Thomas Makin

Thomas Makin


Thomas focuses on intellectual property litigation, in federal and state court, in arbitration, and before the International Trade Commission. He participates in post-grant proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and counsels clients regarding substantive patent law, patent valuation and licensing issues.

Thomas represents plaintiffs and defendants across a wide range of technologies, including: vehicular safety, propulsion, infotainment, and control systems; semiconductor circuitry, fabrication, and packaging; lighting systems; rechargeable battery systems; fintech software; monoclonal antibodies; and medical devices.

In a recent trial, Thomas was lead counsel to Nichia Corporation in a three-patent ITC Investigation. After a week-long hearing, in which Thomas directed Respondents’ main technical witness and cross-examined Complainants’ expert, the ALJ—and, ultimately, the Commission—found all patent claims not infringed, not supportive of a technical domestic industry and/or invalid.

He has been recognized in a number of legal publications, including The Legal 500 and IAM Patent 1000. IAM Patent 1000 has noted that “Thomas is dedicated to work hard and get things done,” “is able to answer any questions precisely and effectively,” and that “[h]is team is great, especially because of Thomas’ strong leadership.”

His clients have included: DENSO Corporation, GE Healthcare, Genmab A/S, Nichia Corporation, Olympus Corporation, Vantage Specialty Chemicals, SS&C Technologies, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Volkswagen Group of America.


Representative matters

Nichia Corporation in defending, as lead counsel, their LED packages in a 5-patent infringement case, winning complete victory through IPRs, district court motion practice, and appellate work.

Volkswagen Group of America in winning first-of-its kind writ of mandamus from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacating WDTX denial of motion to dismiss or transfer for improper venue.

Dealerships in WDTX not proven to be agents of Volkswagen.

Nichia Corporation, as lead counsel, in a 3-patent ITC Investigation in which all asserted claims were found not infringed, not supportive of a technical domestic industry, and/or invalid.

Pro bono

Received City Bar Justice Center 2023 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award

Published Work

  • Makin, Thomas, Co-author, (2024) “Why Fed. Circ. Affirmed Attorney Fee Award In PersonalWeb”, Law360
  • Makin, Thomas, (2016) “Attorney-Client Privilege: Issues Surrounding Communication with Those Who Do Not Have Japanese Legal Qualifications”, International Business Law and Practice, Vol. 44, No. 6, p. 843 - 848
  • Makin, Thomas, (2016) “Navigating Today’s Patent Landscape: Practical Considerations for Innovation, Enforcement, and Defense”, Inside the Minds: Developing a Patent Strategy, Aspatore
  • Makin, Thomas, Co-author, (2016) “Checks and Balances in the Inter Partes Review Statute”, Law360

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Member, Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society



New York, 2001


United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


B.S., Swarthmore College, 1997
– Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering Honor Society
– Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
– Senior Design Project: hybrid vehicle entry in Tour de Sol

B.A., Swarthmore College, 1997
– Editor in Chief, Common Sense

J.D., Columbia University, 2000
– James Kent & Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
– Staff Editor, Columbia - VLA Journal of Law & the Arts
– Technical & Co-Founding Editor, Columbia Science and Technology Law Review
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.