John E. Ottaviani

Senior Counsel



Are you looking for an attorney who loves to solve problems and takes the time to understand your business, your particular issues and your concerns? Then you have come to the right place. John’s problem solving abilities and focus on his clients’ concerns make him a trusted partner for many of his clients. Although he has extensive experience in intellectual property, contracts, business counseling and technology law, John also does not hesitate to find other resources if a client’s concerns are outside of these areas.

Practice Areas

Corporate & Business

Intellectual Property


Columbia University School of Law, J.D.

Bowdoin College, A.B. Mathematics and Government, magna cum laude

Bar Memberships


Rhode Island

U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

U.S. District Court, Massachusetts

Personal Note

Outside PS&H, John enjoys working in his yard, enjoying the region’s beautiful beaches and excellent craft beer, and rooting for New England professional sports teams.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Co-Chair Smart Contract and Blockchain Subcommittee
  • International Trademark Association
    • Publications Committee
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
    • Business Organizations Committee (former Chair)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association

Boards and Community Activities

  • Adoption Rhode Island
    • Board of Directors (former Board President)
  • Bowdoin Law Advisory Network
    • Member
  • Bowdoin College Alumni Club of RI
    • Member (former President)

Representative Trademark Experience

John works with clients of all sizes, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies, with particular focus on selecting and protecting brands in the banking, retail, and manufacturing industries. John and the firm maintain relationships with attorneys around the world, allowing him to assist U.S. based clients to expand and protect trademark rights outside the United States, and to assist non-US based clients to protect trademark rights in the United States. John or other firm attorneys actually have met with many of these attorneys personally.

John also advises clients on a broad range of issues related to intellectual property, including software licensing, software-as-a-service, Internet-related issues, copyright, trade secrets, data protection, privacy, and rights of publicity. John also routinely represents clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings and in appellate proceedings related to trademark registration before the Trademark Trial and Appeal board (TTAB), and in Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) administrative proceedings.

Representative Technology Experience

John was exposed to technology at an early age. His father’s career consisted, in part, of converting bank operations from paper to computers. As a result, the world of technology is familiar to John, not intimidating. He has been working with technology companies since the advent of personal computers, and loves to keep current with the benefits and issues raised by new technologies such as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. John also has extensive experience in preparing and negotiating almost every type of agreement imaginable for technology companies and companies using technology in all industries. Users frequently ask him to review and negotiate contracts on their behalf. As a result, John has represented some of the region’s largest financial, healthcare, manufacturing and governmental organizations on these matters.

Representative Business Counselling Experience

Business clients of all sizes and industries call on John’s decades of experience to guide them. He spends the time to understand a client’s business so he can fashion solutions to address the particular concerns of that business. He advises clients on a variety of corporate transactions and contract matters, including joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, sales agreements, master service agreements, distribution agreements, terms and conditions, privacy policies and nondisclosure agreements. And he wrote the book, literally, regarding the organization and use of Rhode Island limited liability companies.


  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America as an expert in copyright and trademark law (2018-2023)
  • AV® Preeminent Rated from Martindale-Hubbell, highest possible rating on both legal ability and ethics based upon the confidential opinion of peers and judges
  • Recognized as a leading intellectual property and corporate attorney since 2008 by
    Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in Rhode Island Super Lawyers (2011-2019, 2024)
  • Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Legal in Data & Information Technology 2018
  • Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Legal in Telecommunications, Media & Technology 2015

Representative Publications

Representative Speaking Engagements


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