John J. Barnhardt

John J. Barnhardt

John J. Barnhardt has practiced Intellectual Property Law for more than 40 years, focusing primarily on intellectual property litigation, licensing, and strategic planning, with a secondary focus on antitrust law and unfair trade practices. He has tried a substantial number of intellectual property and other cases in both state and federal courts in many areas of the country and has represented domestic and foreign corporations in the International Trade Commission in unfair trade litigation based on patent infringement.

Prior to joining Summa, Additon & Ashe, Mr. Barnhardt was a partner at Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson and its successor, Alston & Bird, LLP, where he was formerly co-Chair of that firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. Mr. Barnhardt has served as lead counsel in numerous patent infringement, trademark infringement, and copyright infringement cases in many different scientific and artistic disciplines. He also has significant experience in franchise litigation, antitrust litigation, and complex multidistrict patent litigation, in which he has served as lead counsel.

Mr. Barnhardt has earned the highest rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell, the country’s preeminent lawyer rating service. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2002-2010, and 2015-2016); he has been named to Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite (2002-2009); he has been honored as one of North Carolina Super Lawyers (2007, 2008, 2012, and 2013) and has also been named to Chambers USA. Mr. Barnhardt has authored several articles for various publications of interest to intellectual property practitioners, including AIPLA and JPOS.

Mr. Barnhardt has served as a mediator in intellectual property cases in federal court.



1972, North Carolina
1976, Registered Patent Attorney
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
State and Federal District Courts in North Carolina


University of Virginia School of Law (J.D. 1972)
Davidson College (B.S. Chemistry/Biology 1967)

Association Involvement

American Intellectual Property Law Association (1974–2003)
Past Chair of AIPLA Committee on Antitrust Law and Unfair Trade Litigation (1986–87)
Federation Internationale de Conseils de Properte Industrielle (1985–1990)

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