Billie Smith Photo

Billie Jean Smith



Billie works with clients to procure, manage and enforce IP portfolios including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. A seasoned practitioner with a strong track record of successful outcomes, she provides counsel throughout the preparation and implementation of IP strategies.

Her purview starts as early as the product’s development, and can extend to how it is marketed and positioned in the global marketplace. With an engineering background and over 20 years’ experience, Billie understands her clients’ product development issues, as well as the challenges they face in bringing IP products and services to market.

Whether working to procure, enforce or defend their IP rights, her legal advice is predicated on achieving their business goals. With her training in Legal Lean Sigma, Billie knows how to deliver work efficiently and cost effectively. She collaborates seamlessly with the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and draws upon, when needed, IP advice from a network of other law firms from around the world.


Notable engagements include:

  • Identifying and protecting trade secrets for a large retail food manufacturer by conducting trade secret audits and inventories, and establishing protection procedures
  • Controlling trademark costs for a retail department store by establishing fixed fees for all trademark work
  • For a large retail food manufacturer, protecting an innovative new product by filing for a utility patent, design patents, copyright and trade dress protections
  • Protecting a technology consultant’s video series by establishing a licensing strategy, and securing an on-going royalty stream
  • For a very large international consumer products client, reviewing and establishing its intellectual property holding company structure

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Patent Law, 2019
  • Marquette University Opus College of Engineering Service Award, 2015
  • IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP, Managing Intellectual Property, 2013
  • IAM Patent 1000 – World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, 2013-2018
  • Milwaukee Young Engineer of the Year, Nomination 2004 and 2007
  • Milwaukee Business Journal’s Woman of Influence, 2005
  • “Leading Women in Business” Award from Entercon, 2005
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, 2005-2007
  • Wisconsin Law Journal, “Women in the Law”, May 2007
  • M Magazine’s Best Lawyers, July 2012

Professional Activities

  • Member, Society of Women Engineers
  • Member, Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Member, Women In Manufacturing
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Association for Women Lawyers
  • Member, Lex Mundi Women in the Law Committee
  • Member, ABA Women Rainmakers
  • Member, ABA Women in IP Law
  • Member, ABA Women and Minorities Speakers Clearinghouse
  • Signatory, Austin Manifesto on Women in Law
  • Yellow Belt Certified, Legal Lean Sigma



Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • National Trustee, Forum Steering Committee, Opera America
  • Board Member, Playworks Wisconsin
  • Investment Committee, Opera America
  • Loan Review Committee, Opera America
  • Board of Directors and V.P. of Development and V.P. of Finance, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD)
  • Board Member, Village of River Hills Board of Appeals
  • Women's Leadership Council, United Way of Greater Milwaukee
  • Member, TEMPO Milwaukee
  • Member, Engineers Without Borders – USA, Wisconsin Professional Chapter
  • Life Member, Girl Scouts USA
  • Member, Women in Science
  • Member, Professional Dimensions Community Affairs Committee
  • Member, Women of Influence Alumni Club
  • Mentor, Bizwomen Mentoring, Milwaukee Business Journal
  • Member, Medical College of Wisconsin CTSI Translational Opportunities Panel
  • Member, Marquette University College of Engineering E-Lead Program Advisory Committee
  • Marquette University College of Engineering, Dean's Steering Committee
  • Sponsor, Women for Women International


Past Non-Profit Board Positions

  • Go Red for Women, 2016 Women's Executive Leadership Team
  • Campaign Cabinet, United Way of Greater Milwaukee
  • Campaign Cabinet, United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) 
  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee
  • Zoological Society of Milwaukee
  • Marquette College of Engineering Alumni
  • Professional Dimensions
  • Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee
  • Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast

Additional Interests

Adventure Travel Past Trips

  • Dogsled Winter Camping, Boundary Waters, MN
  • Antarctica on a Russian Icebreaker
  • Successful Kilimanjaro Summit Attempt
  • Ice Hotel stay, Sweden
  • Fly Fishing for Bonefish, Bahamas
  • Egypt, Crawled in Great Pyramid and Tut’s Tomb
  • Hiked Into/Out of Havasupai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon
  • Amazon River Boat Expedition with piranha fishing
  • Sea Kayaking, Phuket, Thailand
  • Culture-to-Culture Tour of Cuba
  • Sailing in the Galapagos Islands
  • Moroccan Camel Trek in the Sahara
  • Iceland Winter Sports Expedition
  • Hiking in the Himalayas, Bhutan
  • Chile Exploration; Easter Island in Torres del Paines Patagonia

Adventure Sport Passions

  • Rock climbing
  • Ice climbing
  • Dog sledding
  • Winter camping
  • Fly fishing
  • Walleye fishing
  • Mountain climbing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Parkour
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