Michael J. O’Brien

Attorney Michael J. O'Brien

Michael J. O'Brien

Phone: (714) 698-0601
Fax: (714) 698-0608
Email: mobrien@plagerschack.com

Michael O’Brien is a registered patent attorney who has drafted hundreds of patent applications for individual inventors, small businesses, and entrepreneurs throughout the country.

Mr. O’Brien is also active in the academic community and currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California where he teaches Business Law to undergraduate and graduate students in business management and accounting.  Mr. O’Brien has written hundreds of articles as the editor of the widely read Northern District of California Blog and has been published in the Journal of Law Philosophy and Culture, Proceedings of the Western Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and the legal blog, Above the Law.

Previously, Mr. O’Brien worked at Pepco Holdings, Inc., a public utility holding company in Washington, DC.  There he worked on a variety of transaction and litigation matters from administrative law to zoning.  Mr. O’Brien also worked for Bose Corporation in Framingham, Massachusetts drafting patent applications, responding to office actions and conducting searches for prior art on a variety of electro-mechanical devices.

Mr. O’Brien and his wife currently reside in Davis, California, where they are active in their local church community.  In his spare time, Mr. O’Brien enjoys rooting for his hometown hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings.

Legal Areas of Emphasis

Patent Prosecution

Filing a patent, responding to office actions, and obtaining the patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Typically, I work in electro-mechanical devices and designs.

Patent Searching

I take a look at what you are working on and tell you the technology that already exists in the field.

Patentability Opinions

A patent search plus I tell you what parts of your device are worth pursuing patent protection.

Trademark work

I take a look at your brand and provide suggestions as to how you can protect it.


I can help you file for copyright protection with the Library of Congress.

Licensing & Assignments

Sometimes other people want to use your device, work, or brand. I can help you work out an agreement with them to ensure you are fairly compensated.

Admissions & Qualifications

Professional Memberships & Affilations

  • AIPLA, National Association of Patent Practitioners
  • Western Academy of Legal Studies in Business
  • Academy of Legal Ethical and Regulatory Issues

Publications & Presentations

Michael O’Brien, Curing the Computer Conundrum, Proc. W. Acad. L. Stud. Bus. (2014).

Michael O’Brien, A Matter of Standing in Walker Process Claims, Proc. W. Acad. L. Stud. Bus. (2013). Best Paper Award.

Michael O’Brien, Derivation and the Patent Reform Act of 2011, 4 J. L. Phil. & Culture 155 (2011).

Michael O’Brien, Developments in Walker Process Litigation, AIPLA Antitrust Newsletter (May 2011).

Michael O’Brien, Attorney-Client Privilege, Now Available Without an Attorney. AIPLA Fall Meeting (2009)

Michael O’Brien and Jennifer Webb, Cardinal Avery Robert Dulles, SJ, 3 J. L. Phil. & Culture 3 (2009).


B.S., Mechanical Engineering, U.S. Coast Guard Academy


J.D., Catholic University


Columbus School of Law