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Verrill

John W. Powell

John W. Powell

Partner

Verrill
Massachusetts, U.S.A.

tel: (617) 309 2600
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Local Time: Mon. 03:18

Profile

Far from a traditional patent attorney, John brings to his intellectual property practice nearly two decades of in-house experience building patent portfolios and making strategic decisions. Fluent in the languages of technology, business, and IP law, John is an integral part of his clients' management and engineering teams. He works closely with them to harvest and protect their valuable intellectual property rights and ensure that they are aligned with their business strategies.

Instead of just reacting, John engages in a proactive approach to build international IP portfolios that add strategic value to the company, as well as assessing competitor patent rights to ensure the company has freedom to operate. Understanding his clients' businesses and IP portfolios, John is well-positioned to counsel, draft, and negotiate IP agreements including patent, software, and technology license agreements; commercial and government contracts; development agreements; joint venture agreements; and non-disclosure agreements.

John's services include but are not limited to:

  • Hands-on patent drafting and prosecution
  • IP counseling
  • Patent strategy
  • Opinions
  • Due diligence
  • Negotiating and drafting IP licensing agreements and development agreements, both commercial and government, including SBIR contracts and CRADAs

In addition to serving in several IP positions of increasing responsibility at Raytheon and Motorola, John served as VP, General Counsel, and Secretary of American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC), a publicly traded global energy technologies company focused on the renewable energy and electric grid markets. One of John's most significant matters at AMSC was asserting the company's intellectual property rights on an international basis when he managed a high-profile case over the theft of critical software worth hundreds of millions of dollars by the Chinese company Sinovel. In a groundbreaking prosecution that was featured on "60 Minutes," John's team collaborated with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Trade Representative's Office on this case, which spanned the U.S., Asia, Austria, and Brazil and which resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of a former employee, criminal conviction against the Chinese corporation for stealing trade secrets, and a multimillion-dollar settlement.

Based on his experience with this matter, John was one of three industry leaders selected to participate as panelists in the Obama administration's February 2013 launch of its Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets. He also provided testimony before the United States Sentencing Commission at a public hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines regarding trade secret theft and economic espionage.

Outside the office, John enjoys skiing, golfing, spending time at the beach, and traveling with his family. John also participates in the Pan-Mass Challenge in support of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Education

  • University of New Hampshire School of Law (J.D.)
  • University of New Hampshire (B.S.)
Areas of Practice
Articles

Foreign Companies Pursuing Business in China: Proceed with Caution
Verrill, May 2018

The trade relationship between the United States and China is top of mind for many business owners, especially within the technology sector. Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping denied the U.S. Government’s request to end subsidies for key industries identified by the “Made in China 2025 Initiative,” including new advanced information technology, aviation, rail, new energy vehicles, agricultural machinery, new materials and biopharma...

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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