John J. Kirby, Jr.


John Kirby, who was a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins, retired from Partnership on June 30, 2007. He was the head of the New York office's Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group and had extensive experience in litigating and advising clients in the areas of intellectual property and antitrust, including patents, copyrights and trademarks. Mr. Kirby served as chairman of the New York Litigation Department from 1995 to 2004. 

Mr. Kirby has acted as lead trial attorney in many high visibility cases, and has acted as lead trial attorney for Nintendo of America Inc. and for Nintendo Co. Ltd.

His matters have included:

  • General Electric Co. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. - successfully represented Nintendo in a patent infringement case brought by GE over three RCA patents. GE claimed that the patents, which related to various aspects of television technology, covered Nintendo's highly successful video game products. United States District Court Judge Alfred Wolin (D.N.J.), in a highly detailed published opinion, not only granted Nintendo's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement on all three patents, but also found one of the patents to be invalid. This decision was affirmed by The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • Wang Laboratories, Inc. v. America Online, Inc. and Netscape Communications - successfully represented AOL in a patent infringement case brought by Wang in the Rocket Docket (E.D. Va.). United States District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema granted AOL's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of a patent, which Wang claimed to represent the invention of the Internet browser. Wang had sought over $300 million in damages.
  • Forest Laboratories and ONY, Inc. v. Tokyo Tanabe Co. et al. - represented Tokyo Tanabe, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm which is the owner of two biotechnology patents, in infringement litigation against competing pharmaceutical companies based in the US.
  • Plasma Physics Corp. v. Hitachi, Ltd. et al. - represents Hitachi in defending claims of infringement of patents for semiconductor manufacturing processes.

Over the years, Mr. Kirby has addressed a number of business and professional associations in the United States and Japan on intellectual property and antitrust issues, as well as the trial of complex litigations.


  • Education
    • MA, Oxford University, 1967
    • LLB, University of Virginia School of Law, 1966
    • BA, Oxford University, 1964
    • BA, Fordham University, 1961
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