Allen M. Sokal

Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T +1.202.861.1539
F +1.202.861.1783

Overview

After serving as a patent examiner for five years and clerking for Judge Jack Miller on the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals for two years, Allen Sokal entered private practice in 1976. He practices patent litigation, with a particular concentration in appellate practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Although Allen’s district court litigation experience has focused primarily on the pharmaceutical and chemical fields, throughout his career Allen has handled appellate cases in an array of technologies. He has briefed and argued more than 50 cases at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and other regional circuits, and has been retained as a patent law expert witness in infringement suits. Allen has lectured extensively throughout the world on patent law, licensing, and legal ethics issues for bar organizations and clients, as well as on chemical patent practice for the Patent Resources Group and C5. Allen is also on the American Arbitration Association's list of neutrals.

Select Experience

  • Represented a client in a multibillion-dollar patent litigation involving the fan stages of jet engines. Rolls-Royce Plc v. United Technologies Corporation (E.D. Va.). The court granted summary judgment in favor of the client, finding noninfringement.
  • Represented a client in the Federal Circuit appeal of an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling of noninfringement by the client's cellular telephones. In re Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components, 337-TA-613 (ITC). The Federal Circuit reversed the noninfringement ruling. 
  • Represented patent owners in a case involving the blood-thinner Lovenox®. Aventis Pharma S.A. v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (C.D. Cal. and Fed. Cir.).
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Experience

  • Represented a client in a multibillion-dollar patent litigation involving the fan stages of jet engines. Rolls-Royce Plc v. United Technologies Corporation (E.D. Va.). The court granted summary judgment in favor of the client, finding noninfringement.
  • Represented a client in the Federal Circuit appeal of an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling of noninfringement by the client's cellular telephones. In re Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components, 337-TA-613 (ITC). The Federal Circuit reversed the noninfringement ruling. 
  • Represented patent owners in a case involving the blood-thinner Lovenox®. Aventis Pharma S.A. v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (C.D. Cal. and Fed. Cir.).
  • Represented the patent owners in a case concerning the antidepressant Prozac®. Eli Lilly and Company v. Barr Laboratories, Inc. (S.D. Ind. and Fed. Cir.). The Federal Circuit upheld the client’s basic patent and held a later patent invalid for double patenting.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in suits filed against Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDA) applicants.
  • Represented a client as amicus curiae before the United States Supreme Court. Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc. (S. Ct.).
  • Represented the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America as amicus curiae before the United States Supreme Court. KSR International Co. v. Teleflex & Technology Holding Co. (S. Ct.).
  • Represented a client in the Federal Circuit appeal of a willful infringement ruling. Innovention Toys, LLC v. MGA Entertainment, Inc. The Federal Circuit reversed the willful infringement ruling. The Supreme Court subsequently vacated and remanded the case for further consideration in view of its ruling in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. (2016).
  • Represented a client as amicus curiae before the en banc Federal Circuit and orally argued after taking the position (lack of subject matter jurisdiction) that neither party was asserting. In re Alappat (Fed. Cir.).

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Managing Intellectual Property: IP Star (2013 to 2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2008 to 2018)
    • Washington, D.C.: Litigation – Intellectual Property
    • Washington, D.C.: Litigation – Patent
  • Washington, D.C. “Super Lawyer” (2009 to 2010, 2013 to 2017)

Memberships

  • Federal Circuit Bar Association: Member
    • Bench Bar Conference Planning Committee (2014)
    • Hutchinson Writing Competition Committee
      • Vice Chairman (2016)
      • Chairman (2015)
      • Co-Chairman (2013 to 2014)
  • American Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
    • AIPLA Quarterly Journal, Editorial Board: Member (2010 to 2013)
  • Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court

Blog Posts

Community

  • The Choral Arts Society of Washington

Pro Bono

  • Depth of experience handling pro bono asylum cases, including initiating and administering an extensive law firm asylum program. 

Prior Positions

  • Technical Advisor and Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Jack R. Miller, United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (1974 to 1976)
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): Patent Examiner (1968 to 1973)

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Registration No. 26,695
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1972
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1968, cum laude

Blog

In The Blogs

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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
The Federal Circuit Provides a Tutorial on Patent Venue
By Allen M. Sokal
September 27, 2017
The Federal Circuit in In re Cray, Inc., Appeal No. 2017-129 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 21, 2017), has provided extensive guidance to district courts on the meaning of an alleged infringer’s “regular and established place of business” under the...
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
Federal Circuit Suggests Solution to Patent Owner's Dilemma When Applicant for Biosimilar Product Refuses Discovery
By Allen M. Sokal
August 14, 2017
In Amgen, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., Appeal No. 2016-2179 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2017), the Federal Circuit suggested what an owner of a reference product suing an applicant for a biosimilar under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation...
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
The Federal Court Reverses a Hindsight Reconstruction of An Important Pharmaceutical Invention
By Allen M. Sokal
July 20, 2017
In Millennium Pharmaceuticals v. Sandoz,[1] the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s holding of obviousness of certain claims of Millennium-owned U.S. Patent No. 6,713,446 (the ‘446 patent), finding that the district court...
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
The Federal Circuit Invalidates a Patent for Failure to Describe the Accused Product
By Allen M. Sokal
May 31, 2017
In Rivera v. International Trade Commission, Appeal No. 2016-1841 (Fed. Cir. May 23, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s decision invalidating Rivera’s patent under the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112. The...
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
The Supreme Court, Reversing the Federal Circuit, Holds that "Residence" in the Patent Venue Statute Refers to Only a Domestic Corporation's State of Incorporation
By Allen M. Sokal
May 24, 2017
In a brief, well-reasoned opinion, a unanimous eight-member Supreme Court held that 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) is a stand-alone provision governing venue in patent infringement suits, unaffected by the broad definition of “residence” in the...
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