Ideas. Owned.®
Jim Patterson is a founding partner of Patterson Thuente IP. In his 30-plus years of experience, Jim’s practice has encompassed all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution, licensing, dispute mediation, and litigation. A recognized leader in the legal community, Jim works with mid-size and large, regional technology companies, as well as Fortune Global 500 corporations, providing them with senior-level strategic counsel and ensuring that their patent dollars are spent wisely.

As a leader and mentor within the firm, Jim imposes a client-first philosophy, emphasizing quality work, responsiveness and teamwork. His work for clients, both domestic and international includes:

  • IP portfolio management
  • Competitive analysis
  • Offensive and defensive strategy development
  • Freedom-to-operate (FTO) opinions
  • Clearance searches
  • Enforcement strategy and analysis
  • Global market-protection strategies
  • Inventor issue resolution

Access to justice for the disadvantaged has been an important part of Jim’s career. Over the past several years, Jim has been instrumental in not only developing the first  pro bono patent law program in the US, but also providing start-up guidance to patent pro bono programs across the country. He is Chair of the AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council, a national organization coordinating the efforts of 20 regional pro bono programs, and is a liaison to the WIPO Inventor Assistance Program, an initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum.

Professional Experience
Prior to establishing Patterson Thuente IP, Jim was a partner at a large, international law firm in Minneapolis. Before joining the legal community, he spent six years with the United States Navy as an Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer on the USS Marvin Shields, and as an Ocean Watch Officer at an acoustic research station in Wales, United Kingdom. During one of his three deployments as a naval officer, Jim served in Vietnam. He served in the United States Naval Reserve for 21 years.
Jim has trial experience in state and federal courts and has served as an expert witness in U.S. and European cases. He was sole arbiter of a patent infringement case involving seven patents, five of which were invalidated.
Jim also enjoys working with inventors and the challenge of patenting ideas that are twists on everyday products.
Jim was formerly an adjunct professor with Hamline University of Law. He currently serves on the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Intellectual Property Institute Advisory Board.

Case Studies
Sole arbiter of a patent infringement case involving seven patents, five of which were invalidated


  • University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas
    • J.D. - 1981
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
  • United States Naval Academy
    • B.S. - 1972
    • Major: Electrical Engineering


  • Lexology Client Choice Award, 2016, 2018
  • Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year
  • IAM Magazine Patent 1000, 2013 - 2021
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - IP, Patent Law, 2013 - 2020
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recipient, ABA National Public Service Award
  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • Chambers USA, 2021


  • Conflict Management and the Interplay Between Antitrust and IP, K&S Partners, Webinar, 12/03/2020
  • Panel on Inventor Groups, Licensing & Pro Bono, Invention-Con 2017, Washington, DC, 08/11/2017 to 08/11/2017
  • An Intellectual Property System Relevant to Texas Inventors and Entrepreneurs, Texas Global Innovation and Intellectual Property Summit, 2015 to 2015
  • Protecting and Commercializing Inventions, Minnesota Inventors Network, 2015 to 2015
  • The LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program, MN-CLE, 2015 to 2015
  • Developing Good Patent Claims: A Fellow’s Guide to Successful Interaction with the OTC, University of Minnesota Medical Devices Center Fellows Boot Camp, 2009 to 2013
  • IP Pro Bono Programs and Myth Busters: Bridging the IP Resource and Legal Assistance Gap, 2009
  • Adjunct Professor, Hamline University of Law


  • A Brief History of the Pro Bono Patent Assistance Program, UIA, August 28, 2017
  • Upper Midwest Jazzed Up About Expansion of Patent Pro Bono Program, IP Watchdog, May 2, 2015
  • White House Recognizes Minneapolis Lawyers’ Pro Bono Program, Twin Cities Business, February 24, 2014
  • Pro Bono Legal Help for Inventors, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, May 31, 2012

Professional Associations

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee, Member

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1981
  • Minnesota, 1983
  • Missouri, 1981

Community Involvement

  • AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council, Chair
  • WIPO Inventor Assistance Program, Liaison LegalCORPS, Board Member Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna Intellectual
  • Property Inn of Court, Officer United Inventors Association, Board Member University of Minnesota Earl E. Bakken
  • Medical Devices Center, Volunteer Researcher - IP MN Legislative Salary Council Children's Heart Fund of Ethiopia - Minnesota, Board Member Minneapolis Aquatennial Commodore, 2010
  • MN Legislative Salary Council

Fraternities or Sororities

  • Phi Kappa Phi