David C. Vondle focuses on intellectual property (IP), with an emphasis on patent litigation and complex technical cases, particularly investigations at the International Trade Commission (ITC). He is also the hiring partner for the firm’s IP practice and serves on the Hiring Committee for the Washington, D.C., office. 

Practice & Background

Mr. Vondle has extensive litigation experience in large-scale IP cases with significant commercial value that involve a wide range of technologies, including computer hardware and software; wireless communications; the Internet; biotechnology; medical devices; and consumer electronics; such as mobile devices and HDTVs. He represents clients in the ITC, federal courts and state courts, and in alternative dispute resolution. He also assists patent counsel in Asia, Europe and South America. 

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Vondle advises clients on global transactions involving IP, including acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and joint ventures in a variety of industries. Among other transactions, he represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Nortel Networks on all IP issues in a series of complicated asset sales relating to Nortel’s bankruptcy, including the auction of more than 6,000 patents and patent applications for more than $4 billion. He also represented creditors in Eastman Kodak’s sale of its digital imaging and additional patents for $525 million and in the ongoing restructuring of Avaya Inc. His experience further includes royalty monetization and other IP-based transactions, with a particular emphasis on the health care industry.

Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Vondle was an associate in the Silicon Valley office of an international law firm headquartered in New York.

In law school, Mr. Vondle served as a judicial intern for The Honorable Marcia A. Crone, currently a district judge in the Eastern District of Texas. Prior to entering law school, Mr. Vondle performed scientific research involving molecular biology and biochemistry.

Mr. Vondle is a member of the California and District of Columbia bars and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is also a member of the International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association; the American Intellectual Property Law Association (Patent Litigation and International Trade Commission committees); the American Bar Association (Intellectual Property section, International Trade Commission committee); and the Federal Circuit Bar Association..

Mr. Vondle regularly writes about, and is quoted in, the area of IP in connection with international trade. He has also published articles on domestic and international legal and policy issues affecting emerging technologies.

Representative Matters

Recent ITC investigations in which Mr. Vondle has participated include:

  • Certain Semiconductor Devices and Consumer Audiovisual Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1047)
  • Certain Graphics Systems, Components Thereof, and Consumer Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1044)
  • Certain Radiotherapy Systems and Treatment Planning Software, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-968)
  • Certain Touchscreen Controllers and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-957)
  • Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Computers, Tablet Computers, Digital Media Players, and Cameras (Inv. No. 337-TA-952)
  • Certain Audio Processing Hardware and Software and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-949)
  • Certain Integrated Circuits and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-920)
  • Certain Television Sets, Television Receivers, Television Tuners, and Components Thereof (337-TA-910)
  • Certain Wireless Devices, Including Mobile Phones and Tablets II (Inv. No. 337-TA-905)
  • Certain Consumer Electronics with Display and Processing Capabilities (337-TA-884)
  • Certain Products Containing Interactive Program Guide and Parental Control Technology (337-TA-845)
  • Certain Products Containing Interactive Program Guide and Parental Controls Technology (337-TA-820).

In addition, Mr. Vondle has recently represented:

  • the leading developer of human interface solutions for electronic devices and products in patent litigation in the Northern District of California
  • one of the world’s leading Internet and software companies in patent litigation in Delaware and the Eastern District of Texas relating to a variety of technologies
  • one of the world’s leading Internet companies in patent litigation in Delaware relating to data display
  • a leading document technology and services company in the Eastern District of Texas relating to multifunction devices and software
  • a large computer manufacturer in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of California relating to wireless standards
  • a leading medical device company in patent litigation in the Western District of Tennessee and Northern District of California
  • a biotechnology company developing next-generation tools for genetic analysis in patent litigation in the Northern District of California, in California state court and in arbitration regarding fraud, breach of contract and related claims.

Awards & Accolades

  • recognized by the Federal Circuit Bar Association with the Pro Bono Advocacy Award (2012-2014).

Community Involvement

Mr. Vondle’s community, civic and charitable activities include being a sponsor of the Friends of the National Zoo and a member of the Smithsonian Institute.

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Vondle has been a regular speaker on panels regarding patent litigation, particularly relating to startups, small companies and emerging technologies. In addition, he has previously participated as a trial judge at the Stanford Law School Mock Trial Invitational.