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Jefferson, Trevor

Trevor M. Jefferson

Of Counsel
Direct Tel: +1 202 538 8349
Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1 202 538 8000 Fax: +1 202 538 8100

Trevor Jefferson is of counsel in Quinn Emanuel’s Washington, D.C. office.  He joined the firm in 2023. His practice focuses on patent litigation, especially post grant review proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). He most recently served as an Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) at the PTAB from its inception in 2012 until 2023. Trevor was present at the implementation of post-grant review proceedings and rules that have evolved into a core part of patent strategy for accused infringers and patent holders alike. He relies on his experience on the bench and as a practitioner to work with clients in all aspects of patent dispute resolution.

At the PTAB, Trevor presided over more than 450 America Invents Act (AIA) trial proceedings, including inter partes reviews (IPR), covered business method (CBM) reviews, and post-grant reviews (PGR).  He also adjudicated numerous ex parte appeals, reviewing adverse decisions of examiners of applications for patents, and appeals from inter partes and ex parte reexamination decisions by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. As an APJ, Trevor presided over and issued decisions in a variety of technology areas including electrical, telecommunication, software, and computer fields. He also served on the PTAB Circulation Judge Pool, as part of PTAB’s internal peer review procedures for all issued institution, final, and rehearing decisions. 

Prior to serving as PTAB Judge, Trevor worked as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Intellectual Property Staff, handling trials in civil patent cases involving discovery, infringement, invalidity, and damages issues on behalf of the Federal Government before the Court of Federal Claims and Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Prior to joining the DOJ, he was an associate at Latham & Watkins in Silicon Valley, where he worked on patent litigation and IP transaction matters, and several pro bono Ninth Circuit appeals. Prior to joining Latham, he clerked for the Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was also selected as a Temple Bar Scholar by the American Inns of Court Foundation.   

  • Northwestern University School of Law
    (J.D., 1999)
    •  Dean’s List
    • Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business:
      •  Editor-in-Chief
  • University of Illinois
    (M.S., Electrical Engineering, 1992)
  • Howard University
    (B.S., Electrical Engineering, cum laude, 1990)
  • The State Bar of California
  • United States District Court:
    • Northern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • Ninth Circuit
    • Sixth Circuit
    • Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office:
    • Administrative Patent Judge, 2012-2023
  • United States Department of Justice:
    • Trial Attorney, 2003-2012
  • Latham & Watkins LLP:
    •  Associate, 2000-2003
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Guy Cole, Jr.:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1999-2000
  • Cellular Systems Infrastructure Division:
    • Senior Systems Engineer, 1993-1996
  • Technical Development Program (TDP):
    • Systems Engineer Satellite Mfg, 1992-1993
  • Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC)
    • Engineer Intern, 1985-1988
  • 2020 IPO Meeting Panelist - “Effective Communication between In-House and Outside Counsel,” September 23, 2020.
  • Civil DOJ Diversity Committee Member, Civil Division, DOJ, 2010-2011.
  • Invited Presentation on DOJ Civil IP Issues, Univ. of Houston School of Law, April 2009.
  • DOJ Representative to Nat’l Bar Assoc. National Conf, Houston, TX, July 2008.
  • Special Commendation for Outstanding Service, US DOJ Civil Division, 2008.
  • American Inns of Court Foundation Board Advisory Board 2007 – Present.
  • Associate Trustee member of the American Inns of Court Foundation Board, 2005 – 2007.
  • Panelist, American Inns of Court Rule of Law Conference, Richmond, VA, 2007.
  • Hon. Member, Commercial Bar Association, a commercial barrister’s association.
  • Giles Rich Inn of Court, 2004 to present.
  • Kirkland & Ellis Scholar, 1997-99.
  • NU Law Dean’s Advisory Committee on Community and Diversity, 1997-99.
  • Student Member of the Northwestern Law Faculty Appointments Committee, 1998-99.
  • Student Faculty Appointments Committee, 1996-99, Co-chairman, 1997-98.
  • James Garfield Lemon, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, 1996-98.
  • Student Bar Association, Elected 2L Class Representative, 1997-98.
  • National Essay Winner, Honeywell Corporation Futurist Essay Competition, 1988.
  • RCA Minority Engineering Program, 1985-90; Kodak Scholar, 1986-89.
  • Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society, 1988.