Chris McNett is a Principal in the Washington, DC office of McKool Smith. He focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation. Chris has worked with patent owners and technology companies to win patent lawsuits, both as plaintiff and defendant. He has been part of numerous successful trial teams in district court, and has also practiced in a large number of cases before the PTAB, in Section 337 investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission, and Federal Circuit appeals. Chris has experience building infringement and technical benefits cases, and has worked with a large number of technical experts. Over the course of his career, Chris has helped his clients obtain over $1 billion in jury verdicts and settlements in patent infringement cases.

Chris also serves as Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University, teaching members of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal.

Chris served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and for the Honorable S. James Otero at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Chris has extensive experience practicing before district courts across the country and working with patents in numerous technical areas, including memory systems, wireless telecommunications standards, computer security, Web technologies, and a variety of other areas. He has experience in the analysis, mining, valuation, and litigation of patent portfolios. He also has represented clients before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in patent prosecution matters. During law school, he also served as a legal intern for the Civil Division, Intellectual Property Section at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prior to practicing law, Chris was a software engineer. He worked at Palm, where he developed system software and development tools for smartphones. As an undergraduate, he worked at Microsoft, developing portions of the Windows platform. He also worked in patent licensing and acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures, working to acquire and license patents across a broad range of technologies.


Representative Matters

  • Optis Wireless Technology, LLC - Counsel for Optis in the Eastern District of Texas against Apple in a patent infringement action involving wireless communications that resulted in a $506 million and $300 million damage verdicts.
  • SEVEN Networks, LLC - Counsel for SEVEN Networks in the Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas against Apple, LG, and Motorola in patent infringement actions involving mobile products and services.
  • TSMC - Counsel for TSMC in the Western District of Texas, successfully obtaining a judgment of non-infringement against Semiconductor Connections in district court as well as invalidating Semiconductor Connections' patent before the PTAB.
  • The Hillman Group - Counsel for Hillman at trial in the Eastern District of Texas, involving key duplication technology.
  • Ericsson - Counsel for Ericsson in the ITC (337-TA-1254) against Samsung regarding semiconductor technology.
  • Wi-LAN, Inc. - Counsel for Wi-LAN in the Southern District of California, recently securing $145 million and $85 million damage verdicts against Apple concerning two patents related to voice over LTE ("VoLTE") wireless communication technology.
  • Vervain, LLC - Counsel for Vervain in the Western District of Texas against Micron and Western Digital in a patent infringement action involving flash memory technology.
  • Express Mobile - Counsel for Express Mobile in a variety of district court cases and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
  • Mojo Mobility - Counsel for Mojo Mobility against Samsung in a patent infringement case in the Eastern District of Texas regarding wireless charging.
  • AECOM - Defended AECOM against claims of patent infringement involving high-security bollards.
  • Clear Imaging LLC - Counsel for Clear Imaging in the Eastern District of Texas against Samsung for camera and digital image processing technology.
  • Nokia Technologies - Counsel for Nokia in the ITC (337-TA-1208) against Lenovo involving H.264 video coding technology.
  • BMC Software Inc. - Counsel for BMC Software, the leading provider of information technology service management (ITSM), in litigation against Cherwell in the District of Colorado, and FireScope in the Northern District of Texas.


Rankings & Honors

  • Ranked among the Top 50 Most Active Attorneys Representing Patent owners and Top Performing Attorneys Representing Patent Owners in Patexia's PTAB Intelligence Report (2023)

Media & Events


J.D., Harvard Law School, 2014

M.S., Computer Science, Stanford University, 2006

B.S., with highest distinction, Computer Engineering, Purdue University, 2003


  • Hon. Jimmie V. Reyna, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • Hon. S. James Otero, U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Court Admissions

  • State of California
  • State of New York
  • District of Columbia
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

Bar Associations

  • District of Columbia
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