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Michael Sawyer
Michael Sawyer
Washington +1 202 662 5257 msawyer@cov.com Download V-card

Michael Sawyer focuses on intellectual property and appellate litigation. He has successfully represented clients in high-stakes patent and trade secret litigation before district courts, the International Trade Commission, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the Federal Circuit. He also counsels clients on intellectual property strategy and portfolio development.

Mr. Sawyer also collaborates on the Patent Case Management Judicial Guide (Third Edition), which is published by the Federal Judicial Center.


  • Representing Knowles Electronics, LLC in two appeals from inter partes reexamination proceedings at the Federal Circuit.
  • Representing Return Mail, Inc. in appeal to the Federal Circuit from a covered business method review.
  • Represented The New York Times and CBS Interactive Inc. in an appeal from an inter partes review decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB). The Covington team prevailed in the Federal Circuit, obtaining a unanimous ruling in the clients’ favor. Helferich Patent Licensing, LLC v. CBS Interactive, Inc., 599 F. App’x 955 (Fed. Cir. 2015).

Trials and Hearings

  • Represented smartphone manufacturer in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff dismissed its suit with prejudice shortly after receipt of Covington’s Rule 11 letter.
  • Represented steel company in a Section 337 Investigation before the ITC in connection with allegations of trade secret misappropriation. Complainant dropped its allegations of trade secret misappropriation prior to the close of discovery.
  • Represented Intercos S.p.A. in complex, cross-jurisdictional patent and trade secret litigation in the Northern District of Texas and Los Angeles County Superior Court, as well as reissue protests at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Represented LifeCell Corp. in patent litigation related to soft tissue grafts in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Represented AOL, Inc. firm in multiple patent lawsuits involving targeted advertising in the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented multinational electronics company in the ITC in a Section 337 investigation involving LEDs.
  • Represented HP in a lawsuit involving patents concerning network gateway devices in the Central District of California.

Patent Office

  • Represented pharmaceutical company as patent owner in an inter partes review, brought by a generic manufacturer, challenging patents related to a treatment for opioid dependence. The PTAB denied the generic’s petition in its entirety, adopting the rationale presented in Covington’s patent owner preliminary response.
  • Representation of fuel transportation company as petitioner in inter partes review on fuel dispensing and sensor technology. Obtained a complete victory, with all challenged claims cancelled in a final written decision and adverse judgment.
  • Represented multinational electronics company in nine inter partes reviews relating to mobile communications and network-enabled audio/video devices and players. Covington’s client prevailed in all nine of the IPR proceedings.

Pro Bono

  • Represent veteran in appeal to the Federal Circuit from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Previous Experience

  • Hon. Susan Y. Illston, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Extern (2008)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, IP Litigation "Rising Star" (2014-2016)