Alan Cope Johnston

Managing Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

Alan Cope Johnston

Alan Cope Johnston

Managing Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP


Alan Cope (“A.C.”) Johnston is a Senior Of Counsel in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. A trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Johnston focuses his practice on disputes involving patent infringement, theft of trade secrets, and technology licensing. He has significant experience with ITC 337 investigations.

Mr. Johnston has represented companies in the LCD manufacturing and design, semiconductor processing, semiconductor equipment manufacturing, medical device, diode laser, disk drive, lithium ion battery, software development, and biotechnology industries, as well as a variety of other commercial business enterprises.

Mr. Johnston has been listed by Chambers USA and Chambers Global as an expert based abroad in U.S. and Japan intellectual property for several years and as a foreign expert in UK intellectual property. He also is recommended as a leading lawyer by Legal 500 US 2010, PLC Which lawyer? 2009 and Super Lawyers 2012-2016.

Mr. Johnston was one of the founders and served as managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Palo Alto offices, and he was resident in the Tokyo and London offices for several years. He was formerly co-head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group.

Certain Liquid Crystal Display Modules and Products Containing the Same and Methods for Using the Same

(International Trade Commission, 337-TA-634; Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit). Represented Sharp Corporation against Samsung in four patent infringement -based investigations involving technology to improve viewing angle and response time for LCD panels used in LCD TVs and monitors. ITC found for Sharp on all four asserted Sharp patents and three of four asserted Samsung patents, and issued exclusion order and cease and desist orders banning imports and sales of Respondents' LCD products.

Magsil Corporation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology v. Seagate Technology, et al.

(District of Delaware). Represented defendant Headway Technologies and affiliates in patent infringement suit concerning tunneling magnetoresistive technology used in disk drive read heads.

Certain Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same

(International Trade Commission, 337-TA-600). Represented respondent Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. in patent infringement -based investigation. Case settled after winning partial summary determination sharply limiting the products subject to the investigation.

Ramax Semiconductor, Inc. v. Seiko Epson Corp.

(Santa Clara Superior Court). Won complete dismissal and award of costs on summary judgment for client against contract breach for failing to provide foundry capacity. Dismissal and cost award affirmed on appeal.

Spectra-Physics, Inc. v. SDL Inc.

(Santa Clara Superior Court). Represented SDL in a dispute over license rights to proprietary manufacturing technology for semiconductor lasers and critical components in fiber optic communication networks. Case settled favorably after opening statements and cross-examination of plaintiff's first witness at trial.

Avantek Inc. v. Celeritek Inc.

(Santa Clara Superior Court). Represented Avantek Inc. in a suit for theft of proprietary techniques for manufacturing gallium arsenide field effect transistors. Case settled favorably shortly before opening statements at trial.

Career Highlights

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Number of Awards


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Chair & Chief Executive Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Managing Partner, Europe at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Managing Partner, Singapore, Singapore at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Managing Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Co-Chair, Diversity Strategy Committee at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Co-Chair, Global Corporate Department at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Chair, Consumer Class Actions Practice Group at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Co-Chair, Financial Services Practice Group at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Co-Chair, Advanced Materials Group at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Alan Cope Johnston
Managing Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP
Class of 1975

Harvard Law School offers an energetic and creative learning environment, a diverse and dedicated faculty—whose expertise spans a broad array of legal subjects—and a student body that comes from every state in the U.S. and more than 70 countries around the world. Approximately 1,900 students attend HLS each year: 1,680 J.D. students, 160 LL.M. students, and 50 S.J.D. candidates. The faculty includes more than 100 full-time professors and more than 150 visiting professors, lecturers on law, and instructors. The curriculum features more than 260 courses and seminars that cover a broad range of traditional and emerging legal fields. A Harvard Law education prepares students for success in law practice, business, public service, teaching, and more. Most HLS students are pursuing a J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree, while many others are earning an LL.M. (Master of Laws) or the S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science). Harvard Law School also offers many joint degree programs, coordinated programs, and concurrent degree opportunities with other schools within Harvard University. The Law School community is also home to numerous research programs and engaging publications, including books, scholarly periodicals, newsletters, and a weekly student newspaper.

Class of 1968

Yale University is an American private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

Career History
Managing Partner
Tenure Unconfirmed

Morrison & Foerster is a firm of exceptional credentials. Their name is synonymous with a commitment to client service that informs everything that they do. They are recognized throughout the world as a leader in providing cutting-edge legal advice on matters that are redefining practices and industries.

Political Donations

Board Member at Beyond Shelter, Inc.


Board Member at Beyond Shelter, Inc.


Representative from California's 28th Congressional District

Awards & Honors
Admitted to the New York Bar
Court Admission: State Bar of California
Admitted to Practice in the District of Columbia
Other Affiliations

Alan Cope Johnston is affiliated with Morrison & Foerster LLP

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