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Amy M. Salmela
Patent Attorney

Amy Salmela is a partner with Patterson Thuente IP. Amy’s practice focuses primarily on patent prosecution in the areas of semiconductor, medical device, electrical and electronics, computer hardware and software, physics and mechanical arts. Her practice includes strategic IP portfolio growth and management for a range of clients, from start-ups to large, multi-national corporations, as well as investment and acquisition IP due diligence, opinion work and litigation support.

In addition to her private practice experience with the firm, Amy worked in-house for two years for a major European semiconductor company. This experience has given her a broader perspective and enhances her ability to advise clients regarding strategic IP portfolio management in a global economy, as well as assist with the development of offensive and defensive IP strategies to complement business goals. In her in-house role, Amy was also responsible for educating European and German patent attorneys on US IP law. She also trained R&D personnel and management on global IP strategy and facilitated invention generation workshops.

Amy is committed to pro bono legal efforts, serving as a volunteer lawyer and on the process and screening committees for the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program, a first-of-its-kind pro bono program for inventors. She was also asked by Director of the USPTO, David Kappos, to serve on a nationwide implementation group, the AIA Pro Bono Task Force.

Professional Experience

Prior to becoming an attorney, Amy was an electrical engineer, working for a printed circuit board subcontract manufacturer, U.S. Steel Corporation and Northern States Power Company.

Representative Technology Experience

  • Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS)
  • Medical infusion pumps
  • Ultrasonic wound debridement and healing technologies
  • Optical cable installation, transmission and error detection
  • Semiconductor micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) systems
  • Secure data encryption and decryption systems and methods
  • Sonic sensors
  • Synchronized clocking systems
  • Photo cells for ultraviolet sensors
  • Secure QR code encoding and data management systems
  • Non-invasive coronary artery disease detection systems and methods
  • Magnetoresistive sensors, including GMR, TMR and AMR
  • Automotive radar systems
  • Hall-effect sensors, including vertical Hall devices
  • Dynamic web searching and presentation system
  • Composite aircraft components and assemblies
  • Printed electrical circuits and circuit components
  • Automotive occupant detection systems and methods
  • Aircraft landing gear control systems


  • 2014 Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year
  • Minnesota Business 2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards finalist
  • Minnesota Rising Stars 2012 - 2013
  • 2012 40 Under Forty Award, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
  • Minnesota Lawyer 2012 Up & Coming Attorneys



  • IP Advisor, AUM Cardiovascular
  • Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law IP, IP Law Clinic
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • America Invents Act (AIA) Pro Bono Task Force
  • ABA-IPL Section, Pro Bono Committee, Chair
  • Board Member, Highland District Council
  • LifeScience Alley Women in the Life Sciences Leadership Roundtables (2010, 2012)

Recent Presentations

"IP Business Basics," Kauffman FastTrac TechVenture IP presentation, University of Minnesota - Rochester, April 2013

"Getting from Idea to IP: Why, How and When to Patent," International Medical Devices Conference, Chicago, IL, September 2012

"Patents & the Global Marketplace," U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, Women's Entepreneurship Symposium, Washington, D.C., March 2011

"Making Smart Patent Application Filing Decisions," University of Minnesota Medical Device Innovation Boot Camp," Minneapolis, MN, October 2010 & 2011

"Recent Developments in U.S. IP Law," Geyer Fehner & Partners and Ashurst internal training, Munich, Germany, April 2010


German (conversant)

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Amy M. Salmela


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

Technology Areas
Computer Law
Medical Devices
Internet/Electronic Commerce

Milwaukee School of Engineering, B.S. Electrical Engineering, 2000, with honors
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 2003, Minnesota Law Review
Supreme Court of Minnesota
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
United States Patent & Trademark Office
Minnesota State Bar Association
Patent Law Pro Bono: A Best Practices Handbook, Cybaris An Intellectual Property Law Review, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2012

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