Clients rely on Ken to help them resolve complex intellectual property and commercial disputes involving patents, trademarks and trade dress, licenses, and unfair competition. Drawing on a strong technical background, particularly in the electrical, mechanical and electro-mechanical arts, Ken has successfully litigated patent infringement cases and other contested matters in courts throughout the United States. His cases have spanned many industries and involved a broad array of technical fields, including controllers and control systems, software, mechanical design, heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and many others.
As a registered patent attorney, Ken also has successfully represented clients in inter partes review proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In addition, Ken regularly counsels clients on patent clearance matters, enforcement strategies, and strategies for defending against infringement allegations by others.
Ken is the former President of the Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association and has served in numerous leadership roles within the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law.
Prior to joining Michael Best, Ken worked at Westar Display Technologies, located near St. Louis, where he assisted with the design and production of cell phone and flat panel display measurement systems, rack-mount video adapter assemblies, and universal testers for display modules and panels.
Enforcing Manufacturers' Patent Rights
- In co-pending patent infringement cases before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin involving gantry crane steering systems, Ken enforced the patent rights of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile marine and industrial lifting equipment against two of its competitors. Ken and his team worked meticulously to develop and execute a comprehensive enforcement strategy that would achieve the client's goals, setting the stage for the client to obtain favorable settlements in both actions, with one of the competitors publicly conceding the validity of the client's patents and both competitors agreeing to make adjustments to their respective accused products.
- Ken also enforced the patent rights of a large merchandising equipment and refrigeration systems manufacturer against a competitor in a patent infringement case before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, obtaining another favorable settlement through mediation. That case involved air cooling and control systems for commercial refrigerated food merchandisers.
Defending Against Patent Infringement Claims
- In a large, multi-district litigation case before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Ken defended four clients in the ethanol industry from allegations of patent infringement relating to corn oil extraction processes. With the filing of a massive summary judgment motion, Ken and his team successfully obtained judgment of non-infringement and invalidity for their clients.
- Ken also defended a large power tool manufacturer against allegations of patent infringement in a case before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California involving laser-guided saws. After a two-week jury trial, Ken and his team obtained a favorable jury verdict for their client and a judgment of non-infringement and invalidity that was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Defeating Injunction Motions
- In a patent infringement case before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin involving expandable broadheads, Ken and his team successfully defeated a critical preliminary injunction motion for their client in the archery products industry after being brought in to replace counsel from a large, national law firm that had handled a prior related case. A favorable settlement for the client followed shortly thereafter.
- Ken also defended a client in the fitness equipment industry against a preliminary injunction motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The motion was based on a patent relating to exercise equipment control systems, and Ken and his team responded forcefully. They made the plaintiff voluntarily withdraw the motion and later successfully challenged the patent’s validity in inter partes reexamination proceedings.
Working on Inter Partes Review Proceedings
- Ken worked on multiple inter partes review proceedings for a client in the fitness equipment industry. All of those proceedings have resulted in the successful invalidation of the challenged patents, including patents related generally to computer-networked exercise equipment and exercise equipment control systems.
- In another inter partes review proceeding, Ken successfully defended a client’s patent from a validity challenge initiated by one of the client’s competitors. That patent related to shower bar systems, and Ken and his team obtained a final written decision for their client that upheld the patentability of all instituted claims.
Honors & Recognitions
- Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Commercial Litigation, 2022
- 40 Under 40, In Business Magazine, 2020
- Wisconsin “Rising Stars” list, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2017-2021
- Michael Best Litigation Practice Group Pro Bono Award, 2016
- Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association, Former President, President-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer
- American Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property Law
- Patent Litigation Committee, Patent Exhaustion Co-Chair
- USPTO Post Grant and Inter Partes Patent Practice Committee, Member
- IP Transactions & Licensing Committee, Member
- Former CLE Board Spring Conference Patent Program Co-Chair, Patent Webinar Chair and Young Lawyer Action Group Liaison
- Former Revenue Committee Patent Co-Chair
- Former Young Lawyers Action Group Vice-Chair and CLE Board Liaison
- Former Monetization and Valuation of IP Committee Vice-Chair
- American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Former Liaison to the ABA Standing Committee on Continuing Learning Education
- State Bar of Wisconsin
- Intellectual Property & Technology Law Section, Member
- Litigation Section, Member
- Young Lawyers Division, Member
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Former Member