Thomas Lawrence Adams

Thomas Lawrence Adams

East Hanover, New Jersey

Thomas is a past chairman of the Intellectual Property Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, is experienced in the licensing of technology, and has been trying patent cases since 1978. He has obtained patents on innovations that won the best technology award at one of the world's largest trade shows.  

In his practice, Thomas has tackled legal issues from the simple to the extraordinarily complex.  He has protected client’s IP right in the U.S. and throughout the world. 

Thomas has authored or co-authored 370 patents and has been the attorney of record for about 500 US trademark applications and registration. 

Tom prides himself in working closely with clients and does not shuffle their work off to some junior associate, as is common in the larger law firms.

Career Track

Before becoming an IP attorney, Tom worked as an electrical engineer, first as an aerospace engineer at Grumman Aerospace, and later as a designer of digital instrumentation at Weston Instruments.

Tom entered the field of patent law by joining the patent staff of RCA, and worked there to obtain international patent protection for pioneering inventions in video systems, facsimile, and a variety of consumer electronic devices.  After that he worked in Manhattan as a patent attorney for Otis Elevator.

Tom then launched his career in private practice, representing clients in patent, trademark, copyright and other IP matters.  Relying on contacts from the various industries that employed him in the past, he was soon retained by Fortune 500 companies.  Also, in the first year of his practice he successfully tried and obtained punitive damages in a complex trial lasting several months.

Having succeeded early on, Tom was then joined by another established patent attorney, and together they founded the firm of Goebel & Adams.  This firm then attracted other established attorneys and grew into the firm of Mathews, Sommers, Goebel and Adams.

Later on, Tom established a relationship with Omri Behr.  This resulted in the formation of Behr & Adams, which thrived for about two decades and covered a vast spectrum of legal, creative, and technological issues.  Tom and Omri now maintain separate practices. 

For the past 18 years Tom has managed a thriving patent practice serving individuals, as well as established and start-up businesses.

Other Honors

Tom is a past Chair of the Patent, Trademark, Copyright Law & Unfair Competition Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  He was also the Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Essex County Bar Association.  Tom also served as a Master for Essex County's Brennan-Vanderbilt Inns of Court.  He also served on the Delegates Council for the Essex County Bar Association.

Tom was the Deputy Mayor of Livingston Township.  He was also a member of the Livingston Planning Board, and served as a Commissioner for the Livingston Environmental Commission.

Areas of Practice

  • Patent
  • Trademark

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1975
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1975
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1974
  • New York, 1976


  • Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey
    • J.D. - 1975
    • Law Review: Seton Hall Law Review, Member, 1972 - 1973
    • Law Review: 4 Seton Hall L. Rev. 228
  • N.J. Institute of Technology (Formerly Newark Coll. of Eng.)
    • B.S.E.E. - 1969
  • Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn - 1971

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Patent, Trademark, Copyright Law & Unfair Competition Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Chair, 1991 - 1992
  • Intellectual Property Section of Essex County Bar Association, Chair
  • Morris County and Essex County Bar Association, Member
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, Member
  • New Jersey Patent Law Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Behr & Adams, Morristown and Edison, New Jersey, Partner, 1981 - 2000
  • Mathews, Sommers, Goebel & Adams, Morristown, New Jersey, Partner, 1978 - 1980
  • Thomas L. Adams, Livingston, New Jersey, 1977 - 1978
  • Otis Elevator, New York City, 1975 - 1977
  • R.C.A. Corporation, Princeton, New Jersey, 1974 - 1975
  • Weston Instruments, Newark, New Jersey, Senior Engineer, 1971 - 1974
  • Grumman Aerospace, Bethpage, New York, Systems Engineer, 1969 - 1971

Pro Bono Activities

  • Deputy Mayor, Township of Livingston, New Jersey
  • Councilman, Livingston, New Jersey, 1985 - 1988
  • Member, Planning Board of Livingston
  • Commr. Environmental Comm., Livingston, New Jersey, 1984 - 1987
  • Member, Livingston Board of Education's Long Range Planning Committee


  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Eta Kappa Nu