Kathryn C. Thornton


  • JD, Order of the Coif, The George Washington University Law School, 2016; Member, George Washington Law Review
  • BA, cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 2011


  • District of Columbia, 2018
  • Virginia, 2016

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2019
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2018
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 2018
  • Supreme Court of Virginia, 2016
  • Honorable Catherine C. Eagles, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (2016 - 2017)

Kathryn C. Thornton


As an intellectual property associate, Kathryn Thornton cultivates a diverse practice across false advertising, trademark, patent, and copyright matters.  Kathryn has worked on litigation in federal district court, the International Trade Commission, the Fourth Circuit, and the Federal Circuit, including on cases involving pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Before joining Ropes & Gray, Kathryn clerked for the Honorable Catherine C. Eagles of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Kathryn also worked in rights and contracts at the University of North Carolina Press.

She has passed her introductory examination and is a Level 1 Sommelier under the Master Court of Sommeliers.


  • Representing a global pharmaceutical company in litigation in the Northern District of California asserting claims under the Lanham Act against competitors’ false and misleading marketing of unapproved drug products as FDA-approved generics for client’s NDA-approved prescription drug.  Represented the same client in a related lawsuit in a Section 337 investigation at the International Trade Commission.
  • Assessing strength of client’s certification mark and methods for improving the strength of that mark in the United States.
  • Licensing trademarks for a pro bono client, a non-profit charitable organization that provides aid to victims of domestic abuse.
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical company in false advertising litigation in the District of New Jersey concerning a competitor’s advertisements about insurance coverage for our client’s products.
  • Align Technology, Inc. v. ClearCorrect Operating, LLC (Fed. Cir.): Represented ClearCorrect, seeking affirmance of PTAB’s decision to cancel all challenged patent claims.
  • Hately v. Watts (4th Cir.): Represented amici curiae the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and New America’s Open Technology Institute in a matter involving email privacy under the Stored Communications Act.
  • Analyzed effect of amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines on a pro bono client’s sentence and likelihood of success for a motion to vacate or set aside his sentence.


  • Co-author, “What Fed. Circ. False Ad Ruling Means For Section 337 Claims,” Law360 (May 14, 2019)
  • Co-author, “Debarment and Discoverability of Internal Audit Reports: The 2016 Dentons 'Gilbert A. Cuneo' Government Contracts Moot Court Competition,” 46 Pub. Cont. L.J. 459 (2017)
  • Co-author, “Moot Court: The Severin Doctrine and the Forfeiture of Fraudulent Claims Act,” 45 Pub. Cont. L.J. 255 (2016)
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