Tony Downs

J. Anthony Downs

Retired Partner
J. Anthony Downs
+1 617 570 1929

Tony Downs, a retired partner and the former chair of Goodwin’s IP Litigation practice, is a member of the firm’s Life Sciences Disputes group and has more than 30 years of litigation experience. He joined Goodwin in 1988 after clerking for Chief Justice William Rehnquist at the U.S. Supreme Court. His practice is focused on intellectual property litigation, with specialization in patent matters. He also has experience in trade secret cases, antitrust and competition law, securities and other complex commercial litigation. Mr. Downs has been repeatedly listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and other publications, where clients have lauded him for being “outstanding at trial,” “greatly skilled in making complex technical arguments understandable,” “an excellent writer,” and thought of “highly” as a “strategist.” IAM Patent 1000 describes him as “a shrewd medical devices maestro.”

Mr. Downs has been lead trial counsel in federal courts throughout the country, including jury trials in the District of Massachusetts, the District of Delaware, the Eastern District of Texas, the District of New Jersey, and the Northern District of Alabama. He has also advised clients on trans-border disputes in cases across Asia and Europe. And he has appeared as lead counsel before the International Trade Commission and has participated in IPR proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In addition to his extensive trial experience, Mr. Downs has briefed and argued many appellate cases, including multiple cases in the Federal Circuit, the First, Second, Ninth and D.C. Circuits, and in the appellate courts in Massachusetts. He also regularly uses arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution procedures.


In the area of patent litigation, Mr. Downs has represented clients as lead counsel in a wide range of patent disputes involving many different technologies, including telecommunications, computer software, Internet telephony, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and financial services. His cases include:

  • Lead trial counsel for Teva Pharmaceuticals in a two-week jury trial in the District of Delaware in 2017, resulting in a judgment of non-infringement for Teva on claims alleging hundreds of millions in damages
  • Successful defense of client Dickstein Shapiro against malpractice claims based on a patent litigation matter, and obtained dismissal of the case in the District Court and affirmance before the D.C. Circuit
  • Lead counsel in a successful defense of Citrix in a patent infringement trial in the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, Texas. Obtained a jury verdict of non-infringement on patent claims alleging more than $50 million in damages
  • Lead counsel in successful defense of Epocal in patent infringement case related to three patents for point-of-care blood tests. After a six-and-a-half day trial, the Huntsville, Alabama jury returned a unanimous verdict for Epocal on all counts
  • Obtained summary judgment of non-infringement for Cisco Systems in patent claims filed by a successor to the Thinking Machines patents in the District of Massachusetts
  • Represented a major financial institution in an MDL case in the Western District of Pennsylvania, and was selected as lead counsel for Markman claim construction proceedings on behalf of more than 20 defendants
  • Represented numerous clients in cases in the Eastern District of Texas, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, New Balance and others, on a wide range of technologies
  • For Cisco Systems, obtained rulings from the U.S. Patent Office on ex parte and inter partes reexaminations invalidating two patents claiming to have invented certain techniques in Voice-Over-IP
  • Acted as co-lead counsel in multiple ITC proceedings
  • Obtained injunctions and trial victories in a series of cases, including both jury and bench trials, for Alere Inc., in connection with Alere’s seminal patents on lateral flow immunoassays
  • Represented Applied Materials in connection with a series of litigations in the United States, Taiwan, Korea and Japan relating to equipment and techniques for semiconductor and LCD manufacturing equipment

Professional Activities

Mr. Downs is a member of the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations. He is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). 

On pro bono matters, Mr. Downs recently represented a transgender inmate in a male prison in Massachusetts in a challenge under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to improve living conditions for transgender inmates and to enable inmates to be transferred to women’s facilities.




The University of Chicago Law School

(cum laude, Order of the Coif), Executive Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review

Artium Baccalaureus1982

Princeton University

(magna cum laude)


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Honorable James Oakes

U.S. Supreme Court, Honorable William H. Rehnquist



  • Massachusetts


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • International Trade Commission

Recognition & Awards

Mr. Downs has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Litigation - Intellectual Property and Litigation - Patent 2022-2023.

Benchmark Litigation recognizes Mr. Downs as a 2021 Litigation Star in Massachusetts for his work in Intellectual Property. Mr. Downs has, for many years, been listed as peer-rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized in publications such as Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, U.S. News Best Lawyers, IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Litigators, Managing Intellectual Property, Benchmark Litigation Stars, Who’s Who in American Law and Massachusetts Superlawyers.


  • Speaker, “Unlocking the Value of Data in MedTech: Protect Your IP, Protect Your Business: Trade Secrets Deep Dive,” April 17, 2019