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Donald R. Dunner
+1 202 408 4062

901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4413

+1 202 408 4000
Fax +1 202 408 4400

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


  • Georgetown University Law Center
    J.D., 1958
  • Purdue University
    B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1953

Judicial Clerkships

    U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

Donald R. Dunner


Donald Dunner has worked in all phases of patent law, including prosecution, licensing, litigation, validity and infringement studies, and counseling. He has vast technical experience in chemical engineering, chemistry, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Dunner has litigated numerous cases in the federal district courts and is best known for appellate practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and its predecessor court, the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. He has had significant success overturning jury and other verdicts handed down by lower district courts, and has earned the reputation of being one of the finest litigators in the country. The New York Times reported that he has argued more Federal Circuit cases than any other litigator in the United States.

Mr. Dunner served as chairman of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for the first ten years of the Court's existence and participated in the drafting of the Court's rules (1982-1992).


  • Argued more than 165 appeals before the Federal Circuit.
  • Notable cases include the complete reversal of an $80 million jury verdict against Mattel related to Hot WheelsTM toys, and affirmation of a $290 million patent verdict for i4i against Microsoft, the second largest award to be sustained on appeal.
  • Former examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 
  • Served as a law clerk to the Honorable Noble J. Johnson, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.
  • Adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, teaching a course on Federal Circuit practice.

Professional Recognition

  • Received the "Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award" from the American College of Trial Lawyers for making a significant contribution to the improvement of the litigation process, 2013. One of only nine law firm lawyers to have received the award since its inception in 1980.
  • Recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from The American Lawyer as "one of the world’s leading experts on patent law," 2014.
  • Recipient of Managing Intellectual Property's Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014; recognized as an "IP Star" in Washington, D.C., 2013-2017.
  • Recipient of the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Federal Circuit, 2016.
  • Recognized as an "Intellectual Property Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal, 2016.
  • Recipient of the American Bar Association's Mark T. Banner Award, 2015.
  • Recognized as an "Icon of IP" by Law360, 2016.
  • Recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in the field of intellectual property law, 2007, 2008; appellate law, 2012-2014; special recognition as a Star Individual in IP, 2009-2012; and IP: Litigation, 2013-2017.
  • Recognized by Intellectual Asset Management as a leading patent litigator nationally and in the D.C. area, 2011, 2012; recognition as leading patent litigator before the Federal Circuit, 2011-2017 special recognition as a Luminary in the D.C. area, 2014-2017; IAM's IP Hall of Fame, 2010.
  • Recognized by World IP Review as a WIPR Leader for patents in the United States, 2016, 2017.
  • Recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," 2000, 2013.
  • Recipient of the Linn Inn Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012.
  • Recognized by Law360 as an MVP for accomplishments in IP law, 2012.
  • Listed in LMG Life Sciences as an Intellectual Property: Life Sciences Star, 2012-2016.
  • Recognized by George Washington University Law School students as Adjunct Professor of the Year, 2012.
  • Hispanic National Bar Association's IP Jurisprudence Award, 2012.
  • The Am Law Litigation Daily's "Litigator of the Week," Jan. 6, 2011.
  • AIPLA Excellence Award, 2011.
  • Recognized in Benchmark Litigation as a Litigation Star, 2010-2016.
  • Recognized in Benchmark: Appellate as a leading Federal Circuit appellate practitioner, 2011, 2013.
  • Recognized by the National Law Journal as one of three of The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers in intellectual property, 2010.
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. as one of the leading lawyers in patent litigation, 2009, 2014, 2015.
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as D.C.'s Intellectual Property Litigation "Lawyer of the Year", 2010, 2012; D.C.'s Patent Litigation "Lawyer of the Year," 2012; selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® since 1991; and for appellate work, intellectual property litigation, and patent litigation, 2008-2017.
  • Ranked among top U.S. patent lawyers in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Patent Law Practitioners since 2011.
  • Recognized as a Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" in appellate work, Super Lawyers published by Thomson Reuters, 2007-2016.
  • Listed in Washingtonian Magazine as a "top IP lawyer," 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014.
  • Recognized by Legal Times as one of 30 visionaries who helped shape the legal community in Washington, D.C. over the past 30 years, 2008.
  • Attorney of the Year "Good Scout" Award for 2006 presented by Boy Scouts of America, National Capital Area.
  • Inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 2004.
  • Recipient of the NJIPL Jefferson Medal, 2004.
  • The Sedona Conference® Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002.
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, Purdue University, 2001.
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, 1995-present.
  • Member of the Secretary of Commerce's Advisory Commission on Patent Law Reform, 1991-1992.
  • Member of the U.S. Delegation to the Diplomatic Conference on Revision of the Paris Convention, 1981-1982.
  • Member of the President's Advisory Committee on Industrial Innovation, 1978-1979.
  • Consultant to Commission on Revision of Federal Court Appellate System, 1974.

Professional Activities

  • ABA Board of Governors (2014-2017)
  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (2004-present)
  • ABA House of Delegates (2002-present)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (1995-present)
  • American Bar Association (chair, Section of Intellectual Property Law,
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (president, 1979-1980)
  • District of Columbia Bar (chair, Steering Committee, Div. 14, 1976-1977)
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia (chair, Section on Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law, 1964-1965; Board of Directors, 1965-1966)
  • National Council of Patent Law Associations (secretary, 1963-1966)

Select Publications

  • Coauthor. "Arbitration Rules for Patent Infringement Disputes," Just Resolutions, March 2016.
  • Coauthor. "2009 Patent Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit," American University Law Review, April 30, 2010.
  • Coauthor. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: Practice and Procedure, Matthew Bender, 1976-present.
  • Coauthor. Patent Law Perspectives, Matthew Bender, 1970-1988.