As an intellectual property associate, Kathryn Thornton cultivates a diverse practice across patent, trademark, copyright, and false advertising matters. Kathryn has litigated at the trial level in federal district court and the International Trade Commission. She has also worked on appellate litigation at the Federal Circuit and on behalf of amici in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits. Her practice spans a broad range of technologies, including software, consumer electronics, and pharmaceutical products.

Kathryn maintains a robust pro bono practice, including projects related to asylum, discharge upgrades for military veterans, and U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. She has advised pro bono clients on obtaining, licensing, and protecting trademarks and on the intersection of technology and copyright. Kathryn is also a DC mentor circle leader in the Ropes & Gray Women’s Forum.

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. Prior to law school, Kathryn worked in rights and contracts at the University of North Carolina Press.


  • Teradyne, Inc. v. Astronics Corp. (C.D. Cal.): Representing Teradyne, Inc., a leading supplier of automation equipment for test and industrial applications, in a case raising patent, copyright, and state law claims against Astronics Corp. and a subsidiary.
  • A Multinational Electronics Company v. Imperium IP Holdings (Cayman), Ltd. (D. Del.): Litigating breach of contract action based on defendant’s lawsuit asserting patent infringement for licensed products.
  • SIPCO, LLC v. Emerson Electric Co. (CAFC): Seeking affirmance of PTAB’s decision in inter partes review to cancel all challenged patent’s claims.
  • Assessing strength of client’s certification mark and methods for improving the strength of that mark in the United States.
  • Prairie Land Millwright v. Sioux Steel (CAFC): Obtained affirmance of PTAB’s decision in inter partes review that a patent for grain bin sweep was not obvious.
  • On behalf of multiple defendants facing allegations of patent infringement, sought petitions for writ of mandamus by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to transfer litigation from the Eastern District of Texas.
  • Represented the world’s leading consumer electronics company in interrelated appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit resulting from inter partes review proceedings involving several patents directed towards methods and systems for transferring data between computers/host devices and data transmitting/receiving devices.
  • Asserted claims under the Lanham Act on behalf of a global pharmaceutical company in the Northern District of California against competitors’ false and misleading marketing of unapproved drug products as FDA-approved generics for client’s NDA-approved prescription drug.  Defended against claims of antitrust and state law violations. Represented the same client in a related lawsuit in a Section 337 investigation at the International Trade Commission.
  • Represented a global life sciences company in false advertising litigation in the District of New Jersey concerning a competitor’s advertisements about insurance coverage for our client’s products.
  • Advised major pharmaceutical companies on presentation of information, including drug prices and prescription claims, in direct-to-consumer advertising.

Areas of Practice