United States: Wisconsin


  • Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Boyle Fredrickson SC
  • DeWitt LLP 
  • Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Godfrey & Kahn
  • Green Griffith & Borg-Breen LLP
  • Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Quarles & Brady LLP

Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP

Responsible for thousands of pending US and foreign patent applications and issued patents, Andrus “delivers superb quality for a reasonable price” to a bevy of longstanding clients. Its technically proficient attorneys – several whom have served stints in-house – benefit from stellar prosecution-side leadership from Joseph Kuborn, who has long represented General Electric (GE) in connection with US patent matters, particularly in the biomedical domain. Consistently keeping GE and many other innovators up to date on file status and costs, he’s an excellent communicator who always puts clients first. Colleague Peter Holsen runs point for Brunswick Corporation – a company that Andrus has represented since 1944: “Peter is incredibly service minded and polite, and has an outstanding ability to understand extremely complicated technology.” Also recommended is Benjamin Imhoff, whose hit rate for the likes of American Orthodontics is impressive. The mid-sized outfit packs a punch in litigation too, with accomplished lawyers such as Aaron Olejniczak and Christopher Liro on deck. Olejniczak, who leads the contentious line-up, has ample experience advocating across the IP spectrum and invariably strikes the right notes in court, before administrative law bodies and in alternative dispute resolution forums. Liro shines when it comes to civil procedure.

Boyle Fredrickson SC

Cited by competitors as one of Wisconsin’s most respected boutiques, Boyle Fredrickson is a major player in the local patent community. Its contingent of high-calibre patent lawyers protects patrons’ inventions to the hilt and can be counted on for the right support in licensing and transactional negotiations, as well as disputes scenarios. Founding partner Jim Boyle is a key contact for prosecution, litigation and strategic advisory matters.

DeWitt LLP 

The crowning jewel of the Madison legal market, DeWitt – which also has a presence in Milwaukee and Minneapolis – makes light work of the most complex patent briefs. Recent developments for the set include the establishment of a new IP litigation unit in a move that should consolidate its position as a prime destination for contentious matters. Integral to this group are Joe Miotke and Harry Van Camp, two seasoned professionals who bring a lot to the practice beyond sheer advocacy skill. A champion of diversity in the legal profession, broad-minded IP strategist Miotke also devotes his time and energy to supporting Wisconsin’s entrepreneurship scene; while Van Camp creates efficiencies as a legal tech guru, ensuring that clients enjoy a seamless service. The prosecution practice, meanwhile, continues to hum thanks to the efforts of IP group co-chairs Christopher Scherer and Joseph T Leone, and Charles Sara. Scherer is “brilliant at communicating with inventors and working with USPTO examiners to find pathways to the allowance of the most meaningful and useful claims”. The “utterly dependable partner” is “highly creative” and “always willing to take time out to talk through hypothetical situations without you having to worry about the meter running”. Leone is an essential partner to many academic and research institutions, including the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, but also acquits himself with distinction for corporations large and small. Veteran IP rights protector Sara has a deft touch in the life sciences and the mechanical arts.

Foley & Lardner LLP

Singled out among Wisconsin-based firms for its “unparalleled regional, national and international reach”, Foley & Lardner is “in a class of its own”. The commercial outfit’s Milwaukee office is the base of operations for a talented and versatile group of IP partners who collectively cover all bases for patrons. For those seeking a well-rounded counsellor, any one of Scott Anderson, Jeffrey Gundersen or Joseph Ziebert would fit the bill perfectly. Underscoring his versatility, Anderson is a key member of multiple technology and industry-focused teams. Gundersen thinks globally when optimising IP strategies and is an ace on commercial IP matters. Ziebert manages significant portfolios with aplomb and is a deft deal negotiator and IP due diligence support lawyer. Anchoring the litigation practice locally is consummate trial and appellate lawyer Jeffrey Costakos, whose know-how cuts across myriad technologies.

Godfrey & Kahn

A new addition to the IAM Patent 1000 for 2021, Godfrey & Kahn is a Wisconsin stalwart, with five offices in the state and a branch in DC. The general practice is appreciated for its results-focused approach to IP matters; whether prosecuting patents, strategising around them or litigating, its attorneys always keep clients’ broader objectives in mind. As one source comments: “The firm takes the time to understand us operationally and culturally, which inspires confidence that we are moving in the right direction and will be protected when threatened. It is a valued business as well as legal partner.” Recommended for his prosecution dexterity, the internationally well-connected Brian Gilpin is someone you can trust to manage a global portfolio to optimum effect. Working hand in glove with foreign associates in many jurisdictions, he secures all the right protections for Pacific Cycle, which manufactures and distributes top bike brands Schwinn, GT and Mongoose. He is joined in the listings by “collaborative and cost-effective” IP group chief Shane Delsman, who “provides highly valuable assistance in prosecuting applications and capturing potential intellectual property in the R&D and product development process”.

Green Griffith & Borg-Breen LLP

For redoubtable representation in life sciences patent litigation, Green, Griffith & Borg-Breen is a sure-fire bet. Specialising in Hatch-Waxman Act and other pharmaceutical cases, the boutique’s formidable lead counsel have chalked up many significant victories in district courts, at the Federal Circuit and before the PTAB. Their trial nous is matched by abundant technical expertise and commercial understanding, both of which shine through on every instruction. Partnering closely with their colleagues in Chicago are Middleton-based attorneys Jeffrey Ward and Wendy Ward, who between them have spent several decades at the patent coalface. The former is “resolute and crystal clear in his advice, even in complex cases with unexpected turns”; while the latter is a former senior IP director at a generic pharmaceutical company whose industry insight is a crucial point of difference.

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Michael Best & Friedrich has forged exceptionally strong links with Wisconsin innovators; and as a national outfit and Lex Mundi member, it enjoys close relations with businesses across the United States and around the world. Exposed, as a result, to all manner of patent briefs, it has developed a comprehensive toolkit and a sharpened problem-solving approach. Bench depth is another key selling point for the IP group, which is represented in the IAM Patent 1000 Wisconsin listings by Daniel Jones, Richard Kaiser and Thomas Miller on the prosecution side and Donald Best and Jonathan Margolies on the litigation side. Jones and Kaiser are precision prosecutors with a fine-grained understanding of mechanical technologies; software expert Miller has an eye for portfolio optimisation; and Best and Margolies bring the heat in all types of IP cases.

Perkins Coie LLP

A leading technology firm which also runs one of the busiest and best IP contentious practices in the United States, Perkins Coie cuts a dash on the national patent scene. Its pristine track record in all major patent litigation forums – including the PTAB, the Federal Circuit and ITC – gives it an air of invincibility, which is enhanced by the size and smarts of its trial lawyer line-up. Madison is home to firmwide patent litigation chair Christopher Hanewicz, who has done much to foster a collaborative culture in the group while leaving the hunger of its individuals undiminished. He sees a lot of action in the Western District of Wisconsin, where he is devastatingly effective. The same can be said of local managing partner Michelle Umberger who, like Hanewicz, is in her prime right now as an advocate. She is part of a large cross-office team currently litigating for the venerable Carnegie Institution of Washington and licensee WD Lab Grown Diamonds to enforce foundational patents for single-crystal diamond creation. One of the most seasoned attorneys in the entire firm, John Skilton has spent nearly 50 years in the game and is as savvy as any patent trial lawyer around.

Quarles & Brady LLP

An AmLaw 200 commercial firm with a storied history and rich tradition of excellence, Quarles & Brady is a repository of trust for myriad companies, including many at the cutting edge of technological development. Medical device and high-technology innovators have an able running mate in Jack Cook, who takes the reins of the prosecution practice; research and education institutions trust implicitly in his skills. Anchoring the life sciences practice, meanwhile, are molecular microbiology PhD Tambryn VanHeyningen and research scientist Scott McBride, whose sphere of operations encompasses prosecution, portfolio development, licensing and opinion giving. Kristin Graham Noel captains the IP litigation team, which she regularly leads to swift victory in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Other recommended experts

David Casimir of Casimir Jones sees the whole playing field for clients as a result of his engagement in all aspects of the protection, enforcement and monetisation of patents, which adds immense value to his strategic advice. The leader of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren’s IP group and co-chair of the litigation practice, David Hanson puts his finely honed powers of persuasion to good use as a first-chair IP litigator. A go-to boutique for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, McNeill Baur has a number of highfunctioning, PhD-holding attorneys on deck who are intimately familiar with the life sciences industry and the USPTO environment. One of those is Rebecca Scarr, a meticulous prosecutor and clever portfolio manager who gets the business side of things, too.

Individuals: litigation

  • Donald Best - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Jeffrey N Costakos - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Shane Delsman - Godfrey & Kahn
  • Kristin Graham Noel - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Christopher G Hanewicz - Perkins Coie LLP
  • David G Hanson - Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC
  • Christopher R Liro - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Jonathan H Margolies - Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Joe Miotke - DeWitt LLP 
  • Joseph T Miotke - DeWitt LLP
  • Aaron T Olejniczak - Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • John Skilton - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Michelle Umberger - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Harry E Van Camp - DeWitt 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
  • David A Casimir - Casimir Jones SC
  • Jack M Cook - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Shane Delsman - Godfrey & Kahn
  • Brian Gilpin - Godfrey & Kahn
  • 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
  • Joe Miotke - DeWitt LLP 
  • Joseph T Miotke - DeWitt LLP
  • Charles Sara - DeWitt LLP
  • Charles Sara - DeWitt LLP 
  • Rebecca B Scarr - McNeill Baur
  • Christopher Scherer - DeWitt LLP 
  • Harry Van Camp - DeWitt LLP 
  • Tambryn K VanHeyningen - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Joseph Ziebert - Foley & Lardner LLP