William G. McElwain


McElwain, William G.

William (Bill) McElwain is a partner in the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department, and a member of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Groups. He joined the firm in 1982. Mr. McElwain focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation. He has tried cases in courts nationwide and before the US International Trade Commission.


In patent litigation, Mr. McElwain has represented clients in matters involving a wide variety of technologies, ranging from genetic engineering to integrated circuit manufacturing to textile finishing. He also maintains a general commercial litigation practice.

Mr. McElwain received a JD degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and an AB, cum laude, from Yale University.

Mr. McElwain is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Honors & Awards

Publications & News


July 24, 2017

WilmerHale Recognized in IAM Patent 1000 2017

The firm and several of its partners are ranked in IAM Patent 1000 2017 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals.

June 8, 2017

WilmerHale Partners and Practices Named Among Managing Intellectual Property's 2017 IP Stars

IP Stars identifies lawyers based on their practice and industry experience, and recommendations from their peers and clients.

May 10, 2017

WilmerHale Prevails in $2B Patent Case on Behalf of Intel

The six-day jury trial held in the US District Court of Delaware before Judge Richard Andrews resulted in a finding of no infringement on all eight asserted claims.

May 17, 2016

WilmerHale Attorneys and Practices Recognized in 2016 edition of IP Stars Handbook

The fourth edition of the IP Stars Handbook—a Managing IP guide that identifies the leading IP firms and lawyers in the world—has been released and it prominently ranks WilmerHale and 19 of its partners.

December 31, 2015

Federal Circuit Reversed $74M Judgment in Favor of Cisco

On December 28, 2015, WilmerHale achieved a significant victory for Cisco Systems, when a panel of the Federal Circuit unanimously reversed a $74 million judgment against Cisco after concluding that plaintiff Commil USA, LLC had failed to prove at trial that Cisco's products actually infringe Commil's patent.

July 6, 2015

Managing IP Recognizes WilmerHale, Attorneys in 2015 IP Stars Handbook

Managing Intellectual Property has released the third annual edition of its IP Stars Handbook—a guide that identifies the leading IP firms and lawyers in the United States—prominently ranking WilmerHale and 18 of its partners.

October 8, 2014

Becton Dickinson Receives Successful Inter Partes Review Decision

On September 25, 2014, WilmerHale client, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), earned a significant victory in an Inter Partes Review (IPR) before the US Patent Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) in the form of a Final Written Decision declaring unpatentable all challenged claims of US Pat. No. 5,704,914 (the '914 patent).

June 30, 2014

The National Law Journal Names WilmerHale Washington IP Litigation Department of the Year

WilmerHale's Intellectual Property Litigation team was selected by The National Law Journal as 2014 Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year in the Washington DC region.

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.

June 12, 2013

Pfizer Obtains $2.15 Billion Settlement from Teva and Sun for Infringement of Protonix® Patent


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JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1982

BA, cum laude, Yale University, 1978

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia



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