An experienced and proven advocate and trial lawyer, John Sganga has spent over three decades successfully and exclusively litigating intellectual property and technology disputes. John’s cases always involve a client whose technology or brand has been stolen or high-jacked, or who has been wrongly accused of doing so.
A quick study in understanding even the most pioneering innovation, John is able to distill complex technologies to their core while gaining an in depth understanding of his client’s business model and financial imperatives. John’s skills as an effective communicator and persuasive negotiator enable him to thrive in high pressure situations and high-stakes cases. He is regarded as someone who remains calm while out-thinking and out-persuading his opponents.
John is personally dedicated to working diligently to define a win for his client at the onset of every matter, developing a distinct approach to problem-solving and leading his team in executing the right strategy appropriately and energetically to victory. Having represented plaintiffs and defendants alike, John has secured courtroom victories of over $100 million for both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes technology disputes. He appears in courts nationwide, including jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, appeals and administrative proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) and the International Trade Commission (ITC).
John’s experience includes patent, trade secret, copyright and trademark infringement matters, as well as contract disputes involving technology development and IP rights. The industries with which John is familiar are also diverse and range from medical and dental devices, engine technology and software, to food and beverage and consumer products.
John has been active as a bar leader, is a past chair of his firm’s Litigation practice, a frequent lecturer on IP law and litigation strategy, an author of a book and numerous articles, and has taught patent litigation as an adjunct law professor. He has been recognized with numerous awards as a stand-out lawyer locally (Super Lawyers), state-wide (Daily Journal “Top IP Attorneys in California”), nationally (The Best Lawyers in America, BTI “Client Service All-Star” and Martindale Hubbell AV judicial pre-eminent rating), and internationally (IAM “World’s Leading Patent Professionals”).
Mr. Sganga has received multiple awards and has been honored in national forums for his legal accomplishments:
- Received the 2021 Harmon G. Scoville Award, an honor presented to "a member of the Orange County legal community whose career exemplifies the highest standards of the legal profession, who is widely known as a champion of the constitutional system of justice, and who has made significant contributions to the OCBA and its community," by the Orange County Bar Association
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (2007 - 2022). In the 2018 - 2023 editions, he was recognized in the appellate practice, copyright law, intellectual property litigation, patent litigation, patent law, trade secrets and trademark law categories. He was also named Orange County's 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" for his work in intellectual property litigation, trade secrets law, and appellate practice
- Recognized by The Legal 500 "United States" for Patent Litigation (2021-2022)
- Named one of the "World's Leading Patent Professionals" for litigation in the Patent 1000 guide by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine (2015 - 2022). In the 2019 guide he was commended as a “dynamo who pursues client-defined wins with incredible energy”.
- Recognized as a Patent Star in Managing IP's "IP STARS" guide for his outstanding intellectual property legal work (2018 - 2022)
- Received "Local Litigation Star" and "California Litigation Star" rankings in Benchmark Litigation (2018 - 2020, 2023) and in the 2021 and 2023 guide he was further recognized as a "National Practice Area Star".
- Named in the Daily Journal's list of the "Top IP Attorneys in California" (2014, 2016 - 2020)
- Named a 2018 and 2022 "Life Science Star" for Patent Litigation in the Legal Media Group's (LMG) "LMG Life Sciences" Guide
- Repeatedly selected by Super Lawyers magazine in the area of Intellectual Property Litigation
- Recognized in BTI Consulting Group's 2017 "Client Service All-Stars" report for his superior client service in IP Litigation
- Recognized among the Top 50 Orange County Lawyers for 2015 in Super Lawyers Magazine
- Recognized by American Lawyer Media as a Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law for 2013
- Received Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rating (as voted by Bar members and Judiciary)
"Common Forum Selection Clause in License Agreement Prevents Patent Validity Challenge at PTAB," Knobbe Martens Firm Alert, April 2019.
“Direct Molding Statutes: Potent Weapons, But Are They Constitutional?” Journal of the Patent & Trademark Office Society, Vol. 71, No. 1, 1989.
“Copyright Law, The U.S. Joins The Berne Convention,” Orange County Lawyer, December 1989.
“Legal Protection For Works Of Art,” Orange County Lawyer, March, 1991.
“Building A Winning Paper Trail For Intellectual Property Litigation,” Orange County Business Journal, September, 1991.
“What The Japanese Businessman Should Know About U.S. Copyright Law,” Kaigai Chuzai, May 1992.
“Growing Software Intensive Companies,” ABL Key Observer Report, May 1992.
“A Primer on Patents,” Orange County Business Journal, September 1993.
“The Pitfalls Of Providing Intent-to-Use Trademark Applications As Loan Security,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 7, 1997; Orange County Reporter, February 10, 1997.
“Recent Developments In Intellectual Property Law,” 1996 Annual Review of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California, 1997.
“Swap Talk: Retail-Space Operators and Internet Providers May Be Secondarily Liable for Infringement,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 5, 1997.
“Secondary Liability for Copyright and Trademark Infringement: Where Cyberspace and Retail Space Meet,” Orange County Lawyer, March 1998.
“Litigating Obviousness: A New Approach for Using Expert Witnesses,” Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, Vol. 81, No. 3, March 1999.
“Ch. 11 – Pretrial Proceedings,” co-author with Don W. Martens, Patent Litigation, Edited by Laurence H. Pretty, PLI Press, 2000.
“Pre-Litigation Patent Enforcement,” Thomson-Reuters, co-author with Don Martens, 2008-2013.
Speeches & Seminars
"Top Ten IP Issues and Trends, Association of Corporate Counsel" (ACC) (2019)
"Boilerplate Contract Provisions That Can Bite You in IP Litigation," Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Webcast (September 26, 2018)
"Developments in Proving Domestic Industry for Foreign Patentees," Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association Advanced ITC Litigation Seminar, San Francisco, CA (June 29, 2018)
"IP Agreements: Lessons Learned the Hard Way", Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) In-House Counsel Conference, Anaheim, CA (January 26, 2017)
“Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation,” US Patent Litigation Seminar, Osaka & Tokyo, Japan (February 2 & 4, 2016)
“Trends and Advanced Strategies in U.S. Patent Prosecution,” U.S. Patent Prosecution Seminar, Osaka & Tokyo, Japan (February 1 & 3, 2016)
"What In-House Counsel and Internal Business Units Need to Know About IP Law," Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) - Southern California In-House Counsel Conference, Anaheim, CA (January 27, 2016)
"IP Year in Review," CLE Wrap-Up: Substance Abuse, Elimination of Bias & the IP Year in Review, Knobbe Martens Hosted CLE Seminar (January 7, 2016)
"The Practitioner’s Perspective: The Effect of Patent Non-Practicing Entities on Industry," Trolls or Toll-Takers: Do Intellectual Property Non-Practicing Entities Add Value to Society? 2015 Chapman Law Review Symposium, Orange, CA (January 30, 2015)
Program Chair, The Third Annual Technology Seminar – Program Chair for Using Technology in Trials Today: What is a Must and What is a Bust, The Orange County Bar Association Masers Division, Irvine, CA (November 18, 2014)
"Woke Up This Morning – My Patent’s Gone: Recent Pro-Accused Infringer Trends in Patent Law," 2014 ACC-SoCal Double Header, Anaheim, CA (August 28, 2014)
“Best Practices and Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation and Prosecution,” US Litigation and Patent Prosecution Seminar, Osaka, Japan (July 11, 2014)
“Best Practices and Trends in U.S. Patent Prosecution,” US Patent Prosecution Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (July 8, 2014)
“Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation: Pro-Accused Infringer,” US Litigation Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (July 7, 2014).
Chapman University School of Law, Adjunct Professor 2013-2014, “Patent Litigation”
ACC-SoCal Double Header, “What to do in the First 30 Days of an IP Suit” (April 2013)
JAMS “Recent Trends in Intellectual Property Litigation”, roundtable participant (July 2006)
“Rule 11 in Patent Cases,” Intellectual Property/Technology Law Section Meeting, Orange County Bar Association (March 2006)
Los Angeles Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, Annual Seminar, “One Year Down the Road: Claim Construction Post-Phillips” (May 2006)
USC Gould School of Law, 2005 Intellectual Property Institute, “You’ve Been Sued for Patent Infringement – Now What?” (May 2005)
“ADR in Intellectual Property Cases,” Orange County Patent Law Association (March 2005)
Intellectual Property Owners Association (I.P.O.), “Drafting ADR Clauses – Lessons From the Battlefield,” Washington D.C. (November 2004)
Chapman University School of Law 3rd Annual Preview of the Supreme Court: “An Update of Intellectual Property Law,” Phillips v. AWH Corp (October 2004)
“Timing Summary Judgment in Federal Court,” Orange County Barristers (September 2004)
“Fundamentals of Business Practices Litigation,” Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Costa Mesa, (September 2000)
Entrepreneurs Conference, Harvard Business School Association of Orange County, “Intellectual Property Protection for the Internet,” Irvine (May 2000)
William P. Gray Legion Lex Inn of Court, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Motion Practice,” Costa Mesa (May 2000)
Lead defense counsel in patent infringement case, Costa Mesa, Whittier College School of Law, Mock Trial presentation (February 2004, 2005, 2006)
Lead defense counsel in trade secrets case, Costa Mesa, Whittier College School of Law, Mock Trial presentation (February 2003)
Mr. Sganga has also lectured on Intellectual Property Law issues for Orange County Patent Law Association, Orange County Barristers, Orange County Barristers, SO/CAL/TEN (Southern California Technology Executives Network), Practicing Law Institute (PLI), and Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB).