Virginia-based IP boutique Oblon, Spivak has one foot in the
U.S. and one in Japan but both are strategically placed. Its U.S.
office in Alexandria, Virginia is located next to the USPTO and its
additional Tokyo office places it in proximity to the booming Asian
technology market. Multinational corporations, universities, and
government agencies seek out Oblon, Spivak'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 ripe young age of 26, Norman Oblon founded the firm that
was to be known as Oblon, Spivak, 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 Martin Spivak,
Irvin McClelland and Gregory Maier 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, Spivak's boutique status hasn't
stopped it from growing to become the eighth largest firm in
Particular Patent Professionals
Oblon, Spivak's full-service boutique status means its
activities range in everything from prosecution to ITC litigation,
interference, patent reexamination and reissuing, copyright and
opinions and counseling. Its patent prosecution practice in
particular is widely recognized. The firm placed first among IP
Today's"Top Patent Firms 2012" and was ranked by Benchmark
Litigation 2012, Best Lawyers in America,
Chambers and Partners, Intellectual Asset Management
Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners,
Corporate Counsel "Go-To Law Firms," Legal
500 and Managing Intellectual Property.
Oblon, Spivak 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. In 2011, the firm set
yet another record, outstripping the second and third place firms
by more than 2,000 patents each.
Oblon, Spivak made IP history in its representation of the
defendant in the 2002 Supreme Court case Festo Corp. v.
Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., which dealt with the
doctrine of equivalents in IP law.
Seeking Polyglots and Ph.D.s
Better brush up on those languages. Oblon, Spivak attorneys
speak a variety, including Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, German and
French, in order to serve the firm's global clients in France,
Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Italy, in addition to the U.S. 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, Spivak 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, computer and
software engineering in potential recruits.