Ideas. Owned.®
Tom Dickson is the CEO and managing partner at Patterson Thuente IP. A seasoned litigator and experienced practitioner in areas of IP prosecution and strategy development, Tom is appreciated by clients for his business-oriented approach. He has a rich and diverse background from which to draw as he helps clients develop practical business strategies that focus on market potential.
Tom excels in due dilignece on both corporate acquisitions and litigation strategies; business valuation; licensing and agreements; portfolio management; and joint development. Tom's practice emphasizes patent prosecution, IP portfolio management, patent opinions, enforcement of IP rights and counseling clients on international IP strategies. He is also the chair of the firm's trademark department and provides clients with sound strategies for developing, managing and enforcing their trademark portfolios. 

Representative Technology Experience
  • Agricultural Products
  • Medical Devices
  • Defense contractor applications and projects
  • HVAC Products
  • Oil Production Strategies
Tom’s diverse background includes serving as a project manager on “Star Wars” programs for the U.S. Air Force, working on technology that involved space- and ground-based laser systems and various shuttle-launched experiments. Before being recruited to the firm, Tom was a registered investment advisor and member of an investing team for RBC Dain Rauscher. He also gained valuable litigation experience at a Minneapolis-based, national litigation firm. There, he represented businesses, insurance companies and individuals in cases involving fires, explosions and structural collapses throughout the country.

Case Studies
  • Developed portfolio management protocols for corporate clients, including disclosure and approval guidelines
  • Defended a software distributor against a major software company—achieved a favorable settlement after disputing plaintiff’s discovery requests
  • Represented a manufacturer of automatic external defibrillators (AED) against industry infringers—case settled upon successful negotiation of licenses
  • Defended a production studio on copyright and breach of contract claims, which resulted in a verdict for the defense after a six day trial

Practice Areas

  • Corporate Acquisitions; Litigation; Portfolio Management; Patent Prosecution; Trademarks
  • Agricultural Products
  • Medical Devices
  • Defense contractor applications and projects
  • HVAC Products
  • Oil Production Strategies


  • William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 1994
    • Honors: cum laude
  • University of Notre Dame
    • B.S., Aerospace Engineering - 1985
  • College of St. Thomas
    • B.A., Physics - 1985

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • International Trademark Association, Member
  • International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Member

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • Minnesota, 1994

Community Involvement

  • Minnesota Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, Judge, 2020 – 2021 competition
  • Loan Repayment Assistance Program of Minnesota, former board member
  • Good Shepherd School, former board member
  • Minneapolis Youthlink, volunteer and former board member and Treasurer
  • University of St. Thomas Law School, mentor
  • EO Minnesota's Entrepreneurs Rally, mentor

Current Employment Position

  • CEO and Managing Partner

Past Positions

  • Patterson, Thuente, Skaar & Christensen, P.A., Minneapolis, Hennepin Minnesota , Partner
  • RBC Dain Rauscher, Member, Investing Team