United States: Washington

Firms: litigation

  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Susman Godfrey LLP
  • Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Fenwick & West LLP
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Lowe Graham Jones

Firms: prosecution

  • Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Cooley LLP
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • BakerHostetler
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Han Santos PLLC 
  • Polsinelli PC
  • Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Firms: transactions

  • Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Han Santos PLLC 
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP


BakerHostetler is a go-to for patent and technology work in Seattle, thanks in large measure to the local leadership of Timothy Casey, an extremely well-rounded prosecutor, strategic counsellor and transactional lawyer: “Tim turns heads with his thorough understanding of complex problems and his pragmatic approach to resolving them. He is a top guy in the technology and software space, and someone you want on your side when Section 101 issues crop up.” As a former in-house counsel, he understands the business of intellectual property and focuses on creating IP value in managing extensive worldwide portfolios for the likes of Avigilon Corporation in the area of AI-powered security solutions and Trilumina Corporation with respect to vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology. Michael Swope is another magnet for high-level prosecution and licensing instructions, as well as litigation, and the representative of choice for several Asia-based innovators and a leading US cloud platform. Both practitioners uphold the firm’s reputation for excellence in all areas of patent practice and are pivotal to the success of a nationwide group of some 130 IP lawyers.

Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC

Mention Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness (COJK) to innovators in the Seattle area and beyond and you’ll be met by an outpouring of praise. In the words of one source: “I can call the firm at any moment and get valuable feedback on prosecution status and meaningful strategic insight on international filing, freedom to operate and patentability issues. The team produces work of a very high standard and does so cost effectively.” Another reports: “It has customised its workflow process to suit us and bent over backwards to ensure matters are transacted smoothly. Comparing it with other US outfits, it offers a higher-quality, more efficient and customer-friendly service.” Comments directed towards COJK’s leading individuals are also glowing. Head of the patent group David Sheldon is a “wonderful, incredibly responsive, intellectually astute and thorough lawyer, who doesn’t tell clients what they want to hear, but – in a measured way – what they need to hear”. He focuses on computer science, which is also the forte of Adrian Mihailovic – a prosecutor who “writes clean, novel and non-obvious claims without legalese, advocates well at the USPTO, files strategically, demonstrates superb interpersonal skills alongside technical expertise, understands how patents fit into the wider business picture and charges an extremely reasonable price”. Moving to the life sciences, industry group head George Renzoni and Rhys Lawson “provide a tailored service that optimises the value of patents”, and are “extremely helpful in partnering with clients to identify budget-sensitive approaches to both day-to-day activities and larger projects and initiatives”. Melissa Nowak, meanwhile, is cited as a “highly pragmatic counsellor who achieves consistently great things”. When it comes to litigation, John Denkenberger and Brian McMahon “cannot perform better in terms of their representation, dedication, availability, quick turnaround, attention to detail and business sensitivity”. The COJK depth chart is impressive: Jerald Nagae and Brandon Stallman are also warmly recommended and are key contributors on both the contentious and non-contentious fronts. Nagae supervises prosecution, litigation and licensing efforts with a deft touch and is a vital member of a team that manages the worldwide patent and trademark portfolios for JBT Corporation; while Stallman makes light work of prosecution briefs and is a polished performer in post-grant, litigation and transactional settings.

Cooley LLP

Seattle lawyers Bill Christiansen and Carol Laherty deploy special weapons and tactics to deliver IP and business advantages to life sciences innovators. Both leverage deep technical and industry knowledge along with refined prosecution, strategic counselling, portfolio management and transactional skillsets to get patrons maximum commercial returns on their IP investments. They have at their back a sophisticated global group that is supremely well equipped for any contentious or non-contentious matter. Christiansen leverages this adroitly in his worldwide portfolio development work for Frequency Therapeutics and Revolution Medicines – two companies that he supports alongside Boston-based Dean Farmer.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Recognised for its prosecution and litigation proficiency in the IAM Patent 1000 Washington rankings for 2021, Dorsey & Whitney covers a lot of ground for its high-tech following. Pacing the group in the prosecution and portfolio management domain, Kimton Eng performs flawlessly for prestigious patrons such as Micron, for which the firm has served as patent counsel for more than two decades, securing it some 3,000-plus US patents. Eng brings outstanding technical know-how to the table, but is also a big-picture thinker with a rare aptitude for long-range strategic IP planning. Anchoring the contentious practice, meanwhile, are Geoffrey Godfrey – co-chair of the firmwide IP litigation group – and Paul Meiklejohn. Coming in for special praise, Godfrey is “particularly skilled as a defence counsel – he sizes up matters quickly, identifies his strongest positions and capitalises on them with great efficiency”. A rising star of the market, he recently represented Verizon Communications and affiliates in several key cases. Veteran lead counsel Meiklejohn has a deep playbook to address all issues that might crop up in a major multi-layered dispute.

Fenwick & West LLP

Respected globally as an elite technology firm, Fenwick & West supports innovative companies in many meaningful ways. Life sciences entities particularly cherish it for the sterling representation it affords in mission-critical disputes; for this, they look to Seattle-based practitioners Melanie Mayer and David Tellekson, two seasoned advocates with superlative leadership skills. Molecular biology and genetics PhD Mayer co-chairs the life sciences industry group and has built a striking record of success on solid foundations of technical expertise and presentation ability. Collaborating with her New York colleagues Adam Gahtan and Kevin McGann, she is currently representing Quest Diagnostics Investments in District of Delaware litigation against Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), which Quest alleges has infringed its patents relating to vitamin D and testosterone tests using mass spectrometry; in the course of this, she successfully defeated a motion that the patents were invalid under Section 101, and had Quest’s proposed claim constructions accepted and LabCorp’s argument of patent invalidity through indefiniteness rejected. Mayer and Tellekson, meanwhile, have been linking up on behalf of a university client, representing it in interference proceedings, licensing disputes and other matters. Both lawyers showcase their range and winningly tackle disputes in other technology areas, such is the depth of their trial nous.

Han Santos PLLC 

Han Santos is distinguished by the maturity of its patent practice: the individuals on its bench have impressive technical credentials as well as business and industry insight, enabling them to communicate on a one-to-one level with inventors and the C-suite. This is reflected in optimal prosecution and transactional outcomes and greater efficiency of service. The senior team takes its cue from managing partner Patrick Santos, who co-founded the ensemble in 2013. His CV includes extensive software engineering experience, a stint as a USPTO examiner and a leadership role in the IP counselling practice of a national law firm; the multi-dimensional view of patents and the innovation process that this has given him informs his dynamic transactions and strategy-focused practice. Taking the lead on prosecution, Elliott Chen is an excellent team manager, client service guy, draftsman and commercial thinker who acts for several Fortune 500s in the software, telecommunications and aerospace areas. Chen debuts in the IAM Patent 1000 this year – as does the firm itself.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Kilpatrick Townsend’s Seattle-based lawyers are the preferred counsel for several blue-chip companies: together, Roger Wylie and Jesse Bennett support a world-leading technology player on multiple projects, including some of its most sensitive, which often involve innovation in the field of artificial intelligence. Further demonstrating his utility, Wylie also prosecutes, conducts due diligence, advises on litigation and issues opinions for the innovation arm of a Fortune 100 company which is seeking to disrupt the retail industry with new technologies. As managing partner, Wylie sets the standard on the prosecution and counselling side, for which Kilpatrick Townsend is internationally renowned. Bennett is an up-and-comer who is turning heads for his ability to align prosecution strategy with broader business objectives. Equal dexterity is on display in the life sciences team – home to Andrew Serafini, an immunology PhD with a splendid reputation for his scientific fluency, global connectivity, business acumen and civic engagement.

Knobbe Martens

Large boutique Knobbe Martens fits the bill perfectly for companies in need of sophisticated and comprehensive IP counsel. The firm’s lawyers are tuned into market trends and developments, and demonstrate exceptional percipience on issues such as standard essentiality and patentability under Section 101. This is true of Mauricio Uribe and Maria Anderson, two eminent strategists whose work in the computer science and software domains is always hugely impactful for clients. Uribe complements his pure-play prosecution skills with a deft licensing touch; while Anderson has a finely cultivated understanding of patents and brands. High-technology players also have an essential ally in Melanie Seelig, another professional who reads patent and innovation landscapes with unerring accuracy. The Seattle office is also a vital touchpoint for Knobbe’s life sciences patrons, which call on thorough and diligent litigator Carol Pitzel Cruz when complex patent infringement problems requires decisive answers.

Lee & Hayes, PC 

Supremely capable across virtually all technologies and industry sectors, Lee & Hayes has crafted a uniquely strategic approach to patenting and portfolio development that sets it apart not just in the Pacific Northwest, but nationally and further afield. Garnering special references this year are C Rachal Winger and Brett Nelson, who anchor the life sciences and chemical practices respectively. “Rachal’s patent applications are outstanding and she prosecutes them efficiently and thoughtfully. She asks the right questions to fully capture the nuances of an invention and, beyond that, is just a wonderful person to work with.” “Knowledgeable, humble and an excellent leader with great vision, Brett sees far past clients’ basic legal needs and adds value by strategically defining future IP targets.” Mechanical and electro-mechanical technologies ace Richard Allen is also showered with praise: “He works diligently to get jobs done in a timely manner and finds ways to save money while getting powerful patents issued at home and abroad. He is exceptionally responsive and has a phenomenal eye for detail.” Lee & Hayes also has a constellation of high-technology sages deserving of the spotlight, including Rob Hartman, Rob Peck, David Divine and Bea Koempel-Thomas. Hartman is appreciated for his commerciality; Peck for his tailored, creative approaches; Divine for his USPTO insight and perfect balance of economy and quality; and Koempel Thomas for her expansive global know-how.

Lowe Graham Jones

Seattle boutique Lowe Graham Jones marries efficiency and quality to great effect. In exhibiting the former trait, it capitalises on the advanced technical learning of its team – which negates the need for companies to spend time bringing lawyers up to speed – as well as smart staffing of the most suitable practitioners according to the nature and significance of each matter. The quality on offer, meanwhile, stems from the proficiency, passion and collaborative approach of the group, as well as the leadership given by Lawrence Graham and Mark Walters – two assured litigators who can be entrusted with any important IP trial or appeal.

Perkins Coie LLP

Outstanding in terms of technical bench strength, Perkins Coie is chock-full of highly trained patent attorneys and agents – many with valuable industry insight (both scientific and legal) – who come together to dispense holistic counsel on patent procurement, asset management and portfolio development. Several of its Seattle-based attorneys play pivotal roles within the richly resourced national group, such as Aaron Poledna, who captains the prosecution department with aplomb. “Aaron is a patent all-star who can quickly learn new technologies and distil complex ideas into easy-to-understand concepts; he has an excellent feel for business, too. He is service oriented and provides enormous value at the strategic level.” Also exceptional in this regard are Stephen Bishop, Paul Parker, Maurice Pirio and Christopher Daley-Watson, who put Perkins Coie at the cutting edge of key innovation fields – Bishop in software and internet technology; Parker in medical devices; Pirio in blockchain and machine learning; and Daley-Watson in 5G. Another stalwart of the practice is John Wechkin, who, like his colleagues, avails fully of the firm’s state-of-the-art, technology-focused solutions and patent analytics tools to manage and enhance valuable portfolios worldwide. Perkins Coie also deserves its reputation as a contentious powerhouse – one which Ramsey Al-Salam and Jerry Riedinger, who represent half of the IAM Patent 1000 Washington gold tier for litigation, have done a great deal to sustain. Recent highlights include securing summary judgment of non-infringement in an action filed by Genuine Enabling Technology (GET) against client Nintendo, alleging infringement of GET’s patent by Nintendo’s videogame console controllers; Riedinger masterminded this one, drawing on support from colleagues locally and in the Madison, Wisconsin office. Other litigators to keep on the radar include Ryan McBrayer and Christina McCullough, who are both entering the prime of their advocacy careers. McBrayer is trusted when the chips are down and recently represented HTC Corporation in an 11-patent, high-exposure case initiated by Philips regarding smartphone functionality patents; collaborating with partners in San Diego and Shanghai, he benefited immensely from Perkins Coie’s all-hands-on-deck culture, deep bench and international reach. Admired by hiring partners at competitor firms, McCullough’s contributions are great and many in district court cases and inter partes reviews. The star turn on the post-grant side is Chun Ng, whose blended prosecution and litigation skillset lends itself well to PTAB actions and associated appeals.

Polsinelli PC

Each of Polsinelli’s Washington representatives in the IAM Patent 1000 comes enthusiastically endorsed by the market. In her electrical, mechanical and chemical-focused full patent lifecycle management and counselling practice, Emily Peyser makes astute use of her “quick thinking, strategic mind and keen technical expertise”. She also has a “warm, friendly and inviting personality”, which “puts clients at ease and helps foster collaborative thinking”. Furthermore, “she is creative in overcoming potential roadblocks and completes her work in a thorough but timely fashion”. Former mechanical systems engineer Margie Aoki plies her trade as a clearance, prosecution and licensing professional in a diverse range of sectors, including medical devices, heavy machinery and aerospace. “Margie is a team player who earns the trust of engineers through her detailed understanding of their innovations and diligence in protecting them. She understands clients’ risk profiles and long-term strategic goals.” Life sciences maven Melissa Harwood is a “highly experienced patent prosecutor with a first-rate technical background who can be counted on for excellent results”. All recent arrivals at Polsinelli, they are building something special in Seattle and are vital to the success of the firm’s regional expansion.

Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP

Abundant in technical talent, Seed IP is a discerning choice for innovative companies in all industries and disciplines seeking the best in domestic and international patent prosecution and strategic counselling. With bespoke teams configured in agile fashion to suit the demands of each matter, the ensemble’s internal culture of collaboration enhances connectivity with clients, creating the ideal conditions for an efficient service that directly addresses companies’ needs. On the life sciences front, the seniority and industry knowledge of specialists including Karl Hermanns, Stephen Rosenman and Samuel Webb confer a major advantage. Hermanns is in it for the science and the business, and gets a kick out of establishing strong patent foundations for early-stage companies and surveying competitive landscapes. Rosenman previously worked in a start-up environment, giving him a first-hand understanding of the challenges facing newly established businesses. With a stint in-house at a pharmaceutical company on his CV, Webb speaks the language of clients fluently. In the high-technology domain, there are also quality options aplenty. In software, Steven Lawrenz and Kevan Morgan both demonstrate a flair for high-level portfolio and transactional briefs. So too do David Carlson – who chairs the electrical engineering and computer science group – and Brooke Quist, though their remit also extends to litigation. Versatility sets Shoko Leek apart: she is a staunch patent and trademark protector with followers in industries ranging from electronics to communications, software and medical devices. Jeffrey Sakoi is also hard to pigeonhole, but has an affinity for chemical matters, having been a patent attorney at a major chemical company.

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Shook Hardy & Bacon takes a rigorously strategic and commercial approach to the practice of patent law. A major part in instilling this is played by Bart Eppenauer, a partner of high renown thanks to past achievements at Microsoft and consistent counselling and transactional excellence in private practice. He is revered as a thought leader on patent law and policy and Section 101 issues.

Susman Godfrey LLP

A premier litigation firm celebrated for its trial prowess, Susman Godfrey has secured more than $1 billion for clients in IP jury verdicts and settlements in the past three years alone.A lot is made of the firm’s non-hierarchical structure, lean staffing and fee model flexibility, which are all important ingredients in its success, but most fundamental is the calibre of the lawyers on deck. Speaking of Matthew Berry, for example, one source says: “I have been in intellectual property for decades – over 60 years – and dealt with many lawyers, and Matt is surely one of the best. He’s formidable and has surrounded himself with talent, smartly recognising that, in patent litigation no lawyer does it alone.” He makes his debut in the listings this year alongside Andres Healy, with whom he currently serves as co-lead counsel for Ethanol Boosting Systems and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a Delaware suit asserting infringement of four patents by Ford engines. Healy also garners loud applause as a “master of patent law and a brilliant litigator who knows how to craft concise, winning arguments”. “Running them in a calm and consistent fashion, Andres gets trial teams functioning at the highest professional level, all under the pressure of tight schedules and high stakes. As his client, you always know where your case stands – and you don’t need to ask, because of his proactive style of communication. He has a strong desire to win and sets extremely high standards for himself and his team, but also has a down-to-earth manner.” Already at the elite level, Berry, Healy and Genevieve Wallace still have a huge amount of headroom and look set to dominate for decades to come. In this way, they are following in the footsteps of Parker Folse, who founded Susman Godfrey’s Seattle office in the mid-1990s. Folse is an inspirational leader and consummate trial lawyer who has been pivotal to many of Intellectual Ventures’ successes over the past decade.

Other recommended experts

Frank Abramonte co-chairs Cozen O’Connor’s prosecution practice and leads the way in the patenting of electrical, software and medical device technologies. Equally adept at licensing and litigation, he provides impeccably well-rounded counsel. William Abrams is a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer who has successfully quarterbacked many notable litigation campaigns. This has given him an acute understanding of IP risk, which he parlays into a superb counselling practice. He is a shareholder at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. In the Seattle area, there are plenty of impressive former in-house counsel in private practice, but – alongside one or two others – Neil Calvin stands out, having served as director of patent licensing at Microsoft. Focused on licensing and other patent and technology transactions, he runs his own self-titled law office. For a global perspective on patent procurement, portfolio development and monetisation, former Amazon.com associate general counsel Larry Harris is the essential choice. Highly knowledgeable regarding all the latest PTAB developments and a poised lead counsel in post-grant proceedings, Michael Rosato of Wilson Sonsini is the person to call if you want to get up to speed on things or have a difficult case. As a registered patent attorney and seasoned advocate, Bracewell’s Douglas Stewart always delivers, but has enjoyed particular success in complex litigation in all forums. Jim White of VLP Law Group is an authority on domestic and international patenting in the computer science space. A go-to for many prestigious global companies as they procure, manage and monetise rights, he’s at the leading edge of his field and a standard setter in terms of patent quality. Greg Wrenn is one of the foremost software experts in the United States. He draws on incredibly rich in-house experience to play the role of outside general counsel for many dynamic technology companies. He can be found at Pragmatica Law, a boutique that takes ownership of clients’ matters in a uniquely meaningful way.

Individuals: litigation

  • Ramsey M Al-Salam - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Parker C Folse III - Susman Godfrey LLP
  • Jerry A Riedinger - Perkins Coie LLP
  • David K Tellekson - Fenwick & West LLP
  • William F Abrams - Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt
  • Matthew R Berry - Susman Godfrey LLP
  • John D Denkenberger - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Geoffrey Godfrey - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Lawrence Graham - Lowe Graham Jones
  • Andres Healy - Susman Godfrey LLP
  • Melanie L Mayer - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Ryan J McBrayer - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Christina McCullough - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Brian McMahon - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Paul T Meiklejohn - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Carol Pitzel Cruz - Knobbe Martens
  • Douglas Stewart - Bracewell LLP
  • Michael Swope - BakerHostetle
  • Genevieve Vose Wallace - Susman Godfrey LLP
  • Mark P Walters - Lowe Graham Jones

Individuals: prosecution

  • Frank Abramonte - Cozen O’Connor
  • Maria Anderson - Knobbe Martens
  • Stephen C Bishop - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Bill Christiansen - Cooley LLP
  • Christopher Daley-Watson - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Kimton Eng - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Bart Eppenauer - Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP
  • Larry Harris - Athorus PLLC
  • Chun M Ng - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Melissa A Nowak - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Paul T Parker - Perkins Coie LLP
  • George Renzoni - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Andrew T Serafini - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Mauricio Uribe - Knobbe Martens
  • Jim White - VLP Law Group LLP
  • Roger Wylie - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Richard Allen - Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • Margie Aoki - Polsinelli PC
  • Jesse S Bennett - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Timothy D Casey - BakerHostetle
  • Elliott Chen - Han Santos PLLC 
  • John D Denkenberger - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • David Divine - Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • Rob Hartman - Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • Melissa Harwood - Polsinelli PC
  • Karl R Hermanns - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Bea Koempel-Thomas - Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • Carol Laherty - Cooley LLP
  • Steven Lawrenz - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Rhys Lawson - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Shoko I Leek - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Adrian Mihailovic - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Kevan L Morgan - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Jerald E Nagae - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Brett Nelson - Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • Rob Peck - Lee & Hayes, PC 
  • Emily C Peyser - Polsinelli PC
  • Maurice Pirio - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Aaron Poledna - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Brooke W Quist - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Michael Rosato - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Stephen J Rosenman - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Jeffrey M Sakoi - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Melanie Seelig - Knobbe Martens
  • David Sheldon - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Brandon C Stallman - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Michael Swope - BakerHostetle
  • Samuel E Webb - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • John M Wechkin - Perkins Coie LLP
  • C Rachal Winger - Lee & Hayes, PC 

Individuals: transactions

  • Maria Anderson - Knobbe Martens
  • Stephen C Bishop - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Neil P Calvin - The Law Offices of Neil P Calvin PLLC
  • David V Carlson - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
  • Timothy D Casey - BakerHostetle
  • Bill Christiansen - Cooley LLP
  • Christopher Daley-Watson - Perkins Coie LLP
  • John D Denkenberger - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Bart Eppenauer - Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP
  • Larry Harris - Athorus PLLC
  • Jerald E Nagae - Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Paul T Parker - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Patrick Santos - Han Santos PLLC 
  • Patrick Santos - Han Santos PLLC 
  • Michael Swope - BakerHostetle
  • Mauricio Uribe - Knobbe Martens
  • Greg Wrenn - Pragmatica Law LLP