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Martha J. Engel

I’ve battled a T-Rex, a Monster and a superhero – all resulting in wins for my clients' brands.

My Approach

I help clients recognize the value of their intellectual property assets, whether patents or trademarks, and protect and enforce their rights to use those assets. With my background in mechanical engineering – I worked at Harley-Davidson and a well-known gear manufacturer before law school – I continue to follow the principles of lean manufacturing processes and Six Sigma on behalf of my clients, to make sure my process is as efficient as possible.

I love that working in intellectual property allows me to balance the creative and technical sides of my personality, which helps me not only communicate with clients in the very technical details of their work, but also apply creative legal theories and strategies to protecting and enforcing their rights.

A Groundbreaking Moment in My Career

In 2016, I represented Toppling Goliath, a brewery based in Decorah, Iowa, in a trademark dispute with The Field Museum in Chicago, which is home to a 40-foot-long, 67-million-year-old dinosaur named Sue. One of the brewery’s most popular beers is called PseudoSue, with a label featuring an image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Field Museum has a bar area with taps from some craft breweries. Rather than entering into a hard-fought battle between the two organizations, it seemed like a prime opportunity for them to work together, and I worked to facilitate a cross-promotional program: Toppling Goliath now features the Field Museum on the PseudoSue labels, and the Field Museum currently sells PseudoSue on tap. Issues like these don’t have to end up in court – I’m honored that I could help find a creative solution that is beneficial for both my client and the museum that benefits them both.

Practice Areas

Honors & Awards

Up & Coming Attorney

Minnesota Lawyer, 2018

Top Author

JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards, 2017

Young Engineer of the Year

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2014

MSBA North Star Lawyer

Pro Bono Service, 2014-2016

Associations & Memberships

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, 2008-2016