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Martha J. Engel

p (612) 604-6470   f (612) 604-6870 
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2008
Marquette University, B.S., Mechanical Engineering
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Martha Engel is an intellectual property attorney who advises inventors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and companies of all sizes on protecting their intellectual property assets. She helps clients guard their competitive advantage and add value to their business by obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing intellectual property rights. Martha counsels clients on all matters related to intellectual property, including clearing trademarks, drafting and prosecuting patent applications, obtaining trademark registrations, conducting due diligence reviews regarding intellectual property in corporate transactions, enforcing trademark rights, and assisting with patent litigation.  

Martha is passionate about well crafted, smartly designed, and cleverly branded products. She has drafted and prosecuted patent applications on a variety of technologies, including mechanical and manufacturing devices, materials, medical devices, sporting goods, packaging, electronics, and software. She has experience working with foreign associates to prosecute applications both in the United States and abroad. Martha also has experience preparing patent infringement opinions.

Martha’s patent prosecution experience in combination with her practical engineering background enhances her interaction with clients to efficiently meet their business objectives. After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, Martha worked at a major motorcycle manufacturer and later designed custom gear-reducers at a well-known gear manufacturer in Milwaukee, WI. Her knowledge of continuous improvement methodologies translates to her work, where she is consistent, logical, and trustworthy. 

Raised in a marketing family with significant exposure to the industry, Martha adds value and effectively counsels clients interested in protecting and enforcing their trademark rights. Martha has extensive experience assisting craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries regarding the protection and enforcement of their trademark rights.

Martha volunteers her time on a regular basis to numerous boards and committees. She’s actively involved in the local American Society of Mechanical Engineers section, where she enjoys engaging other engineers and learning about emerging technologies in the industry. Martha is an avid golfer and tennis player. She also enjoys visiting museums, attending car shows and air shows, trying new restaurants, and spending time outdoors in Minnesota.

Bar Admissions
U.S. District Court of the District of Minnesota
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Representative Cases
Assisted with William Mitchell College of Law’s amicus curiae briefs filed in Tafas v. Dudas, 541 F. Supp. 2d 805 (E.D. Va 2008) and In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943 (Fed. Cir. 2008)(en banc).

Honors & Awards

  • Young Engineer of the Year, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2014
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer for Pro Bono Service, 2014-2016

Community Involvement

  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    • Chair, 2014-2016
    • Vice Chair, 2013-2014
    • Secretary, 2012-2013
    • Executive Committee Member, MN Section, 2011-present
    • Board of Directors, MN Section
    • Leadership Training Conference attendee, 2012
  • Pink Boots Society, member, 2015
  • City of Saint Paul Capital Improvement Budget Task Force, participant, 2013
  • Highland District Council
    • Board of Directors, 2011-2013
    • Transportation Committee, 2011-2013
  • Convent of the Visitation School Alumnae Association
    • President, 2012-2015
    • Vice President, 2011-2012
    • Board of Directors, 2008-present

Collegiate Honors

  • Law Review, William Mitchell College of Law
  • William Mitchell College of Law Dean’s List
  • Giles S. Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court
  • Student Intellectual Property Association Executive Board member
  • William Mitchell College of Law IP Clinic development committee
  • Marquette University Dean’s List

Articles & Presentations
Author. "Four Ts at Four: What a brewery needs to know about its IP before considering a sale." Craft Brewing Business. CBBMedia LLC. 17 October 2016.
Speaker. "Trademark Considerations." CiderCon 2017. 9 February 2017.

Speaker. "Craft Beer, Distillery and Liquor Law: The Ultimate Guide." National Business Institute. National Webcast. 16 September, 2016.

Speaker. "Crafting a Beer Brand: Strategies for Effectively Protecting & Positioning Your Brand." 2016 Midwest Craft Brewers Conference. 1 August 2016.

Qtd. Eggert, Andre "Lawmakers Consider Amending Angel Tax Credit Law." Twin Cities Business Magazine. 31 March 2016.

Speaker. "Trademarks & Intellectual Property." MN Grape Growers Association: Cold Climate Conference. 11-13 February 2016.

Qtd. Gallegos, Anna. "With Open Source Patents, Risks Run High for Tesla and Interested Automakers." LXBN. 23 June 2014.

Author. "Why Tesla’s Patent Move May Standardize Electric Cars, Not Patent Strategies." JD Supra. 16 June 2014.

Qtd. Gallegos, Anna. "Health Department Gets to Dumb Starbucks Before Trademark Violations Do."  LXBN.  11 February 2014.

Speaker. “Patents for Engineers.” American Society of Mechanical Engineers – MN Section. Plymouth, MN.  9 May 2012.
Press Releases

Client Alerts

Martha is an author for the firm's trademark and brand blog, DuetsBlog, and frequently rates as a top legal blogger on the LexBlog network. Follow the links below to read her posts.


Dedicated to bridging the gap between creativity and the law.

Creative Acronyms Refused Sometimes…Or CARS
Posted on Oct 27, 2016 by Martha Engel
Today’s offices treat acronyms like linguistic yoga (TOTALLY). ICYMI, they’re popular also in texts, tweets, and other “thumb-talking” activities.  LO...

Four T’s at Four: What Breweries Need to Know About Their IP Before They Consider an Exit
Posted on Oct 12, 2016 by Martha Engel
“Forties at 4” was a time-honored Friday tradition among my engineering classmates in college.  After our last class, several of them would purchase Miller (if we...

An OXI Surprise
Posted on Sep 15, 2016 by Martha Engel
One of the blessings of homeownership is the surprise that accompanies a major appliance breakdown.  I had the pleasure of experiencing one of these events over Labor Day wee...

What’s the Story with STORIES?
Posted on Aug 25, 2016 by Martha Engel
Instagram recently released a new feature called Instagram Stories, which allows users to curate a collection of photos or videos of moments to share with friends for them to...

Attorneys Getting Crafty About Firm Names
Posted on Aug 10, 2016 by Martha Engel
I consider myself to be, among other things, a craft beer attorney.  I enjoyed speaking last week at the Midwest Craft Brewers Conference as part of a great panel on brand po...

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 by Martha Engel
Last week was rough.  We went from celebrating America to watching her at her worst.  We saw officers shoot two black men in Baton Rouge, LA and Falcon Heights, MN, a black m...

A Duel Over DUO Leaves Only Uno
Posted on Jul 05, 2016 by Martha Engel
The never-ending battle at the Trademark Office over trademarks for beer and wine suffered another casualty last week, this time over the mark DUO.  Applicant Uinta Brewing C...

Here, Have a BREXIT
Posted on Jun 30, 2016 by Martha Engel
The British are leaving!  The British are leaving!  Many people on all sides of “the pond” last week watched the Brits’ vote to leave the European Union wit...

Are we entering the era of engine sound marks?
Posted on Jun 15, 2016 by Martha Engel
One of the biggest issues facing electric car manufacturers is how quiet they are.  So quiet in fact that 60 Minutes edited in an engine roar to its Tesla story.  The quiet c...

Be a Service “to Others”
Posted on May 19, 2016 by Martha Engel
It’s rare that we focus on descriptions of goods or services here, but one of the most common reasons that a trademark for a brewery or winery is refused registration a...

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