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Robert L. Wagner, Ph.D.

Robert L. Wagner, Ph.D.


Pittsburgh, PA

How Rob Helps Clients

For more than 20 years, Dr. Robert Wagner has assisted clients with complex commercial litigation and intellectual property matters.

Rob has a strong background in civil litigation involving technical issues in the energy industry and in patent infringement and trade secret litigation. He assists energy and natural gas companies in resolving disputes with contractors and other companies involving drilling, financing and personnel matters. He has also handled numerous matters involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, non-competition agreements, fraud and RICO litigation for his clients.

As he is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Rob also handles patent prosecution on behalf of clients, particularly in the energy, optical, electrical, and mechanical industries. Additionally, clients look to Rob for filing of provisional, non-provisional and PCT patent applications, trademark registration and intellectual property audits to assist them in evaluating, strengthening and protecting their intellectual property, technology and brands throughout the world.

Rob earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan, where he worked in the NFS Center for Ultrafast Optical Science under Nobel-prize-winning physicist, Dr. Gerard Mourou. Rob's research focused on using ultrafast, terawatt-class lasers to create table-top particle accelerators. His photonics and optical research was presented at over 30 conferences and published in more than a dozen journals, such as Physical Review Letters, Journal of Applied Optics, Optics Letters, and Science.

What Clients Can Expect

Rob’s practice combines extensive technical knowledge with a collaborative approach to corporate legal matters. He approaches each case with intellectual curiosity, thorough research and genuine care for people. Rob builds long-term relationships with clients and develops legal strategies that honor their needs and priorities. His goal is always to position cases to resolve quickly, but he works from the start to develop a case narrative that will lead to success if trial becomes necessary. Clients find Rob both approachable and knowledgeable.

Outside the Office

Rob spends most of his time outside of work answering an endless stream of questions from his two school-age kids. They come by their curiosity naturally; Rob is a consummate learner whose academic pursuits run the gamut from legal education to doctoral work in applied physics and undergraduate studies in ancient Greek history.

Rob also enjoys long walks with his wife, Amy, and their ‘schnoodle’ pup, Rosie; combining his hobbies of photography and travel; tinkering with computers; and the all-too-rare round of golf. He is actively involved in his church, serving in various capacities in the local congregation and regionally in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rob also earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics and has built a table-top particle accelerator using some of the most powerful lasers in the world to validate decades-old theories and presented the results around the world under the supervision of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerard Mourou. He also interned at the United States Naval Research Laboratory in the Chemistry Division, studying fuel chemistry, where he obtained a patent on one of his inventions.

Proof Points

  • Trial counsel in multiple cases (jury and bench) involving patent infringement, breach of contract, fraud and RICO
  • Successfully argued appeal at the Federal Circuit to uphold a multi-million-dollar judgment for the client
  • Prepared and prosecuted provisional, utility and PCT patent applications in the energy, optical, tool, and defense industries for universities, corporations, and individuals
  • Prepared freedom to operate opinions for corporations in the energy, medical, and hunting industries
  • Registered trademarks and assisted in worldwide brand development for companies
  • Prepared and evaluated confidentiality and licensing agreements
  • Authored multiple articles on patents, copyrights  and trade secrets, in addition to authoring or co-authoring more than 20 scientific papers in the high-energy/optical field
  • Presenter and panel moderator at multiple CLEs on patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and cyber security, in addition to presenting research results at more than a dozen conferences throughout the world
  • Clerked at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for Honorable Kathleen M. O'Malley, who subsequently served on the Federal Circuit
  • Named to 2013-2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list