David E. Finkelson Partner

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Dave is co-leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and is one of the country’s most sought-after patent litigators in the telecommunications and wireless technology space.

Dave represents one of the nation’s leading wireless carriers and has successfully defended this client as first chair in more than 30 patent cases nationwide over the past decade. In addition to his work on behalf of carriers in federal district and appellate courts, Dave represents cellular handset manufacturers, mobile application developers, and suppliers of network equipment, hardware and software across the wireless domain.

Dave is ranked in “Band 1” by Chambers USA for Intellectual Property (Southern Virginia). His clients praise him as “phenomenal” and “intelligent, thoughtful and creative.” As one interviewee told Chambers:  “I wish we could clone him, he’s spectacular.” Dave is repeatedly included in The Best Lawyers in America for intellectual property and was named “Lawyer of the Year” in Patent Law (Richmond).

Dave successfully tries bet-the-company cases to verdict on behalf of both defendants and plaintiffs, and in jury as well as bench trials. Most recently, Dave secured a complete non-infringement verdict for the firm’s client in a two-week jury trial involving three patents on can-making machinery.  This was on the heels of Dave having first chaired the trial team that defeated a $153 million telecommunications patent damages claim by successfully convincing the jury to adopt the defendant’s damages theory in its entirety. When addressing the jury at the close of that multi-week trial, the senior district court judge commented that “the presentation of this rather complicated case was about as good as it gets,” and the parties’ lawyering “was as good as I’ve seen in any case in which I’ve presided.”

Dave also scores repeated victories for clients at the motion to dismiss, Markman and summary judgment stages, including a recent Section 101 win following his oral argument on behalf of a group of the nation’s largest telecommunications service providers. A go-to lawyer in competitor-versus-competitor matters, Dave also is regularly called upon to fend off patent infringement claims from some of the nation’s most litigious non-practicing entities, such as Acacia Research and Intellectual Ventures.

Dave’s patent litigation practice extends beyond telecommunications to a broad spectrum of technologies and industries, including e-commerce, semiconductors, consumer and professional products, automotive parts, oil and gas equipment, medical devices, chemical formulations and pharmaceuticals. Leading teams coast-to-coast, Dave routinely appears in patent hotspots such as the District of Delaware, the Eastern District of Texas, and the Eastern District of Virginia.

Dave also launched the firm’s unclaimed property practice, which counsels clients on all aspects of compliance with state unclaimed property laws, including statutory reporting requirements and exemptions, voluntary disclosure agreements, and treatment of electronic instruments such as gift cards and debit cards. The unclaimed property team regularly handles the defense of audits by state unclaimed property departments and their contingent-fee auditors, and Dave is one of the few lawyers in the country with actual courtroom experience litigating these matters when states overstep their statutory and constitutional authority.

Dave is a past chair of the Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Section. Before becoming Department chair, he chaired the firm’s Associates Committee, responsible for overseeing associate professional development, partnership advancement and compensation firmwide.

Dave is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Order of the Coif and an Editorial Board member of the Virginia Law Review, and the University of Virginia College of Arts & Sciences.


  • As first chair, defended national telecommunications carrier in two-week jury trial involving SMS and MMS messaging. The jury adopted client’s damages theory in toto, rejecting the more than $153 million in past damages, plus ongoing royalties, sought by the plaintiff cable service provider. The damages verdict was upheld in post-trial motions, with the district court denying plaintiff’s motion for a new trial. The case settled during the pendency of plaintiff’s appeal to the Federal Circuit. (E.D. Pa.; Fed. Cir.).
  • Secured complete jury verdict of noninfringement for Fortune 500 client in three-patent case involving can-making machinery (W.D. Va.)
  • Obtained bench verdict of non-infringement in bet-the-company trademark trial on behalf of commercial fire protection company (E.D. Va.).
  • Served as lead trial counsel for national telecommunications carrier in four separate patent infringement cases filed by nation’s largest non-practicing entity. The cases were originally filed on 27 patents, with the accused services ranging from LTE, Wi-Fi, network signal processing, cellular base station scheduling, directory assistance and text messaging. (D. Del.; Fed. Cir.).
  • Obtained $4.8 million federal court jury verdict for Canadian utility in breach of contract action (E.D. Va.).
  • Led successful Section 101 invalidity defense on behalf of wireless service provider against infringement claims directed to MMS. Prepared the winning motion for judgment on behalf of the joint defense group. Following judgment for our client at the district court, the Federal Circuit affirmed the finding of patent invalidity. (D. Del; Fed. Cir.)
  • Defended mobile handset companies against patent infringement allegations involving speech coding in cellular communications (E.D. Va.).
  • Defended over-the-top text messaging application provider in multiple patent infringement cases brought by non-practicing entities (D. Del; E.D. Tex.).
  • Represented cellular carrier against smartphone-related patent infringement claims (W.D. Wash.).
  • Represented major utility in defense of patent infringement claims involving telephone call center technology (C.D. Cal.).
  • Defended telecommunications carrier in patent infringement action involving computerized mapping applications (W.D. Tex.).
  • Defended multiple clients in highly publicized patent infringement cases involving electronic mail systems for cell phones (E.D. Va.).
  • Represented national retailer against patent infringement claims concerning e-commerce (E.D. Tex.; D. Del.).
  • Represented leading automotive manufacturer in patent infringement action related to vehicle display systems (N.D. Cal.).
  • Represented plaintiff pharmaceutical company in asserting patent infringement claims on sequestered antagonist drug composition (W.D. Va.).
  • Prosecuted medical device patent infringement claims involving ultrasound catheters (E.D. Pa.).
  • Defended automation technology company in patent infringement action involving AC controllers (M.D. Fla.).
  • Prosecuted patent infringement claims on behalf of leading power equipment manufacturer (N.D. Cal.).
  • Defended consumer electronics retailer in patent infringement action involving DVD player technology (E.D. Tex.).
  • Represented leading software and technology solutions company against patent infringement claims involving CAD drawing technology (D. Utah).
  • Defended baked goods company against claims that it infringed competitor’s chemical composition patents (D. Minn.).
  • Prosecuted patent infringement claims on behalf of orthodontic products manufacturer (D. N.J.).
  • Defended Taiwanese computer monitor manufacturer against allegations that it infringed patents relating to power management technology (D. Del.).
  • Represented leading mobile communications provider in multistate unclaimed property lawsuit concerning uncashed rebate checks (Iowa Dist. Ct.).