9, 2006)
  • “Substantive Issues for Pre-Suit Investigations,” Minnesota CLE (February 2006)
  • “Are Patent Attorneys Environmentalists? Post-Sale Restrictions on Use and Re-Use of Medical Devices,” Patent Protection for Medical Devices (Minnesota CLE) (May 17, 2004)
  • “Update on Attorney Opinion Issues in Patent Litigation,” Chapter Fourteen, The IP Book (Midwest Intellectual Property Institute 2003)
  • “Claim Drafting in Contemplation of Implied License and Exhaustion Issues,” AIPLA Spring Meeting (May 14, 2003)

Media Mentions

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