Matthew J. Cavanagh


Practice Focus

Professional Experience

Matt counsels and represents clients in many industries and in a wide variety of legal fields, with a focus on intellectual property matters. Matt has litigated cases in almost every legal area, including patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, trade secret, false advertising, defamation, breach of contract, and criminal. He has represented clients before federal and state courts and courts of appeal, before administrative agencies and several times before the Ohio Supreme Court.

In addition to litigation, Matt – a licensed patent attorney – assists clients in applying for and obtaining U.S. and foreign patents, trademarks and copyrights. Matt also provides transactional counsel to clients, such as drafting and negotiating license agreements and drafting terms and conditions for websites. Matt regularly gives strategic advice and analysis to clients with regard to the creation, management and enforcement of their intellectual property assets.

Prior to attending law school, Matt worked for several years as a mechanical engineer at a large integrated steel mill. He also has industrial experience at a General Electric turbine plant and at NASA. Matt's real world engineering and manufacturing experiences enable him to better understand his clients' businesses and to further protect their interests.

Cases / Matters


  • Represented world leader in vehicle towing products in numerous patent infringement actions.
  • Defended market-leading manufacturer of high-performance specialty blending products against patent infringement allegations through trial.
  • Represented both patent owners and accused infringers in patent infringement lawsuits.
  • Provided opinions and counsel to various companies and individuals regarding patent invalidity, patent infringement and patentability.

Trademark/Unfair Competition

  • Successfully defended beverage maker in trademark lawsuit arising from company’s use of supplier’s trademarks on beverage packaging.
  • Represented tequila business in trademark opposition proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board brought by large wine company.
  • Represented various parties in trademark, trade dress and unfair competition lawsuits, including at trial.
  • Represented clients in administrative proceedings before the Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
  • Counseled and represented businesses in making and responding to cease-and-desist demands with regard to trademark rights.
  • Counseled and represented clients about online trademark issues, including search engine optimization, use of metadata, domain name disputes, and Google AdWords.


  • Represented company in copyright case by photographer who claimed company had used his photograph of Niagara Falls in airport advertisement without permission.
  • Represented television station against copyright lawsuit by anchorwoman who alleged that the station’s employees unlawfully copied a video of her in a Key West bar.
  • Defended business against lawsuit by jewelry designer who claimed to have copyright to blinged-out microphone used by hip-hop star.
  • Represented gear manufacturer in copyright lawsuit against competitor which had made and used unauthorized copies of blueprints. 


  • Represented newspaper against defamation lawsuit by two school board candidates; obtained dismissal because publication was protected opinion under the Ohio Constitution.
  • Represented newspaper in defamation case arising from report that DNA evidence confirmed guilt of accused rapist; obtained dismissal on statute of limitations grounds.
  • Defended newspaper and reporters against county prosecutor’s defamation claims aimed at newspaper’s report about testimony concerning the prosecutor’s alleged drug use; court granted summary judgment for the newspaper and reporters.
  • Defended newspaper sued by convict who claimed article defamed him by falsely reporting he was convicted of “attempted murder” when, in reality, he was convicted of “felonious assault”; obtained dismissal on theory that allegedly false statement was no more defamatory than truth. 

Trade Secret

  • Represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous trade secret misappropriation cases in computer software, consumer product and manufacturing industries. 


  • Represented Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Recorder in mandamus action before Ohio Supreme Court.
  • Represented large outdoor advertiser in complex lease dispute; obtained judgment, which was upheld on appeal.
  • Member of legal team assigned to recover fictitious profits derived from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.
  • Defended popular morning radio show against criminal allegations that show’s cast had induced panic on a public street.
  • Defended government official in lawsuit by 9/11 detainees that led to landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, which applied plausibility pleading standard to all civil actions.


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif (2005)
  • Boston University, B.S., Mechanical Engineering (1998)

State Admissions

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, 2010 
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas, 2010 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2009 
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2009 
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2005

Professional Accreditations

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Registration No. 65,109

Professional Associations

  • Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Mensa International
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 
  • Thomas More Law Center


  • Slamming the Lid on Pandora’s Box: How the Ohio Legislature Compensated the Insurance Industry for Scott-Pontzer at the Expense of Ohio’s Drivers, 55 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 997 (2005)

Awards and Honors

  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Rising Stars (2015)
  • Order of the Coif
  • 600 Superior Avenue, East
    Suite 2100
    Cleveland, OH 44114