Ideas. Owned.®
Tom Dickson is managing partner at Patterson Thuente IP. A seasoned practitioner in the 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’s practice emphasizes patent prosecution, IP portfolio management, patent opinions, enforcement of IP rights, and counseling clients on international intellectual property 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.

Representative Technology Experience
  • Agricultural implements
  • Armored vehicle applications
  • Automatic external defibrillators
  • Cell culture devices
  • Chiller compressors
  • Conformal antennas
  • Electro-thermal chemical igniters and connectors
  • Fiber optic interconnects
  • Hybrid electric vehicles
  • Intravascular implantable devices
  • LED light strings
  • Projectile trajectory correction systems
  • Shell and tube evaporators

Case Studies
  • Enforced a design patent to stop a competitor’s copycat design
  • 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


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

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • International Trademark Association, 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, board member
  • Good Shepherd School, board member
  • Minneapolis Youthlink, volunteer and former board member and Treasurer