Our Practice

Patent Opinions/Litigation


At Oliff PLC, our clients rely on our substantial experience to help them make the best business decisions, taking into account the IP landscape, and third party patents. We work with our clients around the world to develop the best strategies for determining effective offensive and defensive patent strategies.

We regularly provide our clients with expert opinions in all technologies, advising them on patent infringement and validity issues, freedom to operate assessments, patentability assessments, and alternative design options. We work as a team with our clients’ in-house IP staff and technical personnel to promptly evaluate and provide advice regarding the most effective strategies and potential risks.

As with everything we do, we take the most cost-effective approach by evaluating our clients’ objectives. For example, in some situations, a brief “summary” opinion, or even an oral opinion, may be appropriate, and can avoid significant expense to the client. In circumstances where litigation is anticipated and an opinion may be necessary to defend a potential willful infringement allegation, we can provide a comprehensive and detailed written opinion so the client is in the best position possible to ensure the strongest litigation position. Even after the Federal Circuit’s Seagate decision, it is still important to obtain formal opinions from counsel. Post-Seagate, the Federal Circuit has reaffirmed that opinions of counsel can provide a basis for establishing that an accused infringer made an informed business decision in obtaining an opinion and did not act in an objectively reckless manner.

We also provide our clients with comprehensive counseling services in a variety of areas, including, for example, due diligence and patent portfolio assessments, licensing options, trade secret protection, potential unfair competition issues, etc.


Our goal is to utilize the most effective and efficient measures to fully protect our clients’ intellectual property rights and to defend our clients against assertions of intellectual property rights by others.

At Oliff PLC, we recognize the expense and burden of litigation, and therefore try whenever possible to achieve our clients’ goals without resort to litigation. We have often succeeded, for example, merely through the use of cease-and-desist letters, pre-litigation negotiations, alternative dispute resolution and licensing. However, there are times when competitors will not readily stop their infringing activities, or will not readily stop their threats or assertions against our clients’ lawful business activities. In those instances, litigation often is the best — if not the only — viable solution. If so, we do not hesitate to recommend litigation, and we have the experience, technology and personnel to handle it ably and cost-effectively.

Substantial Experience

Our litigation practice is long-established and growing in response to client demand. Since we opened our firm in 1983, we have litigated extensively on behalf of our clients in courts and other tribunals throughout the United States, including:

  • all of the major District Courts;
  • the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit;
  • the International Trade Commission;
  • the Court of Federal Claims;
  • the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences;
  • the Patent Trial and Appeal Board; and
  • the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Our main office is just across the river from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where all patent appeals and appeals from the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are heard. We are also just up the street from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (the “Rocket Docket”), where we have been involved in many cases, both as primary counsel and as local resident counsel. Our office is also very close to the PTO, where we have handled numerous inter partes matters, including patent interferences, inter partes reexaminations and reviews, and trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings.