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A recognized leader and registered patent attorney, Jim taps his four decades of experience providing tailored intellectual property (IP) counsel across industries and companies of all sizes to bring value to a client’s bottom line.

Jim seeks to understand a client’s business, goals, and appetite for risk, then calibrates his advice accordingly. Through patent prosecution, licensing, IP portfolio management, IP monetization, dispute mediation or litigation, as well as the appointment of responsive internal service teams, he ensures clients’ strategic objectives are achieved while protecting their most important assets.

Jim represents solo inventors to global Fortune 100 corporations in myriad industries including medical devices, defense, electronics, plastics, and mechanical equipment. He has taken cases to trial in state and federal courts and has served as an expert witness in U.S. and European cases.

Following his partnership at a large, international law firm, Jim founded an IP boutique with the goals of providing exceptional client service and a welcoming work environment. Thirty years later, in 2024, Jim and his team joined Husch Blackwell, a firm with shared values and a larger platform with which to address client needs beyond IP.

Jim is passionate about assisting the disadvantaged and believes it is every lawyer’s responsibility to help ensure all inventors have access to high-quality legal representation. Chief among his contributions, he was a founder of the USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program, which has provided patent prosecution advice to thousands of under-resourced inventors across the country and, in turn, has issued hundreds of patents. His leadership and pro bono endeavors support and promote innovation worldwide and have led to contacts and working relationships within senior levels of the U.S. and international patent offices, awarding him professional insight attractive to clients.

Prior to his legal career, Jim served six years of active duty with the U.S. 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. He also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for 21 years and attained the rank of Captain.




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


  • J.D., University of Kansas School of Law
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.S., United States Naval Academy
    • Electrical Engineering


  • Minnesota
  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • American Intellectual Property Association
  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
  • Sole arbiter of a patent infringement case involving seven patents, five of which were invalidated.

Pro bono:

  • Won a five-figure settlement for a solo artist in Serbia in a copyright infringement case involving a Minnesota-based Fortune 500 retailer.
Outside the Office

Jim’s roots run deep in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife and their four children own and enjoy an ancestral home and farm. Jim’s great-great grandfather, among the first Scottish to arrive in the New World, built the farm and a shipbuilding business. The Patterson family name is memorialized at Patterson Wharf Park and Patterson Law, one of Nova Scotia’s largest law firms, founded by Jim’s great uncle, Frank Patterson.

Jim is an avid runner and has completed the Boston Marathon three times.

Community Leadership
  • Mitchell Hamline Intellectual Property Institute, Advisory Board Member
  • Hamline University School of Law, Former Adjunct Professor
  • AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council, Chair
  • WIPO Inventor Assistance Program, Liaison
  • Hon. Jimmie V. Reyna Intellectual Property Inn of Court, Co-Founder
  • United Inventors Association, Board Member
  • Minneapolis Aquatennial, Commodore, 2010