Attorney Detail Banner
Back to Attorneys
Nelson, David
Direct Tel: +1 312-705-7465
Tel: +1 312 705 7400 Fax: +1 312 705 7401

David A. Nelson specializes in patent infringement litigation and is Co-Chair of Quinn Emanuel’s National Intellectual Property Litigation Practice. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and has applied his technical training to patent litigation matters involving a wide range of technologies. He has led over 150 patent litigation matters, has tried over 35 jury cases and another dozen bench trials. Over the last several years he has tried some of the largest patent matters to go to trial. He has handled matters for a range of tech companies, large and small. Over the past several years, Mr. Nelson has tried numerous patent actions in the Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, the Northern District of California, the Eastern District of Virginia and the International Trade Commission. Mr. Nelson has also successfully represented defendants at trial in individual and complex products liability cases.

  • Qualcomm
  • Google
  • Nokia
  • IBM
  • Motorola
  • Symantec
  • TSMC
  • Represented Qualcomm in a case against Apple asserting that Apple infringes three patents.  After an eight day trial, a jury found that Apple infringed all three patents asserted against Apple..
  • Won a complete victory against Acacia, a noted patent assertion entity, in the Eastern District of Texas.  In the immediate aftermath, the Acacia's CEO resigned and its stock price plummeted, but the firm pushed for an even more complete victory.  We moved for our attorneys’ fees based on Acacia’s discovery improprieties, and in a recent order the judge approved our motion, allowing us to proceed in negotiating our fee award.
  • Represented Samsung against Apple in the second of two District Court case brought by Apple against Samsung in a 6 week trial.  The jury found in Samsung’s favor on the primary two patents asserted by Apple and awarded Apple less than 5% of the amount it was seeking. 
  • Trial victory for Blue Coat’s second case against Finjan. The firm was brought in only months before trial.  In the case, Finjan asserted several security patents against Blue Coat’s network security products, in which Finjan sought nearly $50 million in damages.  The first case, in which Blue Coat was represented by different counsel, had resulted in a $40 million verdict in Finjan’s favor.  We obtained a favorable jury verdict, winning on non-infringement on two asserted patents, with a total damage award of less than $500k on patents found to be infringed.
  • Successfully represented IBM and its subsidiary Trusteer in a patent infringement case involving fraud protection software.  We obtained a determination of invalidity by indefiniteness of all asserted claims in the district court, and that ruling was affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
  • Obtained a complete defense victory for IBM in a District of Delaware patent case brought by plaintiff Trusted Knight Corp, a small software company with a single issued patent.  Before the close of discovery, Quinn Emanuel crafted a strategy to knock out every claim of Trusted Knight’s bet the company patent on invalidity grounds.  At claim construction, we argued that every claim of the patent was indefinite, a strategy that is not often successful in Delaware, particularly in front of Chief Judge Stark.  Judge Stark ultimately found that every claim of Trusted Knight’s patent is indefinite.
  • Successful defense of Symantec in a Delaware jury trial alleging infringement of nearly all Symantec security offerings and claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.  After a three week jury trial. all asserted claims were found not infringed and invalid.
  • Successful defense of Motorola in an ITC action filed by Apple alleging infringement of 3 patents and seeking an exclusion order against most of Motorola's handsets.  The ALJ found no violation after a 2 week hearing and the Commission affirmed
  • Successful defense of a respondent in an ITC action against Microsoft alleging infringement of 4 patents  involving unified communication systems.  After trial, the Commission found none of the patents infringed.
  • Trial victory on a video server architecture patent.  The jury found his client’s patent valid and infringed and awarded a 7% royalty on the accused systems.
  • Summary judgment of invalidity in the Eastern District of Texas of a patent concerning third generation wireless communication protocols.  Argued the appeal and the summary judgment was affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
  • Hired to litigate appeal by a patent holder after summary judgment of noninfringement was entered in the District Court.  Argued the appeal and secured a reversal of the summary judgment and a successful resolution after remand.
  • Summary judgment of noninfringement in Texas action involving two patents concerning RAID storage systems architecture and storage area networks. 
  • Represented a subsidiary of Symantec against Microsoft in a case involving claims of trade secret misappropriation, patent infringement, copyright infringement, and contract breach concerning the Windows operating system and other related technologies in the Western District of Washington.  Summary judgment of invalidity and noninfringement concerning the asserted Microsoft patent was granted.
  • Represented AOL in the Northern District of Illinois in a patent action concerning AOL Instant Messenger.  Summary Judgment of noninfringement was granted.
  • Represented Lucent in a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas involving a patent claim concerning 3G wireless network access protocols. Summary judgment of invalidity for all asserted claims granted, which was upheld by the Federal Circuit on appeal.
  • Represented Veritas in the Northern District of Texas in an action concerning storage systems architectures.  Obtained summary judgment of noninfringement of all asserted patents.
  • Represented Owens-Illinois in a design patent and trade dress action.  Summary judgment on all claims was granted in favor of Owens-Illinois and decision was affirmed by the Federal Circuit on appeal.
  • Represented Lucent in a patent case brought by Telcordia in the District of Delaware involving several patents related to telecommunications infrastructure.  Also represented Lucent against Telcordia in a related International Trade Commission investigation.  Summary judgment of nonifringement on a majority of the claims was secured.
  • Represented Silicon Graphics and Cray Research in a case involving several patents concerning supercomputer architectures.  Summary judgment on nearly all claims was secured.
  • Represented J.C. Carter in the Court of Federal Claims in a matter concerning fighter jet fueling technology.  Obtained summary judgment of noinfringement.
  • Represented Owens-Illinois in the Northern District of Texas in a case involving manufacturing techniques for plastic containers.  Obtained summary judgment of noninfringement, which was affirmed by the Federal Circuit on appeal.
  • Northwestern University School of Law
    (J.D., 1992)
  • Stanford University
    (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1987)
  • The State Bar of Illinois
  • Latham & Watkins:
    • Partner, 2000-2009
    • Associate, 1995-1999
  • Baker & McKenzie:
    • Associate, 1992-1995
  • Ranked by The Best Lawyers in America (2023 Edition): Patent Litigation, 2023