Intellectual Property


Steptoe’s US and International Intellectual Property practice enforces, protects, and develops the intellectual property rights and assets of clients in a wide range of industries.  We understand clients’ top priorities, including responsiveness, efficiency, and budgeting.  With lawyers in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC our full service practice includes:

IP Litigation: Our practice blends the traditional litigation strength of Steptoe with strong scientific and technological experience. Our lawyers include trial and litigation specialists who hold Ph.D. and master’s degrees in pertinent technology disciplines and are able to translate technical details into easily understood and successfully persuasive positions. Our team has litigated patent, trademark, copyright, service mark, trade dress, false advertising, unfair competition, gray market, antitrust, and related issues throughout the country.

Section 337 Litigation: Our Section 337/ITC Litigation practice integrates our IP practice, our government affairs group, and our well-known international trade practice. The combination of disciplines uniquely qualifies Steptoe to structure compelling arguments for clients that present challenging cases. Steptoe is consistently ranked as one of the most active law firms before the ITC according to surveys by IP Law & Business and Corporate Counsel magazines.

Appellate Court: We develop and advocate a complete patent litigation strategy, from filing of litigation through appeal. Representation includes our specialized knowledge of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in which cases are handled by nationally recognized Federal Circuit specialists. When we accept representation at the appellate level we bring a fresh approach to the review of the issues and presentation of the themes on appeal.

Patent Portfolio Development: Steptoe's registered patent attorneys protect the ideas of companies, universities, and individuals, and help to establish and sustain their intellectual property economically and strategically.  Our group helps align our clients’ IP and business strategies, and builds and protects their IP assets by prosecuting, managing, and licensing new discoveries world-wide.

Post-Grant Patent Office Activities: Drawing on our firm’s strength in patent litigation and prosecution, Steptoe has broad experience with post-grant review proceedings related to a variety of technologies.  Steptoe has been involved in many inter partes and ex parte reexaminations and was one of the first law firms to file petitions for inter partes review (IPR) in September 2012.  In addition to offensively filing IPRs, Steptoe teams have successfully defended against IPR petitions.  Our team has been successful at using Post Grant activities to drive settlement of pending district court litigations.

Trademarks: Steptoe’s trademark lawyers offer comprehensive brand protection to our clients. Our lawyers provide strategic trademark advice and manage trademark portfolios for some of the top US and global brands. Having identified a growing trend of intellectual property owners seeking to expand their brands into international markets, Steptoe is working with industry leaders to develop new IP strategies in emerging markets.

Copyright Protection: Steptoe lawyers advise clients in a broad range of issues relating to the acquisition, transfer, exploitation, negotiation, preservation, and protection of their rights in copyrightable works. Our copyright group has handled a full range of copyright and entertainment related transactions, and includes lawyers with in-house experience in the entertainment industry who have litigated high-profile matters relating to cutting-edge copyright issues.

Online and New Media: Steptoe’s trademark team works with multi-media and web-based companies to navigate their intellectual property rights in new media and online, and assists entities with their online activities by crafting policies and agreements for use of the website, user generated content, and personal data, as well as formulating internal compliance procedures and audits.  Our team has positioned itself as a leader in the domain name and online space. In particular, our lawyers work with clients to address the challenges they face with the way social media platforms have revolutionized the way companies conduct business and communicate with customers.  


  • Steptoe’s Section 337 practice ranked in Chambers Global 2011 - 2015 in International Trade: Intellectual Property, Section 337 (US)
  • Steptoe’s Section 337 practice ranked in Chambers USA 2009 - 2015 in International Trade: Intellectual Property, Section 337 (Nationwide)
  • Ranked among the top patent litigation firms in Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine's Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners, 2012-2015
  • Named a top Patent Law Firm in the US by Intellectual Property Today, March 2009

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