Diamond View II, Suite 130, 280 South Mangum Street, Durham, NC 27701

(919) 787-8880 Contact


3605 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 500, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 787-8880 Contact

Mr. Harlow has over 40 years of experience in legal matters related to intellectual property and technology. This includes both litigation and transactional matters, as well as the prosecution of patents, trademarks and copyrights, and the protection of trade secrets, plant varieties, software, and databases.


David Harlow is an intellectual property attorney who concentrates his practice in the area of trademarks, and in the general representation of technology and life science companies. He served as lead trial counsel for the federal government in the environmental litigation surrounding the building of the important Jordan and Falls of the Neuse Reservoirs, which today form a key infrastructure frame for the growth of the entire Research Triangle Region. This successful representation in science-based litigation led to David settling in Durham, and to being asked to act as lead counsel in the first major software litigation filed in North Carolina. Today, David remains in the forefront of area attorneys handling matters for technology and life science companies.

Mr. Harlow has represented a wide variety of business entities in litigation both as primary counsel, and as local counsel, throughout North Carolina and beyond. This includes numerous matters involving a variety of science and engineering issues, as well as all aspects of intellectual property. The latter includes extensive trademark matters, as well as chemical trade secrets, seed varieties, software and databases, unfair advertising, copyrights, and chemical and mechanical patents.

Mr. Harlow has an extensive trademark practice including the prosecution of trademark registrations and the litigation and licensing of trademarks. He has filed and prosecuted over 600 trademark applications both in the United States and in countries around the world. David has been an active member of the International Trademark Association (“INTA”) for 25 years, and currently serves INTA as a member of both the Internet Committee and the Local Counsel Forum. He has also been an active member of the prestigious invitation-only Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (“PTMG”) of the pharma and life science industry for 20 years, and has served PTMG as a speaker on U.S. litigation and mediation topics.

On the transactional side, David has done trademark and patent M&A and licensing deals for Fortune 500 companies, as well as smaller entities. The larger of these deals have involved hundreds of millions of dollars and dealt with legal issues around the world. David has brought his across the board experience to bear in these transactions, including extensive substantive intellectual property knowledge and litigation and trial experience, as well as traditional transactional experience.

Mr. Harlow’s industry experience includes pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals, adhesives, crop science and crop protection, seed varieties, genetically modified organisms, computer software and databases, laser printers and cartridges, and telecom electronic measurement equipment. David has been recognized by both The Best Lawyers in America© (2013-2016) and Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite (2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) in the field of intellectual property.




  • National Program of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy at Boulder
  • Duke University School of Law (J.D.)
  • Lehigh University (B.A., with honors)

Admitted to Practice

  • State of North Carolina
  • State of New Jersey
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office

Professional Activities

  • International Trademark Association
    • Internet Committee
    • Local Counsel Forum
  • International Technology Law Association
    • Data Protection Committee
  • Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group
  • Licensing Executives Society
  • Recognized as a member of North Carolina’s Legal Elite by Business North Carolina magazine
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section, Former Chair
  • American Bar Association
    • Science and Technology Section
      • Committee on American National Standards, Former Chair
    • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Representative Matters

  • Acts as national trademark counsel for Rhino Linings Corporation, the San Diego based producer of polyurethane pick-up truck bedliners and general polyurethane protective materials for a variety of commercial and industrial uses; representation includes both trademark enforcement litigation throughout the United States, and trademark prosecution matters before the U.S. Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
  • Acts as intellectual property and litigation counsel for a leading specialty agricultural seed company including protection of intellectual property rights in the company’s plant varieties, and in the defense of claims arising out of the sale of agricultural seed
  • Acted as substantive local counsel (advising on various issues of strategy and procedural tactics) in major chemical patent infringement litigation between two global crop science companies, which resulted in a successful Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for Preliminary Injunction for his client, and which successes led to eventual settlement of the suit on very favorable grounds. This case involved an important product of the client (which had very significant convoy sales which were seasonally based) and which was late in the patent life cycle, and thus the Preliminary Injunction became of the greatest importance.
  • Acted as lead counsel in the successful defense of a multi-million dollar chemical trade secrets case brought in federal court in North Carolina against the foreign subsidiary of a U.S. based company. After years of litigation, including the defeat of a preliminary injunction motion and an unfair trade practices counterclaim brought by the defendant, a successful negotiated settlement was obtained which resulted in the defendant being allowed to continue in 95% of its pre-suit activities, coupled with a multi-million dollar payment to the defendant on its counterclaim.
  • Acted as intellectual property transaction and licensing counsel for a leading international pharmaceutical company in the sale of its 50% interest in the ongoing North America joint venture for the OTC business of a blockbuster drug; this transaction allowed the seller to retain all of its worldwide Rx rights to the drug, as well as residual worldwide rights for the OTC version; the transaction allowed the seller to retain ownership to substantially all rights to the drug for patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and FDA filings, while conveying licenses of same to the buyer consistent with the sale of the highly valuable North American OTC business to the purchaser
  • Acted for 12 years as outside General Counsel for the U.S. subsidiary of a leading German based international provider of telecom electronic measurement equipment and related software; representation included virtually all aspects of the law for this technology driven company including transactions, litigation, intellectual property, employment and immigration; represented the U.S. subsidiary in taking a large minority percentage of the subsidiary public in the U.S.; represented the subsidiary several years later in a subsequent transaction taking the subsidiary private again as a 100% subsidiary of the international company
  • Acted for many years as corporate transaction counsel, and as intellectual property counsel, for the U.S. medical device subsidiary of a leading Japanese company in the acquisition of ownership positions in early stage U.S. medical device companies, in the licensing of U.S. technology for Asia and elsewhere, and in a variety of research, intellectual property and other business agreements
  • Acted as intellectual property transaction and licensing counsel for a leading company in the field of proprietary varieties (including genetically modified varieties) for commercial forestry; matters have included transactions and in-licensing of technology from both commercial and university sources, the creation of joint ventures for research and/or development of varieties for commercial production, university research agreements, and representation and counseling regarding regulatory matters
  • Managed international trademark portfolios for U.S. companies with significant international reach, including managing trademark clearance and strategy, and supervising both trademark prosecution and enforcement matters in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia
  • Over 30 years of trademark prosecution experience for a wide variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, machinery, electronics, software and databases, agricultural products and chemicals; extensive trademark search and clearance experience, particularly in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, electrical and mechanical equipment and computer software

Community Engagement

Rotary Club of the Research Triangle Park

  • Former Vice-President and Board Member

Epworth United Methodist Church

  • Board of Trustees

Durham Chamber of Commerce

  • Former Committee Chair

Durham County Republican Party

  • Former Chairman

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