Based in Charlotte, NC, patent attorney Albert (Al) Allan has over 23 years of experience as litigation counsel focusing on intellectual-property cases including patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret cases. He has served in over 150 cases in federal courts, including appellate proceedings before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, and Eighth Circuit.
Al has also served in multiple trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Al is also a certified mediator for matters in the federal courts in North Carolina, including intellectual-property cases. He is also a former federal law clerk to The Honorable Graham C. Mullen.
A native North Carolinian, Al studied at the University of Miami, obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering while on full scholarship from the United States Air Force. Immediately following his graduation from Miami in 1979, Al attended graduate school at the United States Air Force Institute of Technology, where he earned his Masters of Science degree in Facilities Management with an emphasis in Finance and Computer Information Systems one year later. After graduating from AFIT, Al served in the Air Force for four more years at Williams Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona. During that time, Al obtained his MBA from Arizona State University, graduating with honors in 1984.
After completing his MBA, Al left the Air Force and worked at Intel Corporation, first in Santa Clara, California, then back in Phoenix. After five years at Intel, Al decided to pursue a career in law. Al graduated from the University of Notre Dame School of Law with honors in 1992. Al then served as a law clerk to The Honorable Graham C. Mullen, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
After serving for Judge Mullen, Al began his law practice at Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson, a noted intellectual property boutique. Following the merger of Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson with Alston & Bird, Al continued with Alston & Bird for one year. He then moved to Summa, Allan & Additon, where he once again practiced as part of an intellectual property boutique. At Summa, Allan & Additon, Al founded and headed the firm’s intellectual property litigation practice.
After years of practicing under the standard billable-hour model, Al founded Allan IP Litigation. This new firm established a more efficient litigation model that would allow him to offer clients alternative fee arrangements which aligned closer with the client’s interests than with those of the firm. This model ensures that the client and the firm share the risk of litigation along with the rewards based on the results the firm obtains, not the time it enters on a bill.
Al has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America every year for the past nine years, from 2008 to 2016, in the field of Intellectual Property Law. Best Lawyers is universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey in which more than 25,000 attorneys cast almost two million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their specialties, and lawyers are not allowed to pay a fee to be listed. Corporate Counsel has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
Al has been selected to the North Carolina Super Lawyers list for 2015 and 2016. Selection to Super Lawyers is limited to the top 5% of attorneys in the state. Al has been selected as a member of the Legal Elite by Business North Carolina magazine for 2009, 2011, and 2013. Selection to the Legal Elite is granted to just over 3% of the state’s lawyers. Al has a rating of 10.0 out of 10.0 and a classification of “Superb” by the AVVO Lawyer Rating Service. Al is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbel and has been so continuously since 2012.
1992, Registered Patent Attorney
1992, North Carolina
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
All Federal and State Courts in North Carolina
Other Federal Courts Throughout the United States
University of Notre Dame (J.D. with honors, 1992)
Arizona State University ( M.B.A. with honors, 1984)
U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (M.S. Facilities Management, 1980)
University of Miami (B.S. Architectural Engineering, 1979)
Carolina Patent Trademark and Copyright Law Association, President 2001-2002
American Intellectual Property Law Association
American Bar Association
North Carolina Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section Council 2010-2011
Advisory Committee on Local Patent Rules for the Western District
of North Carolina 2010-2011