John Kenneth Felter


  • JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1975; Winner, Ames Moot Court Competition
  • MA (Economics), Boston College Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1972
  • BA, magna cum laude, Boston College, 1972; Scholar of the College


  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section)
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association, Expert Witness Examinations Program, Faculty
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • New York Intellectual Property Law Association (Patent Litigation Committee)
  • Boston Bar Association (Advisory Board of the Law Firm Resources Project)
  • Boston Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, Master of the Bench
  • Boston Patent Law Association
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association (Litigation Committee)
  • American Bar Association Litigation Section, Faculty, Trial Evidence Committee, Co-Chair (2014-2015) and Newsletter Author and Editor
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., Faculty and Author
  • ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Education, Faculty
  • Fordham University School of Law Annual Conference International Intellectual Property Law & Policy, Panelist
  • National Mock Trial Competition, New England Championship, Evaluator
  • National Moot Court Competition, Region 1, Judge
  • Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Program, Trial Advisor
  • Harvard Law School Problem Solving Workshop
  • Boston College Law School Negotiation Competition, Client Counseling Competition and Moot Court Competition, Judge
  • Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc., Vice-President (2013-), Board of Directors, Executive, Board Giving and Executive Director Search Committees
  • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Fellow and IOLTA Grant Review Committee
  • Harvard Law School, Reunion Gift Committee (Member (2005) and Vice Chair (2010)); Class Agent (2011-2014))
  • USS Constitution Museum, Overseer

John Kenneth Felter


John Kenneth Felter, a partner in Ropes & Gray's Intellectual Property Group and the firm's Litigation Department, focuses his practice in the areas of intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. An experienced trial attorney, Ken has tried numerous cases to conclusion in federal and state trial courts throughout the U.S. He has also frequently presented oral arguments before federal and state appellate courts.

Ken has represented a broad range of corporations and institutions, including major manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, financial services companies, real estate developers, colleges and universities, and sports and entertainment clients in litigation and other adversarial proceedings. He litigates in all areas, but his patent trial practice has focused on electronics and electronic products, software, telecommunications and business methods.

Ken served as Special Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on two separate occasions (once to defend the constitutionality of a primary ballot rule of the Democratic State Party and the other to defend the constitutionality of a legislative redistricting plan); Special Outside Counsel for the City of Boston (to defend the constitutionality of the landmark designation of the interior of a Roman Catholic Church); and Special Counsel in civil rights actions representing the Towns of Edgartown, Plymouth, Salisbury, Wellesley and Wrentham, Massachusetts. He was specially retained to represent the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation and Federal Home Loan Bank Board to prosecute claims against the board of directors of a federally insured bank.


  • Idenix v. Gilead: Patent infringement litigation concerning treatment of hepatitis C
  • athenahealth, Inc. v. ADP AdvancedMD, Inc.: Patent infringement litigation concerning computerized methods for managing a medical practice.

  • Verisign, Inc.: Analyses of United States and European patent portfolios

  • Micro Motion v. Krohne: Patent infringement litigation concerning intrinsically safe meter electronics for Coriolis mass flowmeters.
  • NAACP v. Galvin: National Voter Registration Act of 1993 litigation regarding voter registration and services at Massachusetts public assistance offices.
  • Lincoln National v. Transamerica: Patent infringement litigation concerning computerized methods for administering variable annuity plans. See 609 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2010).
  • Freedom Wireless v. Cingular Wireless: Patent infringement litigation concerning prepaid wireless communications. See amicus curiae brief in BMC Resources v. Paymentech, 498 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (legal standard for joint infringement by multiple parties).
  • In re Textile Rental Litigation: Coordinated national class action litigation concerning alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices in garment rental industry.
  • Wheelabrator Claremont v. City of Claremont: Litigation concerning municipality’s attempt to take waste-to-energy facility by eminent domain.
  • Boston Professional Hockey Ass’n v. Commissioner of Revenue: Litigation concerning challenge to interpretation of state tax regulations governing apportionment of income earned in multi-jurisdictional transactions. See 443 Mass. 276 (2005).
  • Aquarium Systems v. Omega Sea Manufacturing: Litigation concerning misappropriation of trade secrets for manufacture of synethic sea salts.
  • Boston Police Patrolmen’s Ass’n v. City of Boston: Litigation concerning defense to First Amendment challenge to Boston Garden policy governing access during Democratic National Convention.
  • Frankston v. Denniston: Litigation concerning defense in legal malpractice action involving standard governing predecessor counsel. See 74 Mass. App. Ct. 366 (2009).


  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Patent)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 
  • US News Best Lawyers (Bet-the-Company-Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Patent and Intellectual Property Litigation)
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition (Intellectual Property Litigation)
  • Super Lawyers, New England Edition (Intellectual Property Litigation)
  • Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (Local Litigation Star) (General Commercial, Intellectual Property)
  • New England's Best Lawyers (Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Law-Patent Litigation)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers
  • Boston's Best Lawyers
  • ABA Section on Litigation Outstanding Subcommittee (Trial Evidence) Chair (2013-2014)
  • Ropes & Gray Award for Outstanding Partner Pro Bono Service (2013)
  • The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Civil Rights Pro Bono Recognition Award (2013)
  • New York Empire State Counsel (legal services to the poor) (2012)



  • Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (Federal Claims Based on Land Use Regulation), American Bar Association Section of Litigation, 2012, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 supplements
  • Co-author, Settlement Evidence and Patent Damages, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Trial Evidence Committee Newsletter, January 15, 2013
  • Co-author, Massachusetts Courtroom Advocacy (Preparation for Civil Trial in Massachusetts), MCLE, Inc., 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2014 (2nd Edition, 2nd Supplement)
  • Co-author, Fundamentals of Civil Deposition Practice (Subsequent Use of Depositions), MCLE, Inc., 1986