Amy M. Salmela

Partner - Patent Attorney

Patent Lawyers

Amy Salmela is a partner with Patterson Thuente IP. Amy’s practice focuses primarily on patent prosecution related to electrical engineering and electronics, including medical devices and technology, computer hardware and software, semiconductors, 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 a major European semiconductor company. This experience has given her a broad perspective from which 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, training R&D personnel and management on global IP strategy and facilitating invention generation workshops.

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

  • Software and control systems
  • 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
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
  • Internet-based sales and consumer product customization systems


Lexology Client Choice Award, 2014 Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year, 2014 Minnesota Business Leaders in Health Care Awards finalist, 2014 Minnesota Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, 2012 – 2013 Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under Forty Award, 2012 Minnesota Lawyer Up & Coming Attorneys, 2012 North Star Lawyer, 2013 – 2015


IP Advisor, AUM Cardiovascular America Invents Act (AIA) Pro Bono Advisory Council Board Member, Highland District Council Former Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law IP, IP Law Clinic LifeScience Alley Women in the Life Sciences Leadership Roundtables (2010, 2012)


German (conversant)


Supreme Court of Minnesota United States Patent and Trademark Office


American Bar Association, IPL Section Pro Bono Committee, Chair Minnesota Women Lawyers Minnesota State Bar Association

Recent Presentations

  • “IP Hot Topics, NGO Management 101,” Equal Justice Conference, Austin, TX, May 2015
  • “Section 101 in View of Alice v. CLS Bank,” internal training at British Telecommunications, April 2015
  • LegalCORPS IAP Volunteer Attorney Training, St. Paul, MN April 2015
  • “Advancing Women in IP Practice,” moderator, William Mitchell College of Law, April 2015
  • “IP Business Basics,” Kauffman FastTrac TechVenture IP presentation, University of Minnesota – Rochester, April 2013, 2015, 2016
  • “The LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program,” MN-CLE webinar, March 2015
  • Young Professionals Leadership Panel, 2015 Leadership Foundations Program, University of Minnesota Law School, January 2015
  • “Getting from Idea to IP: Why, How and When to Patent,” International Medical Devices Conference, Chicago, IL, September 2012 – 2014
  • “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


How the Patent Pro Bono Program is Making a Difference (available here to Law360 subscribers), Law360, September 15, 2015

In-House Pro Bono: Doing Intellectual Property Work for Those Who Need it Most, Landslide, January/February 2015

A Cooperative Clinic/Corporate Patent Pro Bono Project, Landslide, September/October 2014

Patent Law Pro Bono: A Best Practices Handbook, (with Privratsky, Mark R.) (2013) Cybaris®: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 1. INCLUDES VIDEO

Usefulness Varies by Country: The Utility Requirement in Patent Law in the United States, Canada and Europe, Cybaris®: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 1. INCLUDES VIDEO


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 U.S. Patent & Trademark Office