Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law
Bridget A. Smith

Bridget A. Smith

Partner

At a Glance

  • J.D. Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Profile 

I am an intellectual property litigation and transactions partner at Knobbe Martens, and a leading practitioner in the area of blockchain technology law. I help blockchain companies position themselves for success through comprehensive counseling on patents, open source, licensing, data privacy, and other unique issues at the intersection of software smart contracts and law.  I was a delegate to the Second Annual Blockchain for Impact Summit at the United Nations in 2019, and I speak and write regularly on blockchain technology and its legal implications.  

About Me

When I was young, my dad wanted me to become a dentist at his practice in rural Pennsylvania.  I had other plans—I wanted to be an engineer.  That choice set me on a lifetime path of continually learning new technologies, first for my master's degree in engineering, focusing on next-generation semiconductors, and then when I started working on the manufacturing floor of a Motorola semiconductor factory.  With an insatiable desire to "do it better," I wrote and launched the cross-platform software for a highly successful process-control ecosystem that dramatically improved process yields and saved Motorola millions annually.  When I moved to my next challenge as a data scientist for a business software start-up later acquired by SAP, I applied my software design skills to optimize retail pricing data for Fortune 500 clients and provide software services crucial to $23 million in sales contracts.

Fascinated by the impact that IP has for technology companies, my path led me to law school.  Today, it is my job to understand new technologies quickly and explain difficult concepts to investors, patent examiners, judges, and juries.

About My Practice

I am co-chair of the firm's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Trials Practice Group, and I have been involved in over 55 inter partes review and covered business method review trials. I successfully represent both patent owners and challengers in these complex disputes and subsequent appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Behind the scenes, I work with the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL) to advise the Patent Office on policy issues, and I was recently appointed vice chair of the ABA-IPL USPTO Affairs Committee.

As an experienced software engineer and registered patent attorney backed by my substantial experience challenging and defending patent validity before the PTAB, as well as litigating infringement in district court, I am uniquely positioned to counsel clients on their IP portfolio strategy. I work with companies in a variety of technical areas, including semiconductors, computer hardware and software, business methods, and electronics. But I currently focus my practice on clients in blockchain, smart contracts, distributed ledgers, cryptocurrencies, dApps, and web3, and I speak regularly on legal issues facing these emerging technologies. I launched the Blockchain & Smart Contracts industry group at Knobbe Martens to serve companies in this space. My clients run the gamut from international conglomerates, to Fortune 1000 manufacturers, to pre-IPO startups.

I want to listen to you, learn about your solutions, and work together to ensure the critical audience understands your unique technology to resolve your legal challenges.

Education

  • Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (J.D. 2007), cum laude, Certificate in Law, Science & Technology with Specialization in Intellectual Property, Executive Editor, Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, & Technology, Willard H. Pedrick Scholar
  • Case Western Reserve University (M.S. Chemical Engineering 1999)
  • Case Western Reserve University (B.S. Chemical Engineering 1997), magna cum laude, President's Scholar
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