Brian Wm. Higgins


Brian’s law practice spans more than two decades after several years working as a professional engineer. He helps clients with their human-centric technologies in the healthcare, automotive, software, and consumer electronics industries, among others. He has a deep understanding of the legal, ethical, governance, and technical issues surrounding artificial intelligence (“AI”), machine learning (“ML”), and other data-based emerging technologies, and has published numerous journal and conference papers and a book chapter about those issues, including “Legal Elements of an AI Regulatory Permit Program” in The Oxford Handbook of Artificial Intelligence Governance (2022). His views about AI appear regularly on the AI LAW Substack platform.

Brian’s work covers privacy, patent, copyright, trade secrets, corporate governance (risk management, risk reporting), and litigation related to AI and other technologies. Brian helps healthcare academics, practitioners, and life sciences companies protect their inventions, enforce IP rights, and defend against patent infringement claims. As part of this, he advises generic drug manufacturers regarding their IP, contracting, licensing, freedom to operate, and complex Hatch-Waxman ANDA-type patent litigation matters.


  • For academic researchers and start-up executives, provided IP advice regarding natural language processing (“NLP”) fact verification systems for social media and search platforms, and recommender systems.
  • For a surgeon-inventor, secured IP rights in the field of AI-based digital conversational assistants (using deep learning neural networks and knowledge bases) adapted to medical devices to enhance the delivery of healthcare services.
  • For university medical organizations, secured patent rights for machine learning and predictive analytics techniques adapted to Electronic Health Records (“EHRs”), medical processes for predicting health outcomes, and systems for identifying major health-related events (topic classification).
  • For a healthcare company, provided IP and other services for an AI- and statistics-based diagnostic, therapeutic, and medical dispensing systems.
  • For startups, provided IP services for machine learning NLP technologies used in the legal services and medical industries, helped prepare and file patent applications to protect core technologies, and advised on related startup, other issues.
  • For a private U.S. university, helped academic researchers secure patents and copyrights related to an award-winning artificial intelligence software invention for use in classifying health and geopolitical events.
  • For a public U.S. university, assisted medical and software researchers seek patent protection for an Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) invention using natural language processing and other statistical models for event detection and predictive diagnosis. 
  • For U.S. and non-U.S. generic drug manufacturers, obtained pharmaceutical composition and process patents, and successfully defended against patent and trademark infringement allegations brought by competitors.
  • For three Taiwan mobile telecommunications carriers, defended against a patent troll lawsuit.
  • For a national weather content service provider, helped developed an extensive patent portfolio in the mobile telecommunications location-based services (“LBS”) market.
  • For a prominent book author, identified and cleared copyright obstacles involving publication of photos of famous individuals in the author’s memoir.
  • For Internet e-commerce and content/service providers, helped protect their online businesses by securing patents and other intellectual property rights.
  • For an individual inventor, helped start up a new business from ground up, including procuring patent protection, incorporating a business structure, negotiating employment agreement terms, and developing strategies for enforcing and licensing patent rights.

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  • 2017, listed in Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll



  • Maryland Bar Association



  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


  • Arizona State University, BS
  • University of Maryland School of Law, JD
  • Johns Hopkins University, MS