Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law
Don Martens

Don Martens


At a Glance

  • J.D. The George Washington University Law School
  • B.S. Engineering, University of Wisconsin - Madison

  • State Bar of California
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Profile 

Don W. Martens is a founding partner of Knobbe Martens.  He recently retired from the practice of law after 50 years with the firm.

Mr. Martens was named as one of “The Top 10 Patent Lawyers in the World” by PLC Global Counsel Magazine; one of “The 20 Best Patent Lawyers in the World” in a comprehensive international survey by Euromoney Legal Media Group; one of the two “Leading IP Lawyers” in the United States by the Global Counsel’s Handbook; one of “The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California” by the California Business Magazine; and one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” by Law and Politics Magazine.

He has served as a court appointed Special Master in the U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California, the Western District of Pennsylvania, the District of Connecticut, the Southern District of Ohio, the Northern District of Texas and the Southern District of Texas.  The Special Master assignments have included Markman Hearings with substantial expert testimony, summary judgment determinations, Daubert motions and decisions on discovery disputes.

He has served as a mediator and arbitrator in numerous patent license and infringement cases, as well as in other IP cases.

He has completed the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Mediation Training Course, the Arbitrator I (Fundamentals of the Arbitration Process) and Arbitrator II (Advanced Case Management Issues) courses of the American Arbitration Association, the six day Mediating Litigated Cases course of the Straus Institute of Pepperdine Law School, and a course on Closing the Tough Mediation from The American Bar Association ADR Section. He is a member of the mediation and arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, and the CPR Institute.

He received the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Excellence Award, “Recognizing a distinguished career in patent law, marked by thoughtful, temperate and determined efforts to improve the legal process and promote the rights of inventors, bringing to every undertaking an exceptional depth of knowledge and civility;” the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering’s Distinguished Service Award, “In recognition of eminent professional services as a world-renowned patent attorney, and authority on intellectual property;” and the American Bar Association IP Law Section Chair’s Award, for his work as Chair of the Section Task Force on Patent Law Reform.  In 1988 he received the Franklin B. West Award, given annually by the Orange County Bar Association for outstanding contribution to the system of justice.


  • The George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1963), Order of the Coif Honorary Scholastic Society, Patent Editor of the Law Review, Graduated First in Class
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison (B.S. Engineering 1957), Graduated with honors, Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Fraternity
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