Leaders in intellectual property law for nearly 100 years.

We are the trusted IP partner of choice for organizations around the world. We provide sound legal guidance and inventive IP solutions to power business—for start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between.

Banner Witcoff’s Shared Values Statement

Banner Witcoff is a law firm dedicated to providing premier intellectual property services to clients of all sizes and across all sectors. We seek to create and enforce, and—in the process—enhance, the value of our clients’ IP assets. The firm believes that its clients, from marquee corporations to start-ups, all deserve creative and strategic guidance in developing and protecting the brand equity of their IP assets.

To achieve the goal of being the firm of choice for innovative companies that understand and seek to maximize the value of their intellectual property, Banner Witcoff commits to values that attract and foster attorneys and staff who share in clients’ quests for market leadership.

To that end, we are committed to:

  • recruiting and empowering attorneys and staff of the highest caliber, who value diversity and inclusion for the expanded creative thinking and contributions those attributes foster;
  • attracting self-starters seeking a meritocracy that rewards creativity and loyalty with opportunity and the support of collaborative, like-minded people, while encouraging participation in the life and culture of the firm beyond simply producing billable hours;
  • delivering service that is satisfying, flexible and customized to its individual client’s needs;
  • using appropriate technology to maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its service delivery processes; and
  • maintaining an open, transparent and participatory workplace, one to which attorneys and staff happily make career-long commitments.

PROTECTING IP. PROPELLING BUSINESS.

Our tagline is a direct reflection of our brand promise. We use our extensive knowledge of IP law to better our clients’ businesses, and we work in partnership with them, our success becoming theirs.

Leadership

Banner Witcoff is led by our board of directors made up of attorneys representing diverse backgrounds, practice areas and geography. Members of the board are elected by the shareholders and serve three year terms. The firm's officers, including the president, are elected by the board on an annual basis. Led by the president, our board oversees the firm's strategic direction. The day-to-day operations of the firm are overseen by the firm's executive director and senior administrative leaders.

Board of Directors

Administrative Leadership

Mary Schille

Mary Schille

Executive Director

Rhonda Cherwek

Rhonda Cherwek

Controller

Chris Hummel

Chris Hummel

Director of Marketing

Heather Kurey

Heather Kurey

Director of Administration

Mitch Polgar

Mitch Polgar

Director of Information Technology

Marcie Burkhart

Marcie Burkhart

Legal Support Manager

Lora Clark

Lora Clark

Docketing Assistant Manager

Erin Greenlee

Erin Greenlee

Design Co-Manager

Laura Jordan

Laura Jordan

Accounting Manager

Cynthia Leonard

Cynthia Leonard

Patent Services Manager

Maria Mora

Maria Mora

Human Resources Manager

Karen Paulsen

Karen Paulsen

Design Co-Manager

Audrey Towns

Audrey Towns

Billing Manager

Cathy Ward

Cathy Ward

Docketing Manager

Milestones at Banner Witcoff

1920

The firm is founded in Des Moines, Iowa.

1920

Firm attorneys take their first patent infringement lawsuit to a successful trial.

1937

Chicago offices open.

1957

The firm's attorneys prove that inventions can be both patented and copyrighted in the case of Mazer v. Stein before the United States Supreme Court.

1960

Washington, D.C., office opens.

1973

In an unprecedented nine-month long trial, attorneys of the firm show John Atanasoff to be the inventor of the first electronic computer, the ENIAC, changing the course of the history of invention.

1978

Don Banner is sworn in as Commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

1980

Attorneys of the firm establish that life forms are patentable in the Diamond v. Chakrabarty case in the United States Supreme Court.

1985

Boston office opens.

1989

Attorneys of the firm win patent infringement litigation for Amgen, launching the biotechnology industry's intellectual property rights.

1991

Don Banner and Joe Potenza help establish the first Inn of Court dedicated to IP law, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court.

1997

Portland office opens.

1998

The firm's attorneys help client Nike obtain U.S. Design Patent No. 400,000 for the iconic Air Jordan athletic shoe design.

1998

The firm becomes title holder of "most U.S. design patents procured in a calendar year."

2002

Banner Witcoff earns distinction of being "IP America's Dream Team" by The American Lawyer.

2002

IP Worldwide recognizes Banner Witcoff as a "Leader of the Pack" in its annual almanac.

2005

The National Inventors Hall of Fame awards Donald W. Banner with a Lifetime Achievement award.

2008

The firm announces the inaugural recipients of the Donald W. Banner Diversity Scholarship.

2017

Banner Witcoff becomes the first law firm to exceed 1,000 U.S. design patent grants in a single year.