Robert W. Whetzel

Director

302.651.7634
302.651.7701 (fax)
whetzel@rlf.com
Robert Whetzel, chair of the firm’s Litigation Department, handles a wide range of business and commercial matters, with an emphasis on technology, environmental, energy and intellectual property disputes. Bob represents clients in the petrochemical, energy, technology, entertainment, finance, higher education, municipal and manufacturing sectors in litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters. He also has extensive experience with federal and state environmental agencies, in enforcement, permitting and transactional matters.
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Robert W. Whetzel has extensive experience litigating complex technology, commercial, and intellectual property disputes. He represents clients in a wide range of industries, including petrochemicals, manufacturing, transportation, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. He also represents academic institutions and governmental and municipal organizations in complex litigation matters.

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Robert W. Whetzel has extensive experience litigating complex technology, commercial, and intellectual property disputes. He represents clients in a wide range of industries, including petrochemicals, manufacturing, transportation, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. He also represents academic institutions and governmental and municipal organizations in complex litigation matters.

Mr. Whetzel regularly appears in both federal and state courts in Delaware and other jurisdictions, and also has significant experience with commercial arbitration tribunals.  He has acted as both lead and Delaware counsel in a number of significant patent litigation matters, primarily in the District of Delaware. Mr. Whetzel has also handled a number of significant trademark litigation matters, involving marks in the entertainment, consumer products, sporting goods, credit card, financial services, and retail sectors, among others.

Mr. Whetzel has represented businesses and academic institutions in technology, research, and licensing disputes, and he has counseled several research organizations on strategies for protection of intellectual property and technology transfer.  He also represents a leading copyright membership organization in enforcement litigation. In addition to his intellectual property practice, Mr. Whetzel regularly handles complex commercial litigation cases for a diverse range of clients.

Mr. Whetzel is chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and has served on the District of Delaware Lawyers’ Advisory Committee. He is a regular participant in local and national bar association activities.

Experience

  • Defense of patent litigation for manufacturer of components of implantable medical devices
  • Defense of entertainment company against claims of idea misappropriation
  • Representation of a major research university in technology disputes
  • Representation of a major research company in technology licensing dispute
  • Representation of pharmaceutical company in licensing dispute

Publications

  • "Tank Trap? Lender Liability Reform and Expanded Scope of Underground Storage Tank Liability for Owners and Operators," Delaware Banker, Summer 2014   View >
  • "Dispute Resolution 2014: Delaware," Getting the Deal Through, June 2014   View >
  • "Dispute Resolution 2013: Delaware," Getting the Deal Through, June 2013   View >

Presentations

  • "The Delaware Coastal Zone Act at 40: Past, Present, and Future," September 30, 2011
  • "Environmental Law 2010 - Sponsored by the Environmental Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association," June 16, 2010
  • "Turning Ideas to Dollars: Marketing Intellectual Property," June 5, 2010
  • Environmental Law 2013 - Sponsored by the Environmental Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association

Awards

  •  Benchmark Litigation, 2016, 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America, since 2008
  • Best Lawyers’ Wilmington, DE Environmental Lawyer of the Year, 2015, 2012
  • Super Lawyers, since 2009
  • Delaware Today Top Lawyer, 2015, 2010; Top Vote Getter, Environmental Law, 2014, 2013

Leadership

  • American College of Environmental Lawyers, Founding Member and Treasurer
  • Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee, Chair 
  • Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Past Chair
  • The Stroud Center, Board of Directors

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Villanova University School of Law, Order of the Coif, 1984
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1981

Admitted to Practice

  • Delaware, 1984
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office, 1984

Experience

  • Defense of patent litigation for manufacturer of components of implantable medical devices
  • Defense of entertainment company against claims of idea misappropriation
  • Representation of a major research university in technology disputes
  • Representation of a major research company in technology licensing dispute
  • Representation of pharmaceutical company in licensing dispute

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Villanova University School of Law, Order of the Coif, 1984
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1981

Publications

  • "Tank Trap? Lender Liability Reform and Expanded Scope of Underground Storage Tank Liability for Owners and Operators," Delaware Banker, Summer 2014   View >
  • "Dispute Resolution 2014: Delaware," Getting the Deal Through, June 2014   View >
  • "Dispute Resolution 2013: Delaware," Getting the Deal Through, June 2013   View >

Presentations

  • "The Delaware Coastal Zone Act at 40: Past, Present, and Future," September 30, 2011
  • "Environmental Law 2010 - Sponsored by the Environmental Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association," June 16, 2010
  • "Turning Ideas to Dollars: Marketing Intellectual Property," June 5, 2010
  • Environmental Law 2013 - Sponsored by the Environmental Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association

Awards

  •  Benchmark Litigation, 2016, 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America, since 2008
  • Best Lawyers’ Wilmington, DE Environmental Lawyer of the Year, 2015, 2012
  • Super Lawyers, since 2009
  • Delaware Today Top Lawyer, 2015, 2010; Top Vote Getter, Environmental Law, 2014, 2013

Leadership

  • American College of Environmental Lawyers, Founding Member and Treasurer
  • Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee, Chair 
  • Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Past Chair
  • The Stroud Center, Board of Directors