The Best Patent Law Firm in Each State
The following U.S. law firms are among the most prestigious in their respective states. Many will help inventors, small businesses, and large businesses alike to acquire, maintain and protect patents. As of the making of this list in 2015, we have good reason to believe that each one is both highly ethical and highly effective.
Please see the end of this report for an explanation of how we chose each firm, as well as definitions of important terms. Below the infographic, you will find the entire article.
Alabama: Adams and Reese LLP
Adams and Reese LLP is among the best-reviewed patent law firms in Alabama. Their offices in this state also have several Tier 1 rankings in the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Law Firms. They offer patent searches, evaluations, applications, rights deals, litigation and more. They primarily serve corporate clients (including startups), universities and other scientific organizations.
Alaska: Stoel Rives LLP
Ranked nationally as a Tier 3 firm in patent law, Stoel Rives LLP also has excellent client reviews, averaging 4.9 out of 5. While Alaskan residents may need to work with a lawyer located outside of the Anchorage office, the Stoel Rives team handles almost all varieties of patent and all facets of patent law.
Arizona: Perkins Coie LLP
From 2013 to 2014, Perkins Coie was the U.S. News Law Firm of the Year in patent law, and it remains a Tier 1 firm. It currently ranks as the 14th best intellectual property firm in the U.S. on Vault.com. Additionally, several of their attorneys once worked for the USPTO. This firm specializes in filing patents for entrepreneurs and individual inventors.
Arkansas: Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP
Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP is the only firm to have an Arkansas office reach Tier 1 in patent law. They offer patent prosecution services for businesses of any size, and have experience in both U.S. and international law.
California: McDermott Will & Emery LLP
McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a long list of accolades, standing as: one of the four best law firms in Patent Prosecution: Utility and Design Patents according to The Legal 500; the 12th best patent law firm in the U.S. according to Intellectual Property Today; and a Tier 1 firm according to U.S. News. Their attorneys are highly qualified and the majority have technical or scientific degrees in addition to their law degrees.
Colorado: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP is a Tier 1 patent law firm both locally and nationally, the 9th best on the Intellectual Property Today charts, the 13th best according to Vault.com, and one of the top 24 in The Legal 500. They offer counseling, prosecution, and litigation services.
Connecticut: Cantor Colburn
The Legal 500 considers Cantor Colburn one of the top nine firms in patent prosecution, and Intellectual Property Today ranks them as the 10th best in patent law overall. They handle all varieties of patents, including plant patents.
Delaware: Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP
U.S. News ranks Novak Druce as a Tier 1 patent law firm both locally and nationally. In addition, Intellectual Property Today ranks them at #11 in the country. Novak Druce’s attorneys work in a wide variety of industries and specialize in life sciences.
Florida: Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP
Georgia: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
This exceptional firm has achieved recognition across the board. It is recognized as one of the four best patent law firms in America by The Legal 500, the second best by Vault.com, the seventh most active in patent law by Martindale-Hubbell, and the 20th best by Intellectual Property Today. They file thousands of patents of all varieties every year.
Hawaii: Godbey Griffiths, LLLC
Godbey Griffiths is the only Hawaiian firm to be have their patent law services ranked by U.S. News, and they have earned a Tier 1 ranking. Their peers have rated them highly as well.
Idaho: Holland & Hart LLP
While no law office in Idaho appeared in the national ratings we reviewed, Holland & Hart is well known for their skill in patent law. They are also one of only a few Idaho firms that displayed positive reviews from both clients and peers on Martindale.com. Additionally, they have put greater effort into advertising their patent services than many local competitors, demonstrating a higher level of confidence. They serve individual inventors and major corporations alike.
Illinois: McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Indiana: Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Barnes & Thornburg is the only Indiana-based firm to achieve both metro and national Tier 1 rankings in patent law. They have received positive reviews from clients and peers as well. Their broad intellectual property offerings encompass patent prosecution, litigation, and more.
Iowa: Nyemaster Goode, P.C.
Of the three Tier 1 patent law firms in Iowa, Nyemaster Goode has the best (and most) ratings on Martindale.com. From patent search to litigation to portfolio strategy, they offer all of the services an inventor needs.
Kansas: Hovey Williams LLP
Although tied with Erickson, Kernell, Derusseau & Kleypas, LLC both as a Tier 1 firm and in peer reviews with a perfect 5.0 average, Hovey Williams has a larger number of partners. This means they have maintained their perfect rating across a larger number of reviews, implying impressive firm-wide discipline. The larger selection also means you are more likely to find an attorney suited to your needs.
Kentucky: Middleton Reutlinger
Although they have fewer Martindale-Hubbell reviews than fellow Tier 1 firm Frost Brown Todd LLC, Middleton Reutlinger places greater emphasis on their patent law offerings. They have 14 qualified patent attorneys in the state of Kentucky.
Louisiana: Jones Walker LLP
Martindale figures suggest that Jones Walker is the most popular Tier 1 patent law firm in Louisiana. Jones Walker also has excellent reviews from peers and clients. They accept all clients, from individuals to major corporations.
Maine: Pierce Atwood LLP
Pierce Atwood appears to be slightly less popular than Murray Plumb & Murray and is tied with them in national rankings. However, we chose them as the best in Maine because they have slightly higher peer ratings than MPM, and more importantly, because they display their client reviews on Martindale.com while MPM has chosen to hide theirs. They offer comprehensive patent services in a wide variety of industries.
Maryland: Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P
Highly rated by peers, clients, and U.S. News, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston has more patent attorneys than any other Baltimore firm. They serve businesses of any size and deal with both domestic and international patent law.
Massachusetts: Fish & Richardson P.C.
Fish & Richardson is the best patent law firm not only in Massachusetts, but quite possibly in the country as well. They are rated as the absolute best in the U.S. by both Vault.com and Martindale.com, one of the top four patent prosecution firms by The Legal 500, the fourth best nationwide by Intellectual Property Today, and a Tier 1 firm both locally and nationally by U.S. News. Having an additional office in Munich makes them particularly qualified to handle international patent applications. They welcome businesses of all sizes as clients.
Michigan: Brinks Gilson & Lione
Brinks Gilson is the only firm in Michigan to appear on more than one of the national ranking systems we reviewed. Intellectual Property Today rates them as the 17th best in the country, and The Legal 500 puts them in the top 35 for patent prosecution. U.S. News rates their Ann Arbor office as Tier 1 in patent law. Brinks Gilson can assist you with everything from filing new patents to defending your intellectual property rights.
Minnesota: Fish & Richardson P.C.
Mississippi: Burr & Forman LLP
Burr & Forman is the only Mississippi firm to have all of the following: a satisfactorily high focus on patents; both public client reviews and high peer reviews on Martindale.com; and recognition as a quality patent law firm by U.S. News (though this last is for their work in their Tampa, Florida office). They offer a full suite of patent law services.
Missouri: Harness, Dickey & Pierce, P.L.C.
Harness Dickey ranks as the 6th best law firm for patent activity on Martindale.com, and as the 7th best in patent law in Intellectual Property Today. They are also a U.S. News Tier 1 firm locally and Tier 2 nationally. According to their website, they have successfully prosecuted over 15,000 patents to date.
Montana: Holland & Hart LLP
See Idaho; the reasons for choosing them in Montana are much the same.
Nebraska: Houghton Vandenack Williams Whitted Weaver Parsonage LLC
Although they are outshone in certain areas by McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Houghton Vandenack Williams has a far greater emphasis on patents. They offer both patent prosecution and IP litigation. They willingly accept all clients, from individuals to large businesses.
Nevada: Weide & Miller, Ltd.
Weide & Miller is the only firm in Nevada to get ranked as Tier 1 in patent law by U.S. News—and they also have a Tier 1 ranking in patent litigation. They accept inventors and major corporations alike.
New Hampshire: Bourque & Associates
Bourque & Associates does one thing: intellectual property law. According to U.S. News, they do it rather well, as they are the only law firm in New Hampshire to receive a Tier 1 rating. They can guide you through everything from patentability to litigation.
New Jersey: Flaster/Greenberg P.C.
Of New Jersey’s four Tier 1 patent law firms, Flaster/Greenberg is the only one with client reviews available on Martindale.com (and both their peer and client reviews are excellent). We take this as a positive sign, as it indicates they have served clients well enough to motivate them to go online and share their opinions. In addition, they offer comprehensive services encompassing evaluation, prosecution, litigation, governmental proceedings, relevant agreements, and portfolio management.
New Mexico: Peacock Myers, P.C.
Just like Flaster/Greenberg above, Peacock Myers is the only Tier 1 firm in its state with reviews from both peers and clients on Martindale.com. They are dedicated to patent and intellectual property law and provide a full range of services in those fields.
New York: Fish & Richardson P.C.
North Carolina: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
North Dakota: Dorsey & Whitney
Although no North Dakota firm achieved recognition in the patent law ranking systems we reviewed, Dorsey & Whitney’s Fargo office has achieved Tier 1 rankings in other areas, demonstrating their reliability. They are also the only firm in North Dakota to both achieve any variety of Tier 1 ranking and explicitly and emphatically offer patent prosecution services.
Ohio: Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
Porter Wright is neck-and-neck with Ice Miller LLP in the U.S. News rankings. They tie as the only two firms to rank nationally (Tier 3) as well as locally (Tier 1) in patent law. However, of the two, only Porter Wright has been peer reviewed on Martindale.com, where they have been deemed highly ethical. This extra layer of assurance made us decide to put them at the top. They provide services in all major areas of patent law.
Oklahoma: McAfee & Taft PC
McAfee & Taft has received the most exceptional client and peer reviews of any Tier 1 firm in Oklahoma. They specialize in electrical, chemical, and mechanical inventions, and take both big businesses and private individuals as clients.
Oregon: Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
While competing Oregon firm Chernoff Vilhauer LLP has received better peer reviews, they have chosen to hide their client reviews. Schwabe has not—and they have maintained a high average client rating. We favor them for their greater transparency. They specialize in life science, mechanical, and information technology, as well as nano-/microtechnology.
Pennsylvania: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Intellectual Property Today rates Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney as the 21st best patent law firm in America. The Legal 500 also rates it among the top 24 in the U.S., and U.S. News ranks it as Tier 3 nationally and Tier 1 locally. Their specialties include biotech, materials science, and chemical, electrical, and mechanical inventions.
Rhode Island: Verrill Dana LLP
Verrill Dana has the heaviest focus on patent law (including prosecution, not just litigation) of all Rhode Island law firms to both receive a national ranking of any variety from U.S. News and be peer reviewed on Martindale. Additionally, their Portland, ME office has received a Tier 1 metro ranking in patent litigation, demonstrating their overall competence. They offer a full suite of patent services.
South Carolina: Dority & Manning, P.A.
Dority & Manning, P.A. and J. Bennett Mullinax LLC are the only two Tier 1 patent law firms in South Carolina. Both are dedicated intellectual property firms, but far more Dority & Manning attorneys have been peer reviewed. Unlike J. Bennett Mullinax, they also have client ratings (albeit very few), which are currently perfect. They work with businesses of all sizes and with universities.
South Dakota: Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith P.C.
No South Dakota firm appeared in the ranking systems that we reviewed. In our opinion, Woods Fuller stands out as the best among the few firms in the state to offer comprehensive patent services. They have achieved metro Tier 1 rankings in several other areas of practice and have received positive reviews.
Tennessee: Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
Of the three Tennessee firms to reach Tier 1 in patent law, Waller has ranked in the largest number of practice areas. They also have excellent reviews from peers and clients and a versatile patent practice.
Texas: Fish & Richardson P.C.
Utah: Holland & Hart LLP
Ranked as a Tier 1 firm in Patent Law and Tier 2 in Patent Litigation, Holland & Hart narrowly beat close competitor TraskBritt thanks to the outstanding performance of Salt Lake City–based attorney L. Grant Foster, the only individual in Utah to currently hold a highly recommended rating in patent prosecution from the IAM Patent 1000. See Idaho for additional details.
Vermont: Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
DRM has far more metro awards from U.S. News and slightly higher Martindale ratings than its closest Vermont competitor, Paul Frank + Collins P.C. They offer comprehensive patent services.
Virginia: Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP
Intellectual Property Today ranks Oblon as the best patent law firm in the country. Martindale, The Legal 500, and U.S. News lend credibility to this claim by ranking it as the second most active patent law firm in the country, one of the top 17 in patent prosecution, and a metro Tier 1 and national Tier 2 patent law firm, respectively. They work with businesses of all sizes and with universities.
Washington: Perkins Coie LLP
West Virginia: Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.
Although we found no West Virginia law firms in the patent law ranking systems we reviewed, Dickie McCamey has received recognition in several other areas. They also have excellent peer and client reviews. Their offerings run the gamut of intellectual property law and cover a wide range of industries.
Wisconsin: Foley & Lardner LLP
Appearing in The Legal 500’s top four patent prosecution firms, Foley & Lardner ranks as #8 in Intellectual Property Today, #23 on Vault.com, and a U.S. News Tier 1 firm in patent law and patent litigation, both on the national level and in the Milwaukee metro area in particular. They work with a wide range of technologies and with software and business methods.
Wyoming: Holland & Hart LLP
See Idaho; we selected Holland & Hart for Wyoming for essentially the same reasons.
How We Chose These Firms
Our choice of the best patent law firm in each U.S. state is based on information from the following resources:
- S. News & World Report Best Law Firms
- The Legal 500 rankings for Patent Prosecution: Utility and Design Patents
- Intellectual Property Today 2015 Top Patent Firms (top 25 only)
- Martindale-Hubbell Top 10 Law Firms – U.S. Patent Activity
- com Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property
- Martindale-Hubbell peer and client reviews, as tiebreakers
- Other ranking systems, such as the IAM Patent 1000, as tiebreakers
- Firm websites, to determine each firm’s dedication to and emphasis on patent law
- Journalistic articles, when other resources failed to provide sufficient information
Tier: This is in reference to U.S. News rankings. Tier 1 firms are the highest-ranked, Tier 2 the second-highest, and Tier 3 the third. Ranking in any tier is a significant honor. We use both “metro” and “local” to refer to metropolitan rankings, and “national,” “nationwide,” “across the country,” and so on to refer to national rankings. A full explanation of the tier rating system is available here: http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx
Martindale, Martindale-Hubbell, Martindale.com: Any of these refers to information provided by Martindale-Hubbell on their website, Martindale.com.
The Legal 500: All Legal 500 rankings cited refer to their Patent Prosecution: Utility and Design Patents rankings. While they use a tier system as well, we avoid referring to it as such in order to prevent confusion with U.S. News rankings. Instead, we refer to them as one of the top X firms; a Tier 1 firm is designated one of the top four (since there are only four Tier 1 firms), a Tier 2 firm one of the top nine (since there are four Tier 1 and five Tier 2 firms), etc.
Peer or client ratings/reviews: All such reviews referenced come from Martindale.com.
Patent prosecution: This refers to the patent creation and application process.