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Darrin A. Auito

Darrin A. Auito

  • Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks ...
  • Michigan, USPTO
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Joshua E Hummer
Joshua E Hummer March 10, 2018
Rating: 10 Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
Darrin is a skilled IP litigator who I have had the pleasure to work with on several occasions. He always impressed with with his thorough preparation and knowledge of the law.
Client Reviews
E. Valente August 8, 2023
Exceptional service and dedication; deeply passionate about achieving the needs of the client. Darrin has been our company's IP Attorney for over 5 years. We are a deep tech venture developing aerial robotics, AI, autonomy, algorithms, and the physical flying platforms. We have an on-going domestic and international IP portfolio whose strategy is closely crafted with Darrin's tech insights, national & international legal network/leadership, cost-conscious roadmap, and within the market-fit strategy in alignment with the clients' (me) entrepreneurial vision. Darrin is a superb IP Attorney with a truly entrepreneurial heart, and he is singularly motivated in my/our success. He is always within reach and incredibly prepared to discuss any topic and on-going matter related to me and my needs. Further, he is continuously thinking about us as he points out industry, legal, and tech related news out of his own time to better prepare for upcoming steps. Simply put, I cannot imagine receiving the kind of service he has provided me/us from anybody else. He has well exceeded the bar of dedication for my company through thick and thin; for these and many other reasons, I recommend Darrin with great appreciation.
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I am an intellectual property attorney and business advisor (JD/MBA/MSE) with over 15 years of experience counseling clients on a range of matters, including portfolio development, patent preparation and prosecution, trademark and brand protection, litigation, licensing, and corporate due diligence.

I am registered to practice before the United States Patent Office (USPTO) (Reg. No. 56,024) and admitted to practice in the State of Michigan, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

I have prepared, filed and prosecuted thousands of patent applications in fields such as automotive, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, drones, AI, medical devices, manufacturing systems, mobile payments, sporting equipment and heat exchangers.

I have assisted clients on branding strategies, including advising on selection of new trademarks, conducting clearance searches, filing applications, and asserting and defending trademarks in district court and at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

I serve on the Business Growth Council (BGC) and on the Advisory Board of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) in Washington DC - influential voices for entrepreneurship and small business growth in the United States and across the globe. I also advise and represent several technology startups in the mobile payment, UAV, blockchain, and esports industries.

Prior to forming HEA, I was an equity partner for several years at a former top 25 intellectual property firm in Washington DC, where I divided my time between patent prosecution and litigation. Prior to that, I was a project engineer at Applied Safety & Ergonomics, Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Practice Areas
Intellectual Property
Patent Appeals, Patent Litigation, Patent Prosecution
Trademark Litigation, Trademark Registration
Business Law
Business Contracts, Mergers & Acquisitions
Video Conferencing
  • Zoom
  • GoToMeeting
  • Microsoft Teams
  • WhatsApp
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Federal Circuit
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U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Strategic Technology Advisor
Airgility, Inc.
- Current
Airgility™ is a leading designer and manufacturer of patent pending, hybrid, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that offer broad operational impact and logistics.
Advisory Board Member
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC)
- Current
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) is a 501c(4) advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. Our network of supporters, including entrepreneurs and small business owners, state and local business organizations, corporate partners and associations work with us to strengthen the environment for robust entrepreneurship, investment, innovation and small business growth.
- Current
I am a founding partner of HEA Law, PLLC and counsel clients of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to startups, on intellectual property (IP) and business law matters. My 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. I have 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, I have 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.
Westerman, Hattori, Daniels & Adrian, LLP.
Intellectual property litigation, including §337 investigations. Intellectual property asset management.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
J.D. | Law
Case Western Reserve University School of Law Logo
Case Western Reserve University
MBA | Business
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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
M.S. (2000) | Engineering
Honors: NIOSH Fellowship Recipient
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Logo
Kettering University
B.S. | Engineering
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Professional Associations
New Venture Competition - The George Washington University
- Current
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Fight For Children Honors
Host Committee Member
- Current
Activities: Support and shape the annual Fight for Children Honors charity event in Washington DC. #F4CHonors
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- Current
Activities: Founded in 2012, the Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Forum is a global community of over 25,000 CEOs, Entrepreneurs, VCs and angels, CXOs and other business leaders. CONNECTpreneur's "RocketPitch" is the World's Largest monthly investor pitch event, mashing up 600 - 800+ top founders, investors and business leaders. The CONNECTpreneur team also provides capital raising, mentorship and support to hundreds of entrepreneurs as well as investors and VC funds around the world.
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Kettering University Alumni Chapter - Washington, DC
- Current
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The Tower Club - Tysons Corner
Membership Committee - Ambassador
- Current
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Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC)
Advisory Board
- Current
Activities: Intellectual Property Advisor
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Michigan State Bar  # 67472
- Current
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Speaking Engagements
Intellectual Property Essentials for Engineers: Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights & Trade Secrets, Engineering Law & Ethics, Fairfax, Virginia
HalfMoon Education, Inc.
Understanding 35 USC 102(a) and (b) - Post AIA, Taipei, Taiwan
Indefiniteness: Post Nautilus v Biosig Instruments, Tokyo, Japan
Cuozzo Decision Resolves Issues Which Have Emerged From AIA Post Issuance Reviews, Honyaku Center - IP Seminar, Tokyo, Japan
Honyaku Center, Inc.
Recent CAFC Decisions Concerning Patent Prosecution Impact on Claim Construction, Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA) - IP Seminar, Nagasaki, Japan
Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA)
Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies Using Utility Patents, Design Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights, Chizai Corporation - IP Seminar, Tokyo, Japan
Chizai Corporation
Patent Invalidity Procedures Under the AIA, Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment (JMC), Tokyo, Japan
Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment (JMC)
The Role of Intellectual Property in Your Business, University of Wyoming College of Business, Laramie, Wyoming
University of Wyoming College of Business
The KSR Impact on Obviousness, Tokyo Medical & Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Medical & Dental University
Discovery Issues in U.S. Patent Litigation, Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Washington, DC
Tokyo Medical & Dental University
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
21 Questions Answered
Q. How does a company protect their unregistered mark (used in commerce) from another company filing with intent to use?
A: Great question, and one that we advise businesses on regularly. Case specific. Please reach out to an experienced trademark attorney that can give practical advice.
Q. Patent question. Can I apply for a single design patent for the spoon, fork, and knife with the same design?
A: You should discuss with an IP attorney that has experience with design applications. That said, with proper usage of solid and dashed lines, it sounds like a single embodiment can cover all three designs, since ornamental feature is directed towards the handle. I'd recommend a different title, possibly handle for [eating utensil] [kitchen utensil] [utensil].
Q. When do these patents expire? D600791 D792576
A: D600791 - Anticipated expiration 2023-09-22

D792576 - Anticipated expiration 2032-07-18
View More Answers
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440 Burroughs Street
Detroit, MI 48202
Telephone: (571) 933-6437
8000 Towers Crescent Drive
13th Floor
McLean, VA 22182
Telephone: (571) 933-6437
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