Joe Cianfrani is the chair of the firm’s litigation practice. For the last 22 years he has successfully represented the firm’s clients in high-stakes intellectual property disputes at both the trial and appellate levels. Joe combines a strong technical background with a thorough understanding of his clients’ business goals. He takes enormous pride in not only crafting a winning legal strategy, but one that achieves his clients’ business goals—long before the first brief is drafted.
Joe has tried numerous jury cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Joe has served on trial teams in obtaining $134.5 million and $43.5 million jury verdicts for infringement of patents held by the firm’s medical device clients. Joe has also successfully defended the firm’s clients against unwarranted patent infringement claims and obtained complete dismissals in many such cases.
Joe's practice primarily involves representing litigants in federal district court and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), Joe has also maintained an active appellate practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit where he once served as a law clerk. Since then, Joe has represented the firm’s clients on more than 50 appeals and petitions for inter partes review involving computer peripherals, optics, electronics, software, pharmaceuticals, DNA sequencing, and medical devices.
As an active bar leader, Joe has served on the board of directors of the American Intellectual Property Association and has written numerous amicus briefs for that organization and bar associations on a wide variety of legal issues. He is a frequent lecturer on IP law and litigation strategy, and has taught patent litigation as an adjunct law professor. Joe has been recognized with numerous awards as a “rising star,” "super lawyer," and a two-time winner of the Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year award (2014, 2021).
Law clerk to the Honorable Arthur J. Gajarsa of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1997-98
Joe has received multiple awards and has been honored for his legal accomplishments:
- Selected to the 2007-2021 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Intellectual Property Litigation, Patent Litigation, Patent Law and Trademark Law. In the 2021 edition, he was named "Lawyer of the Year" for his outstanding work in Intellectual Property Litigation.
- Selected for inclusion in the "Southern California Super Lawyers" list and was recognized for his work in intellectual property litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine (2013-2020)
- Named in 2019 as one of the "World's Leading Patent Professionals" for Litigation in the Patent 1000 guide by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine.
- Recognized by The Legal 500 for Patent Licensing and Patent Litigation in 2019
- Named the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Orange County Litigation Patent "Lawyer of the Year"
- Named as one of Southern California’s “Rising Stars” in intellectual property law published in Los Angeles magazine and Super Lawyers magazine (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012)
- Recognized as one of Orange County’s “Top Attorneys” (2009 - 2011)
Coauthor: “How Much Fuel to Add to the Fire of Genius? Some Questions About the Repair/ Reconstruction Distinction in Patent Law” 48 Am. Univ. L. R. 1205 (1999)
“An Economic Analysis of the Doctrine of Equivalents” 1 VJLT 1 (1998)
Authored numerous amicus briefs on behalf of bar organizations, trade associations, and clients to the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeal in various intellectual property cases
Speeches & Seminars
Speaker, "Weekly Appellate Report Podcast," Daily Journal (June 2016)
Moderator, Best Practices for Litigating and Managing Disputes under AIA, Patent Disputes 2013 Conference, Costa Mesa, CA (2013)
Spoken extensively on the impact of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on damages, claim construction and the doctrine of equivalents in patent law