Clients and colleagues value Rob Litowitz as an outstanding IP attorney, strategist, persuasive writer, and advocate who distills complex facts and issues into winning themes and narratives. In 2011-2012, Washingtonian Magazine named Rob as one of Washington, D.C.’s top IP lawyers. Rob’s litigation experience includes not only trademark cases before the courts and TTAB, but also false advertising, unfair competition, design patent, copyright, and trade secret cases. In many of those cases, he has worked with leading experts to develop and present consumer surveys. Rob has also litigated patent cases on products ranging from blockbuster prescription drugs to state-of-the-art jet engines. At both the trial and appellate level, Rob has secured wins for household brands and lifesaving medicines.

Rob also has extensive false advertising litigation and counseling experience. He successfully first-chaired a significant false advertising suit for a major consumer products company and has represented another consumer products company in a proceeding at the National Advertising Division for the Better Business Bureau. Rob has written about false advertising litigation and issues in the leading industry publication, Advertising Age.

Always eager to share his enthusiasm for IP law, Rob has been an adjunct professor of trademark law at both George Washington and American University Law Schools and founded the blog Softrights, in which he explores the intersection between IP law, entertainment, and culture. Rob has counseled musicians including members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as emerging artists. Giving back to the community has been a priority for Rob throughout his career. He uses his music connections to stage benefit events for a variety of awareness and fundraising causes. Music Connection honored Rob’s efforts by naming him along with major industry figures as one of the 50 Guiding Lights of the music business.

Before joining Kelly IP, Rob practiced all aspects of IP law for 26 years at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP in Washington, D.C., where he was a partner for 20 years and served on the firm’s management and compensation committees.
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  • Caribe Corp. v. Philips (D.N.J.). First chaired bench trial resulting in finding no liability in Philips’ favor on trademark infringement claims asserted by Caribe against Philips’s corporate tagline, and earlier in the case obtained summary judgment that Caribe was not entitled to any form of monetary relief on its claims seeking billions of dollars of damages.

  • Recot, Inc v. MC Becton, (Fed. Cir.). Argued precedent-setting trademark case establishing broad rights for famous brands (reversing finding of no likelihood of confusion between Frito-Lay and Fido Lay trademarks).

  • Successfully represented plaintiff asserting three patents for a multibillion dollar antidepressant against multiple challenges by generic drug manufacturers. Obtained multiple favorable claim construction rulings and summary judgment of direct, induced, and contributory infringement.

  • Successfully defended the patent for the world's leading breast cancer treatment, tamoxifen, as an integral member of the trial team in a series of ANDA litigations for AstraZeneca.

  • Roche v. HDI, (S.D. Ind.). Lead courtroom litigator for Home Diagnostics, Inc. for trial resulting in opponent's patent being declared unenforceable due to inequitable conduct before the USPTO.

  • Served as a trial attorney for the ITC from where he represented the United States in matters ranging from high technology patent disputes involving multinational conglomerates to trademark and copyright cases involving popular toys, 1984-1986.

  • Served as adjunct professor of trademark law, at American University Washington College of Law, and the George Washington University School of Law.

  • Represents musicians and radio personality in various pro bono trademark matters.

  • Creator and blogger of Softrights Blog (, focusing on the intersection of IP law (especially trademarks and copyright), entertainment, and media.


Professional Recognition

  • Recognized by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine as an "IP Star" (2014).
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. as a "recommended" trademark lawyer (2014).

  • Recognized as among the "top legal practitioners" in trademark law in the U.S. by Legal Media Group's Expert Guides: Guide to the World's Leading Trade Mark Lawyers.

  • Named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the "Best IP Lawyers" (2011-present).

  • Listed in Music Connection's "50 Innovators, Iconoclasts, Groundbreakers, and Guiding Lights of 2008."

  • Phi Beta Kappa

  • Omicron Delta Kappa

Professional Activities

  • International Trademark Association

  • ITC Trial Lawyers Association


Select Publications

  • "Reverse Confusion: A Trademark Doctrine in Decline or on the Rise," ABA Landslide, Nov. 2019.

  • "To Create and Own a Nontraditional Trademark Just Follow Tradition," ABA Landslide, Feb. 2018.

  • "Sampling Safety: 10 Tips on Intellectual Property and the Pitfalls of Sampling," Music Connection, Feb. 2013.

  • Coauthor. "2011 Patent Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit," American University Law Review, April 10, 2012.

  • "Stop, Hey, What's that Sound?" Intellectual Property Magazine, Sept. 2011.

  • Coauthor. "Government Seizures of Music Blogs," MusicDish, May 2, 2011.

  • Coauthor. "Why You Should Consider Keeping Your Case Out of the Courtroom: A Cautionary Tale from Coppertone vs. Neutrogena," Advertising Age, March 6, 2011.

  • "Season's G®eetings," BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, Dec. 24, 2010.

  • "American Needle®: Any Damage to IP Licensors?" LES Insights, Nov. 1, 2010.

  • Coauthor. "How to Use (and Attack) Consumer Surveys in Trademark Infringement and False Advertising Cases," Trademark World, March 1999.

  • Coauthor. "Trademark Basics: The Rights of Publicity," The IP Strategist, May/June 1995.

  • Coauthor. "The Song Remains the Same—But Not Necessarily the Name," The American University Law Review, Summer 1990.


Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia Bar (Section on Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law)


  • George Washington University, National Law Center, J.D., with honors, 1981

  • Dickinson College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1978