United States: Wisconsin


  • Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP 
  • Boyle Fredrickson SC
  • DeWitt LLP
  • Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Ryan Kromholz & Manion

Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP

A highly efficient and prolific prosecutor of quality patents and a match winner in infringement litigations, mid-sized boutique Andrus supports business development and provides legal certainty to clients in many meaningful ways. The procurement side of the practice has been satisfyingly steady of late; longstanding clients such as General Electric and Brunswick Corporation continue to ply the team with instructions, capitalising on the firm’s deep institutional product and business knowledge accumulated over many years of excellent service (more than 70 in the case of Brunswick). Taking care of the former are Joseph Kuborn and Benjamin Imhoff, two of Wisconsin’s top medical technology experts. Coming in for particular praise this year, “Joseph is an outstanding attorney – one of the very best there is. Extremely thorough and an excellent communicator, he demonstrates the highest professional standards at all times.” Forming a dream team for Brunswick, meanwhile, are Peter Holsen, Aaron Olejniczak and Scott McBride. Described by one foreign associate as “our number one patent agent in the United States”, mechanical and electro-mechanical ace Holsen “produces exceptional quality work for a very reasonable price”; inventors and C-suite executives cherish his advice in equal measure. The top litigator on deck, Olejniczak calls on a wealth of district court, Federal Circuit and PTAB experience to put his clients on a sure footing. “Aaron is never less than excellent in consideration of his promptness and clear communication. He uses the firm’s wider resources well, too.” McBride has a deft touch on mechanical matters but is at his best in the life sciences. He represents the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation with respect to the prosecution of a large volume of chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology patents.

Boyle Fredrickson SC

A major player in Wisconsin intellectual property, Boyle Fredrickson cultivates strong relationships with clients by getting to know the science behind their innovations and the ideas behind their business; this allows it to tailor its work and service to their exact specifications. A key contact on the life sciences and counselling side of the practice, Charles Leeck is in tune with research institutions and innovators, having conducted extensive post-doctoral research as a biochemist. Preparation and prosecution is the metier of IP polymath Andrew McConnell – he is a great contact for those with diverse portfolios given his blend of patent, trademark and copyright expertise. James Boyle is a sturdy anchor of the firm and of its litigation practice. By maintaining his prosecution skill set, he demonstrates “impressive technical astuteness” in his courtroom presentations.

DeWitt LLP

Top Madison full-service firm DeWitt possesses razor-sharp IP skills and is on a roll in patent practice right now. Specifically, its software and electrical engineering activities are burgeoning under the watch of Chris Scherer, who makes his first appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. A crackerjack portfolio manager and high-technologist who frequently serves as outsourced in-house counsel, he takes care of business in the literal sense. Traditionally, DeWitt has been especially prized for its strategic counsel by the life sciences community and chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology innovators still come in their droves for cornerstone of the IP group Charles Sara. A consummate gentleman and brilliant strategic sounding board for colleagues and clients, Sara makes his 30-plus years of experience count in every engagement. A teacher and sports coach in a past life, he knows how to get the best out of the firm’s associate pool. When it is time to head into battle, the person you need by your side is Joseph Miotke, who is widely admired for his strategic and commercial approach to litigation. Distinguished by his passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, entrepreneurship and economic development, Miotke is right at the heart of the innovation community in Milwaukee and Wisconsin, which has served to elevate his business thinking.

Foley & Lardner LLP

The largest law firm in Wisconsin, Foley & Lardner is simply a must for business-relevant patent counselling. This is supplied abundantly by the high-calibre line-up formed by partners Jeffrey Gunderson, Joseph Ziebert and Scott Anderson. Vice chair of the IP department, Gunderson is a go-to guy for IP opinions and agreements, but above all for global strategic advice on IP value creation. Ziebert is a key cog in a cross-office team shaping the business growth of Broadcom through astute portfolio management and development and is an expert on patent harvesting. Understanding where commercial risk lies, Anderson shores up his clients by implementing IP best practices. Foley also excels at high-efficiency prosecution and has grown significantly in Milwaukee by adding highly qualified patent agents to the team, who render a superb and cost-effective service. The top trial lawyer in the local group is Jeffrey Costakos, the vice chair of the IP litigation practice. Experienced in the district courts, the International Trade Commission, the PTAB and the Federal Circuit – and in myriad technical areas – he is ready to roll on virtually any patent case.

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

“Michael Best has one of the largest and best patent prosecution practices in Wisconsin – there’s a lot of talented counsellors there.” Daniel Jones, Richard Kaiser and Thomas Miller all have a lot to offer patrons of the firm: Jones, who focuses on mechanical and design patents and licensing, has won awards for client service and is all about relationships; his ability to save his clients’ money while enhancing their protection engenders loyalty. Another repository of trust, Kaiser is a foresighted strategist who can take care of just about any patent need. Co-chair of the digital technology industry group and a former chair of the IP group, Miller is “synonymous with the firm’s counselling excellence”; machine control systems and software are his niches. Michael Best knows how to litigate too and has a “top-tier lawyer” in Jonathan Margolies. Judged to be a “worthy adversary” by lawyers at competing firms, he is an artful persuader in and out of the courtroom. Donald Best’s trial skills have also been applied to the whetstone over many years; he has an outstanding track record across the spectrum of IP rights and IP disputes forums.

Perkins Coie LLP 

For general counsel who want to say, “we got the best”, Perkins Coie fits the bill; it has a leading patent litigation practice locally and nationally. Madison is home to certainly one of the firm’s most experienced trial lawyers in John Skilton, who has engaged in important commercial, antitrust and IP cases for nearly 50 years. “He’s the elder statesman of patent litigation in Wisconsin but is still very active in the practice.” Madison managing partner Michelle Umberger, as well as being an experienced litigator, has a vibrant university technology transfer practice; the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is the beneficiary of her contentious and transactional expertise. Some of the best feedback is reserved for Christopher Hanewicz, “an excellent litigator who delivers tremendous results which go right to the heart of your business”. “Chris is excellent at managing client expectations and never misses a budget.” All three teamed up to secure a jury verdict of contributory and induced infringement and no invalidity on behalf of US Water Services against Novozymes, plus an award of more than $7.5 million in royalties.

Quarles & Brady LLP

Multi-disciplinary national firm Quarles & Brady maintains a sterling patent practice in its home state of Wisconsin. The Madison and Milwaukee offices serve as a base for some of the firm’s finest patent prosecutors, namely Bennett Berson and Jean Baker. Berson is a biotechnology maven and leading expert on stem cell intellectual property. A leader in the wider legal community, Baker has a biochemistry PhD and is an experienced prosecutor of patents directed to nucleic acid assays. The firm’s life sciences group was bolstered recently by the arrival of former Andrus partner Tambryn VanHeyningen. “She genuinely cares about her clients and is a fantastic prosecutor who not only thinks about patent scope but about the most effective paths to successful IP commercialisation. Her invoices are also the easiest to deal with.” Quarles & Brady also packs a punch in litigation with David Cross being one of its prize fighters. An inventor, he has no problem getting to grips with complex technologies, but it is his ability to distil them down for non-experts that distinguishes him as a trial lawyer.

Ryan Kromholz & Manion

Ryan Kromholz & Manion’s compact team of patent and IP lawyers put the emphasis on quality when it comes to prosecution and portfolio management, which means not only casting ironclad protection but supporting business development simultaneously. Tried and tested in the federal district courts across the land and in the PTAB, it offers a full suite of litigation and dispute resolution services, too. Founding members John Manion, a deft counsellor, and Joseph Krumholz, an experienced litigator, are key contacts for prospective clients.

Other recommended experts

David Casimir of Casimir Jones is among the most experienced life sciences, chemical and medical device patent prosecutors not just in Wisconsin but in the country. The University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemistry PhD and Stanford Law School grad is not just a prolific filer – he builds coherent portfolios for his clients to stake out competitive market positions. David Hanson is a “great litigator and conscientious lawyer” and leads the IP litigation group at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren. “Technically gifted and smart”, Rebecca Scarr is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology biology PhD with a gift for worldwide portfolio management and patent strategising. She practises at McNeill Bauer. Jeffrey Ward recently switched from Merchant & Gould to Green Griffith & Borg-Breen, opening a Middleton, Wisconsin office for the Chicago Hatch-Waxman Act litigation boutique. He is an inspired lawyer who is not afraid to push the envelope, and he communicates clearly and openly with his clients throughout all phases of litigation.

Individuals: litigation

  • Donald Best - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • James F Boyle - Boyle Fredrickson SC
  • Jeffrey N Costakos - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • David R Cross - 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

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
  • 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
  • Charles L Leeck - Boyle Fredrickson SC
  • Scott McBride - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Andrew S McConnell - Boyle Fredrickson SC
  • 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