Picture of John D. van Loben Sels

John D. van Loben Sels specializes in all types of complex commercial, business and IP litigation in a variety of federal and state courts and other tribunals across the United States. In particular, John’s cases concern state and federal securities laws, contract interpretation, fiduciary obligations and partnership disputes. On intellectual property matters, John is responsible for prosecuting and defending patent infringement, trade secret, copyright and other IP litigation matters in courts across the United States.

John began his legal career in Dallas, Texas, working for a business litigation law firm. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998 and grew his practice to include disputes under state and federal securities laws, including contests for corporate control. In addition, John’s practice evolved to reflect the IP-driven economy of Silicon Valley. John’s litigation background has provided him with the experience and knowledge needed to navigate the many different aspects of IP law, including disputes concerning trademarks and copyrights. He also is a frequent speaker on a variety of IP and litigation topics in Taiwan and China.

John has worked on numerous business litigation cases that have been tried in state and federal courts, in the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. as well as several commercial arbitration forums. His extensive litigation experience enables his practice to display more efficiency and greater effectiveness than typical practices. These attributes have earned him a reputation for providing clients with favorable results and cost-effective solutions.

John received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated cum laude and served as the editor of Georgetown Law Journal. He received two bachelor’s degrees from Stanford University in Political Science and Civil Engineering, before serving in the United States Air Force for four years. During his years of service, John managed heavy construction projects throughout the Far East, receiving two Air Force commendation medals and earning the rank of captain, before leaving to pursue his law degree. John also served as a legislative assistant to Missouri Congressman, Ike Skelton.

John is licensed to practice in California, Texas and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. John has prosecuted appeals before several California courts of appeal as well as the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Federal Circuits. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

John is an avid sports fan, and a Stanford football season ticket holder. He and his wife spend their free time supporting their children’s athletic endeavors, traveling to practices and sporting events locally and in several European competitions.


J.D., Georgetown University Law Center

B.A., B.S., Stanford University

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice State of California
State of Texas
United States Patent and Trademark Office
United States Supreme Court
United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Federal Circuits
United States District Courts of the Northern District of Texas
United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California