Steve Auvil is the managing partner of our Cleveland office and served as leader of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group in the US for nearly a decade. His practice focuses on intellectual property (IP) disputes. Based on experience as an engineer and patent lawyer, Steve is familiar with a wide variety of technologies, including control systems, power electronics, communication systems, medical devices, steel production, complex mechanical systems and software systems. Steve has been listed in Chambers USA Leading Lawyers since 2007 and The Best Lawyers in America since 2006.

    In more than 25 years of practicing law, Steve has served as lead trial counsel and successfully represented clients in numerous patent, trade secret, copyright and trademark/trade dress cases in federal district courts throughout the US. He has also argued several patent-related appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In addition, he has handled a significant number of disputes before US administrative agencies, including 337 actions before the US International Trade Commission and proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board. Steve has also represented clients in IP-related disputes before arbitration tribunals.

    While Steve’s practice focus is in litigation, he has considerable non-litigation experience, including counseling clients on IP matters, preparing and prosecuting patent applications, and negotiating agreements that involve IP.

    Steve is an active member in a number of professional organizations, including the American Bar Association, the Naples Roundtable, Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association (CIPLA), ITC Trial Lawyers Association and the Federal Circuit Bar Association. He is a Fellow of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation.

    Steve is a frequent speaker on IP law topics and has spoken to clients, industry groups and IP organizations throughout the US and abroad on a wide variety of intellectual property law topics. He previously taught a patent law and practice course as an adjunct faculty member of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He has been quoted in numerous news articles relating to intellectual property matters, including those appearing in Law360, Bloomberg Law and World Intellectual Property Review.

    Steve is a past-President of CIPLA, he previously held a number of leadership positions in American Intellectual Property Law Association, and he is the inaugural and current President of The Kathleen M. O’Malley American Inn of Court. Steve is a voluntary board member of the American Red Cross, Northeast Ohio Region.

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    • Prosecuting patent infringement and unfair competition action on behalf of a producer of key duplication systems against competitor.
    • Defending leading marketer of hoverboards in multiple patent infringement actions brought by competitors.
    • Defending producer of product marking systems in patent infringement suit brought by competitor.
    • Successfully defended watch marketer in trademark and unfair competition litigation brought by competitor, and related TTAB proceedings.
    • Successfully defended national marketer of CBD products in litigation relating to restrictive covenants and claims of unfair competition.
    • Successfully defended medical equipment provider in patent infringement suit involving Operating Room integration systems in which settlement was reached after IPR filed against patent in suit and evidence of fraud in the procurement of the patent was presented to the court.
    • Successfully defended national retailer in patent infringement action involving wallet app in which plaintiff dismissed suit in response to motion to dismiss suit and threat of Rule 11 sanctions.
    • Successfully defended leading marketer of phone accessories in global patent litigation with competitor, which was resolved after asserted patent claims were invalidated in US and in China in related administrative challenge proceedings.
    • Successfully defended leading power management company in district court proceeding involving multiple patents and in related challenge proceedings before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
    • Successfully extracted major producer of generators and other motorized equipment from patent-based section 337 unfair imports dispute before the US International Trade Commission, resulting in termination of distributor from the investigation and no remedy issued against it.
    • Successfully defended consumer product company in a design patent infringement action in which district court granted motion to dismiss claim for failure to state a claim, and Federal Circuit affirmed on appeal in case of first impression.
    • Successfully defended wearable technology company in patent infringement litigation brought by competitor, resulting in judgement of non-infringement and award of attorneys’ fees based on finding that it was an “exceptional case” under 28 U.S.C. § 285.
    • Successfully defended web entertainment provider in patent infringement suit in ED Texas, in which client obtained judgment in its favor after court granted motion to dismiss for lack of patentable subject matter.
    • Successfully represented producer of snow and ice management equipment in multiple patent infringement actions against competitor in district courts and parallel IPR proceedings in USPTO.
    • Successfully represented leading provider of alert notification systems accused of patent infringement in US district court, resulting in judgment of invalidity on the pleadings of 233 patent claims.
    • Successfully defended major US metals distributor in a trade secrets-based section 337 unfair imports dispute brought by competitor in the US International Trade Commission involving stainless steel, resulting in termination of distributor from the investigation and no remedy issued against it.
    • Successfully represented provider of radio frequency audience response systems in two patent infringement suits filed in US district court against its largest competitor, and in parallel challenge proceedings in USPTO.
    • Successfully defended power management company in patent infringement suit involving electronic power distribution units and in parallel challenge proceedings in USPTO.
    • Successfully defended leading high efficiency lighting producer in a section 337 unfair imports dispute before the US International Trade Commission involving lighting circuits in which ALJ issued initial determination of no violation after five-day hearing.
    • Successfully prosecuted patent infringement claims against distributors of infringing home appliances, obtaining injunctions against infringers.
    • Successfully defended leading power management company in patent infringement action relating to hydraulic engine components in which court held on summary judgment that plaintiff lacked standing to sue on nine patents for failure to name additional inventors.
    • Successfully prosecuted patent infringement claims for leading commercial product manufacturer against offshore competitor, obtaining injunction and lawyers' fee award.
    • Successfully defended leading heavy equipment producer in a patent infringement case relating to hydraulic control systems in which district court awarded our client attorneys’ fees and Federal Circuit affirmed.
    • Successfully defended leading high efficiency lighting producer in ICC arbitration of a patent license dispute in which panel held license unenforceable after seven-day hearing.
    • Successfully defended leading seller of home fitness equipment against patent infringement and state law claims relating its distribution of popular fitness equipment in which district court granted summary judgment and Federal Circuit affirmed.

    Education

    • New York University, LL.M., Trade Regulation, 1994
    • Cleveland State University, J.D., summa cum laude, valedictorian, editor, Law Review, 1993
    • The Ohio State University, B.S.M.E., 1988

    Admissions

    • District of Columbia, 2014
    • Ohio, 1994
    • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1997

    Courts

    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Federal Circuit
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Illinois
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of Texas
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Texas
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Florida
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. of Wisconsin
    • Listed as Leader in World Intellectual Property Law Review
    • Named Best Lawyers 2019 Lawyer of the Year for Patent Litigation in Cleveland
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2006 to present
    • Listed in Chambers USA 2008 to present for Intellectual Property in Ohio
    • Listed in Ohio Super Lawyers, a distinction honoring the top lawyers in the state
    • 2005 recipient of the Texnikoi Outstanding Alumnus Award from The Ohio State University College of Engineering

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    Publications

    • Co-author, “Trends and Developments,” Chambers Patent Litigation 2021, February 15, 2021.
    • Co-author, “Global Business Fraud and the Law: Preventing and Remedying Fraud and Corruption,” Practicing Law Institute, October 2015.
    • Co-author, “Saving Face,” Intellectual Property Magazine, February 2013.

    Speaking Engagements

    • Presenter, “Patent Litigation: Trends, Tensions, and Transitions” Webinar, March 30, 2021.
    • Presenter, “The Pendulum Swings: Litigation Trends of the Past Year,” Intellectual Asset Management IP 2020 Conference, November 17, 2020.
    • Moderator, “Virtual Fireside Chat with The Honorable Kathleen M. O'Malley,” Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association Webinar, September 29, 2020.
    • Presenter, “Remote Video Deposition Protocols: Developing Guidelines for Effective and Efficient Remote Depositions,” Federal Bar Association Webinar, June 30, 2020.
    • Presenter, “The Current State of U.S. Patent Litigation: Have We Reached the Bottom Yet?” Webinar, April 9, 2020.
    • Presenter, “Phoenix Issue VI.  Is the patent litigation being abusively utilized today or have “Troll” actions been significantly curbed?   Have IPRs, recent Court decisions, changes in venue selection and the more frequent award of attorneys’ fees helped?  What actions should be taken to improve the quality of the patents that are issued?” 5th Annual Conference run by the Naples Roundtable, Naples, Florida, February 16-18, 2020. 
    • Moderator, “Navigating the US Litigation Climate,” Intellectual Asset Management Patent Litigation, Washington DC, November 5, 2019.
    • Presenter, “A Corporate Counsel’s Toolbox for Managing Privileged Communications,” Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Ohio, Cleveland, October 31, 2018.
    • Presenter, “Post-Grant Proceedings Before The PTAB: Insights and Tips from the Trenches,” Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association, Cleveland, December 7, 2017.
    • Presenter, “The Halo Effect on Patent Infringement Risk: Should You Revisit Your Corporate Strategy for Mitigating Risk?” Cleveland, Ohio, March 23, 2017.
    • Presenter, “The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Leveraging the New Federal Framework to Protect IP,” Webinar, July 26, 2016.
    • Presenter, “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016,” Webinar, June 9, 2016.
    • Presenter, “IP Issues in M&A Transactions – Avoiding Pitfalls and Protecting Value When Doing Deals,” Cleveland, Ohio, February 18, 2016.
    • Presenter, “A Supreme Change to the US Patent Landscape,” Webinar, February 25, 2015.
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