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Darrin Auito



Bar and Court Admissions
State Bar of Michigan, 2004
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 2004
U.S. Court of Appeals - Federal Circuit, 2012
U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan, 2017

Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 2004
Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management, M.B.A., 2004 (Entrepreneurship)
University of Michigan (NIOSH fellowship), M.S.E., 2000
GMI Engineering & Management Institute (Kettering University), B.S.E., 1998

Darrin Auito, JD, MSE, MBA, counsels clients of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to startups, on intellectual property (IP) and business law matters.  His practice is focused on management and monetization of IP portfolios, preparing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, advising on freedom-to-operate matters, IP litigation (PTAB, ITC, District Court), and branding.

Darrin has prepared, filed and prosecuted hundreds of U.S. and foreign patent applications in fields such as automotive, autonomous vehicles, drones, artificial intelligence, medical devices, robotics, manufacturing systems, mobile payments, sporting equipment, solar, and energy. In addition, Darrin has represented clients as lead and local counsel in state and federal courts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) on patent (including design) and trademark matters.

Darrin has advised, invested in, and represented several successful technology startups. Darrin serves on the Business Growth Council (BGC) and on the Advisory Board of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) in Washington DC. In addition, Darrin participates on Piranha Tank (TM), a live event that brings together accredited investors seeking deals and entrepreneurs seeking investment.

Prior to forming HEA, Darrin was an equity partner for several years at a former top 25 IP law firm in Washington DC. Prior to law school, he worked as a project engineer at Applied Safety & Ergonomics, Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he analyzed product designs and performed accident analysis and reconstruction, and as an engineer at ACR Industries, a gear and component manufacturer servicing the aerospace industry.

Representative Matters

  • Electric Robots and Component Parts Thereof, 337-TA-530 (U.S. International Trade Commission)

  • Engines, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same, 337-TA-585 (U.S. International Trade Commission)

  • Inkjet Ink Cartridges with Printheads and Components Thereof, 337-TA-723 (U.S. International Trade Commission)

  • Certain Computers and Computer Peripheral Devices and Components Thereof and Products Containing the Same, 337-TA-841 (U.S. International Trade Commission)

  • Certain Windshield Wipers and Components Thereof, 337-TA-964 (U.S. International Trade Commission)

  • In re PricePlay, Inc. (CAFC 2013-1102)

  • Wabash Nat., L.P. v. Vanguard Nat. Trailer Corp. (N.D. Ind. 4:06-cv-135)

  • Trounson Automation v. Yasakawa Electric, Sanyo Denki, Elecktro Beckhoff GmbH, et al. (E.D. Tex. 2:05 – CV – 355)

  • Nidec v. LG Innotek (E.D. Tex. 6:07-cv-108)

  • Duel Co., Inc. v. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, LLC. (S.D. Florida 14-cv-20046-PAS)

  • Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc. v. Melnor, Inc. (Utah 1:16-cv-00045)

  • Melnor, Inc. v. Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc. (W.D. Virginia 5:16-cv-00059)

  • Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc. v. Melnor, Inc. (Utah 1:16-cv-00137)


  • “Intellectual Property Essentials for Engineers: Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights & Trade Secrets,” HalfMoon Education, Inc., Fairfax, Virginia, 2019.

  • "Indefiniteness: Post Nautilus v Biosig Instruments," Tokyo, Japan, 2017

  • "Understanding 35 USC 102(a) and (b) - Post AIA," Taipei, Taiwan, 2017

  • “Cuozzo Decision Resolves Issues Which Have Emerged From AIA Post Issuance Reviews,” Honyaku Center, Inc., Tokyo, Japan 2016

  • “Claim Drafting for U.S. Patent Applications,” Chizai Corporation, Tokyo, Japan 2015

  • “Efficient and Strategic Patent Prosecution at the USPTO,” Honyaku Center, Inc., Tokyo, Japan 2015

  • “Recent CAFC Decisions Concerning Patent Prosecution Impact on Claim Construction,” Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Nagasaki, Japan 2014

  • “Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies Using Utility Patents, Design Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights,” Chizai Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, 2014

  • Patent Mock Trial, Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Washington D.C., 2011, 2013

  • “Effective Use of Discovery Tools in U.S. Patent Litigation,” Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Washington D.C., 2013

  • “Patent Invalidity Procedures Under the AIA” – Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment (JMC), Tokyo, Japan, 2012

  • “Recent CAFC Decisions Concerning Reexamination Proceedings,” Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Tokyo, Japan, 2012

  • “The Role of Intellectual Property in Your Business,” University of Wyoming College of Business, 2011

  • “Recently Proposed Patent Legislation”, Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Washington, D.C., 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011

  • “Discovery Issues in U.S. Patent Litigation”, Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Washington, D.C., 2009

  • “Determining Obviousness in View of KSR”, Japan Patent Attorney Association (JPAA), Tokyo, Japan 2007

  • “The KSR Impact on Obviousness,” Tokyo Medical & Dental University, Tokyo, Japan, 2007


  • "Autonomous Vehicles ... The Road Ahead," June 20, 2017

  • "CBM Petitions– Second Chances Can Be Tough," June 18, 2015

  • "Upon Further Review, the Ruling on the Field Stands – Federal Circuit Sustains PTO’s Refusal to Withdraw Terminal Disclaimer," December 10, 2014

  • “Once Again, The Plain Meaning Controls”, CAFC Alert, May 9, 2014,

  • “Predictably Divided CAFC Panel Finds Computer System Claims Not Patent-Eligible,” CAFC Alert, September 17, 2013,

  • “Divided CAFC Finds Computer System Claims Patent Ineligible,” IP Watchdog, September 13, 2013.,

  • “CAFC Rejects the Doctrine of ‘Marking Estoppel'”, CAFC Alert, March 27, 2013,

  • “Belkin v. Kappos: PTO’s Determination of the Threshold Issue in Reexamination is Not Appealable”, CAFC Alert, October 3, 2012,

  • “If At First You Don’t Succeed…”, CAFC Alert, May 18, 2012,

  • “Supreme Court Sides with Inventors in Kappos v. Hyatt”, CAFC Alert, May 16, 2012,

  • U.S. Pre-Grant Publication No. 2012/0185392, January 17, 2012

  • “Virginia Patent Foundation’s Motion for Reconsideration Denied – Intervening Rights Still Absolve GE of Damages for Activities before Reexamination Certificate Issue Date,” US PTO Litigation Alert, February 10, 2011.