Thomas Y. Yee, a partner in our New York office, focuses on optimizing the commercial value of intellectual property for our clients. Leveraging his diverse business experience, Mr. Yee counsels clients on strategic actions for patent portfolio development, intellectual property transactions and licensing, trademark portfolio procurement, and litigation matters.
As one of the founding partners of the New York office, Mr. Yee understands the needs of companies in growth mode. He is a member of the leadership team that focuses on developing strategic growth plans for the NY office, which is also a role he assumes for many of his clients. Mr. Yee has counseled numerous startup and medium sized companies during critical stages of growth and development, including:
- SentinelOne (cybersecurity - IPO with $10B valuation)
- WeedMaps (software - publicly traded through SPAC offering valued at $1.5B)
- OneMedNet (digital health - SPAC offering valued at $317M)
- Vast.com (software - acquired by Vroom, a billion-dollar e-commerce company)
- Medicrea (medical device - acquired by Medtronic)
The clients that Mr. Yee serves vary from individual inventors and medium-size companies to large multi-national corporations in a diverse set of industries and technology areas, including medical devices, blockchain and financial services, internet startups, automotive, electronics, software, medical informatics, biotech, warehousing logistics and components, religious institutions, sporting goods, medical marijuana and baby products. In his many years at Knobbe, Mr. Yee has advised business leaders across the U.S. and around the world.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Yee was one of the youngest managers in the Internet division of the American Express Company, where he was responsible for a re-engineering initiative of the worldwide website for the company. Mr. Yee also conducted due diligence for the founders of a New York City based venture capital firm, Silicon Alley Seed Investors, evaluating $1-2 million investments in early stage startups.
Additionally, Mr. Yee served as a business development manager at a Silicon Alley financial services software company, TradingNews. At Walker Digital, the Internet incubator that created Priceline.com, Mr. Yee worked on the creation of two startup companies, where he was responsible for managing business launch plans with the company’s development partner, Bain Consulting, and for overseeing the technology development with the company’s software engineering teams in New York and Atlanta.
In a survey of his peers published in Super Lawyers magazine, Mr. Yee was named as one of Southern California's "Rising Stars" in intellectual property law (2014).
Speeches & Seminars
Young, R., You, J., Yee, T., “Microaggressions and Discrimination in the Workplace,” 6th Annual Columbia APALSA Conference, Columbia Law School, New York, NY (February 11, 2017).
Menkes, J., Yee T., "10 IP Pitfalls Every Startup Should Avoid," Wayfair Labs, Costa Mesa, CA (October 17, 2016).
Sganga, J., Yee T., “Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation,” U.S. Patent Litigation Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (February 4, 2016).
Yee T., Sganga, J., “Trends and Advanced Strategies in U.S. Patent Prosecution,” U.S. Patent Prosecution Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (February 3, 2016).
Sganga, J., Yee T., “Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation,” U.S. Patent Litigation Seminar, Osaka, Japan (February 2, 2016).
Yee T., Sganga, J., “Trends and Advanced Strategies in U.S. Patent Prosecution,” U.S. Patent Prosecution Seminar, Osaka, Japan (February 1, 2016).
Yee T., Wahl B. "Protecting Trademarks and Patents in China: What You Need to Know," 16th Annual U.S.-China Trade Conference, Chicago, IL (November 5, 2015).
Wahl B., Yee T. "IP Value Creation - Role and Practice of the Entrepreneurial General Counsel," University of California, Irvine - Law School, Irvine, CA (February 10, 2015).
Wahl B., Yee T. "Intellectual Property Rights in China After a Half Century of Industrialization," Fifteenth Annual U.S.-China Trade Conference, Chicago, IL (November 18, 2014).
Sganga, J., Yee T. “Best Practices and Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation and Prosecution,” U.S. Litigation and Patent Prosecution Seminar, Osaka, Japan (July 11, 2014).
Yee T., Sganga, J., “Best Practices and Trends in U.S. Patent Prosecution,” U.S. Patent Prosecution Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (July 8, 2014).
Sganga, J., Yee T. “Trends in U.S. Patent Litigation: Pro-Accused Infringer,” U.S. Litigation Seminar, Tokyo, Japan (July 7, 2014).
Adams R., Yu J., Wahl B., Yee T. “Starts and Exits: The Life Cycles of Life Science Startups,” Private Equity Conference - Financing Innovation and Technology in Healthcare Conference, Chicago, IL (March 14, 2014).
Townes N., Wahl B., Yee T. “Intellectual Property Essentials and Value Creation,” Orange County Bar Association – Business and Corporate Law Section, Irvine, CA (February 26, 2014)
Chaput B, Ippolito F, Wahl B, Yee T. “Protecting and Leveraging your Clients’ IP Rights and New Patent Law Implications,” State Bar of California 85th Annual Meeting, Monterey, CA (October 13, 2012).
Pai F., Singeo L., Wahl B., Yee T. “Addressing Your Clients’ Intellectual Property Needs in Business Transactions,” State Bar of California 84th Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA (September 18, 2011).
Singeo L., Tse G., Wahl B., Yee T. “Addressing Your Clients’ Intellectual Property Needs,” State Bar of California Cyber Institute, Irvine, CA (webinar) (January 27, 2011).
Pai F., Singeo L., Wahl B., Yee T. “Addressing Your Clients’ Intellectual Property Needs,” State Bar of California 83rd Annual Meeting, Monterey, CA (September 25, 2010).