Christopher McKenna is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He practices in the areas of intellectual property protection, litigation, and due diligence. Mr. McKenna is co-chair of the firm’s Electronics Practice and the Technology Industry Team.
Mr. McKenna’s intellectual property protection experience involves all aspects of patent protection and strategic counseling, including establishing patent positions for startups, patent portfolio development for emerging technology companies, and world wide patent portfolio management for larger companies; accelerated patent examination; counseling on third-party patent related matters, including noninfringement and competitive patent landscape analysis; and strategic counseling on the development and integration of patent portfolios obtained via merger and acquisition.
His experience with IP litigation includes complex patent infringement cases within high technology industries, trade secret misappropriation cases involving complex software and technology; and pre-litigation patent related counseling, including patent analysis, non-infringement and infringement opinions.
Mr. McKenna also provides IP due diligence for merger and acquisition transactions; patent portfolio diligence and strategic counseling during the venture capital investment process; and review and counseling of intellectual property licensing, assignment and purchase agreements.
Prior to his legal career, Mr. McKenna held technical and executive roles in a variety of software, system integration and information technology companies. He was previously the chief operations officer and managed the legal affairs of a start-up solution integrator of manufacturing software systems to semiconductor, electronic and medical device manufacturers. He also previously worked as the director of professional services for a software company delivering operational performance solutions to global manufacturers. Using a strategy first approach to client engagements, Mr. McKenna provides practical, client tailored advice leveraging his previous experience spanning technology, business and law.
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual Property Litigation
IP Due Diligence
*To reflect the breadth of experience, the foregoing lists of representative engagements include representations by Mr. McKenna prior to joining Foley.
Mr. McKenna was recognized in IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners for his work in patent prosecution in 2020. He was also recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the practice area of intellectual property (2021). He was selected for inclusion in the 2009 - 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyers – Rising Stars® lists. In 2011-2014, The Legal 500 recognized him for his work in patent licensing and transactional, and patent prosecution.
Mr. McKenna earned his law degree, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School (J.D. 1997). His undergraduate degree was conferred, magna cum laude, from the University of Lowell (B.S.E.E., 1989).
Admissions and Professional Memberships
Mr. McKenna is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. He is a member of the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations. He also is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
Mr. McKenna participates as a member in a variety of community based groups, such as the Museum of Science and New England Aquarium, as well as being actively involved in youth sports in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Mr. McKenna was a guest speaker on protecting and leveraging intellectual property for a class on cross-border transactions at Harvard Extension School (Summer 2006).