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Backets Bio

Ralph M. Tener

Senior Counsel
(703) 934-1170


Ralph M. Tener heads McCandlish Lillard’s Information Technology Group. He has practiced computer and intellectual property law for more than twenty-five years, working with software and Internet companies from start-up through venture capital investment to sale or merger. He works with information technology and other companies on trademark, copyright, and trade secret protection; software and technology licensing; start-up and venture capital financing; agreements and relationships with developers, resellers, and strategic partners; stock option and other incentive compensation plans; employment and non-competition agreements; online policies, agreements, and terms of service; and corporate matters.

Ralph has represented clients in numerous venture capital investments and sales and acquisitions of businesses, business lines, and information technology products, ranging in dollar value from the tens of thousands to more than one hundred million dollars. Ralph also maintains an active trademark and copyright registration practice and has represented clients in resolving a large number of Internet domain name and trademark disputes. Representative clients include software vendors in fields such as document imaging and management, multi-level secure systems, flight simulation, Internet-based vehicle sales and dealership management, system performance management, and three dimensional visualization; e-commerce businesses; government contractors, particularly in the fields of information technology, intelligence, and homeland security; computer consultants and service providers; an on-line on-demand book publisher; an on-line medical and preventive health consultation service; and an Internet domain name registrar.


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law
  • B.A., Michigan State University


  • Virginia
  • California

Affiliations & Activities

Ralph founded the Computer Law Section of the Fairfax Bar Association in 1986 and served as its Chairman for eight years. He served on the Board of Directors of the D.C. Computer Law Forum for five years, including one term as President.

Ralph served on the Executive Board of the Friends of Oakton Library including two terms as President, and has served on the Advisory Board of the Vic Braden Tennis Neurology Research Institute.


Distinctions & Honors

Ralph was selected by Virginia Business, based on a statewide survey of practicing attorneys, as one of the 300 best attorneys in Virginia numerous times. He was selected as one of the top five attorneys in the Information Technology practice area. He has been selected as a SuperLawyer® and as a member of the Legal Elite numerous times.

Ralph is also AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.

While in law school, Ralph served as President of the law school student body and was inducted into the Raven Society for academic achievement and service to the University.


Ralph has lectured frequently and taught continuing legal education programs on various aspects of computer law and, for several years, taught the intellectual property segment of a course on government contracting and computer law for the University of Virginia Continuing Education Center. He has also taught, with another attorney, two-day seminars on software licensing at locations in the Washington, D.C. area and California.