Ideas. Owned.®

David Swenson is a partner with Patterson Thuente IP and the firm's Litigation Practice Chair. He is an innovative trial lawyer and appellate advocate, focusing on intellectual property matters involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Throughout his career he has represented large companies in the agriculture, biotechnology, computer, electronics, food, and transportation industries, as well as technology startups and individual inventors.

David has also successfully handled contract, product liability, employment, and other high stakes civil disputes. His trial experience spans federal district courts nationwide, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB), the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Federal Trade Commission, arbitration panels, and state courts. His appellate background comprises more than 40 appeals before federal and state courts of appeals, including victories in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the PTAB.

In addition to his litigation-related work, David enjoys being a business counselor for his clients — work that can involve analyzing IP assets and strategic options, negotiating IP licenses, identifying and addressing data privacy and cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and developing a variety of complex business solutions.

David's clerkships included:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Judge Pauline Newman (1997 - 1998) & Judge Giles Rich (1996 - 1997)
  • Minnesota State Court of Appeals, Judge Edward Parker (1994 - 1995)

Appointed by the Minnesota Governor and confirmed by the Minnesota Senate, David served on the Minnesota Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board in 2011 - 2012.


  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 1994
  • University of Minnesota
    • M.A. - 1993
    • Major: Public Affairs, Concentration in Energy, Technology & the Environment
  • Boston College
    • B.A. - 1990
    • Major: Computer Science

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
  • Minnesota
  • Illinois
  • District of Columbia

Case Studies

  • Gramm v. Deere & Co. - Convinced U.S. Supreme Court to vacate two partially instituted IPRs; won reversal on appeal by the PTAB of rejections in a related ex parte reexamination; and argued on behalf of Gramm before the PTAB in a new trial on remand and prevailed on validity.
  • ecoNugenics v. Bioenergy Life Science, Inc. - Defended Bioenergy Life Science, resulting in dismissal of one complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), another complaint being stricken, and denial of leave to file for a third complaint; also obtained a large award of attorneys’ fees.
  • Brookins v. Caterpillar Inc. (D.N.D 2019) - Won quick dismissals of three actions filed against Caterpillar, including two patent infringement complaints.
  • Represented bicycle tool maker Park Tool in defending its famous Park Tool Blue trademarks and trade dress, stopping infringement and confusion created by a competing manufacturer.
  • Lead counsel for T-Rex Property AB, a Swedish digital signage pioneer, in several successful matters, including defeating invalidity motions based on Alice v. CLS Bank and §101, and winning denials of multiple petitions for IPR and CBM review.
  • TiVo Inc. v. Verizon Communications Inc. (E.D. Texas) - Represented TiVo in litigation over DVR technology, leading to significant favorable settlement.
  • Stanford v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. (131 S. Ct. 2188, 2011) - Briefed position of American Association of University Professors, IEEE-USA, and IP Advocate as amici curiae, which played heavily in landmark victory interpreting Bayh-Dole Act.
  • Extreme Networks, Inc. v. Enterasys Networks, Inc. (395 F. App’x 709, Fed. Cir. 2010) - In a patent case, successfully argued for reversal of adverse claim construction and vacation of non-infringement summary judgement.
  • Imation Corp. v. Koninklijke Philips Elec. N.V. (586 F.3d 980, Fed. Cir. 2009) - Convinced appellate court to reverse entry of judgment on pleadings dismissing two of Imation’s key counts, and instead order judgment for Imation on the question of whether entities formed or acquired qualify as subsidiaries that can benefit from Imation’s patent license with Philips. Negotiated complex, multi-agreement, multi-party settlement to conclude worldwide litigation.
  • General Mills, Inc. v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc. (495 F.3d 1378, Fed. Cir. 2007) - Represented General Mills in a case of first impression before the Federal Circuit interpreting Rule 12(a)(4)(A) involving Fruit by the Foot®; obtained affirmance of a district court decision that Kraft failed to maintain its counterclaim after General Mills filed an amended complaint.
  • Conducted two Section 337 hearings before the International Trade Commission, including winning the only patent infringement based general exclusion order issued in 2000, Inv. No. 337-TA-422, as well as proposing and trying the ITC's first "chess clock" trial.
  • NCR Corp. v. Netscape (D. Del. 2001) - Successfully defended Netscape in a suit, initially asserting 29 patents, resulting in dismissal of two-thirds of patents in the suit and a favorable settlement.


  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for Minnesota, 2019
  • Global Law Experts, Patent Litigation Firm of the Year in Minnesota, 2015 & 2018 (team award)
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2014 – 2017
  • Equal Justice Award in Advocacy, Council on Crime & Justice, 2012


  • Patent Infringement Suits Come to You, Minnesota Business Magazine, 2018
  • Do I Need an Attorney to Apply for a Trademark? Potential Legal Hurdles in the Trademark Process,, 2017


  • Patent Litigation Update: Venue, Appeals, Damages, Estoppel Issues, and Managing Co-Pending District Court/IPR Proceedings, AIPLA Electronic & Computer Law Summit, 2019
  • Go Litigators! The Impact of Recent Hot Patent Decisions, AIPLA Spring Meeting, 2018
  • Recent Supreme Court & Federal Circuit Decisions, Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association, 2016
  • Significant Developments in U.S. Patent Law, The Knowledge Group CLE, 2016
  • Alice & §101 in the District Courts, UTX Law School 20th Annual Advanced Patent Law Conference, 2015
  • Damages Roundtable, UTX Law School, panelist, 2015

Community Involvement

  • The Ladder for America, Board of Directors, Minneapolis, MN
  • Choreo Theatro Company, Board of Directors, Brooklyn, NY
  • Jungle Theater, Board of Directors, Minneapolis, MN (2013 - 2018)
  • The Mills Health Clinic, Founding Director, Minnetonka, MN (2013 - 2017)