James E. Hough

James E. Hough


Hampshire College (B.A., 1981)
New York University School of Law (J.D., 1986)

Bar Admissions

New York
Japan (Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi)


Hon. Charles S. Haight, Jr., U.S. District Court, S.D. New York (1986-1988)

Jim’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on intellectual property disputes and securities litigation. His matters have included breach of contract claims, joint venture dissolutions, trade secret misappropriation claims, and distribution agreement disputes, among others. He has also conducted internal investigations and represented witnesses in and subjects of government investigations.

In one recent matter, Jim represented lenders seeking repayment of loans made to a homebuilder in Las Vegas. Although the borrower became insolvent, Jim obtained full payment of the principal and a substantial portion of the unpaid interest from the guarantors, a recovery of more than $300 million.

Jim is also a seasoned IP litigator. His patent litigation experience includes a variety of technical fields, including biotechnology, semiconductors, medical devices, and “business methods.” His copyright experience includes software, jewelry and toy designs, and rights to musical compositions. In one high–profile case, he represented the author and publisher of the best–selling book, Memoirs of a Geisha.

Jim joined Morrison & Foerster in 1991. From 2007 to 2011, he was the Head of the Litigation Department in the New York office, and from 2012 to 2018, he was the Head of the Litigation Department in the Tokyo office. While residing in Tokyo, Jim was licensed as a Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi and was a member of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association.


  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association (past vice chair of the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, IP Committee)
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York (past Secretary of the Arbitration Committee, current member of the Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession)

Mr. Hough was selected as an “IP Star” for the 2017–2019 editions of Managing Intellectual Property’s World IP Survey. He is recommended in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific in the areas of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution. He is also recommended in the 2016 edition of Intellectual Asset Management’s IAM Patent 1000.

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