Mr. Johnston focuses his practice on the preparation, prosecution, licensing, and litigation of patents, as well as counseling on intellectual property matters, with a particular focus in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Prior to joining Gibbons, Mr. Johnston served as Vice President & Chief Patent Counsel at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., a major healthcare organization, having ascended through the ranks from Patent Counsel. At Roche, Mr. Johnston developed and implemented a variety of strategies to strengthen the company’s intellectual property throughout the life cycle of its products. For several important pharmaceuticals, he enabled Roche to maintain lawful exclusivity for 20 years and beyond, and he won or settled the majority of the company’s patent litigations, ensuring marketing exclusivity and corresponding sales and licensing royalties worth billions of dollars. He negotiated and prepared the company’s first successful co-promotion alliance agreement, leading to half a billion dollars in revenue.

Mr. Johnston was also extensively involved in legislative activities benefiting the pharmaceutical industry. Most notably, he helped negotiate and lobby Congress to pass both the Hatch-Waxman Act (and led Roche’s successful efforts to obtain one of the first resulting patent extensions) and Process Patent Amendments Act. In addition, his creative approach for petitioning the FDA led to Roche becoming one of the first companies to obtain pediatric exclusivity rights.


  • Rutgers School of Law - Newark (J.D.)
    • Editor, Rutgers Journal of Computers and the Law
  • Stevens Institute of Technology (Bachelor of Engineering - Chemical, with high honors)

Professional Activities

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Predecessor Organization
Patent Law Committee: First Chairperson

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)
Former Member, Board of Directors

American Conference Institute
"Maximizing Pharmaceutical Patent Life Cycles” Conference: Co-Chair
Hatch Waxman Act: Board of Advisors

New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame
Board of Trustees

Gibbons Institute of Law, Science, and Technology
Board of Advisors

Stevens Institute of Technology
Former Member, Board of Trustees and Executive Committee

Professional Admissions

  • State of New Jersey
  • State of New York
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office


Named to IAM Patent 1000 - The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners

AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. A description of the selection process methodology for the awards referenced is available at gibbonslaw.com/awards/.