About Our Firm
Gardella Grace represents clients from start-ups to multinational corporations in a customized, personal manner that differs from those of larger IP firms. Our professionals bring a variety of perspectives to each matter due to our uniquely broad experience in IP enforcement and patent procurement.
The Gardella Grace team has directed multinational enforcement campaigns, procured large international patent portfolios, defended and defeated patents in post-grant proceedings, licensed IP portfolios, developed and implemented defensive and risk mitigation strategies for large corporations, and executed trade secret protection programs.
Our Legal Team
Greg H. Gardella
Post-Grant Proceedings | Patent and Trade Secret Litigation | Patent Procurement
Mr. Greg H. Gardella is the Managing Principal of Gardella Grace and spearheads the firm’s Post-Grant Proceedings practice. He is recognized as a premier national expert in the field of post-grant proceedings. This aptitude derives from a synergy developed through years of experience as a litigation attorney as well as years of experience in patent prosecution.
His combined background as litigation attorney, prosecution attorney, and post grant attorney has further positioned Mr. Gardella as a premier IP strategist. Mr. Gardella specializes in developing and coordinating assertion efforts, valuation and monetization efforts, and trade secret protection programs on behalf of the firm’s clients.
Mr. Gardella has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America for multiple consecutive years and has received various awards and recognition from Managing IP Magazine, Intellectual Asset Management, Super Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal.
Natalie J. Grace
Patent Procurement | Post-Grant Proceedings
Ms. Natalie J. Grace, Principal, has worked hand-in-hand with Mr. Gardella for more than a decade to build strong portfolios on behalf of the firm’s clients. Ms. Grace specializes in coordinating with the firm’s post-grant and litigation efforts to bolster clients’ defensive and offensive positions through rapid, strategic patent procurement.
Ms. Grace relies upon engineering skills built during a nearly decade-long career in software design to successfully develop strong patent invalidity positions used in the firm’s post-grant petition filings through deep, thoughtful analysis of prior art combinability and thorough explanation of methods and motivations to combine prior art. These skills further aid in identifying holes in combinability arguments presented by both patent examiners and post-grant petitioners as well as in identifying inconsistencies and inaccuracies presented in declaration evidence supplied by experts.
Patent and Trade Secret Litigation | Post-Grant Proceedings
Mr. Cook Alciati, Principal, specializes in intellectual property litigation with a particular emphasis on patent litigation. He derives a unique understanding of clients’ needs and concerns from years of in-house experience including efficiently and effectively coordinating a major patent litigation campaign involving industry-wide infringement of company’s patents. This intimate insight into underlying business concerns allows him to coordinate with clients to develop litigation strategies aligned with their key business values.
Mr. Alciati regularly represents clients in district courts around the country and represents clients in inter partes review proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. His practice also involves representing clients in appellate matters, principally before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Patent Procurement | Post-Grant Proceedings
Mr. James Harris, Principal, has almost 30 years’ experience helping clients identify, protect, and derive value from their intellectual property. Having worked as an engineer inventing digital signal processing systems, in-house counsel for small, mid-size, and large technology companies, and outside counsel representing a diverse range of clients, Mr. Harris brings a uniquely well-rounded perspective to his interactions with inventors and business leaders. His patent experience spans the breadth of electrical, computer, and software engineering, and includes mechanical inventions as well.
Many clients have relied on Mr. Harris to work directly with their inventors to identify their valuable intellectual property at the earliest possible stage of product development and develop a strategy to protect key inventions in a new product line. Some areas where Mr. Harris has helped clients develop significant new patent portfolios include semiconductor processing, parallel processors, high-speed network routers, image sensors, computer memory systems, audio and video digital signal processing, analog drivers and amplifiers, and computer-aided detection of cancer in medical imaging.
Mr. Harris also has extensive experience counseling clients with existing patent portfolios in order to unlock potential for licensing and cross-licensing with competitors, and/or increase the valuation of companies for acquisition. He has helped clients identify their patents that are in use in the market, identify and claim patentable but not-yet-claimed subject matter in their existing patent applications, and create compelling licensing materials for licensing programs. He has also worked together with counsel in other jurisdictions to obtain patent protection for important inventions in dozens of countries. Mr. Harris has used these skills to add significant business value for large patent portfolios in memory systems, routers, mobile devices, and data networks, to name a few.
Mr. Harris’ practice extends beyond patent procurement and portfolio development. He has on multiple occasions successfully defended clients accused in litigation of patent infringement by much larger competitors, prepared non-infringement and invalidity opinions, worked to defend his own clients’ patents in post-grant proceedings in both the United States and Europe, and represented clients engaged in licensing negotiations. The experience gained through involvement in the entire patent life cycle informs Mr. Harris’ approach when preparing and prosecuting patent applications, as he treats every patent application as one that could someday be a critical client asset.
Michael A. Dorfman
Patent and Trade Secret Litigation | Post-Grant Proceedings
Mr. Michael Dorfman is a registered patent attorney who focuses on intellection property litigation. With an electrical engineering background and more than 20 years of legal experience, Mr. Dorfman represents both patent owners and accused infringers in litigation in a broad array of technological areas, including electronics, computer hardware and software, semiconductors, and manufacturing processes. Mr. Dorfman has litigated cases in numerous district courts throughout the country, including the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the District of Delaware and the Northern District of California, and in the International Trade Commission. He has also appeared on behalf of petitioners and patent owners in some of the earliest inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Patrick J. Halloran, Ph.D.
Dr. Patrick Halloran is a registered patent attorney and has served as an advisor and counselor in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life science fields for more than 25 years. His diverse experience involve counseling large, mid-size, and start-up pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as universities and investment groups. His expansive technical, legal, and industry expertise has guided client work on in-license and out-license targets, freedom-to-operate and validity opinions, infringement assertions, trademark registration, and patent prosecution. Throughout Dr. Halloran’s career, he has been a leading advisor for both domestic and international intellectual property and has worked extensively with outside counsel that span the globe including countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.
Chad E. Ziegler
Mr. Chad E. Ziegler is a registered patent attorney with over twenty years of experience in trademark procurement, clearance and counseling, licensing, enforcement, and litigation, including representing clients in connection with trademark, trade dress and related litigation in Federal district court as well as disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy service providers.
Mr. Ziegler also has in-depth experience litigating patent disputes in Federal Court and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Throughout his career, Mr. Ziegler has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving complex scientific technology in various fields including genetics (RNA interference), electrical engineering (power systems for Hadron Collider at CERN), pharmacokinetics (drug metabolites) and computer science (CDMA and codecs). Mr. Ziegler also has extensive experience with patent prosecution, and patent studies and counseling, particularly in the fields of biotechnology and organic chemistry.
Hon. Robert J. Morad
Honorable Robert J. Morad serves as a Magistrate Judge in Michigan’s 52nd District Court and also maintains a private practice in the areas of commercial litigation and criminal law. Mr. Morad has tried over 90 cases to jury verdict and has handled numerous arbitrations. In his private practice, Mr. Morad handles complex business cases and white collar defense in both federal and state courts. Prior to joining Gardella Grace, Mr. Morad practiced at the law firm of Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone where he worked in the commercial litigation group and the white collar crime group. Mr. Morad’s extensive courtroom experience makes him adept at navigating through the civil litigation process as well as the criminal justice system.
Joseph D. Hodler
Mr. Joseph Hodler is a registered patent attorney working equally in litigation and transactional matters. For over a decade he has engaged in dozens of patent suits in federal courts and at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Cases involve various fields: open-source software, operating systems, financial models, cellular communications protocols, microchips, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and aseptic processing.
In transactional matters, he helps clients develop and protect purposeful ideas by securing intellectual property registrations and shaping collaborative relationships. He has represented start-ups, multinational companies, industrial designers, artists, and academics, in building, managing, and licensing their portfolios. He primarily prosecutes patents in the fields of software, interactive design, and industrial design.
Our Support Staff
Areas Of Expertise
Intellectual Property and Related Litigation
Our multiple-award-winning team has been recognized for its creativity, talent, and ability to resolve complex disputes quickly and efficiently. Gardella Grace P.A. is known for its innovative legal strategies involving patents, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and business litigation. Our lawyers have regularly notched victories for clients in bet-the-company matters having stakes ranging from millions to billions of dollars.
Intellectual Property Procurement and Transactions
Gardella Grace’s transactional group specializes in the procurement of patents, trademarks and copyrights on behalf of a wide array of clients, from major international corporations to tech start-ups. We have scores of years of collective experience prosecuting, or obtaining, intellectual property in the biotech, chemical, industrial, medical devices, financial, energy, materials, communication and technology sectors. Our team can handle virtually any technology. Our lawyers also architect, negotiate and draft agreements across these sectors.
Post-Grant and other Administrative Proceedings
Our team has handled some of the highest stakes post-grant matters ever adjudicated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, having served as lead counsel for both challengers and IP owners in well over one hundred proceedings. Gardella Grace’s breadth of experience across litigation and prosecution matters is a particularly valuable asset in these matters, which involve hybrid administrative proceedings that have aspects in common with both litigation and prosecution.