Michael Martensen, Founder
Mike was a fighter pilot and flight commander in the United States Air Force before being selected over his peers as an Operations Officer. A Major at the time, such a promotion was unusual; he became second in command in a premier fighter squadron of nearly 400 people, supervising dozens of officers and managing a 700-million-dollar budget.
He then became the Program Manager responsible for testing and evaluating advanced weapons. He was placed in charge of the operational integration and testing of missiles developed for the Air Force fighter community. While executing studies of weapons systems, Mike managed millions of dollars in contracts and materials. He was the intermediary between the U.S. government and private companies like Raytheon, Lockheed, and Boeing, acting as the translator between Ph.D. engineers and premier war fighters.
Intellectual Property at Duke University Law School with Cum Laude Honors
After his time in the Air Force, he studied Intellectual Property at Duke University Law School. At the end of his first year, his test results on national exams ranked him in the top one percent of law students in the country in three areas of study, and he received American Jurisprudence awards in contract law, civil procedure, and property law.
Upon graduating from Duke with cum laude honors, he accepted a job in Silicon Valley with Wilson Sonsini, a multinational law firm. He immediately became the technical representative in the patent infringement lawsuit Intel v. Broadcom, a highly privileged position for a first-year associate. Working alongside fifty other senior attorneys on litigation involving hundreds of millions of dollars, Mike helped craft the winning case that was once called one of the top ten defense victories in the nation.
At the same time, he assisted in patent cases like Novadigm v. Marimba and breach-of-contract suits like Spatial v. Autodesk. Working directly with both inventors and attorneys, Mike applied his unique engineering expertise to complex litigation cases, enabling him to see the world of patent litigation from every level and in great detail, giving him an unparalleled breadth of experience unrivaled by most patent attorneys.
Broadening his experience in patent prosecution, Mike became an associate patent attorney at Perkins Coie, an international law firm. While perfecting his skills to draft and prosecute patents he utilized his military and expert technical background to assist on the major patent infringement litigation case involving Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin.
Soon after, Mike became a patent attorney at SNR, now Dentons, another global law firm. He worked alongside hundreds of attorneys on the multi-billion-dollar lawsuit between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems on patent and trade secret infringements and anti-trust violations. Mike helped find and craft key elements of the case, and his discoveries were fundamental to Microsoft’s $2 billion settlement.
Over 250 Patent Applications
Mike then moved to Colorado Springs and joined Hogan Lovells where he continued to work with large high tech companies such as Sun Microsystems, Lockheed and ST Microelectronic. In 2005 Mike launched his own company, Martensen IP, to focus on intellectual property protection. Over his career to date, he has drafted over 250 patent applications, and was responsible for securing nearly 200 patents. These patents range from software and computing transmitters to aircraft construction and firearm systems to temporary shelters and sleep-inducing systems.
The Legal Spectrum of Experience
Early in his career, a then two-man company called Icon Aircraft hired Mike to be their IP counsel. Today, it is a multinational company with a lucrative IP portfolio consisting of over 100 international and domestic patents. Mike has been with them since day one, protecting their competitive advantage and helping them become a leader of their industry sector.
For years, Mike has worked with a small company of ten people which developed technology that caught the attention of the U.S. government. Because of the IP rights Mike secured for this company, the government, working alongside major aerospace corporations, is now partnering with that company to utilize their product. Mike has directed, guided, and protected this small team, helping them grow into a commercial powerhouse.
For more than a decade, Mike was a legal advisor for an emerging Colorado company before becoming, among other things, their outside general counsel. While Mike was working with them, the company grew from a small, local company to a large corporation whose primary focus is the governmental/defense market with contracts around the world. Mike’s involvement spanned the legal spectrum, ranging from navigating employment and human resources issues to contracts and certainly intellectual property protection, giving him an enormous breadth of experience. Part of Mike’s success was utilizing his extensive military, engineering, and legal network to identify the right people for different tasks.
SanDisk v. Lexar Media (N.D. Cal.). Assisted with the representation of SanDisk, a manufacturer of computer flash memory, in a patent infringement suit against Lexar Media. SanDisk alleged that Lexar’s flash-memory storage cards infringed SanDisk’s patent.
Crocs, Inc. v. International Trade Commission, et al. (ITC, Fed. Cir.) Assisted in a patent infringement suit in which we represented Crocs in a suit brought against several competitors before the International Trade Commission (ITC). The complaint contended that the competitors’ products infringed two of Crocs’ patents, one utility patent and one design patent. Ultimately, the ITC ruled that some of the competitors had infringed the utility patent, but that the utility patent was invalid for obviousness. The ITC further ruled the design patent valid but not infringed, and determined that Crocs had not satisfied the technical prong of the industry requirement under Section 337 for the design patent. In Crocs’ subsequent appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, our attorneys secured a reversal of the ITC’s finding that the Crocs patents were obvious. After a comparison of the shoes in question, the court found infringement, and also reversed the ITC’s finding of no domestic industry on the design patent.
Intel v. Broadcom (D. Del.). Assisted the firm is representing Broadcom, a major semiconductor manufacturer, in a patent infringement action brought by Intel. The five patents at issue involved video compression, networking technology, and semiconductor packaging. Intel sought monetary damages and an injunction sufficient to put Broadcom out of business.
Novadigm v. Marimba (N.D. Cal.) Assisted the patent owner in a case involving a patent for differential-software distribution over a network, U.S. Patent No. 5,581,764 resulting in defeating the defendant’s inequitable-conduct defense in a bench trial.
Sun Microsystems v. Microsoft (N.D. Cal.) Assisted in multiple patent matters in protracted litigation between Sun Microsystems v. Microsoft ultimately resulting in a $2B settlement.
Software Intellectual Property Rights: Is a Patent or a Copyright Best for Your Program? | Mar 26, 2018
Intellectual Property Considerations in Government Contracts Related to Space And Cyber | Jun 15, 2017
Patents and the Government Contractor | Jun 6, 2017
Basic Must-Do Tips for Protecting SBIR Intellectual Property | Apr 27, 2016
5 Reasons Viable Startups Require Patents | Apr 5, 2016
Changing the Rules: Understanding Government Impacts on Intellectual Property Rights | Oct 13, 2015
Common Intellectual Property Mistakes | Sep 23, 2015
The Hidden Value of Trademarks: Why They Matter in Government Contracts | Jun 10, 2015
Areas of Practice
- Patent Preparation and Prosecution
- Trade Secrets
- IP Enforcement Counseling
- IP Issues With Respect to Government Contracts
Certified Legal Specialties
- Colorado, 2005
- California, 2000
- Texas, 2011
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1999
- U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2002
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California
University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, United States. M.B.A.: Technical Management, Strategic Development / Start-ups and Emerging Growth – 1997
United States Air Command and Staff College, Montgomery, AL, United States. Master of Military Operational Art and Science – 1995
Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, United States. Master of Science: Aerospace Engineering, Computational Fluid Dynamics Advanced Compressible Aerodynamics Thesis: Design of a Parallel Flow Supersonic Nozzle – 1990
United States Air Force Academy, Lubbock, TX, United States. Fighter Pilot Training, Distinguished Graduate, Selected for and Completed F-15 Upgrade Training – 1984
United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, United States. B.S.: Double major in Engineering Mechanics and Engineering Science, Dean’s List – 1983
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
- United States Patent and Trademark Office Bar, Member
- National Contract Management Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- California Bar Association, Member
- Colorado Bar Association, Member
- Texas Bar Association, Member
- Small Business Association, Member
Previous Work History
Attorney, 2005 – 2010
Patent Preparation and Prosecution -Litigation Counseling – Freedom to Operate analysis in electronic, software and mechanical arts; representative clients Sun Microsystems; ST Microelectronics; Lockheed Martin.
DENTONS (formerly Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP), San Francisco, CA
Attorney, 2003 – 2005
Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation Associate / Patent Attorney – Patent litigation and analysis for Sun Microsystems v. Microsoft – Patent Prosecution in the fields of software and encryption.
Perkins Coie, LLP, Menlo Park, CA
Attorney, 2002 – 2003
Draft and prosecute U.S., P.C.T. and national stage patent applications. Technical Areas of Micro-fluidics,
computer science, Internet technology including Internet security and encryption, telecommunications and wireless systems, mechanical arts, medical devices including cardiac catheters, stents, and stereotaxic surgical method.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati, LLP, Palo Alto, CA
Attorney, 2000 – 2002
Litigation associate / Patent Attorney – Assisted multiple patent litigation cases – preparation and prosecution of patents before the USPTO.
United States Air Force, Various Locations
Officer, Active Duty: 1983 – 1997, Reserve duty: 1997 – 2006
USAF – Pilot in Command, Operations Officer and Mission Commander as an F-15 Fighter Pilot. 300+ combat hours. Program Manager of USAF Operational Test and Evaluation Oversaw as many as 15 simultaneous projects covering advanced weapons development and testing. Lt. Col. Ret.