William C. Bergmann

Partner

Washington, D.C.
T +1.202.861.1549
F +1.202.861.1783

Overview

Bill Bergmann focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling, including issues relating to government contracts. He previously worked as a trial and appellate attorney for 12 years at the United States Department of Justice, focusing on these areas. He has litigated patent cases as lead attorney before numerous district courts throughout the country, as well as the Court of Federal Claims, ITC and Federal Circuit. He combines his technical background with his legal experience to provide clients with representation that addresses both business and legal concerns.

Bill has been named as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of 1 percent of American attorneys. He has been recognized for his patent litigation skills by Chambers USA (2015 to 2016) and the IAM Patent 1000 (2014 to 2016), and has been named a "Super Lawyer" in the field of intellectual property litigation (2012 to 2016). He is currently secretary of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association and co-chair of its Intellectual Property Committee, and is a leading practitioner in intellectual property cases before this court. Bill is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has authored several articles and frequently lectures on the topic of intellectual property litigation. 

Select Experience

  • Represented the United States defense industry and filed an amicus brief in a complex and critical appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving government contractor immunity under 28 U.S.C. § 1498 for patent infringement. The court went en banc to adopt the client's position that contractor immunity should apply, and overturned recent precedent to the contrary.
  • Represented clients accused of infringement, as lead attorney, in several patent infringement actions before the International Trade Commission. The most recent involved three patents relating to computer forensic devices commonly used by law enforcement agencies as forensic tools. After trial, the chief administrative law judge ruled that the client had not committed a violation and that there was no domestic industry for the petitioner's inventions.
  • Defended the United States at both the trial and appellate levels against a massive $3 billion patent infringement claim involving over 100 satellites (including GPS satellites) and thousands of government contracts. The case was one of the largest patent infringement actions in history, resulting in more than 20 published Court of Federal Claims, Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decisions.
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Experience

  • Represented the United States defense industry and filed an amicus brief in a complex and critical appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving government contractor immunity under 28 U.S.C. § 1498 for patent infringement. The court went en banc to adopt the client's position that contractor immunity should apply, and overturned recent precedent to the contrary.
  • Represented clients accused of infringement, as lead attorney, in several patent infringement actions before the International Trade Commission. The most recent involved three patents relating to computer forensic devices commonly used by law enforcement agencies as forensic tools. After trial, the chief administrative law judge ruled that the client had not committed a violation and that there was no domestic industry for the petitioner's inventions.
  • Defended the United States at both the trial and appellate levels against a massive $3 billion patent infringement claim involving over 100 satellites (including GPS satellites) and thousands of government contracts. The case was one of the largest patent infringement actions in history, resulting in more than 20 published Court of Federal Claims, Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decisions.
  • Representing a technology company as lead attorney in enforcing its patent portfolio on advanced "smart" power cord technology against competitors. The enforcement effort has encompassed several successful district court litigations and resulted in multiple royalty-bearing licenses.
  • Represented numerous government contractors as lead attorney defending complex patent infringement actions before the Court of Federal Claims, including several major aerospace and defense technology companies in cases where the government alleged that the client was required to indemnify it for damages. The cases involved a variety of technology, government agency and associated government contracts, including advanced infrared countermeasures systems, encrypted smart cards, electrical components of Hummers and health care management.
  • Represented clients in numerous matters involving nonpracticing entities (NPEs) in the Eastern District of Texas and other district courts. Presented arguments as lead attorney at numerous Markman (claim construction) hearings and represented clients in several cases in which claims against the client were dismissed without payment.
  • Held a lead role in addressing the IP aspects of due diligence for several major business acquisitions involving internet, financial services and biotechnology companies.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Intellectual Property: Litigation in the District of Columbia (2015 to 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2016)
    • Recommended in Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation – full coverage
  • IAM Patent 1000 – The World's Leading Patent Practitioners
    • DC Metro: Recognized for Patent Litigation (2014 to 2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent 
  • Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" in Intellectual Property Litigation (2012 to 2017)

Memberships

  • Court of Federal Claims Bar Association
    • President-Elect (2017)
    • Secretary (2015, 2016)
    • Board of Governors (2012 to 2014)
    • Intellectual Property Committee: Co-Chair
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association: Litigation Committee
  • American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America: Fellow
  • Patent Lawyers Club of Washington: Past President

Pro Bono

  • Represented a client in Washington, D.C., landlord/tenant court, in which the client was saved from eviction.

Prior Positions

  • United States Department of Justice: Trial Attorney
  • Westinghouse Electric Corporation: Engineer designing nuclear power plants 
  • Princeton University: Research Assistant, Department of Chemical Engineering

Admissions

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Registration No. 34,294
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1990
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2011
  • District of Columbia, 2003
  • Pennsylvania, 1990

Education

  • J.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 1990
  • B.S.E., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1985