Patent Counseling + Prosecution

Morrison & Foerster has one of the most experienced and highly regarded patent practices in the field. Our attorneys have played a significant role in the creation and protection of many of the landmark patent portfolios in the information technology and life science industries.

We offer clients a patent counseling and prosecution practice that is unrivaled in its depth of experience, industry and technical expertise, and international scale.

Our patent attorneys are particularly skilled in the strategic planning of a patent portfolio, including writing successful patent applications in complex and novel situations, in anticipation of possible future litigation.

We work closely with clients from the earliest stages of their technical development, offering valuable advice about how to protect their inventions and new ideas in view of their business strategies. We are often called upon to advise clients on complex licensing, patent clearance, and adversarial matters, as well as to provide strategic business counsel regarding the development of products or technologies that may allegedly infringe patents held by competitors or that require the negotiation of royalty payments. When necessary, we assemble experienced teams of patent attorneys, patent litigators, and technical experts to address unique business or intellectual property issues that may arise.

Our patent practice includes two main technology sectors: biotechnologies, and electronics, software, and telecommunications.


Within biotechnology, our attorneys have significant expertise in chemistry, DNA, pharmaceuticals, therapeutic biologics, production of biologics, drug delivery, medical devices, plants, nanotechnology.


Within electronics, software, and telecommunications, we have particular expertise in software, computer hardware, Internet, telecommunications, semiconductors, electronic storage media, optical technologies, and digital signal processing technologies, as well as in "business method" patents.

Given the depth and breadth of our experience, we are able to work with clients seeking patent protection and counseling in virtually any field. For example, we have a growing nanotechnology practice, representing clients primarily in the materials and bionano areas.

Calling on our attorneys with outstanding expertise in the life sciences, materials, and chemistry areas, we are able to provide cutting-edge patent prosecution and counseling advice to our clients in this complex and demanding new area of patent practice.

IP Practice Group of the Year in 2013, 2015 and 2016

Chambers Global 2018
Global: Intellectual Property
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property
China: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
United States: Intellectual Property (Patent)
United States: Intellectual Property (Section 337)

Chambers USA 2017
National: Intellectual Property
National: International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337)
California: Intellectual Property
California: Intellectual Property (Patent Prosecution)
New York: Technology & Outsourcing
Washington D.C.: Intellectual Property (Litigation)
Washington D.C.: Technology & Outsourcing

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms
Asia-Pacific Region: Intellectual Property

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2018
National: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
National: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
National: Patent Law (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
San Diego: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
San Diego: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
San Diego: Patent Law (Tier 1)
San Francisco: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Patent Law (Tier 1)
Washington D.C.: IP Litigation (Tier 1)
Washington D.C.: Patent Litigation (Tier 1)

The National Law Journal 2016
IP Hot List

Legal 500 US 2018
Patent Litigation: ITC
Patent Litigation: Full Coverage
Patents: Portfolio Management and Licensing
Patent: Prosecution (Including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
Trade Secrets
Trademarks: Litigation

Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2018
China: Intellectual Property: Foreign Firms
Hong Kong: Intellectual Property
Japan: Intellectual Property: International Firms and Joint Ventures

Managing IP: American Awards Shortlist 2018
United States: Appellate
United States: Life Sciences IP Litigation
United States: ITC
Japan: Patent – Foreign Firms

IAM Patent 1000 2017
California: Litigation (Gold)
California: Transactions (Highly Recommended)
California: Prosecution
Hong Kong: Litigation & Transactions
Japan: Litigation and Licensing (Highly Recommended)
National: Transactions
National: Litigation
Washington D.C.: Litigation

LMG Life Sciences 2017
Hatch-Waxman Patent Litigation
Patent Prosecution (Highly Recommended)
Patent Strategy and Management (Highly Recommended)

Read the latest legal and business insights impacting the global life sciences community

National Law Journal - 2016 IP Hot List

Law 360 - IP Practice Group of the Year
IP Practice Group of the Year 2015, 2013

Chambers USA Winner 2013 - IP Firm of the Year
IP Firm of the Year

“A standout feature is practice head Michael Ward’s expertise in agricultural IP involving patents on plants and plant products."
(Legal 500 US 2018)

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