John J Cotter


State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111-2950

United States of America

John Cotter concentrates his practice in patent and complex intellectual property trials and appeals. He has tried patent, trademark, and other IP cases and argued Markman and summary judgment hearings; argued appeals at the Federal, First, and Eleventh Circuits; handled inter partes disputes at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and has taken U.S. and overseas arbitrations to judgment.

Mr. Cotter’s patent cases have involved technologies including HIV antiviral drugs; electronic and optical switching technology; wireless and mobile communications; medical ventilators and blood analyzers; diagnostic medical tests; software and computer systems for FDA clinical trials, medical records, and security; and surgical devices. He advises clients on IP strategy, rights ownership, indemnification, and licensing; internal investigations involving technology and trade secrets; Hatch-Waxman/ANDA patent litigation; exemptions from infringement for FDA-related activities; and global litigation strategies.

Mr. Cotter’s trademark litigation experience spans from internationally famous to regional and niche brands, for consumer and industrial products, pharmaceuticals, and medical instruments. In the copyright, licensing, trade secrets, and internet areas, John has litigated the leading case on internet trespass; a pro bono artists’ and musicians’ rights lawsuit resulting in the City of Boston rescinding unconstitutional regulations; entertainment and patent royalty disputes, and software copyright cases including under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

His pro bono work also includes trying cases for political asylum seekers in immigration court, and assisting victims of cyber harassment.


  • B.S.M.E., Northeastern University (1985)
    (Mechanical Engineering)
  • J.D., Suffolk University Law School (1989)
    (cum laude)


Bar of Massachusetts, Bar of New York, United States Patent and Trademark Office
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