Retirement Announcement for Larry Nixon

September 29, 2020

Nixon & Vanderhye P.C. announces the retirement of Larry S. Nixon, our founding managing partner and president for many years.  In 1985, Larry co-founded Nixon & Vanderhye with the idea of creating a new kind of IP law firm that prizes camaraderie, hard work and client service.  As president and managing partner of Nixon & Vanderhye for over 30 years, Larry tirelessly built up the firm from 8 original employees (5 attorneys and 3 staff) to what it is today – a mid-sized IP “boutique” known throughout the world for patent and trademark prosecution and litigation.  

Larry came from solid midwestern beginnings, growing up on a seed corn farm in southern Illinois.  He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1966 with an advanced degree in Electrical Engineering.  Following his graduation from Illinois, Larry became a patent engineer at General Electric’s Washington Patent Operations before serving as an Officer in the US Army, stationed at the Pentagon, where he was a systems analyst designing and writing computer programs. In 1969, Larry joined a well-known intellectual property law firm in Washington DC as an associate while he finished his law degree at Georgetown University in 1971. He became a partner in 1972 and felt privileged to work on the defense of Control Data Corporation (Sperry Rand v. Control Data, D. Md. 1970) during which he met some of the pioneers in digital computer technology.

Over the span of his 50+ year career, Larry personally prepared or prosecuted well over 3,000 US patent applications and appeared as counsel or expert witness in more than 200 U.S. patent enforcement litigations. He also regularly counseled clients as to patent infringement issues, patent validity issues, and patent license negotiation and drafting issues. Larry has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his illustrious career. Larry is fascinated with how things work, enjoys working with others, and always has been kind and generous with his time and attention.  He has had a significant impact on many in our profession and helped many of us at Nixon & Vanderhye become better attorneys and better people. He will be deeply missed, but we wish him all the best as he continues as a proud husband, father and grandfather, to explore the world, and to pursue his woodworking, cooking, bicycle riding, reading, piano playing and gardening hobbies.

Nixon & Vanderhye is putting together a retirement portfolio of reminiscence letters from friends and clients. If you would like your letter included in the portfolio, please email to