Leonard Davis (judge)

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Leonard Davis
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
In office
Preceded by David Folsom
Succeeded by Ron Clark
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
In office
May 10, 2002 – May 15, 2015
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Paul N. Brown
Succeeded by vacant
Personal details
Born 1948 (age 68–69)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater University of Texas at Arlington
Texas Christian University
Baylor Law School

Leonard E. Davis (born 1948) is a former United States federal judge and attorney.[1]


Born in Fort Worth, Texas received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1970, and his Master of Management Science Degree from Texas Christian University in 1974. Davis was also in the Texas Army National Guard from 1970 to 1973, and worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst for the Texas Electric Service Company prior to entering law school in 1974.[2][3][4] He graduated cum laude and first in his class from Baylor Law School in 1976, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Baylor Law Review and a member of Baylor's interscholastic moot court and mock trial teams.[5]

Davis was in private practice as a civil trial attorney in Tyler, Texas for 23 years, from 1977 to 2000, and was Chief Justice of the Twelfth Court of Appeals of the State of Texas from 2000 to 2002.[6][2]

Judicial Service[edit]

On January 23, 2002, Davis was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas vacated by Paul N. Brown. Davis was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 9, 2002, and received his commission on May 10, 2002. He was sworn in on May 15, 2002. He served as Chief Judge from 2012-2015. He retired from active service on May 15, 2015.[1] He has received an American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Contracts and Federal Courts. He was primarily assigned patent lawsuits in the U.S. district court.[7]

Judge Davis has also sat by designation on both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.[8] Judge Davis has further served on the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, the Federal Circuit Advisory Committee on Case Management, and as Co-Chair of the Federal Judges Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association.[8] In August 2015, Judge Davis was appointed by Federal Circuit Chief Judge Sharon Prost to serve a three year term on the Federal Circuit’s Advisory Council.[8] In April 2016, Judge Davis was also honored with the New York Intellectual Property Law Association’s “Outstanding Public Service Award” for his contributions to Intellectual Property law[8]

Patent Law[edit]

During his tenure on the federal bench, Judge Davis has presided over 1,700 patent cases.[9] He has also conducted more than 250 Markman hearings (or claim construction hearings).[8]

Among the significant patent decisions Judge Davis ruled on during his tenure on the bench included the case of i4i v. Microsoft, which resulted in a $290 million willful infringement jury verdict against Microsoft, and which was further upheld on appeal by both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.[9][10][2] In the case of VirnetX v. Apple, the jury rendered a $368 million verdict which was later overturned on appeal to the Federal Circuit.[9] In the Eolas v. Adobe Systems, et al case, a patentee seeking a royalty on the entire "interactive web" was defeated in a trial in which Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee testified for the defense.[9][11]

From 2015 and on, Davis serves as Of Counsel at the law firm Fish & Richardson.[8][12]


  1. ^ a b "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges: Davis, Leonard E.". Federal Judicial Center. 
  2. ^ a b c Gavin Broady, Law360, https://www.law360.com/articles/588528/captain-of-the-patent-rocket-docket-judge-leonard-davis, https://www.law360.com/articles/588528/captain-of-the-patent-rocket-docket-judge-leonard-davis
  3. ^ "The Chambers of the Honorable Leonard Davis, District Judge". United States District Court. 
  4. ^ "Judge Leonard Davis: Biography" (PDF). United States District Court. 2007-01-30. 
  5. ^ Baylor University, 2012 Baylor Lawyer of the Year: Judge Leonard E. Davis, http://www.baylor.edu/law/news.php?action=story&story=124736
  6. ^ Jess Krochtengel, Law360, Departing Eastern District Judge Joins Fish & Richardson, https://www.law360.com/articles/636983/departing-eastern-district-judge-joins-fish-richardson
  7. ^ "Dockets & Filings by Leonard Davis". justia.com. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Leonard Davis, Fish & Richardson, Bio, http://www.fr.com/judge-leonard-davis/
  9. ^ a b c d Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, East Texas judge who oversaw 1,700 patent cases joins biggest IP law firm, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/04/east-texas-judge-who-oversaw-1700-patent-cases-joins-biggest-ip-law-firm/
  10. ^ Ballotpedia, Judge Leonard Davis, https://ballotpedia.org/Leonard_Davis
  11. ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, ZDNet, Judge hands Web patent troll Eolas a shovel, orders it to dig own grave, http://www.zdnet.com/article/judge-hands-web-patent-troll-eolas-a-shovel-orders-it-to-dig-own-grave/
  12. ^ Judge Leonard Davis Joins Fish & Richardson, http://www.fr.com/news/federal-judge-davis-joins-fish/
Legal offices
Preceded by
David Folsom
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Succeeded by
Ron Clark
Preceded by
Paul N. Brown
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

External links[edit]