John Lanza is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP where he excels at helping companies identify and maximize the corporate value of their intellectual property assets. He provides strategic advice to his clients regarding the acquisition, transfer and enforcement of intellectual property rights and counsels them regarding their business operations in the face of adverse intellectual property rights. John is co-chair of the firm’s Manufacturing Sector, Smart Manufacturing. He is also a member of the firm's Electronics Practice, the Private Equity & Venture Capital Practice, and the Technology Industry Team.

He has counseled hundreds of start-ups and dozens of more established companies in a wide range of matters including:

  • Successfully defended a European patent central to a portfolio protecting a novel printed circuit board fabrication technology facilitating the reduction of the number of discrete elements required
  • Directs worldwide patent portfolio strategy for preeminent manufacturer of computer network software
  • Performed a comprehensive intellectual property landscape review on behalf of a major software manufacturer and counseled the company on product introduction issues identified by the review
  • Developed and implemented portfolio strategy for MIT Media Lab spinoff that manufactures electrophoretic display technologies
  • Counseled leading manufacturer of semiconductor devices concerning broad assertion of infringement made against digital signal processing line of products
  • Successfully requested reexamination of United States patent directed to use of multiple prime factors in public key cryptography
  • Performed a comprehensive intellectual property landscape review on behalf of a manufacturer of entertainment software and counseled the company with respect to final design before launch of product
  • Advised potential acquirer of software assets regarding valuation of assets during live auction in United States Bankruptcy Court
  • Developed technical strategy forming the basis for Citrix Systems, Inc’s successful defense against claims that its Meta Frame networking product infringed a patent held by plaintiff. John’s strategy resulted in a summary judgment ruling of non-infringement. Orenshteyn v. Citrix Systems, Inc. SD Fl
  • Developed technical strategy forming basis for RSA Security Inc.’s defense against claims that its SecurID® computer security product infringed three patents designed to prevent unauthorized use of a computer. After a three-day Markman hearing, the Court granted summary judgment that the SecurID® product did not infringe any claim of the asserted patents. Digital Privacy, Inc v. RSA Security Inc., ED Va 2002
  • Defended RSA Security Inc. in patent infringement action relating to RSA's RC6 encryption algorithm. Luyster v. RSA Security Inc., D Mass


John has been listed in Chambers USA as a leading attorney in the field of intellectual property every year since 2006 and selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Information Technology Law (2011-2024).

John was named the Best Lawyers® 2022 and 2024 Information Technology Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Boston.

He was also selected for inclusion in the 2010-2015 Massachusetts Super Lawyers® lists.

In 2011, 2014 and 2015, The Legal 500 recognized him for his patent prosecution work in utility and design patents, in 2012-2014 for his work in patent licensing, and in 2016 for his work in patent portfolio management and licensing and patent prosecution.

He was also recognized among IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners (2012-2016, 2020-2021).

In 2015 and 2019, John was named an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.


John earned his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, (J.D., 1995). He received both his master’s degree (M.S.E.E., 1988) and bachelor’s degree (B.E.E., 1987) from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is a member of the 2008 Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, a member of the School of Electrical Computer and Engineering’s External Advisory Board, and a frequent lecturer on commercialization and entrepreneurial issues.

Professional Memberships

John is a member of the American Bar Association, the Boston Patent Law Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Federal Circuit Bar Association.


He has been an adjunct professor at Suffolk University School of Law, Boston University School of Law, and Northeastern University School of Law. He is also a recurring guest lecturer on commercialization issues at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


John is admitted to practice in New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Publications and Presentations

  • Co-author, “Industry Insights – Key Takeaways from 2022 Smart Fabrics Summit” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, April 26, 2022
  • Co-author, “The Laws of Fashion: What's Trending in 2022”, March 22, 2022
  • Co-author, “Cryptocurrency for Supply Chain Payments” Dashboard Insights, February 1, 2022
  • Author, “Industrial Robotics Use Rising” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, January 27, 2022 
  • Co-author, “Blockchain for Capital Equipment in a Machine-as-a-Service Model” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, January 18, 2022 
  • Author, “Survey of Smart Manufacturers Says SME’s Need a LIFT” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, December 21, 2021  
  • Co-author, “Get Real: Preventing Counterfeit Product with Blockchain” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, October 13, 2021 
  • Co-author, “Legal Implications of Blockchain in Supply Chain: What’s Law Got to Do With It?” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, October 7, 2021 
  • Author, “Creating a Successful Smart Manufacturing Environment for Small and Medium-sized Manufacturers” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, February 3, 2021 
  • Co-author, “Join Us: Driving the Future of Automotive Technology” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, October 10, 2019 
  • Co-author, “Manufacturing MarketTrends | July 2019, Issue 2” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, July 12, 2019 
  • Co-author, “Manufacturing MarketTrends | April 2019, Issue 1” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, April 17, 2019
  • Co-author, “AI is Here to Stay: Are You Prepared?” Dashboard Insights, (April 3, 2019) 
  • Author, “Right Tool, Right Job: Smart Manufacturing Requires Focus on Intellectual Property” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, April 3, 2019 
  • Author, “Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Accelerating” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, March 13, 2019
  • Author, “Expect IoT to Continue Redefining Customer Experience in 2017,” November 2, 2016
  • Author, “Turning IOT Data into Opportunities,” September 25, 2015
  • Author, “The Internet of Things Bodes a Brave New – And Smarter – Manufacturing World” Manufacturing Leadership Journal, April 15, 2015
  • “Is this the Supreme Court case to get the patent pulse racing?” quoted, Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, April 24, 2014
  • "Wireless Delivery and IP Issues in the Cloud," panel presentation at "User Driven IP 4.0: High Stakes. High Rewards," Foley's Annual IP Conference in New York, NY, October 2012
  • “Patent Reform: Is It All We Had Hoped For?” moderator, Foley’s IP Counsel Café 2012 in Palo Alto, CA, April 2012 
  • “B-to-C Business,” moderator, Foley's 2011 Emerging Technologies Conference in Boston, MA, November 2011
  • "Tread Carefully When in the Hunt for Fire-Sale IP," quoted, Boston Business Journal, June 2010
  • "Clean, Green Tech and Patent Review," co-author, Law360, May 2010
  • "Doing Deals Now," panelist, Northeastern University School of Law's Transactional Law Conference, March 2010
  • "Cloudy with a Chance of Prosperity," quoted, Boston Business Journal, February 2010
  • "Ideas into the Ether," quoted, Mass High Tech, October 2009
  • "Ask Inc.: Protecting Yourself from Copycat Competitors," quoted, Inc. Magazine, October 2009
  • "Q&A," featured interview, IP Law360, July 2009
  • "Unknown Territory: International IP Comes with Risk," quoted, Boston Business Journal, June 2009
  • "Media Technology / Entertainment: Shifting Content," panelist, MIT Venture Capital Conference: Reinventing Venture Capital, Cambridge, December 2008
  • "MedTech in the US," speaker, Innovation Norway’s Medtech Business Primer and Workshop, Boston, April 2008
  • "Future of Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy," panelist, Young Entrepreneurs at Tufts Entrepreneurship Conference, Medford, October 2007
  • "E-Commerce and Patents," quoted, Inc. Magazine, August 2007
  • "How to Get Started: From Dealing with Red Tape to Protecting Patents to Getting Paid...," quoted, Inc. Magazine, April 2007
  • "Geeks to Grandmothers: Extending the Reach of Technology," moderator, MIT Enterprise Forum Winter Conference: Brave New Web – Connect, Contribute, Collaborate, Boston, February 2007
  • "Different Guidelines to Evaluating IP Before an M&A," author, Boston Business Journal, September 2006
  • "Creating Proprietary Value in an 'Open' World," speaker, 15th Annual RSA Conference, San Jose, February 2006


Top Legal Issues Facing the Manufacturing Sector in 2023
11 July 2023
Manufacturing Industry Advisor
Takeaways from 2023 Smart Fabrics Summit
05 July 2023
Foley In Fashion
Legal Implications of the ChatGPT Revolution in Manufacturing
10 March 2023
Manufacturing Industry Advisor
Get up to Speed: Blockchain for the Auto Industry
05 December 2022
Dashboard Insights
CLE Weeks
5-16 December 2022
Milwaukee, WI
Driving the Future of Automotive Technology
29 October 2019
Santa Clara, CA
15th Annual IP Conference
04 October 2019
Chicago, IL
2018 ACC Annual Meeting
21-24 October 2018
Austin, TX