Mr. Yirga focuses his practice in the areas of Intellectual Property, Patent, Copyright, and Trademark law. Mr. Yirga has experience in preparing and prosecuting both domestic and foreign patent applications with an emphasis in the mechanical and electrical arts, drafting and negotiating licensing agreements, trademark preparation and prosecution, and PCT practice. Mr. Yirga’s practice has also involved enforcement actions to protect clients’ intellectual property rights, including both litigation in various U.S. Federal Courts and inter partes and ex parte matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Yirga has successfully enforced patents held valid through litigation that he drafted and prosecuted to issue.
In addition to significant utility patent prosecution experience in the mechanical and electrical arts, Mr. Yirga has drafted and prosecuted numerous U.S. design patents to issue. A few notable markets in which Mr. Yirga has procured several issued U.S. design patents include the: automotive; footwear; and electronic components industries. Recently, Mr. Yirga argued and successfully appealed a precedential decision before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that involved three U.S. design patents, which he drafted and prosecuted. International Seaway Trading Corp. v. Walgreens Corp., 589 F.3d 1233 (Fed. Cir. 2009) affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded International Seaway Trading Corp. v. Walgreens Corp., 599 F.Supp2d 1307 (S.D.F.L. 2008). The Seaway decision changed the law involving the test used for U.S. design patent validity.
Prior to his legal career Mr. Yirga spent many years as an engineer working for divisions of General Motors, Harley-Davidson, and Owens Illinois. Among his accomplishments, Mr. Yirga was a recipient of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law Alumni Association Scholarship, an Executive Editor for Law Journal, member Moot Court Board of Governors, Cardozo College of Law Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition participant, and the recipient of: Watts, Hoffmann Fisher & Heinke Co. Award for Intellectual Property; ABA-BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law, Cali Excellence for the Future Award for Copyright, Patent and Trademark Law, and inducted into the Golden Key National Honor Society for Engineering.
• B.S. Electronic Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, Cleveland State University, 2007
• B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Toledo, 1992
• M.B.A., Indiana University, 1998
• J.D., magna cum laude, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, 2002
• State of Ohio
• Registered before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
• U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
• Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association
• Cleveland Marshall College of Law Alumni Association Life Member