David L. Cavanaugh


Chair, Post-Grant Patent Proceedings Group

Cavanaugh, David L.

David Cavanaugh has broad legal experience in industry and private practice and provides clients with strategic, business-focused counseling in the procurement, management and exploitation of their intellectual property. He has extensive experience in all aspects of intellectual property practice, including IP litigation, patent procurement, technology transfer and licensing, and due diligence for corporate transactions. Mr. Cavanaugh has developed and implemented intellectual property strategies suited for companies at all stages, from early start-up phase to established business phase. Mr. Cavanaugh is active in Post Grant Proceedings at the US Patent Office where he has filed petitions in a variety of technologies.

Over the past decade, Mr. Cavanaugh has counseled clients in many technologies, including life sciences and medical devices. His patent experience in the medical device industry embraces diagnostic and therapeutic products in several technical fields, including those of radiology, cardiac implantable devices and catheters. He also has experience in various technologies of medical instrumentation and non-invasive diagnostic techniques.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Cavanaugh was a senior patent counsel in the legal department of Boston Scientific Corporation, responsible for the intellectual property matters in the radiology, neurology, urology and endoscopy divisions. Prior to his work with Boston Scientific, Mr. Cavanaugh was associated with Wolf, Greenfield and Sacks in Boston, where he provided patent support to a variety of medical device clients. Mr. Cavanaugh also has been a patent examiner at the United States Patent Office, where he examined patent applications in a variety of technologies.

Mr. Cavanaugh received a JD from George Washington University, where he was selected to study at the Max-Plank-Institute for Comparative Patent Law in Munich. He earned his master's degree at Washington Theological Union and his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Villanova University. He is a member of the Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.

Honors & Awards

Publications & News


August 26, 2014

David Cavanaugh Quoted in Law360 Article on AIA Petitions

Partner David Cavanaugh provides tips to practitioners about AIA Petitions in Law360 article, "4 Mistakes That Can Doom AIA Petitions," published August 26, 2014.

July 31, 2014

Early Results of Post Grant Proceedings

An article written by David Cavanaugh, published in Intellectual Property Today (July 2014).

June 23, 2014

Four Important Strategic Consideration for Inter Partes Review Proceedings

An article by David Cavanaugh, Michael Twomey, Vic Souto, Christopher O'Brien, Heather Schafroth and Michael Smith, published in the May/June 2014 edition of IP Litigator, Vol. 20, No. 3.

May 13, 2014

Success at the Federal Circuit: WilmerHale Earns Five Victories in One Week

WilmerHale has just completed an extremely successful week at the Federal Circuit, receiving favorable decisions in five out of six patent cases concerning various legal issues.

April 25, 2014

WilmerHale Attorneys Recognized in Annual Washington DC Super Lawyers Listing

The annual edition of the Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, published by The Washington Post Magazine, released its 2014 listing which includes 37 WilmerHale attorneys.

March 7, 2014

An Eye on Post-Grant Patent Proceedings

WilmerHale’s Post-Grant Patent Proceedings Group actively shares insights on inter partes review, post-grant review, ex parte reexamination and covered business methods.

March 6, 2014

Stays to Litigation Pending IPR and CBM Review: Statistics, Trends, and Key Issues

An article written by David Cavanaugh and Robert Arcamona, published in the March 2014 edition of Intellectual Property Today.

March 6, 2014

Tips On Objections To Evidence In Post-Grant Proceedings

An article written by David Cavanaugh, published by Law360 as the final article in a series of IPR-related articles authored by the firm.

January 23, 2014

US Supreme Court Holds That a Patentee Bears the Burden of Persuasion on the Issue of Infringement in a Declaratory Judgment Action

The US Supreme Court unanimously reversed a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and held that the patentee bears the burden of persuasion on the issue of patent infringement in a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee.

October 21, 2013

What We’ve Learned from PTAB Decisions on Institution

An article written by David Cavanaugh, published by Law360 as part of a series of IPR-related articles authored by the firm.

Professional Activities

Mr. Cavanaugh served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) for six years. He was recently selected by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to serve as a peer reviewer for its Small Business Matching Grant (SBMG) Program, which promotes the life sciences within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the recent past he has been a Board member of the New England Business and Technology Association. He has been a frequent guest lecturer at New England College of Law about patent law related topics.


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JD, George Washington University Law School, 1994

MA, Washington Theological Union, 1989

BME, Villanova University, 1986

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


United States Patent and Trademark Office