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Carol Pitzel Cruz

Carol is the Managing Partner of Knobbe Martens’ Seattle office and co-chair of the firm’s Hatch-Waxman Litigation practice. Carol is an accomplished intellectual property litigator and registered patent attorney who represents clients in all aspects of intellectual property litigation, including patent, trademark and trade dress cases.

While she handles cases in a wide array of technologies, Carol offers a particularly deep experience in pharmaceutical matters. Carol has represented generics in dozens of ANDA litigations under the Hatch-Waxman Act involving some of the best-selling drugs in the world.

Carol is passionate about each client’s distinct needs. Carol is known for being diplomatic, smart, hard-working and respectful when positioning her client favorably before decision makers and judges. She is valued for her consistent ability to devise the most efficient path forward without losing sight of realizing the best strategic result.

Carol understands the risks and opportunities facing her clients when it comes to safeguarding their investment. Whether she is called upon to enforce a patent or trademark or defend against a claim of infringement, Carol is committed to protecting her client’s valuable IP and business interests.

Carol is recognized as a leading intellectual property litigator by numerous industry publications. She is listed among The Best Lawyers in America in patent litigation, in the “World’s Leading Patent Professionals” of the “Patent 1000” guide by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine, and in Super Lawyers magazine as a “Rising Star” and among the “Top Women Attorneys in Washington.”

Prior to the law, Carol worked in the biotechnology industry in Seattle, focusing on quality control, high-throughput drug screening and lab automation. 

The George Washington University Law School, J.D.
University of Washington (UW), B.S., Chemistry
State Bar of California
State Bar of Washington
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court – Central District of California
U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Washington
U.S. District Court – Northern District of California
U.S. District Court – Western District of Washington
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Chemical, Industrial & Materials

Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Consumer Products & Services

Food & Beverage

Medical Devices & Procedures


HatchWaxman Litigation
Inter Partes Review (IPR)
ITC Litigation
Patent Litigation
Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) Litigation
Trademark and Brand Protection Litigation

  • Named a “Leading Litigator – IP Litigation, esp. Hatch-Waxman” in the 2022 edition of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators in America” guide
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 “United States” for Patent Litigation (2022 – 2023)
  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in Patent Litigation (2017 – 2024) and Intellectual Property Litigation (2024)
  • Named one of the “World’s Leading Patent Professionals” for litigation in the 2018 – 2023 Patent 1000 guide by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine. Carol was described as “an excellent advocate and representative of the litigation practice” and a “thorough and diligent litigator” to call on “when complex patent infringement problems requires decisive answers”
  • Recognized as a Patent Star in the 2020 – 2023 Managing IP’s “IP STARS” Guide for her outstanding intellectual property legal work.
  • Ranked amongst Top 100 Most Active ANDA Attorneys Representing Defendants by Patexia Insight’s 2021 ANDA Litigation Intelligence Report
  • Named Top Patent Challenger Attorney 2020 by Docket Navigator
  • In a survey of her peers published in Super Lawyers magazine, Carol was named as one of Washington’s “Rising Stars” in intellectual property litigation (2011 – 2014). She was also named as a “Top Women Attorneys in Washington – Rising Star” in 2014.
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
  • Washington State Patent Law Association (WSPLA)
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