For Jeff Harty, science and law intersect in his intellectual property litigation practice. Mix in his desire to help people solve problems, and you have a dedicated intellectual property advocate.
As a registered patent attorney, Jeff represents companies and inventors on both sides of IP disputes: when someone is potentially trespassing or infringing on his client’s rights and when his client is charged with trespassing or infringing on others’ rights. While finding resolution is the primary objective, Jeff also enjoys the cerebral and unique characteristics of each case. “It’s not cookie cutter,” he says. “It can be an advocacy challenge to take a patented invention and really bring it to life—to tell a story to a jury in a way that they can understand and appreciate the invention and who’s right and who’s wrong.”
In zealously representing his clients, Jeff has found authenticity and sincerity to be his most valuable assets. “The jury sees everything,” Jeff says. “It’s not just what you say in court, but it’s the way in which you say it. The jury is looking at everything, judging credibility, and who do they believe and not believe—who is the truth-giver. You really want your witnesses to be perceived as the truth-givers.”
In that pursuit, Jeff has learned that—while he takes everything he’s learned from all of his mentors and extensive trial experience into court—you have to be yourself. “You have your own style and you have to own it.” His style comes down to three things. He is hard-charging, is dedicated to his clients (but doesn’t take himself too seriously), and knows it’s not about him but about his client.
When he’s not litigating, Jeff is a certified mediator. “It’s an opportunity for me to look at the merits of the underlying case for strengths and weaknesses, and then use that and the whole psychology of mediation to help bring the parties together and reach a resolution,” Jeff says. “You’re helping people to bring closure and peace to situations, but you really have to have an understanding of the issues.”
Now, with years of experience in IP law, Jeff shares his knowledge by teaching law students at the University of Iowa. “The thing that really excites me about teaching my students is they typically have a real thirst for knowledge,” he says. “It’s not only a thirst for knowledge to understand the relevant law but how to use it in practice to actually make a difference. That’s one thing that I can bring to the table.”
Jeff is also the host of On Intellectual Property, a bimonthly podcast where he interviews patent and trademark professors, in-house IP counsel, business leaders, IP trial attorneys and even members of the judiciary. The podcast focuses on gaining unique perspectives about what it takes to develop a successful strategy to manage and protect IP.
The Best Lawyers in America®
Litigation—Intellectual Property, 2020-2024
The Best Lawyers in America®
Lawyer of the Year, Litigation—Intellectual Property, Des Moines, 2022, 2024
Local Litigation Star - Intellectual Property
Patent Star, 2022-2023
Trademark Star, 2022-2023
IAM Patent 1000
Great Plains Super Lawyers
Intellectual Property Litigation, 2009–2022
Iowa State Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association
American Intellectual Property Law Association
Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association
Whirlpool Corp. v. Filters Fast LLC, No. 17-01-601 (W.D. N.C.). Lead counsel in 2019 trademark infringement and unfair competition case resulting in jury verdict of $5.8 million.
Whirlpool Corp. v. TST Water, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-01528 (E.D.Tex.). Patent infringement jury trial resulting in $11.4 million judgment for willful infringement.
Unity Health Plans Insurance v. UnityPoint Health d/b/a Iowa Health System, No. 13-cv-845-wmc (W.D. Wis.). Lead counsel in trademark case, successfully defending Iowa’s largest health system against preliminary injunctive relief.
Community State Bank, N.A. v. Community State Bank, No. CL 98498 (Iowa District Court for Polk County); Community State Bank, National Association v. Community State Bank, No. CL98498 (Iowa District Court for Polk County). Lead counsel in common law trademark infringement case involving bank names, obtaining temporary and permanent injunctive relief.
LMK Enterprises, Inc. and LMK Pipe Renewal, LLC v. Perma-Liner Industries, Inc., No. 08-cv-811 (M. D. Fla.). Lead counsel in patent infringement case relating to underground trenchless technologies, resulting in injunctive relief, finding of contempt and sanctions and attorney’s fee of approximately $750,000.
Sam’s Riverside, Inc. D/B/A Sam’s Riverside Auto Parts v. Intercon Solutions, Inc.; Lkq Corporation, and Arsco Company; Sam’s Riverside, Inc. d/b/a Sam’s Riverside Auto Parts v. Intercon Solutions, Inc.; A-Reliable Auto Parts and Wreckers, Inc.; ARSHG, Inc. f/k/a Automotive Rebuilders Supply Company d/b/a ARSCO (S.D. Iowa). Lead counsel in trademark and unfair competition case, successfully defending case on summary judgment.
Basis International Ltd. v. Research In Motion Limited and Research In Motion Corporation (D. N.M.). Co-Counsel in trademark infringement suit against Research in Motion (RIM); obtained temporary restraining order on use of BBX mark for Blackberry operating system.
Jet, Inc. v. Sewage Aeration Sys., 165 F.3d 419, 49 U.S.P.Q.2d 1355 (6th Cir.). Successful defense of trademark infringement matter, including Sixth Circuit appeal.
Master Crafted Estates Homes, Inc. v. MasterCraft Estate Homes, L.C., No. 41034 (Iowa District Court for Polk County). Lead counsel for Iowa’s largest home builder in successful defense of trademark infringement action seeking preliminary injunctive relief.
Pioneer HiBred Int’l. v. Asgrow Seed Company et al., No. 98CV90577 (S.D. Iowa) and Pioneer HiBred Int’l. v. Dekalb Genetics Corp et al., No. 98CV90578 (S.D. Iowa). Co-counsel in corn germplasm theft cases involving nation’s largest seed companies.
Brian Andreas, et al. v. Volkswagen America, Inc., No. 00CV2021JAJ (N.D. Iowa). Co-counsel in copyright infringement trial, successfully limiting plaintiff’s damage claims.
Lead counsel in numerous trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings.
"Protecting Intellectual Property: Key Legal Insights for Businesses in Iowa"
2022 (book, co-author with Frank Harty)
“Dare to Innovate: The Corporate Innovator’s Guide to Patents,” Create Space, 2012 (co-author)
Frequent speaker on IP topics in continuing legal education programs.