R. Whitney “Whit” Johnson is a partner and intellectual property attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Whit is based in the Salt Lake City office where he is a member of the Electronics Practice Group. 

He concentrates his practice on providing patent-related services, including U.S. and foreign patent procurement, patent portfolio management, and strategic counseling. His practice encompasses patent preparation and prosecution, patent opinions, due diligence investigations, audits, and pre-litigation patent analysis. In addition to advising clients on developing, protecting, and utilizing intellectual property rights, Whit counsels clients on intellectual property licensing and other transactions involving intellectual property assets and intellectual property dispute matters.

In addition to his legal career, Whit worked as a systems engineer for an industry-leading multinational aerospace and defense technology company serving national security, civil, and commercial customers.


  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Patent Law) (2022-2023)
  • Board Member, Salt Lake County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund (EDRLF) Advisory Committee (2014-2020)
  • Judge, Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (2010-2019)
  • Mentor, VentureCapital.org (formerly Wayne Brown Institute) (2011-present)
  • Board Member, University of Utah College of Engineering Alumni Association (2009-2015)
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Utah) by Chambers USA (currently: Intellectual Property) (2017-2023)
  • Listed among Rising Stars (Intellectual Property), Mountain States Super Lawyers®  (2016-2017)
  • Listed in Intellectual Asset Management’s IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners (2020)
  • Included in Utah Business Legal Elite (Intellectual Property) (listed since 2017)
  • Recipient, CALI Award

Presentations and Publications

  • “Navigating Intellectual Property Myths and Pitfalls,” Venture Fuel Summit (Sept. 11, 2020)
  • Co-author, “What’s Driving the Rise of Behind-the-Meter Distributed Energy Resources,” Power Magazine (Oct. 1, 2019)
  • Co-presenter, “What is Blockchain and Why Is It Important to be Prepared,” Seattle Chapter of The CFO Leadership Council (Nov. 15, 2018)
  • “Blockchain + Renewables = Red Tape?,” Renewable Energy World (March/April 2018)
  • “Blockchain 101 for Legal Counsel,” Corporate Section, Alaska Bar Association (Jan. 18, 2017)
  • “What Physician Entrepreneurs Need to Know about Patents,” The Society of Physician Entrepreneurs of Salt Lake City (May 26, 2016)
  • “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs,” Student Entrepreneurs Conference, eBay Inc. (Sept. 26, 2015)
  • Co-presenter, “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs,” Student Entrepreneurs Conference, eBay Inc. (Oct. 29, 2013)
  • “Before the Deal: Architecture of Intellectual Property Due Diligence,” The Enterprise (Aug. 13-17, 2012)
  • Co-presenter, “Business Organization: The Right Structure for the Right Idea,” Student Entrepreneurs Conference, University of Utah (Oct. 30, 2010)
  • “Intellectual Property: It’s Not Just For Lawyers,” Student Entrepreneurs Conference, University of Utah (Nov. 7, 2009)
  • “Are Software and Business Methods Still Patentable After In re Bilski?” Intellectual Property Series, Salt Lake City, Utah (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • “From Patent Pending to Patent Holding,” The Enterprise (Oct. 13-17, 2008)
  • “Trademark for Creating a Kid-Friendly Cyber-Playground on the Internet,” Utah Law Review 465, (2006)


  • S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah (JD, 2007)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Articles Editor, Utah Law Review 
  • University of Utah (BS, 2003)
    • Computer Engineering and Computer Science degrees
    • Chapter president and member, Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society


  • Utah
  • US Patent and Trademark Office


  • Portuguese