Pilloff Passino & Cosenza

- Who We Are - About Us

PILLOFF PASSINO & COSENZA provides boutique intellectual property services to clients across the globe. Capitalizing on our extensive years of big law firm experience, we provide high quality legal services in a small firm environment. Each partner has over 20 years of experience in intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, designs, counseling, and litigation.

We are conveniently located next to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

We look forward to helping you achieve your business goals.

Rachel Pilloff

Rachel Pilloff

Sean A. Passino

Sean A. Passino

Martin J. Cosenza

Martin J. Cosenza

Rachel Pilloff

Rachel K. Pilloff manages the firm’s patent and trademark practices. Rachel assists independent inventors, emerging companies, and large Fortune 500 corporations maximize their intellectual property rights across the globe.

Rachel has substantial experience procuring, protecting, and enforcing inventions in the Agriculture, Biotech, and Chemical industries, particularly those involving plants, agricultural products, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and small molecules. Formally trained in Agriculture and Plant Molecular Biology, Rachel routinely counsels clients on how to protect new plant varieties, genetically modified plants, cut flowers, breeding methods, fertilizers, and related products, both in the U.S. and abroad. She regularly prepares and prosecutes utility patents, plant patents, plant breeder’s rights, plant variety protection certificates, and design patents As part of her diverse and strategic counseling practice, Rachel regularly provides freedom-to-operate opinions, as well as patentability, non-infringement, and validity opinions across the Life Sciences. She also counsels on related issues pertaining to design protection, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, and unfair competition. In addition to her patent prosecution and counseling practice, Rachel has appellate experience before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as well as experience litigating patent and trademark infringement cases in Federal Court.

Well-versed in both patents and trademarks, Rachel counsels clients on trademark selection, clearance, and prosecution before the U.S. Trademark Office. In addition to managing worldwide trademark portfolios, Rachel assists clients extract value from their portfolios through licensing and other strategies. At the intersection of business and fashion, Rachel helps established and emerging fashion designers protect their intellectual property through design patents and trademarks.

Rachel graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Plant Biology, and received the Appleton-Norton Prize for excellence in the Life Sciences. Rachel holds graduate degrees in Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology from The Pennsylvania State University, and a law degree from American University. Rachel is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, as well as before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. District Courts for District of Maryland and Eastern District of Virginia; and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She is a member of the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA), International Trademark Association (INTA), and The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI).

A frequent lecturer on U.S. intellectual property law, Rachel has spoken before numerous Fortune 500 companies and organizations in the United States, as well as various multi-national companies and law firms throughout the world. Rachel enjoys teaching, and has served as adjunct visiting faculty at George Mason University for several years, where she co-taught intellectual property law to business students Rachel frequently presents and lectures across the globe. Representative presentations and publications include:

Invited Speaker, Plant Patents, São Paulo, Brasil, August 2018
Invited Speaker, Biotech Patent Eligibility, Taipei, Taiwan, December 2018
Invited Speaker, U.S. Trademarks, Brasil, August 2017.
Invited Speaker, Intellectual Property, UAE, February 2017.
Invited Speaker, Expediting Patents, Sao Paulo, Brasil, August 2016.
Invited Speaker, U.S. Restriction Practice, Tokyo, Japan, March 2016.
Invited Speaker, World IP Congress, Dubai, UAE, January 2016.
Invited Speaker, “Biotech Patent Law Post-Myriad?” Campinas, Brasil, November 2015.
Rachel K. Pilloff, “Helping or Hurting the Harvest?” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development,Vol. 5, Issue 3, May 2015.
Invited Speaker, “Protecting Plant Varieties,” Brasilia, Brasil, April 2015.
Invited Speaker, Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, March 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Lecturer, Patent Application Drafting & Infringement Avoidance Seminar, Osaka, Japan, December 2014.
Invited Speaker, “Introduction to U.S. Patent Law for Chemical Translators”, Osaka, Japan, October and November 2014.
Invited Speaker, “Intellectual Property Law,” Abu Dhabi, UAE, September 2014.
Rachel K. Pilloff, “From Root to Shoot: Cultivating & Harvesting Intellectual Property” American Hort, September 5, 2014.
Invited Speaker, “U.S. Patent Law,” Sao Paulo, Brasil, May 2014.
Invited Speaker, “Patent Law for Chemists” Genentech Chemical Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 2014.
Invited Speaker, “Protecting Plant Innovation” INFORMA Crop & Chemical Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, August 2012.
Rachel K. Pilloff, “The Arabidopsis gain-of-function mutant dll1 spontaneously develops lesions mimicking cell death associated with disease.” Plant J. 30:61-70 (2002).

Sean A. Passino

Sean A. Passino, Ph.D., manages the firm’s patent and litigation practices. Sean assists clients across various industries acquire, license, or eliminate patents by using his legal and Ph.D. experience to quickly and efficiently get to the heart of the matter.

Sean counsels clients in a variety of transactional matters, including managing global patent portfolios. He routinely drafts and prosecutes patent applications across the chemical and materials industries, as well as drafts opinions and license agreements.
In addition to patent preparation and prosecution, Sean participates in parallel litigations and reexaminations, prosecutes reissue applications, establishes policies and implements procedures for managing Intellectual Property. Sean routinely represents chemical industry clients in the businesses of mining, metals, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, construction, clean tech, semiconductor materials, specialty chemicals, instrumentation, foods, beverages, cosmetics, and agriculture

In addition to his general counseling practice, Sean has substantial expertise in complex patent proceedings, both before the Patent Office and in the Federal Courts. Sean has over 20 years of experience managing reexaminations and reissues, and when applicable, interference contests. As the head of the firm’s Patent Trials, Sean appeals decisions to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Federal district court, and the Federal Circuit. Sean is a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association.

Formally trained as a chemist, Sean earned a B.S. in chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral position, he received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Sean is admitted to the Virginia State Bar, District of Columbia Bar, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia. He is a Registered Patent Attorney in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Sean’s representative presentations and publications include the following:

Invited speaker, Reexamination and Supplemental Examination Practice, Tokyo, Japan, March 2016.
Invited speaker, Patent Eligibility, Campinas, Brasil, November 2015.
Invited speaker, Intellectual Property Mining, Brasilia, Brasil, April 2015.
Instructor, Chemical Patent Drafting, Osaka, Japan, October to December 2014.

Instructor, Chemical Patent Drafting for Translators, Osaka, Japan, October to November 2014.

Invited speaker. Intellectual Property Law, Abu Dhabi, UAE, September 2014.

Invited speaker, Clarity in Chemical Patent Drafting, Navi Mumbai, India September 2014.
Invited speaker, Hatch-Waxman Law, Taipei, Taiwan, December 2013.
Lecturer, Chemical Application Drafting, Tokyo, Japan, May to July 2013.

Martin J. Cosenza

Martin J. Cosenza focuses his practice on intellectual property, representing clients in a variety of matters including patent prosecution, client counseling on intellectual property matters, patent infringement litigation and risk arbitrage of intellectual property litigations. He has successfully argued a number of times before the board of Patent Appeals and Interferences at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mr. Cosenza was previously an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Prior to beginning his legal career, Mr. Cosenza worked for the Boeing Aircraft Company for eight years as an engineer. There, he was responsible for conceiving, designing, producing and testing mechanical and electrical equipment used to support Naval and Marine Corps aircrafts, as well as extensive customer liaison and project management activities. He also worked for Boeing as an electronic signals analyst, which entailed analyzing the various known electromagnetic emissions from an aircraft in an effort to improve detection and identification of airborne objects.

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia

Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
Drexel University, M.S., Mechanical Engineering
Eastern College, M.A.
Syracuse University, B.S., Aerospace Engineering

- What We Do - Practice Areas



  • Patent Drafting and Patent Prosecution
  • Reexaminations
  • Reissue Proceedings
  • Interferences
  • Appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)
  • Patent Office Trials
  • Inter Partes Review
  • Post-Grant Review
  • Derivation Proceeding


  • Trademark Searching and Counseling
  • Preparing and Filing Trademark Applications
  • Trademark Litigation
  • Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Proceedings


  • District Court Litigtion
  • Federal Circuit Appeals

Patent Portfolio Management

  • Due Diligence
  • Licensing
  • Opinions and Counseling

Design Patents

  • Preparing design application and drawings
  • Opinions and Counseling


  • Plant Utilities
  • Plant Patents
  • Plant Variety Protection Certificates


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