Post-Grant Patent Proceedings INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Our deep experience with post-grant patent proceedings, IP litigation and patent prosecution means that we are well prepared to advise clients on the smartest, most cost-effective ways to challenge or defend issued patents.

Our attorneys understand how to strategically implement inter partes reviews (IPRs), covered business method reviews (CBMs), post-grant reviews and ex parte reexaminations to further our clients' objectives. For petitioners, these procedures can provide a faster, more cost-effective means to adjudicate the validity of a patent and obtain freedom to operate. For patent owners, an effective strategy and thorough understanding of the procedures are important to preserve claims and claim breadth. We have found that post-grant proceedings can provide strategic tools to limit and define issues before or during patent litigation, or promote settlement.

Following the 2012 passage of the America Invents Act, WilmerHale was among the first law firms to file 100 IPRs, emerging as a leader in post-grant proceedings and advising clients on the interplay between US Patent and Trademark Office proceedings and concurrent litigation. Since filing our 100th IPR, we have successfully taken numerous IPRs and CBMs through hearing and final decision, representing both petitioners and patent owners.

WilmerHale's patent prosecution and litigation experience enables us to navigate complex procedural, substantive and strategic issues posed by post-grant proceedings and deliver favorable results.


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Cavanaugh, David L.

David L. Cavanaugh

Chair, Post-Grant Patent Proceedings Group

+1 202 663 6025 (t)

Steinberg, Donald R.

Donald R. Steinberg

Chair, Intellectual Property Department

+1 617 526 6453 (t)

Haag, Joseph F.

Joseph F. Haag

Vice Chair, Intellectual Property Department

+1 650 858 6032 (t)

Dichiara, Peter M.

Peter M. Dichiara


+1 617 526 6466 (t)

Grewal, Monica

Monica Grewal


+1 617 526 6223 (t)


Some of our representative experience includes:  

  • achieving a Federal Circuit dismissal of an appeal from patent reexamination client Becton Dickinson (BD). This case marked the first time BD used IPR as a strategy to assure freedom to operate for one of its catheter products;
  • obtaining another significant victory for BD in an IPR before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), when the PTAB declared unpatentable all challenged claims of the patent, and the plaintiff withdrew its appeal. The district court dismissed the case; 
  • achieving a series of victories for a group of major financial institutions against a patent assertion entity. The victories culminated in four successful CBM proceedings in which the PTAB invalidated 83 of the patent assertion entity's claims;
  • successfully cancelling challenged claims in six IPR proceedings for EMC, two of which also included VMware as a petitioner. The PTAB found every challenged claim unpatentable. The decisions are currently on appeal at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which WilmerHale is also handling; and
  • for a company involved in data backup and restoration and virus detection, securing unpatentability determinations in inter partes reexaminations on patent claims being asserted in concurrent litigation.

Publications & News


January 20, 2017

Practice Tips for Presenting and Responding to Motivation-to-Combine Arguments in IPR Proceedings

David Cavanaugh, Joshua Stern and Kevin Yurkerwich, in this article published by Bloomberg BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, provide an overview of recent PTAB decisions denying institution of inter partes review and share practice tips for practitioners to follow.

December 23, 2016

Patent Owners’ Options After Claims are Cancelled in AIA Post-Grant Proceedings

An article by Thomas Anderson and Bo Han, published by Bloomberg BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, discusses options for patent owners after claims are canceled in the American Invents Act post-grant proceedings.

November 9, 2016

LMG Life Sciences Ranks WilmerHale and Attorneys Among the Best

The 2016 supplement highlights nine firm practices and 18 attorneys, recognizing work under three categories—Intellectual Property, Finance and Transactional, and Non-IP Litigation and Enforcement.

October 25, 2016

Design Patent Post-Grant: Is Anticipation Easier to Prove Than Obviousness?

An article by Ben Fernandez and Mark Selwyn, published by Bloomberg BNA's Patent Trademark & Copyright Journal, introduces and compares the standards for design patent anticipation and obviousness, explores the interplay between anticipation and obviousness at the PTAB, and summarizes practical takeaways from the current design patent IPR landscape.

September 30, 2016

What The Fed Circ. Says About IPR Estoppel

In this article published by Law360, Mindy Sooter and Gregory Lantier discuss precedents and questions that litigants should carefully consider as they formulate strategies for achieving their goals.

September 20, 2016

Monica Grewal to Serve as an Interim Director of New PTAB Bar Association

The association's mission is to promote the highest professional and ethical standards among lawyers and stakeholders who appear before the PTAB, to help establish best practices for the practice and skills required before the PTAB, and to foster communication among its various stakeholders.

June 22, 2016

The Legal 500 United States 2016 Recognizes 111 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 30 Practice Areas

The guide's rankings are based on a series of criteria, including client feedback, interviews with private practice lawyers, and its own research.

June 20, 2016

How the PTAB Treats Pre-Institution Factual Disputes

An article by Don Steinberg and Michael Smith, published in BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, explores how PTAB panels have addressed pre-institution factual disputes and the potential impact of the PTAB's recent rule changes.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

May 23, 2016

Federalizing Trade Secret Protection: A Close Look at the Ex Parte Seizure Provision

In this article published by Corporate Counsel in May 2016, James Dowd, Greg Lantier and Rachel Weiner Cohen provide a high-level overview of the reach and effect of the newly passed Defend Trade Secrets Act on plaintiffs, defendants and third-party bystanders.


WilmerHale's Intellectual Property Department and its individual attorneys are routinely recognized as leaders in the field.

  • American Lawyer – Named WilmerHale its "IP Litigation Department of the Year" in 2014. This is the second time that WilmerHale has been named a winner and the third time the firm has been named a finalist since the contest's inception in 2002.
  • Best Lawyers in America – Recognized 10 WilmerHale IP and IP litigation-related partners in the 2016 edition—overall recognizing 99 WilmerHale lawyers and naming seven of them as "Lawyers of the Year." Partner Lisa Pirozzolo was named as the Boston Litigation: Patent Lawyer of the Year and Partner Seth Waxman as the Litigation: Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year. In the 2015 edition, Partner Bill Lee was named as the Boston Litigation: Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year.
  • BTI Consulting Group (2015) – WilmerHale was recognized as the "Most-Favored IP Department" in the nation, one of two firms that are the "Best at Complex IP Litigation" and one of six firms identified as "Go To IP Litigation Firms" in the BTI Intellectual Property Outlook 2015: Changes, Trends and Opportunities in IP & IP Litigation report. In the BTI Litigation Outlook 2014 report, WilmerHale was named among the "IP Litigation Standouts."
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business – Ranked our practice in band one in Massachusetts for the past 13 years (2003-2016). Chambers USA 2011-2016 ranked our national practice in band one, noting that our teams "are outstanding at all levels, combining first-rate technical and legal acumen and great trial skills." In addition, Chambers USA ranked our California (2012-2016), Colorado (2016), DC (2012-2016) and New York (2012-2016) intellectual property practices. In 2013-2016, we were recognized in International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337).
  • IAM – In 2015, and based on research conducted by Unified Patents Research, WilmerHale was reported as one of the most successful law firms at the PTAB.
  • Managing IP (MIP) – In 2016, WilmerHale was named Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and Natalie Hanlon Leh was named the Colorado Outstanding IP Litigator of the Year. The firm was shortlisted as one of the Patent Contentious Firms of the Year, Copyright Northeast Firms of the Year and Pharma IP Litigation Firms of the Year for 2015. David Cavanaugh, Bill Lee and Seth Waxman received individual recognitions. WilmerHale was selected as the Patent Contentious Firm of the Year each year between 2011 and 2014. In 2014, the firm was named the Copyright Firm of the Year and the winner of the Milestone Case of the Year. MIP also named Bill Lee as Massachusetts IP Litigator of the Year and Seth Waxman as DC IP Litigator of the Year—each earning this title for the fourth year in a row. The firm was recognized as the Pharmaceutical IP Litigation Firm of the Year in 2013.
  • Managing IP (MIP) – Named WilmerHale among the top nationally ranked firms for intellectual property in 2015, and recognized 18 of our partners as IP Stars.
  • Managing IP North America Awards – In 2015, Partner and Chair of the firm's Post-Grant Patent Proceedings Group Dave Cavanaugh was named among the shortlist for the US PTAB Litigation (USPTO) category.
  • Managing IP World IP Survey – WilmerHale was included in the 2015 shortlist of firms recognized for excellence in US PTAB Litigation (USPTO).
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® – In the 2013-2017 “Best Law Firms” rankings, the firm was honored with first-tier national rankings in Biotechnology Law, IP Litigation, Patent Litigation and Patent Law; and first-tier metropolitan rankings in Washington DC and San Jose for IP Litigation; in Boston for Copyright Law, Patent Law, Patent Litigation, IP Litigation, and Trademark Law; and in New York for Biotechnology Law.