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 Virginia today.

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.

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Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P.

1940 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 413-3000
Fax: (703) 413-2220


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Bradley D. Lytle
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 100

  • Employment Contact

    Cynthia Jackson
    Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (703) 413-3000

  • Base Salary

    1st year: $140,000
    Summer associate: $2,692.30/week 

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI)
    Chemical Patent Prosecution
    Electrical Patent Prosecution
    Industrial Designs
    ITC Litigation
    Mechanical Patent Prosecution
    Opinions and Counseling
    Patent Interferences
    Patent Pool and Standards
    Patent Prosecution
    Pharmaceutical/Medical Devices
    Post-Grant Patent Proceedings 

Major Office Locations

  • Alexandria, VA (HQ)
  • Tokyo, Japan

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