Jonathan A. Patchen, a partner in the Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the Media & First Amendment Practice Group, is a leading technology and commercial trial lawyer focusing on complex civil litigation, trials and arbitrations. He has first-chaired bench and jury trials in federal and state court, arbitrated disputes, and briefed and argued cases on appeal.

Jonathan has substantial experience handling disputes involving trade secrets and other intellectual property, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, partnership and corporate governance, professional liability, and other complex business issues. He counsels leading companies across the consumer brands, bioscience, technology and financial services industries on a range of technology disputes, with a particular focus on defending trade secret, employee mobility and fiduciary duty claims. Some of his clients include Tri-Net, Arcus Biosciences, The Athletic, Atomic Labs, DCM Ventures, and Ecosystem Integrity Fund.


Prior to joining Willkie in 2021, Jonathan was a partner at Baker Botts LLP, where he served as Co-Chair of the Tech Litigation Practice Group. Following graduation from law school, Jonathan was a judicial clerk for the Hon. Ronald Gould of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • Daily Journal, Top Trade Secrets Lawyers, 2023
  • Legal 500 U.S. in the area of Dispute Resolution: General Commercial Disputes, 2023
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star - Commercial (National, California), 2024
  • Super Lawyers
    • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2013-2024
    • Northern California, Rising Star, 2012
  • Northern District of California Lawyer Representative
  • Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL), Northern California Chapter; Membership Co-Chair
  • Advisory Board Member, Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society
  • Bar Association of San Francisco - Judiciary Committee, Chair (2017)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco - Executive Committee Litigation Section, Chair (2014)
  • Executive Committee of the California Lawyers' Association Litigation Section
  • Executive Committee of the Northern California Chapter of the Harvard Law School Association
  • California Civility Task Force
  • Co-author: “Welcome Published Guidance on Trade Secrets and Employee Mobility: Hooked Media Group v. Apple,” The Recorder (November 6, 2020)
  • Speaker: “Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility,” Association of Corporate Counsel (August 2020)
  • Speaker: “Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility,” TechGC Virtual Dinner (May 13, 2020)
  • Co-author: “Trade Secret Exception Redux: What the Court in 'Techno Lite' Got Wrong,” The Recorder (April 13, 2020)
  • Co-author: “When Accommodating Becomes Establishing,” Daily Journal (May 22, 2019)
  • Author: “What You Need To Know About The Defend Trade Secrets Act Of 2016,” Above the Law (June 9, 2016)
  • Schwartz v. Bai Brands LLC, No. 2:19-cv-06249-FMO-RAO (C.D. Cal.). Lead counsel defending drink manufacturer from putative class action.
  • Google, LLC. v. Lior Ron et al., JAMS Arbitration. Represented co-founder of Ottomotto in arbitration claim brought by Google; first-chaired client's defense at two-week, three-arbitrator hearing.
  • SunPower v. Standard Industries, et al., No. 19-CV-349042 (Santa Clara Sup. Ct.). Represented former SunPower executive in litigation asserting, inter alia, trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, and breach of the duty of loyalty.
  • Howard v. Goldbloom, et al., No. CGC-17-561624 (San Francisco Sup. Ct.). Represented three venture capital firms in defense of lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty and related claims arising from a financing and subsequent acquisition.
  • Incyte Corp. v. Flexus Biosciences, Inc., et al., No. N15C-09-055 (Del. Super. Ct.). Defended the founders of Flexus Biosciences against a trade secret misappropriation claim in which the plaintiff claimed up to $2.5 billion in damages; achieved defense verdict following two-week trial in October 2018.
  • Wang v. Palo Alto Networks, Inc., et al., No. 12-5579-WHA (N.D. Cal.). Represented co-founder of Palo Alto Networks in defense of trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement claims; argued and won summary judgment on trade secret misappropriation claim. Successfully defended on appeal the overall trial court result. 686 Fed. App’x 890 (2017).
  • E-Smart Technologies, Inc. v. Drizin, et al., No. 06-5528-MHP (N.D. Cal.). Appointed by the court to represent the Northern District of California in civil contempt proceedings; first-chair trial counsel for bench trial that resulted in the finding of civil contempt (2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53129).
  • McDonald v. Krook, et al., No. 108-CV-126702 (Santa Clara Super. Ct.). Defended pre-merger and post-merger company, CEO and CFO against breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and constructive fraud claims; prevailed on summary judgment.



Harvard Law School, J.D. (magna cum laude), 2003 University of Wyoming, B.A./B.S., 2000

Bar Admissions

California New York

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit United States District Court, Northern District of California United States District Court, Southern District of California United States District Court, Eastern District of California United States District Court, Central District of California

Events & Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements
Bench Bar Conference - 2022