Jacob R Osborn

Jacob R. Osborn

Jacob R. Osborn
Washington, DC
+1 202 346 4133

Jacob R. Osborn is a partner in the firm’s Global Trade, Data, Privacy and Cybersecurity, and Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology practices. Mr. Osborn is an expert in computer software and encryption, and his legal practice largely focuses on advising clients with respect to regulatory matters, including encryption law and regulations. He joined Goodwin in 2008, and prior to becoming an attorney, was a software developer for a telecommunications company. He holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer science, and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.

Mr. Osborn represents scores of clients in the cybersecurity, telecommunications, software, and SaaS industries, including Atlassian, Carbon Black, Core Security, Dropbox, Fuze, Imperva, Mimecast, Offensive Security, Perforce, Twilio, and Zendesk, to name a few.

Mr. Osborn is also an export lawyer and specialist, playing a prominent role in the firm’s Global Trade practice. He has advised hundreds of clients regarding regulatory compliance with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), particularly with respect to electronics, telecommunications, software, and encryption items. In 2018 he was named as an “Up and Coming” lawyer for his International Trade, Export Controls and Economic Sanctions practice by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Mr. Osborn also provides counsel in dozens of matters involving computers, software, encryption, cybersecurity, and data privacy and breach investigations. As an early user of blockchain technologies and an encryption regulations attorney, he is able to bridge the gap between the law and technology, providing clients with valuable legal guidance in areas of technical complexity. Throughout his legal career Mr. Osborn has litigated more than a dozen technology cases throughout the United States, including domain name disputes, matters involving intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets), and other litigation involving computer-related federal statutes (e.g., the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act).


In his CFIUS practice, Mr. Osborn advises hundreds of clients (both companies and investors) with respect to the Defense Production Act of 1950, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), and all related foreign-investment regulations. To date, Mr. Osborn has first chaired more than a dozen mandatory declarations under the CFIUS “Critical Technology” Pilot Program, thereby helping clients in diverse industry sectors to successfully obtain U.S. government approval for taking on foreign investment. He has also participated in numerous joint voluntary notices, and was counsel to the U.S. company in the very first matter that CFIUS ever cleared under the “Critical Technology” Pilot Program.

As an export-controls lawyer and an EAR specialist, over the past decade Mr. Osborn has helped clients to classify hundreds of products under the EAR, through self-classifications and submitting formal classification requests with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. This export-controls expertise is complementary to Mr. Osborn’s CFIUS practice because CFIUS filling obligations now often turn on the export-controls status of a company’s products and technology.  In his sanctions practice, Mr. Osborn advises clients with respect to country-based and list-based sanctions, addressing complex trade issues involving Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. 

Mr. Osborn provides counseling guidance in addition to supporting Goodwin’s M&A practice group during IPOs, acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and other complex transactions, both on the company and the investor side. And Mr. Osborn routinely guides clients through internal investigations and the voluntary self-disclosure process when facing regulatory violations.

Mr. Osborn also works with Goodwin’s Privacy & Cybersecurity team to provide technical expertise to help Goodwin clients understand data privacy regulatory obligations, such as those under GDPR.

Prior to carving his niche within the regulatory space, Mr. Osborn represented clients in a wide range of litigation disputes in jurisdictions throughout the country involving many different technologies. His prior litigation experience includes patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret disputes. Mr. Osborn has also represented clients with respect to other software-related claims involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In 2015, Mr. Osborn successfully second chaired a trademark case before the Supreme Court of the United States, B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., an important decision at the intersection between agency decisions and IP litigation.

Professional Activities

Mr. Osborn is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. 

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin, Mr. Osborn was a technical specialist at Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, PC, where he focused on electrical technologies and prosecuted patents at all stages of prosecution. His areas of specialty included hashing techniques, block ciphers, stream ciphers, public key encryption, and database designs.

Before practicing patent law, Mr. Osborn was a software engineer for iMake Software and Services, a video-on-demand company located in Bethesda, Maryland. While at iMake, he consulted video-on-demand content distributors regarding software and industry best practices, produced technical documents including software requirements, and developed software code for video-on-demand applications. Mr. Osborn has software development experience in many different programming languages including Java, C, C++, Python, Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL, Visual Basic, Ruby, and Perl.




American University Washington College of Law

(cum laude)

Master of ScienceElectrical and Computer Engineering2009

The Johns Hopkins University

BSComputer Science2006

Xavier University


Xavier University



  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Ohio
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Recognition & Awards

Mr. Osborn has been selected for inclusion in The Legal 500 U.S. 2022.

Mr. Osborn was named as an “Associate to Watch” by Chambers USA in the category of International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, one of only two associates in the United States to receive this honor.

Mr. Osborn was selected as a Washington DC Super Lawyers “Rising Star” from 2013 – 2016, an award given to fewer than 2.5% of eligible attorneys.


Mr. Osborn:

  • Routinely authors the firm’s Global Trade client alerts, including those addressing CFIUS changes, trade restrictions (e.g., against ZTE and Huawei), and OFAC sanctions issues affecting digital currency.
  • Presented on the CFIUS Pilot Program at “Law School for the CFO” hosted by the CFO Leadership Council (April 2019).
  • Was a speaker at BlackHat 2017 and presented on “White Hat Privilege: The Legal Landscape for a Cybersecurity Professional Seeking to Safeguard Sensitive Client Data.”
  • Co-authored “Smartphone and Foreign Policy: ZTE Sanctions Explained,” Law360 (March 2016).
  • Co-authored “The Seven Deadly Sins of U.S. and Non-U.S. Software Companies Under U.S. Export Controls and Sanctions Laws,” WorldECR (January 2015).
  • Is the author of various publications regarding intellectual property, such as "A View of the Hierarchy of Patent Rights, TRIPS, and the Canadian Patent Act," Akron Intellectual Property Journal, Volume 4, Number 2, 20100, 261, and "What is the Bilski invention?" Managing Intellectual Property Newsletter (June 11, 2010; coauthor).
  • Appeared on an expert panel entitled “Encryption Controls and Ensuring Compliance” in conjunction with the Massachusetts Export Center in June 2014.