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Douglas A. Cawley is a principal in the Dallas office of McKool Smith. For more than forty years, he has been engaged in the trial of complex cases and has handled major intellectual property matters throughout the United States and across the globe. He has served as lead counsel in six patent infringement trials that have earned "Top 100 Verdict" rankings by The National Law Journal and VerdictSearch in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013.

Douglas is ranked as a leading intellectual property lawyer by Chambers USA and is included in the Lawdragon 500 listing of "Leading Lawyers in America." In 2015, he was profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized the Top 50 trial lawyers in the United States. In describing Douglas’s effectiveness as a trial lawyer, Law360 noted that his “list of victories is replete with multimillion-dollar verdicts won against some of the deepest pockets in the corporate world,” and that “you can chalk [his] more than $1 billion in patent victories up to his way of wooing juries.” The article also discusses how Douglas' “honesty in the courtroom has earned him a positive reputation with judges.”

Douglas was named the Dallas "Patent Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers and "Outstanding IP Litigator - Texas" by Managing IP. He also received the "Litigator of the Year (South)" award from Benchmark Litigation and the Texas Lawyer 2017 Professional Excellence Award for "Distinguished Leadership." Most recently, he was recognized as a 2018 "Plaintiff Trailblazer" by The National Law Journal. The feature honors the top 25 leading lawyers in the nation who have achieved "remarkable success" for plaintiffs.

In 2016, Douglas was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to defend climate-change litigation filed by Exxon.

Douglas is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law. He is a frequent speaker on patent litigation at seminars throughout the country.


Representative Matters

  • Exxon v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2016, Douglas was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts to defend the Commonwealth against litigation filed by Exxon in Texas. Exxon sought an injunction to stop an investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General into Exxon’s knowledge of how its operations effected global warming. After hearing and mandamus the case was successfully transferred to New York.

  • ParkerVision. ParkerVision Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc. (M.D.Fla.). Represented ParkerVision in a patent infringement action involving numerous patents related to direct conversion receiver technology for use in high-performance wireless telecommunications devices. After a two-phase trial, the jury found that ParkerVision’s patents are valid and awarded damages to ParkerVision for Qualcomm's direct and indirect infringement of the patents-in-suit. 
  • VirnetX, Inc. VirnetX v. Microsoft Corp., (ED Tex.). Represents VirnetX in a patent infringement action involving virtual private network technology. After a week-long trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of VirnetX that included findings of infringement, willful infringement, and validity for all asserted claims.
  • i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc. i4i Limited Partnership v. Microsoft Corporation (E.D. Tex.). Represents i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc. in a suit filed against Microsoft Corporation for patent infringement involving a method and system for manipulating architecture and content of a document separately from each other. After an eight-day trial, the jury found the patent valid and infringed, rendering a verdict in favor of i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc.
  • Ericsson. In Ericsson v. Samsung, Douglas was lead counsel for Ericsson and Sony Ericsson in global litigation relating to cellular technology. He supervised district court litigation in which more than 40 patents were asserted; two simultaneous International Trade Commission investigations; and parallel litigation pending in the U.K., the Netherlands, and Germany. This global litigation was settled on terms favorable to Ericsson on the eve of the first ITC hearing.
  • In Ericsson v. Harris, Douglas obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of Ericsson on litigation involving patented telephone subscriber line interface circuits, and successfully argued two appeals of the case to the Federal Circuit. In parallel litigation, Harris v. Ericsson, he represented Ericsson in defense of patent infringement allegations relating to wireless communications. 
  • TGIP. As lead counsel in TGIP v. AT&T, Douglas obtained a jury verdict that was, at the time, the largest jury verdict ever handed down in the Eastern District of Texas. The case involved patents protecting a system for point-of-sale activation of telephone calling cards. Following a JMOL of non-infringement, the case was settled while on appeal to the Federal Circuit. 
  • Anascape. Served as lead counsel in Anascape v. Microsoft and Nintendo, in which he obtained a very favorable jury verdict from Nintendo for infringement of patents on video game controllers.
  • Rambus. Represents Rambus in litigation in the Northern District of California against global DRAM manufacturers. This litigation involves cutting-edge issues about the inter-relationship of standard setting and patent enforcement.
  • FAS Technologies. Served as lead counsel in the trial and Federal Circuit Appeal for the prevailing party in Cybor v. FAS Technologies. Tried in the Northern District of California, this case produced a seminal en banc Federal Circuit decision on claim construction and prosecution history estoppel.
  • Collagenex and State University of New York. Represented Collagenex and SUNY in Collagenex v. Ivax and Corepharma. This matter, pending in the Eastern District of New York involved a preliminary injunction hearing following an ANDA proceeding for pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of periodontal disease.
  • Intel. In Northrop Grumman v. Intel, Douglas was lead counsel representing Intel and its subsidiary Xircom in patent litigation alleging infringement of Ethernet protocols.
  • DGI Technologies. Served as lead counsel for DGI in Alcatel v. DGI Technologies, a complex copyright, trade secret, and anti-trust case. On appeal, he successfully argued for the first application of the doctrine of copyright misuse in the fifth circuit.  
  • Vari-Lite. As lead counsel, obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of Vari-Lite, a manufacturer of patented entertainment lighting systems and successfully argued the appeal of the injunction at the Federal Circuit. In Vari-Lite v. High-End Systems, Douglas represented the company in litigation relating to patents protecting the design and implementation of lighting systems. 
  • IEX. As lead counsel, represented the holder of software patents used in the telephone call center industry.  


Rankings & Honors

  • Named as a IAM Global Leader 2022
  • Inducted into the Lawdragon 500 Hall of Fame, 2021
  • Recipient of Texas Lawyer's "Lifetime Achievement Award," 2018.
  • Named Dallas IP Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America, 2019
  • Recognized as a 2018 "Plaintiff Trailblazer" by The National Law Journal. The feature honors the top 25 leading lawyers in the nation who have achieved "remarkable success" for plaintiffs.
  • Awarded the Texas Lawyer 2017 Professional Excellence Award for Distinguished Leadership.
  • Ranked in Chambers USA as a leading intellectual property lawyer (Band 1). The 2022 edition notes that "He is an incredible trial lawyer. He is extremely responsive to his clients and provides direct and practical advice."
  • Recognized as a leading patent litigator in the United States by The Legal 500:, 2013-2020.  "always provides wise counsel," 2016; "as good a courtroom lawyer in front of a jury as any ever seen; very practical, easygoing, and cost-effective," 2014; "fantastic in preparing complex cases for a jury trial. He has a unique ability to perceive how the jury will view a case," 2013
  • Recognized as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” by Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2022
  • Recognized in"Best Lawyers in America" for Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property and Patent Litigation (2015-2018, 2020-2022)
  • Recognized as a leading U.S. patent litigator in World Intellectual Property Review’s (WIPR) directory of “World IP Leaders," 2016-2017
  • Named Best Lawyers Tyler Intellectual Property "Lawyer of the Year," 2017
  • Named Dallas "Patent Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Awarded "Outstanding IP Litigator - Texas" by Managing IP, 2014
  • Named "IP Star" by Managing IP, 2013-2022
  • Named  "Litigator of the Year (South)" by Benchmark Litigation, 2012
  • Ranked as an Intellectual Property "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation
  • Received Gold Star ranking for Texas Patent Litigation by IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners, 2020-2021
  • Listed as a "National IP Litigation Star" and "Texas Litigation Star" by Benchmark Plaintiff
  • Named the Best Lawyers Dallas Litigation - Intellectual Property "Lawyer of the Year," 2012
  • Recognized as one of the "Top 100" lawyers in Texas by Super Lawyers
  • Peers have named him to the list of Super Lawyers every year since 2003
  • Recognized in the Lawdragon 500 listing of the "Leading Lawyers in America"


Community & Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law

Media & Events



J.D., with Honors, University of Texas School of Law, 1975

B.A., with High Honors, University of Texas at Austin, 1972

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Court Admissions

  • State of Texas
  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal and Fifth Circuits
  • The U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Southern Districts of Texas

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Dallas Bar Association
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