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About Steve

Industry-savvy IP transactions and patent prosecution

Steve Gardner is an intellectual property (IP) lawyer who works with both national and startup companies, research institutions and other IP owners to maximize the commercial value of their inventions and enforce IP rights. Steve has counseled clients on a wide variety of technologies, including software, magnetic resonance imaging, CT imaging, medical devices, industrial equipment, semiconductor chip manufacturing methods, artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, neural networks, liquid crystal display devices, LED manufacturing, and processors and electronic controllers. Steve’s practice focuses on:

  • IP transactions
  • Patent prosecution
  • IP enforcement

Steve brings a seasoned patent prosecutor’s mindset to the IP transactions he negotiates and a transaction negotiator’s know-how to the patents he prosecutes. The result for clients is patents that are more effectively commercialized and IP transactions rooted in solid, industry-leading patents.

Experience in Action

  • Representing universities and research institutions in technology transfer and related agreements, including patent license, joint development, sponsored research and material transfer agreements.
  • Representing top 10 pharmaceutical companies in technology transfer, licensing and co-development agreements.
  • Advising on patent prosecution and defense.
  • Drafting and negotiating software license and web vendor agreements.
  • Drafting and negotiating master research services agreements and software support and integration agreements.
  • Counseling clients on IP enforcement and patent validity.
  • Representing petitioners and patent owners in inter partes review proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (USPTO).


  • Representation of a research institution and licensee in a successful patent enforcement program involving 13 defendants and six patent infringement cases.

Professional Recognitions

  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers®  "Rising Stars" (2019: Technology Transactions)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Chief Judge Edward J. Damich, United States Court of Federal Claims, law clerk (2007–2009)
  • Chief Judge Rudolph T. Randa, United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, intern (2005)
  • Marquette University Legal Clinic, volunteer attorney (2006–2007)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys, member

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