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 startup 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

  • Named to Managing IP's 2015 shortlist as the US PTAB Practitioner of the Year
  • Recognized as a Washington DC leader in the intellectual property field in the 2008-2013 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Named a 2014 leading practitioner in patent law by IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners
  • Selected to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Washington DC Super Lawyers list for his intellectual property practice

Publications & News


October 16, 2015

Identification of Cases in Comments to Proposed Rule Change Is Consistent With Prior Guidance in PTAB Practice Guide

An article by David Cavanaugh, published in the October 16, 2015 issue of BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal.

September 4, 2015

PTAB's Estoppel Rules Lack Teeth, Lawyers Grumble

Post-Grant Patent Proceedings Group Chair David Cavanaugh is quoted in this September 4, 2015 article by The Recorder that discusses PTAB estoppel rules.

August 28, 2015

Summary of PTO’s Proposed Rules Changes for AIA Proceedings

An article by David Cavanaugh, published in the August 28, 2015 issue of BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal.

August 26, 2015

Proposed PTAB Changes Aim to Increase Balance

Partner David Cavanaugh shares insight into PTAB rule changes in this Managing IP article, published August 26, 2015.

April 2, 2015

WilmerHale Lends Voice in Discussion on Changing Patent Landscape at Georgetown Law Patent Conference

More than 100 clients, policymakers and law students attended the Georgetown University Law Center Conference on March 23, which focused on the theme of "the changing patent landscape." The event featured panel discussions with representatives from WilmerHale, government agencies, academia and industry, and culminated in a keynote address by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa. This year marks the third time WilmerHale has partnered with Georgetown Law to host the conference, which happens every other year.

March 27, 2015

Challenging PTAB Determinations that Proposed Grounds are "Redundant"

An article by David Cavanaugh, James Dowd and Michael Smith, published in the March 25, 2015 edition of Intellectual Property Today

March 20, 2015

Managing IP Recognizes WilmerHale at Annual North America Awards Dinner

The firm received the Supreme Court Milestone Case of the Year award, and was shortlisted as one of the Patent Contentious Firms of the Year, the Copyright Northeast Firms of the Year and the Pharma IP Litigation Firms of the Year.

January 19, 2015

Observations on Inter Partes Reviews and District Court Litigation Settlements

An article by Partner David Cavanaugh and Senior Associate Anant Saraswat, published in Intellectual Property Today's January 2015 issue.

January 15, 2015

A Key Question On Appeals Of Stays Pending CBM Review

An article by David Cavanaugh and Robert Arcamona published by Law360 on January 15, 2015.

November 7, 2014

WilmerHale Reaches Milestone 100th Inter Partes Review Filing

WilmerHale has filed its 100th Inter Partes Review (IPR), marking a significant milestone in the post-America Invents Act (AIA) era.

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