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Neil A. Smith, Esq.

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Neil A. Smith, Esq.
San Francisco and Silicon Valley, CA
415-377-9280 (T)
925-274-1596 (F)

Neil A. Smith was a partner for almost four decades in several well-respected law firms in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, including Limbach & Limbach. Mr. Smith was appointed as the first Administrative Patent Judge for the Patent Trial & Appeal Board in the new US Patent & Trademark Office satellite office in Silicon Valley. The PTAB rules on patent appeals within the Patent Office, interferences, reexaminations, and now the post-grant reviews and business method patent challenges and derivation proceedings available under the America Invents Act. He recently resigned, enabling him to pursue alternative dispute resolution of patent and intellectual property cases.

Before moving to San Francisco, Mr. Smith began his career in intellectual property as a Patent Attorney for the US Atomic Energy Commission at its headquarters in Washington, DC, and thereafter served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Giles S. Rich, Judge on the Court of Customs & Patent Appeals, the predecessor to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Smith has substantial experience in the practice of patent and intellectual property litigation in the federal courts. He is a frequent speaker and author on intellectual property and ADR subjects, including a quarterly column in the California State Bar IP section magazine, New Matter, on Ninth Circuit cases, and "Complex Patent Suits: The Use of Special Masters for Claim Construction" 2, Landslide 1, Oct. 2009 (American Bar Association), and Chapter "New Strategies for Infringement Litigation" Recent Trends in Patent Infringement Lawsuits (Aspotore/Thomson, 2010).

Mr. Smith has been an officer in many legal organizations, including President of the San Francisco Patent and Trademark Law Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and a founder and President of the Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court. He served on several ADR panels and been trained in arbitration, mediation, and early neutral evaluation. He has acted as a Special Master, a Discovery Master, and as a Judge in private trials and on an appellate panel. He has served on the Mediation and Early Neutral Evaluation panels of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the Domain Name Arbitration Panel of World Intellectual Property Organization, and the International Trademark Association, Panel of Neutrals.

Among Mr. Smith’s many awards and recognitions, he was:

  • Named U.S. I P Litigator of the Year, “Managing Intellectual Property,” 1999
  • Named for over twenty years in “The Best Lawyers In America” for Litigation and Patent Law representation, and as a SuperLawyer by “Northern California Super Lawyers”
  • Named in “Guide to World's Leading Experts in Patent Law;” “Who's Who of Internet and Electronic Commerce Lawyers;” “The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers" and the "International Who's Who of Trademark Lawyers" and "Chambers USA,” “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business”
  • First Recipient of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Joseph Rossman Award