Ideas. Owned.®
Michael P. Gates

Mike Gates is a partner with Patterson Thuente IP, focusing his practice on:

  • Patent preparation and prosecution, both domestic and international, for a diverse mix of industries and entities, from solo inventors to multinational corporations.
  • Opinions of counsel, ranging from simple opinions concerning patentability and validity to comprehensive product clearances for complex devices and systems.
  • Design patent counseling and strategy development across a broad range of technologies including medical devices, graphical user interfaces, consumer products, and furniture. Mike is a go-to resource within the firm for design patent best practices and strategy.
  • Post-grant proceedings including reexaminations and inter partes reviews. Mike recently successfully represented a ladder manufacturer in an inter parties review proceeding resulting in favorable settlement of co-pending litigation.
  • Portfolio management. Mike has extensive experience with management of complex, large intellectual property portfolios, including identifying and pursuing opportunities to expand and leverage clients' portfolios.
  • Due diligence for acquisitions and investment financing, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars over his career.

Mike has significant experience with clients in the medical device, mechanical and automotive industries. He has assisted a number of companies as they navigate the often crowded IP landscape in order to establish a position that aligns with their business objectives. He has worked with numerous start-up companies, particularly in the medical device domain, whose success in fundraising, acquisition and other exit strategies were supported by their strong IP portfolios.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Patterson Thuente IP, Mike clerked at a general practice law firm. He also spent four years working in 3M's Automotive Division, giving him valuable experience working in a Fortune 500 corporate environment. In college, Mike pursued his passion for motorsports over three years, competing in the Formula SAE engineering design competition.

Mike is the firm's resident gearhead. In college he spent three years competing in Formula SAE, an international engineering and racing challenge for students. Mike has over a decade's experience competing in various categories of car and motorcycle racing.

Representative Technology Experience

  • Implantable medical devices, including:
    • Neuromodulation and electrostimulation devices
    • Implantable defibrillators
  • Ablation catheters
  • Infusion pumps - clinical and ambulatory
  • Orthopedic braces
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Powersport vehicles and accessories
  • Consumer products

Practice Areas

  • Patents


  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 2005
  • University of Minnesota
    • B.S. - 2002
    • Major: Mechanical Engineering


  • Patents on the Fast Track, Ideas on Intellectual Property Law, Year End 2010

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Member

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Minnesota

Current Employment Position

  • Partner - Patent Attorney

Past Positions

  • 3M's Automotive Aftermarket Division Tech Service, Tech Aide