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Fish & Richardson P.C.

At a Glance


“If you are interested in practicing patent law, this is the best place to do it.”

“Partners want associates to stay, and we are treated as such.”


“Lack of project and people management skills across the board.”

“Communication on firm policies.”

About Fish & Richardson P.C.

An influential player in the development of American intellectual property law, Fish & Richardson has evolved with the inventions of its clients. From the days of the Industrial Revolution through the current technology revolution, the firm has remained a leader in patent law while adding other targeted practice areas as the years have rolled by. 

Fish First

Founded in Boston in 1878, Fish & Richardson’s early days were marked by its representation of giants of American innovation. The firm spent some of its first years advising the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and, later, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. Fish & Richardson played integral roles in the acquisition and defense of patents for such seminal concepts as the telephone, the radio, the automobile, and the steam turbine. At the time of his death in 1930, it was reported that name partner Frederick P. Fish had appeared in more Supreme Court patent cases than any other lawyer to date.

Donning the IP Crown

The No. 1 firm in Vault’s Intellectual Property Practice Area ranking, Fish is an IP shop through and through. The firm focuses mainly on IP litigation and counseling, as well as post-grant matters—but its breadth is reflected in the list of industries it serves. Fish handles IP matters for clients in more than a dozen industries, including biotechnology, energy, clean tech, consumer products, financial services, aerospace and defense, new media, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and more.

A go-to firm for all types of IP issues, Fish attorneys filed nearly 9,000 U.S. patent applications and nearly 9,000 foreign patent applications. They also filed more than 2,900 U.S. and foreign trademark applications in 2022 alone. The firm is well known for its patent litigation experience and regularly hits home runs when it goes up to bat for clients. Look no further than the firm’s representation of Gilead Sciences, Inc. against Merck & Co., in which the firm won a motion to reverse a $2.5 billion jury verdict against Gilead for patent infringement—the biggest patent verdict ever at that point.

In addition to its 360-plus attorneys, the firm is home to just over 70 technology specialists. Around 100 of those among the firm’s ranks hold Ph.D.s, and the firm is home to dozens of former clerks. In other words, Fish is stacked with the brains and experience to deliver its wide range of counsel in everything from ITC litigation and Hatch Waxman matters, to trademark and copyright issues, to post-grant proceedings and cybersecurity—plus so much more.


Fish has made diversity and inclusion one of its fundamental values. The firm hosts a variety of affinity groups for minority and LGBT+ attorneys. Its Women’s Initiative, EMPOWER, regularly hosts programs focused on building leadership and business development skills. In recent years, Fish has updated its parental leave policies to include 18 weeks of leave for primary caregivers, a “phased hours” program for the weeks before and after parental leave, a breastmilk delivery service for employees who travel while nursing, and various programs for coaching and childcare.

News & Awards

  • In 1988, Fish helped client Harvard University patent the "Harvard Mouse," which was the first animal to be patented.
  • In 2008, Fish reversed a $1.5 billion damages award against client Microsoft—then the largest patent infringement verdict in history—in its six-year patent battle with Alcatel-Lucent that involved 15 patents across seven separate lawsuits related to MP3 patents, with staggering implications for the entire digital music and video industries.
  • In 2012, Fish made new law at the Supreme Court of the United States for client Mayo Collaborative Services (Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs) in a unanimous win that clarified patentability under Section 101 of the Patent Act. The decision changed the way patent examiners review patent applications involving laws of nature.
  • In a case that resolved in 2021, Fish represented client Gilead for over five years in its worldwide, complex patent battle with Merck and Idenix over Gilead's landmark hepatitis C drugs. Fish won a motion that reversed a $2.5 billion jury verdict—the largest patent damages award in history—against Gilead in federal court.
  • Named to the "Client Service A-Team" List, 2024—BTI
  • IP Litigation Powerhouse, 2024—BTI
  • Named a Top Trademark Law Firm for 14th Straight Year, 2024—World Trademark Review
  • Band 1 Nationwide for IP, 2023—Chambers USA
  • Most Active Firm at the PTAB, 2023—Lex Machina
Fish & Richardson P.C.

1 Marina Park Drive
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 542-5070

Firm Stats

President & CEO: John Adkisson
Total No. Attorneys (2024):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2024:

Base Salary

1st year: $225,000
Summer Associate: $4,327/week

Employment Contact

Clare Fifield
Director of Legal Recruiting
(650) 839-5175
general recruiting email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 11

No. of International Offices: 2

Major Office Locations

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Minneapolis, MN
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE

Major Departments

Patent Litigation
Patent Prosecution
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.