Christopher J. Forstner


Business Phone: 804.697.1874
Business Fax: 804.697.1339


Chris Forstner's practice focuses on counseling clients on all aspects of intellectual property law, with an emphasis on preparing and prosecuting patent applications, representing clients in patent and intellectual property litigation, preparing patent opinions on novelty, validity and infringement, drafting patent and technology agreements for licensing, non-disclosure, and joint development, counseling clients on the protection of trade secrets, and conducting intellectual property due diligence.

Chris previously served as Assistant General Counsel, and Chief Intellectual Property counsel for Capital One. His practice focused on managing the company’s intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secret and restrictive covenants disputes. As a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Chris managed Capital One’s worldwide patent and trademark portfolios. He oversaw the restrictive covenants program, and advised on issues related to confidential and trade secret information protections, and competitive intelligence.

Chris also has extensive experience in advising clients on issues related to eDiscovery, including the preservation, collection, processing, review, and production of electronically stored information, as well as pre-litigation planning and records management strategies. In addition to his counseling experience, Chris has managed several large scale document reviews for litigation and regulatory investigations.

Chris was recognized as a Super Lawyers® Virginia Rising Star for Intellectual Property in 2009 and 2012-2014. Chris currently serves as the chair of the Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Section. He also serves on the US Bar-European Patent Office Liaison Council.


  • Co-author, "Patent Rights: Best Practices for Responding to Patent Demand Letters," Manufacturing Today, Vol. 18, Issue 4, July 2018.
  • Author, "Design Patents Build Strong, Valuable Brands," Smokeshop, December 2015.
  • Social Media Content Discoverable, Must Be Preserved, (Author) Today's General Counsel, August/September 2013
  • Federal Circuit Eliminates Adverse Inference For Failure to Obtain or Produce An Exculpatory Opinion of Counsel, (Co-author) Hunton Patent Law Update, October 2004.
  • Key Legal Strategies for Representing Digital Age Clients: Business Method Patents and General Patent Strategy for the Modern Age,(Co-contributor) Virginia CLE Law Foundation, July 2001.

      Presentations and Speaking Engagements

      • “Intellectual Property,” Virginia Venture Summit 2016, Panelist, April 2016
      • “Intellectual Property 101,” VCU Graduate School of Business, Information Systems Department, Guest Lecturer, Spring Semester 2007-15
      • “Update on E-Discovery Trends and Developments,” SIFMA Compliance and Law Society Charlotte Regional Seminar, Panelist, September 2014
      • “Business Method Patents: Recent Developments and Strategies for Innovative Companies,” Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting, Moderator/Panelist, June 2013
      • “eDiscovery and IP Cases: Counsel’s Duties and Case Law Update,” Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association, October 2011
      • “Ethics Issues for IT Practitioners,” 12th Annual Virginia Information Technology Legal Institute, Virginia State Bar, September 2011
      • “Achieving Proportionality in the Small Stakes and David & Goliath Cases,” Capital One Seminar Moving Towards Proportionality in E-discovery, Panelist, November 2010
      • “eDiscovery 2.0,” Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Section Annual IP Fall CLE Seminar, Panelist, October 2010
      • “Containing Fees Associated with Employing Outside Counsel in a Period of Economic Instability,” 7th Annual Patents & the Financial Services Industry Conference, Panelist, New York, NY, July 2010
      • “Managing the Costs of Outside Counsel Effectively,” 6th Annual Patents & the Financial Services Industry Conference, Panelist, New York, NY, July 2009
      • “Strategies for Avoiding the Pitfalls of Conducting Competitive Intelligence in Today’s Business Environment,” Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association, Presenter, December 2007

      Professional and Community Involvement

      • Virginia State Bar, Intellectual Property Law Section, Board of Governors, 2009 to present, Chair (2015)
      • US-EPO Bar Liaison Council, Member, 2006 to present
      • Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association, President 2006-07, Board/Officer 2003-06
    • Rankings and Recognition

      • Selected as a Virginia "Rising Star" in IP by Law & Politics' Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine, (2009, 2012-2015).

      Professional Experience

      • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2018-present
      • Counsel, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2015-2017
      • Murphy & McGonigle, Richmond, Virginia, 2010-2014
      • Capital One, Legal Department, Richmond, VA, 2005-2010
      • Hunton & Williams, Richmond, VA, 2000-2005



      • The College of William and Mary, J.D., 2000
      • Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, B.S., 1997

      Bar Admissions

      • Virginia
      • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

      Court Admissions

      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
      • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia