James Beard is an intellectual property partner in the San Francisco office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where his practice focuses on patent litigation. James has experience throughout the litigation process, including pre-filing counseling, motion practice, claim construction, and pre-trial and trial work, as well as post-trial motion practice and appeal. Before complaints are filed, James has worked with clients to give pre-litigation analysis and advice, and has provided general licensing and litigation counseling for clients.

James’ experience includes representations involving a wide range of technologies, including computer science and signal processing, biotechnology and medical devices, and consumer products. James has represented clients in numerous Federal forums, from district courts and the International Trade Commission, to the Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.


Thought Leadership


Chapter Editor, ANNUAL REVIEW OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW DEVELOPMENTS, American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section (2011).

“Patent Marking: True AND False,” in 11th Annual Silicon Valley Advanced Patent Law Institute, Advanced Patent Law Institute (2010) with Karen Boyd.

Note: “A Better Carrot: Incentivizing Patent Reexamination,” 1 Hastings Sci. & Tech. L.J.169 (2009).

“An Analysis of CIGS Solar Cell Technology,” 6 Nano. L. & Bus. 19 (2009) with Albert Halluin.

“The Limits of Licensing: Quanta v. LGE and the New Doctrine of Simultaneous Exhaustion,” 2008 UCLA J. L. TECH. 3 (2008).

“Weeds in the Docket: Patent Continuation Reform and Its Effect on the Biotechnology Industry,” 90 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 423 (2008).


Northern California "Rising Star" in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2013–2018


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2009California


  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas


  • University of California, Hastings College of the LawJ.D.2009
    Executive Editor, Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal
  • University of California, BerkeleyPolitical Science & Religious Studieswith Highest Honors (Religious Studies)2006
    Distinction in General Scholarship