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James H. Patterson

Jim Patterson is a founding partner of Patterson Thuente. His practice has encompassed all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution, licensing, dispute mediation and litigation. A recognized leader in the legal community, Jim has more than 30 years of experience in intellectual property law, particularly in the electrical and mechanical arts. He works with mid-size and large, regional technology companies, as well as Fortune Global 500 corporations, providing them with senior-level strategic counsel and ensuring that their patent dollars are spent wisely. His work for clients, both domestic and international includes:

  • IP portfolio management
  • Competitive analysis
  • Offensive and defensive strategy development
  • Freedom-to-operate (FTO) opinions
  • Clearance searches
  • Enforcement strategy and analysis
  • Global market-protection strategies
  • Inventor issue resolution

As a leader and mentor within the firm, Jim imposes a client-first philosophy throughout the firm, emphasizing quality work, responsiveness and teamwork.

Professional Experience

Prior to establishing Patterson Thuente IP, Jim was a partner at a large, international law firm in Minneapolis. Before joining the legal community, he spent six years with the United States Navy as an Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer on the USS Marvin Shields, and as an Ocean Watch Officer at an acoustic research station in Wales, United Kingdom. During one of his three deployments as a naval officer, Jim served in Vietnam. He served in the United States Naval Reserve for 21 years.

Jim has trial experience in state and federal courts and has served as an expert witness in U.S. and European cases. He also enjoys working with inventors and the challenge of patenting ideas that are twists on everyday products.

Access to justice for the disadvantaged is another passion that drives Jim's career. He has been providing pro bono services through the Hennepin County Volunteer Lawyers Network and other organizations for 25 years and has been a leader in the pro bono community. Most recently, he spearheaded a patent law pro bono pilot program in Minnesota. He is also serving as convener of the AIA Pro Bono Task Force, which is overseeing the nationwide rollout of patent law pro bono programs.

Jim was formerly an adjunct professor with Hamline University of Law. He currently serves on the William Mitchell College of Law, Intellectual Property Institute Advisory Board.

Case Studies

Sole arbiter of a patent infringement case involving seven patents, five of which were invalidated


  • 2014 Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year
  • IAM Magazine Patent 1000, 2013-2014
  • 2013 ABA National Public Service Award recipient
  • 2012 - 2014 North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Top 40 Intellectual Property Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 1997 - 2014   
  • Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer Lawyers Network 2001
  • Leading American Attorney, American Research Corporation
  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2013

Community Involvement

  • AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council, convener
  • United Inventors Association, board member
  • LegalCORPS, board member
  • Children's Heart Fund of Ethopia - Minnesota, board member

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James H. Patterson


Practice Areas
Patent Prosecution
Copyright, Trademarks & Trade Secrets
IP Portfolio Management
International IP Protection
Technology Review and Product Clearance

Technology Areas

United States Naval Academy, B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1972
University of Kansas, J.D., 1981, Order of the Coif
Supreme Court of Minnesota
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit
5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Minnesota State Bar Association, Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
American Intellectual Property Law Association
American Bar Association

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