By helping cutting-edge companies leverage their intellectual property (IP) assets into competitive advantages, Christopher McKenna combines his background in the technology industry with legal acumen to provide pragmatic and actionable advice.
As the Office Managing Partner in Boston, Co-Chair of the Electronics practice, and Chair for Cloud Computing Infrastructure and Solutions within our Innovative Technology sector, Chris helps lead Foley & Lardner LLP’s efforts to assist clients with implementing their strategic plans.
Strategic IP Management
Chris focuses his practice on acting as an advisor to technology companies, helping identify, capture, and protect their most important IP. This bedrock forms the foundation that supports and drives products, competitive differentiators, and business value, and Chris formulates strategies to provide a framework for decisions regarding the development and maintenance of each asset. With a strategy first approach, he works to assure their continuous alignment with company’s business goals and commercialization efforts.
To assist with these goals, Chris leads large teams of attorneys, paralegals, and assistants on developing, executing, and managing patent portfolios in line with budget, quality, and scale. His teams handle all aspects including establishing core patents positions for startups, dynamic patent portfolio development for emerging companies, and worldwide patent portfolio management for established corporations. He also provides strategic counseling on the development and integration of patent portfolios obtained via merger and acquisition.
Chris also provides guidance on establishing business processes for companies to make IP part of a company’s culture. He encourages the use of strategic, systematic, collaborative, and lightweight processes for companies to apply well-informed business decision making to IP development and protection programs.
Transaction Advisory and Litigation Support
Finally, Chris also counsels on IP aspects during transactions such as merger and acquisition deals, investments via venture capital or private equity, and assignment and purchase agreements. He helps perform due diligence on target assets as well as representing companies under due diligence or otherwise being postured for a transaction.
His experience with intellectual property litigation includes providing technical and patent support for complex patent infringement cases within the technology industry, trade secret misappropriation cases involving complex software and technology, and pre-litigation patent related counseling, including patent analysis, non-infringement, and infringement opinions.
Prior to joining Foley & Lardner, Chris held technical and executive roles at a number technology companies focusing on software and systems integration. Highlights include serving as the chief operations officer of a manufacturing software systems solution integrator for semiconductor, electronics, and medical device manufacturers and working as the director of professional services for an enterprise software company focused on manufacturers.
Intellectual Property Development and Management
IP Transaction and Advisory Support
IP Litigation Support
*To reflect the breadth of experience, the foregoing lists of representative engagements include representations by Mr. McKenna prior to joining Foley.
Mr. McKenna was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Technology Law (2023) and was recognized in IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners for his work in patent prosecution in 2020 and 2021. He was also recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the practice area of intellectual property (2021-2022). 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 is often a guest presenter on intellectual property strategies and protecting and leveraging intellectual property for many startup, early-stage and technology acceleration ecosystems