United States: Wisconsin


  • Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • DeWitt LLP
  • Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Quarles & Brady LLP

Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP

Andrus’s commercial sensibility, coupled with its superior and reasonably priced service, proves compelling for clients, many of which have sent their instructions here for decades; Brunswick Corporation, for example, first called in 1944. Helping to keep standards at their highest are stalwart leaders Joseph Kuborn and Aaron Olejniczak, both of whom garner enthusiastic recommendations from the market. “Joe is fantastic to partner with, as he understands your priorities and is flexible in adapting to your style of working. He is exceptionally responsive and prosecutes responsibly, with a good eye for value creation.” “Aaron never fails to impress in terms of his expertise, promptness and ability to communicate clearly.” They are surrounded by individuals for whom IP problem solving and stretch thinking also come naturally. Collaborating closely with Kuborn in connection with the representation of General Electric on biomedical technologies is Benjamin Imhoff, a lawyer who is really stepping up and developing a stellar book of business in the medical technology space. Peter Holsen links up with Olejniczak on Brunswick Corporation matters and likewise comes in for much praise. “Pete focuses on relationships and the wisdom of his counselling reflects his long-term view. He provides efficient, up-to-date and clear advice in a hands-on way, and is always approachable. He has fostered a positive work environment at the firm, so his associates stay there. There isn’t a revolving door, which means you get better patents and opinions.”

DeWitt LLP

Madison’s top commercial firm, DeWitt takes intellectual property seriously and has invested in a sophisticated patent practice with depth in life sciences, medical devices, the chemical arts and, increasingly, software. On behalf of an incredibly diverse group of clients – including non-profits, universities, multinational corporations and individuals – Joseph Leone, Chris Scherer, Charles Sara and Joseph Miotke turn matters around quickly and efficiently, and deploy high-level strategic insight to superb effect. With Leone and Scherer newly minted as co-chairs of the practice, the firm has built up a lot of momentum. Leone is as versatile as they come, being schooled in prosecution and litigation in all areas of intellectual property. Drawing on his chemistry background, he tackles technically complex matters with relish for discerning clients such as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Judging by the extensive and vocal praise directed his way, electrical engineer Scherer is doing extraordinary things right now. “Flexible, responsive, technically adept and competitively priced, Chris is simply awesome and one of the best-rounded US patent practitioners. He gives extremely well-thought-out advice, but is unfailingly practical and to the point at the same time. He has built up a first-class team at DeWitt, which shows in the quality of the overall service.” Sara has his finger on the pulse of developments in the biotechnology space, in which he litigates and closes deals. As an attorney, Miotke is “brilliant at aligning patent approaches with business needs to ensure you protect what matters most while spending resources wisely”. More broadly, he is gifted at opening innovation and entrepreneurship pathways for those with limited access; the effort he puts into developing talent from underprivileged backgrounds is truly laudable.

Foley & Lardner LLP

Heavyweight international outfit Foley & Lardner has made intellectual property a core focus alongside corporate and regulatory law, government solutions and litigation. Unusual in its equal commitment to excellence on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide in the patent arena, it can procure, defend, enforce and monetise rights with dexterity; operating across all technical and scientific disciplines, too, it is a true one-stop shop for innovators. Many of the leading individuals here are just as well-rounded; prime examples include Jeffrey Gundersen and Joseph Ziebert, whose abilities encompass asset procurement, management, litigation and transactions.  A former nuclear engineer who now serves as IP department vice chair, Gundersen excels at setting global patent strategy for multinationals; while Ziebert has a special flair for honing innovation efforts so that they meet commercial objectives. Former electrical engineer Scott Anderson also has a broad wingspan, as a key member of the firm’s mechanical and electromechanical technologies, green energy, food and beverage and automotive groups. Prosecution, portfolio management and licensing are his fortes. The Milwaukee office can also supply contentious firepower for high-stakes national patent battles; it is home to IP litigation chair Jeffrey Costakos, an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer who is comfortable with the intricacies of all technologies.

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

“Michael Best gives an excellent service all round. It is a major player in Wisconsin when it comes to prosecution, while in litigation it always makes for a worthy adversary. Its lawyers listen carefully to their clients and execute the right strategies to get them to where they want to be; they can do so aggressively, too, where needed.” Anchoring the patent procurement practice are Milwaukee’s Thomas Miller and Daniel Jones, and Waukesha managing partner Richard Kaiser; these lawyers understand how to manoeuvre at the USPTO, but also – more importantly – how to bake long-term commercial value into portfolios. Miller plays the trusted adviser role pitch-perfectly; Jones has a talent for maximising quality while optimising efficiency; and Kaiser keeps clients updated on patent law and policy and relevant industry trends and developments while practising at the cutting edge of them. The top guns on the litigation side are Donald Best and Jonathan Margolies, whose litany of victories attests to their tactical nous, determination and sound judgement.

Perkins Coie LLP

As the steadfast representative of elite technology players in disputes of critical commercial importance, Perkins Coie runs one of the best patent litigation practices nationwide. Its glowing track record across all major forums – district courts, the PTAB, the Federal Circuit and the ITC – is one that Christopher Hanewicz, Michelle Umberger and John Skilton make essential contributions to maintaining. These Madison litigators form a tight-knit team and recently linked up to secure a jury trial win for US Water Services in a long-running dispute with Novozymes relating to patents for deposit control technology. “Chris and Michelle are extremely effective in setting strategy, conducting discovery, writing persuasive briefs and presenting to juries and appellate judges.” Hanewicz chairs the firm’s muscular national patent litigation practice and is “particularly good at breaking complex issues down to their essence and then clearly communicating the most salient points”. Executive committee member Umberger brings deep transactional IP expertise to the mix and is a smart choice for licensing disputes. Skilton is distinguished by his incredible trial experience, spanning nearly 50 years.

Quarles & Brady LLP

AmLaw 200 full-service firm Quarles & Brady receives expanded coverage in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2020; the recommendation of six individuals, up from four in 2019 (which included now-retired David Cross), pays testament to its strength in intellectual property. New faces in the listings this year are Jack Cook and Kristin Graham Noel, who serve as chairs of the national IP group and national IP litigation teams respectively. For Cook, the business needs of clients are a guiding light in handling both sweeping patent portfolios and crucial licensing deals. He knows the lie of the land in the medical field and regularly acts for Massachusetts General Hospital and WARF. Noel loves to litigate do-or-die lawsuits between competitors; she lines everything up perfectly in the preparation phase, which allows her to strike hard and fast at trial. Scott McBride makes a return to the rankings, but is newly featured for Quarles & Brady, having moved to from Andrus in November 2019. A cellular and molecular biology PhD with a decade of experience as a research scientist, he adds depth to an already stacked life sciences unit formed by Tambryn VanHeyningen, Bennett Berson, and Jean Baker. Another seasoned scientist, VanHeyningen works wonders for prestigious academic and research clients including Northwestern University and WARF. An authority in the stem cell space, Berson has a talent for seeing round corners, making him a hot commodity among biotechnology paradigm shifters. Baker’s command of the biochemical arts is second to none.

Other recommended experts

Biochemistry PhD David Casimir has secured many patent registrations, but the value that he adds derives from his full product lifecycle understanding, cultivated through practising in the post-grant, litigation and transactional areas alongside prosecution. He takes charge at Casimir Jones. David Hanson captains Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren’s litigation practice. He’s a good match for any complex case, thanks to his natural narrative gifts and ability to sway decision makers. Intellectual property is his main focus, but his horizons are broad. McNeill Baur’s Rebecca Scarr has a finely tuned sense of the competitive landscape in which her pharmaceutical and biotechnology followers operate; she puts it to excellent use as a prosecutor, portfolio manager and counsellor, securing watertight, broad-scope and commercially targeted patent protection. Flying the flag at Chicago-based pharmaceutical litigation boutique Green Griffith & Borg-Breen, former Merchant & Gould partners Jeffrey Ward and Wendy Ward litigate for and counsel pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with poise and precision. Lately they have been engaging in high-level trade secret work, serving as lead counsel for QuVA in a complex trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract case against Par Pharmaceutical.

Individuals: litigation

  • Donald Best - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Jeffrey N Costakos - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Kristin Graham Noel - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Christopher G Hanewicz - Perkins Coie LLP
  • David G Hanson - Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC
  • Jonathan H Margolies - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Joseph T Miotke - DeWitt LLP
  • Aaron T Olejniczak - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • John Skilton - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Michelle Umberger - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Jeffrey S Ward - Green Griffith & Borg-Breen LLP
  • Wendy M Ward - Green Griffith & Borg-Breen LLP

Individuals: prosecution

  • Scott D Anderson - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Jean Baker - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Bennett J Berson - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • David A Casimir - Casimir Jones SC
  • Jack M Cook - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Jeffrey S Gundersen - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Peter T Holsen - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Benjamin R Imhoff - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Daniel S Jones - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Richard Kaiser - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Joseph D Kuborn - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Joseph T Leone - DeWitt LLP
  • M Scott McBride - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Thomas A Miller - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Joseph T Miotke - DeWitt LLP
  • Charles Sara - DeWitt LLP
  • Rebecca B Scarr - McNeill Baur
  • Chris Scherer - DeWitt LLP
  • Tambryn K VanHeyningen - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Joseph Ziebert - Foley & Lardner LLP