Ronald M. Whyte is a retired United States federal judge in San Jose, California.
Judge Whyte was appointed to the federal bench by President George Bush and took his oath of office in 1992. Prior to that, he served as Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California for Santa Clara County, appointed by Governor George Deukmejian in 1989.
Whyte was a member of the San Jose-based law firm of Hoge, Fenton, Jones and Appel, Inc., from 1971-1989, where he gained extensive trial experience. He served as Navy JAG from 1968-1971. In that role, he prosecuted and defended Naval and Marine personnel at Special and General Courts-Martial and served as a military judge at Special Courts-Martial.
Judge Whyte’s current professional activities include serving on the Dean of Santa Clara Law School's High Tech Advisory Council; George Washington University Law School's Intellectual Property Advisory Board; Patent Rules Committee for the Northern District; Patent Jury Instruction Committee for the Northern District; and Member of the National Jury Instruction Project. He has been invited to lecture in the United States and several foreign countries by the Department of Commerce, the Federal Judicial Center, Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Stanford Law School, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, and George Washington Law School. He has been described by colleagues as "brilliant" at high-tech cases.
Whyte has been a member of the Santa Clara American Inn of Court and the San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court. He has served on the executive committee of the Santa Clara Inn since 1992 and was its president in 1997–1998. He served on the original executive committee of the San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court.
Judge Whyte has received the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association's Judge of the Year Award; Berkeley Center for Law and Technology's Distinguished Service Award; the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association's Federal Judge of the Year Award; the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association's Special recognition Award. He was invited to be a Distinguished Visitor at Lewis and Clark Law School.
Whyte received his BA in mathematics from Wesleyan University and his JD from the University of Southern California School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of California; US District Court, Northern District of California; US District Court, Central District of California; US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Santa Clara County Bar Association; and the Federal Judges Association.
In 2011 he received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit. The award was presented to Judge Whyte by Judge Mary Schroeder at a judicial conference in August.