Ideas. Owned.®
Paul Onderick, O.D.

Paul Onderick is a patent attorney and licensed optometrist whose practice focuses on assisting clients in seeking patent protection and developing and managing patent portfolios. Much of Dr. Onderick's practice at Patterson Thuente focuses on seeking to protect innovations in technologies that relate to his background in optometry, including optical products such as microscopes and digital projectors; clinical and surgical instrument-related products; heads-up and night vision displays; and laser-refractive technologies. He also works with manufacturers of medical devices, biomedical instruments, and automated and robotic manufacturing equipment. Dr. Onderick also assists clients with obtaining patent protection for mechanical devices.

Before becoming a patent attorney, Dr. Onderick was a clinical optometrist for nearly two decades. He was president and owner of Professional Eye Care, Ltd., where he cared for patients and managed the day-to-day operations of the business. Dr. Onderick's broad scientific background, which includes areas of optics, medicine, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics, coupled with first-hand knowledge of the challenges of running a business, allows him to relate to clients on many levels. He enjoys developing intellectual property strategies that contribute to the success of the intelligent and enthusiastic innovators who are his clients.

Case Studies

  • Successfully utilized trade dress enforcement to stop competitors who were copying the distinct look of our client's world leading wearable magnification products.
  • Completed appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on a patent application for a surgical microscope including making oral arguments before the board. The appeal led to the board reversing the USPTO examiner and allowance of all pending claims in the application.
  • Prepared Patent Owner's Amendment and Response in an ex parte reexamination that led to issuance of a Reexamination Certificate affirming the patentability of all claims in the reexamined patent, which related to computerized microscope-image processing.

Practice Areas

  • Patent Law
  • Trademark Law
  • IP Strategy Development
  • Litigation
  • Post Grant Proceeding
  • International IP Protection
  • Technology Review & Product Clearance
  • Trade Secrets
  • IP Licensing
  • Copyright Law
  • Entertainment & the Arts


  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • J.D. – 2003
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Law Review: Minnesota Intellectual Property Review, Articles Editor
  • Kentucky Wesleyan College
    • Honors: Alpha Chi Honor Society
    • Honors: CRC Freshman Chemistry Award
    • Major: Chemistry
  • Indiana University
    • B.S., Optometry – 1980
  • Indiana University
    • Doctor of Optometry – 1982


  • In Black and White, The Ophthalmologist, December 2018
  • Qualifying for Micro-entity status: Implications for Universities and TTOs, Technology Transfer Tactics, Vol. 7, No. 7 (pp. 97 – 112) July 2013
  • The Request for Continued Examination (RCE) and How to Make Yours a Priority, Ideas on Intellectual Property Law, April/May 2013
  • Expanded Prior User Rights Under the America Invents Act
  • USPTO’s Narrow Interpretation of Prior Art Could Make Grace Period Exceptions “All But Non-Existent,” The Tech Transfer Blog, October 2012
  • Mayo Laboratories v. Prometheus: Medical Trademarks and the Future, Minnesota Business Magazine, July 2012
  • Interested in Patent Protection? Beware of Statutory Bars, University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Center for Economic Development Newsletter, June, 21, 2012
  • Recent Court of Appeals Decision Strengthens Design Patents, University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Center for Economic Development Newsletter, May 24, 2012
  • No Copyright for Product Part Numbers
  • Injunctions in Patent Cases
  • How Close is Too Close in Patent Law?
  • The Provisional Patent Application: When is it the right approach to IP protection?
  • Even a Patent Can be Decorative, Minnesota Business Magazine online, December 7, 2009
  • Don’t “Over-License” Your Patent Rights, Ideas on Intellectual Property Law, August/September 2009
  • Reflections: From Patients to Patents, Optometric Management, March, 2009

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • American Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member

Bar Admissions

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


  • “The New Patent Landscape: What Innovators in Low Vision Rehabilitation Should Know,” Envision Conference, September 7 – 10, 2016
  • “The New Patent Landscape: What Innovators in Low Vision Rehabilitation Should Know About Recent Changes to US Patent Laws,” Envision Conference, September 9 – 12, 2015

Community Involvement 

  • Board of Directors, Central Minnesota Legal Services

Current Employment Position

  • Partner - Patent Attorney

Past Positions

  • Professional Eye Care, Ltd., President and Owner