Adam Powell has a broad practice that involves litigating all types of intellectual property cases, including patent, trade secret, copyright, and trademark matters. He also has extensive experience litigating antitrust matters, particularly those involving technologically complex issues. Adam works with a variety of technologies, including medical devices, software, electronics, chemistry, biotechnology, solar energy, and commercial diving.
In one of his most successful cases, Adam represented Masimo Corporation in a three-week trial against Philips. The jury awarded $466 million to Masimo and rejected Philips’ infringement claims seeking $169 million. That verdict was featured in The National Law Journal's "Top Verdicts of 2014" as the top intellectual property verdict and number 5 verdict overall, and was also listed as the "Top IP Award of 2014" by Law360. After the jury trial, Adam was responsible for defending against Philips’ antitrust counterclaims alleging patent misuse, monopolization, attempted monopolization, and technological tying. The litigation eventually settled with Philips paying Masimo $300 million and agreeing to a multi-year joint marketing and sales program in which Philips would integrate Masimo technologies in its patient monitors.
Adam also recently defended a biotech company in a case relating to liquid biopsy technology, which uses DNA sequencing to monitor cancer. Adam was responsible for asserting counterclaims for Walker Process monopolization and attempted monopolization. The case recently settled.
Adam also recently represented EagleLIFT in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, trademark infringement, false advertising, and trade secret misappropriation. Adam was responsible for EagleLIFT’s patent misuse and antitrust counterclaims alleging tying, improper covenants not to compete, exclusive grantback assignments, and other restrictive covenants. The case settled after EagleLIFT asserted its counterclaims.
Adam also has extensive experience resolving trade secret and employee mobility matters. In connection with those cases, Adam routinely manages complex computer forensic investigations of former employees alleged to have stolen confidential computer files before leaving to work for a competitor. In one bench trial, he proved two former employees downloaded and took thousands of computer files to their new employer. The Court found the employees engaged in “despicable conduct,” justifying an award of compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and a permanent injunction. In another case, he proved the defendant engaged in extensive spoliation of electronic evidence, resulting in a terminating sanction, compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, and a permanent injunction.
Adam is also active in the legal community. He serves on the Board of Governors for the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Business and Trial Lawyers, where he helped implement a Trial Attorney Partnership program with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. He is also an active member of the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court and regularly speaks at roundtable events for the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Prior to joining the firm in 2010, he graduated from UC Hastings Law School, where he served on the Hastings Law Journal, Hastings Moot Court Team, Law and Bioscience Project, and Civil Justice Clinic. Adam also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Jeffrey S. White, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
- Named to the Daily Journal's "Top Trade Secrets Lawyers" 2023 list
- Named to the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch guide, which “recognizes lawyers who are earlier in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice” for Antitrust Law (2022 - 2024)
Papers and Articles
Adam Powell and Stephen Larson, FTC v. Endo Pharms., Inc.: The D.C. District Court “Treads [the] Tenuous Line Between Patent and Antitrust Laws” to Reject the FTC’s Challenge of an Exclusive License That Allegedly Discouraged Competition, AIPLA IP Antitrust News (May 2022).
Adam Powell and Stephen Larson, Trademark Modernization Act Could Reshape Litigation, Law360 (February 2021).
Adam Powell and Stephen Larson, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC v. Par Sterile Prods, LLC: Unasserted Patents May Break the Chain of Causation Required for Antitrust Injury, AIPLA IP Antitrust News (January 2021).
Adam Powell, Benchmark Legislation: A Measured Approach in the Fight Against Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals, 61 Hastings L.J. 749 (2010).
Adam Powell, KSR Fallout: Questions of Law Based on Findings of Fact and the Continuing Problem of Hindsight Bias, 1 Hastings Sci. and Tech. L.J. 241 (2009).
Adam Powell, Erin Blake, & Kris Kokotaylo, Brief for the Respondent, 26 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 321 (2009).
Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog
Adam Powell, To Limit or Not to Limit: What Is the Basis of Your Prior Art Distinction During Prosecution?, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, The Mere Presence of Patent Issues in a Contract Dispute Does Not Create Federal Jurisdiction, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, A Patentee Cannot Circumvent the Marking Requirement by Proving Separate Infringement of Method Claims, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, Publication Does Not Necessarily Defeat Joint Inventorship, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, The Federal Circuit May Not Award Attorney Fees for Work Performed During an IPR, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, IPR Petitioners May Not Raise Appointments Clause Challenges Under Arthrex, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, Finite Methods as a Ground for Obviousness, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, Patent Owners Cannot Sue the Government for Patent Infringement as a Fifth Amendment Taking, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, Do Not Bank on a Bank Not Being a “Person” Under the AIA, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, Claims Including Computer Speed and Efficiency Improvements May Still Be Ineligible Under Section 101, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, A Litigation Position May Be Objectively Unreasonable Even If the Court Denies Summary Judgment, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2020).
Adam Powell, “Exceptional Case” Findings Must Consider The Full Case, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2019).
Adam Powell, New Arguments Presented for the First Time During PTAB Oral Hearings Are Not Always Waived, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2019)
Adam Powell, Accused Infringer’s Ornamental Logo May Defeat Design Patent Infringement Claim, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2019)
Adam Powell, Subsequent Examination After RCE and Interference Proceeding Are Not PTO Delay, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2019)
Adam Powell, Corresponding Structure in the Specification Does Not Render a Means-Plus-Function Term Structural, Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (2019)
Adam Powell, Knobbe Martens Talks Trade Secrets , Medical Product Outsourcing (July 2021)