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David J. Powsner

phone: 617-589-3813
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J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1984

B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981


Dave is an intellectual property attorney, advising high-tech companies on a range of complex matters. His physics degree from MIT and experience in computer programming, combined with his legal experience, enables him to understand, analyze and provide practical guidance on patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark, licensing and litigation matters. Dave represents companies with products in a variety of tech markets, from medical devices to computer software to networking to consumer electronics.

Dave is actively involved in the startup community, volunteering time and using his work experience to coach new businesses. Through his membership in the MIT Enterprise Forum and local angel investment groups, he has coached hundreds of startup companies as they prepare for early stages of growth, including through fund-raising and intellectual property acquisition and protection. He was also a principal organizer of the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Software Entrepreneurship SIG, which he co-founded a decade ago, and is now active in running educational programs that bring together the angel investment and startup communities.

  • Full-service intellectual property law counseling of a public company specializing in high-performance computing systems, including patent portfolio development, trademark, trade secret and copyright counseling, technology licensing negotiation and drafting, employee training and defense of patent litigation on immersive 3D graphics.
  • Full-service patent law counseling for a manufacturer of magnetic levitation conveyance systems, including development of patent portfolio, clearance studies and defense of multi-patent litigation brought by an industry leader on the verge of acquisition.
  • Full-service patent law counseling for a manufacturer of parallel computing systems, including development of patent portfolio covering computer architecture, components and attendant operating system software; laid groundwork for multinational litigation against an emerging European competitor.
  • Advised a massively open online course (MOOC) provider on licensing and digital asset development strategy.
  • Represented an emerging digital signage company in make-or-break patent litigation on the eve of acquisition.
  • Full-service intellectual property law counseling of an emerging company specializing in mobile device operating systems, including patent portfolio development, open source and other copyright counseling, and technology licensing negotiation and drafting.
  • Conducted patent freedom-to-operate studies for an industrial equipment supply and services company entering augmented reality marketplace occupied by Fortune 1000 competitors.
  • Conducted clearance study paving the way for entry of an international ophthalmic equipment supplier into the U.S. market.
  • Represented an industrial services company in damages phase of patent litigation involving chemical cleaning agents, including management of a ten-member paralegal team in analysis of industrial service records.
  • Represented a cryptocurrency/digital payment Platform Company in initial fund raises.


  • Peer Review AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest bestowed rating
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006, 2007


  • Massachusetts
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts


  • Boston Bar Association
  • Boston Harbor Angels
  • Investors Collaborative
  • MIT Enterprise Forum
  • Licensing Executive Society (Secretary of High-Tech Sector, Co-Chair 2020 Annual Meeting, Program Co-Chair 2019 Annual Meeting, Co-Chair of Cloud Computing and Software Committee 2017–2019)
  • International Lawyers Network

Dave is a musician with decades of training in bassoon, saxophone and voice (tenor). In addition to hundreds of performances with amateur music groups, he did a brief stint in the semi-professional music circuit in parallel with the start of his legal career. Dave also enjoys cooking and the martial arts. Dave was raised in a large, active family, and he and his wife have four children, eight parrots, four dogs and countless fish. Outside of his legal work and his family, Dave’s greatest current interest is a podcast, “Failure-the Podcast, ” which he created, produces and co-hosts. The most recent series is in its third season and includes over 50 episodes.

News & Insights

IoT, Big Data, AI and…What?…the Feds?, panelist at MIT Enterprise Forum's Connected Things 2020: WFH Edition

IP Fireside Chat, guest speaker on The ZIDDANDFIZZ Show: Angels Talk

Digital First Sale Rights – Is it Time?, moderated Licensing Executive Society webinar

Protecting and Commercializing Software Inventions, panelist at the 2018 Association of University Technology Managers Eastern Region Meeting

Funding the High Tech/Medical Devices Startup, moderated webinar at the Licensing Executive Society 2018 International Annual Conference

Funding Startups – the Boston Perspective, moderated Licensing Executive Society webinar

Artificial Intelligence and the Law, panel moderator at the Licensing Executive Society 2017 Annual Meeting

Open Source Software – What’s That and Where Does it Come From?, moderated Licensing Executive Society webinar

The Industrial Cybersecurity Marketplace, moderated Licensing Executive Society webinar

Get Smart on Angel Funding, It’s Right for a lot of Startups. Is It Right For Yours?, panel moderator at MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge program

Creating, Protecting and Licensing Intellectual Property, speaker at the Babson Summer Venture Program

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