Adam R. Lawton

Adam R. Lawton

Adam Lawton is of counsel in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

He principally represents clients in patent litigation and patent-related antitrust litigation.

Mr. Lawton’s patent litigation experience includes representing companies in technology and pharmaceutical industries at both the trial level and at the Federal Circuit, as well as before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in inter partes review and covered business method review proceedings.

Mr. Lawton has significant experience in matters that lie at the intersection of antitrust and patent law, focusing particularly on antitrust challenges to patent litigation settlements and patent enforcement conduct. He is a contributing author of the ABA Antitrust Section’s “Pharmaceutical Industry Antitrust Handbook.”

Mr. Lawton’s pro bono practice focuses primarily on representing clients in the various forums that play a role in the U.S. immigration system, and he has co-chaired the firm’s pro bono immigration program. He has successfully represented clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and he has secured relief including asylum, lawful permanent residence and special immigration juvenile status.

Before joining Munger Tolles, Mr. Lawton served as a law clerk to the Honorable Debra A. Livingston on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mr. Lawton received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007. While at Harvard, he served as an executive editor of the Harvard Law Review, was a semifinalist in the Ames Moot Court Competition, was on the winning team in the Williston Competition and received the Dean’s Award for Community Leadership.

Mr. Lawton received his B.S. in chemistry in 2001 from Caltech, where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lawton worked in the technology sector, where he managed corporate development, intellectual property licensing and patent portfolio development for a venture-backed software company.



Mr. Lawton’s patent matters include representing:

  • Google in a multi-patent case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada and six parallel proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board resulting in a combination of dismissal of claims, non-infringement findings and invalidity findings for each of the 10 patents asserted against numerous Google products, as well as Google services for mobile phones and tablets.
  • Gilead subsidiary Kite Pharma in defending against allegations of patent infringement relating to its chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, Yescarta®.
  • Amgen in defending against allegations of patent infringement relating to its bevacizumab (Mvasi®) and trastuzumab (Kanjinti®) biosimilars.
  • AbbVie in patent infringement litigation relating to Humira® biosimilars.
  • Microsoft in defending against accusations of patent infringement related to sales of the Microsoft Office software suite, a case in which Munger Tolles’ clients obtained summary judgment of non-infringement and won affirmance by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • Abbott Laboratories in its successful defense against litigation filed by Bayer Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging that Abbott’s largest product, Humira®, infringed its patent.
  • The University of California in appealing an adverse decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board involving the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.


Mr. Lawton’s antitrust cases include representing:

  • AbbVie:
    • before the U.S. Supreme Court at both the certiorari and merits stages in FTC v. Actavis, Inc., in which the court determined the appropriate level of antitrust scrutiny for so-called “reverse payment” settlements of pharmaceutical patent litigation and rejected the FTC’s proposed presumption of illegality for those settlements.
    • in defeating claims brought by the FTC seeking disgorgement of over $1 billion based on allegations of wrongfully delayed generic entry.
    • in defending against sham litigation antitrust claims and successfully obtaining summary judgment, before an MDL court.
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals in purported antitrust class actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of Actos and Actoplus Met in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, as amici in appeals involving antitrust challenges to pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements.