About Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.
Virginia-based IP boutique Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. has one foot in the United States and one in Japan, and both are strategically placed. The firm’s U.S. office in Alexandria, Virginia is located next to the USPTO, and its Tokyo office places it in proximity to the booming Asian technology market. Multinational corporations, universities, and government agencies seek out Oblon's highly regarded trademark and patent prosecution practices and recurring record of filing the most patent applications per year.
Good Thing He Kept His Day Job
At the age of 26, Norman Oblon founded the firm that was to be known as Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt in Arlington, Virginia, in 1968. Oblon attended law school at night while working day jobs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Naval Laboratory. He met partners-to-be Irvin McClelland and Gregory Maier and now former partner Martin Spivak as colleagues at the latter, where all were civilian patent advisors. The firm was one of the first to jump on the emerging Japanese market in the ‘70s; to accommodate its new clientele, the firm opened a Tokyo office and created a manual in Japanese to guide foreign companies through the patent prosecution process. Oblon's boutique status hasn't stopped it from growing big enough to earn a spot as one of the top ten largest firms in Virginia.
Particular Patent Professionals
Oblon's full-service boutique status means it handles all IP matters on all sides. The firm’s IP litigators have experience in everything from trademark and patent disputes to Hatch-Waxman litigation to ITC cases to trade secret and counterfeiting matters—and they’ve argued all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the firm made IP history in its representation of the defendant in Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., which dealt with the doctrine of equivalents. Clients who have entrusted the firm with handling their IP disputes include Toyota, L’Oréal, Subaru, and Allergan. On the collaborative side, the firm navigates all manner of IP transactions including acquisitions and sales, due diligence, and IP portfolio management.
Oblon has an especially impressive record when it comes to patents. It was the first law firm to procure 4,000 U.S. patents in a year in 2009, and then beat its own record the next year with more than 5,000 patents in 2010. The firm hasn’t slowed down when it comes to setting patent records: For nearly 30 consecutive years, Oblon obtained more U.S. utility patents than any other firm in the world. The firm also has a powerhouse patent prosecution practice, which comprises the majority of the firm’s management team. The firm’s “Smart Prosecution” strategy focuses on early action, like investing resources during the patent application stage to get ahead of issues and working with USPTO Examiners early in the prosecution process. The firm also handles PTAB post-grant proceedings, from reexamination to post-grant review, inter partes review, and other mechanisms implemented with the America Invents Act (AIA)—the firm has served as counsel in more than 200 AIA trial proceedings since the act was introduced.
Seeking Polyglots and Ph.D.’s
Better brush up on those languages. Oblon attorneys speak a variety, including Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, German and French to better serve the firm's global clients. The firm's extensive international professional relationships are partially a legacy of the unique client training program it instituted in 1969, which brought foreign professionals to the U.S. to receive USPTO Patent Examiner training. Oblon also pioneered a now oft-replicated recruiting method of paying law school tuitions for promising Ph.D.’s. and still looks for advanced degrees in fields like biotech, chemistry, physics, and computer and software engineering in potential recruits.
1940 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) (703) 413-3000
Managing Partner: Philippe J.C. Signore, Ph.D.
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
50 - 100
Alexandra G. Mai
Director of Talent Management
No. of U.S. Offices: 1
No. of International Offices: 1
Alexandria, VA (HQ) | Tokyo
Counseling & Strategic Advice
Trademark & Designs
U.S. Patent Procurement (Application Drafting & Prosecution)