Joseph M. Potenza

Joseph M. Potenza


Washington, DC

Main: 202.824.3000 Fax: 202.824.3001


Joe concentrates in litigation, Section 337 investigations at the United States International Trade Commission, licensing, counseling on patent and copyright matters, and the preparation and prosecution of patent and copyright applications.

In private practice since 1976, he earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, cum laude, from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1970 where he is a member of Tau Beta Pi and later earned a J.D. from Georgetown University in 1975. Upon graduation from Georgetown University, he was law clerk for Walter Burns, Examiner-in-Chief of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and later law clerk to Chief Judge Harry Phillips, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to his legal career, he worked as an engineering technician for Xerox Corporation and as a Patent Examiner, computer and video systems, for the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Joe has been an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center since 1985, teaching subjects ranging from copyrights and patent law to conducting trials and patent trial advocacy. He received the 2015-2016 Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award from Georgetown Law for his exceptional service in teaching, curriculum development, student counseling and involvement in extracurricular activities.

Joe has served as a member and officer of numerous bar associations and committees, has edited a variety of American Bar Association monographs and has served in the ABA House of Delegates, Co-Chair of the ABA Patent Trial Advocacy Institute, Program Chair and faculty member of the first NITA Patent Trial Advocacy Institute specifically geared to patent litigation trial skills, Chair of the ABA Trademark Litigation Institute, and Council member and Director of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. He is past Chair of the ABA Section of Science and Technology, Secretary of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law, past President of the Patent Lawyers Club of Washington, and is a founding member, Past President, and Master of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, and a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on Intangibles, which published the book "Unseen Wealth."

Joe is currently the ABA-IPL representative to the ABA House of Delegates. He recently served as Chair of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law. He also formerly served as the Publications Officer for the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law and is a former member of the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary.

Joe has also authored and lectured extensively in the area of patent and copyright law; the Internet, e-commerce, and business-method patents; conducting patent and other IP trials. He was a contributing author of the Patent Trial Advocacy Casebook (first, second and third editions) published by the American Bar Association, BNA and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, as well as the Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook, BNA 2000 and supplements.

Joe is listed in Euromoney's recent "Guide to the World's Leading Patent Law Practitioners." He is also recognized in recent editions of Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for his work in intellectual property law, as well as recent editions of The International Who's Who of Patent Lawyers and Chambers USA. In 2013, he was listed as a "Top Rated Lawyer" in commercial litigation by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell.™

Joe was selected by the Washingtonian as one of its "Best Lawyers" in 2013. He was also deemed a “Top Lawyer” by the magazine in 2009. These lists represent the top 1 percent of attorneys in the Washington D.C., area.

He is admitted to the bar in Virginia and the District of Columbia as well as before numerous courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and numerous Federal District and Appellate Courts.

  • Rochester Institute of Technology
    1970, B.S., Electrical Engineering
  • Georgetown University Law Center
    1975, J.D.

Bar Admissions

  • 1975, Virginia
  • 1976, District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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