Jeffrey N. Costakos



Jeffrey (Jeff) Costakos is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP where he is a trial and appellate lawyer. He has over 25 years’ experience litigating complex patent and intellectual property cases before the U.S. International Trade Commission and in district courts throughout the United States. Jeff has been lead counsel in dozens of patent litigations spanning technologies as diverse as DNA sequencing and micro-arrays, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, encryption, compass technology, electrochromic mirrors, optics, automotive interiors, computer algorithms, construction technology, sails and sail making, agricultural genetics, printing, and papermaking. He has argued numerous appeals before the Courts of Appeals for the Federal and Seventh Circuits.

Jeff is a vice chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice and a member of the Patent Office Trials Group. He is also a member of the Life Sciences and Automotive Industry Teams.

Jeff was trial counsel in the landmark patent damages case, Rite-Hite Corp. v. Kelley Co., Inc., which was affirmed en banc by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Jeff has been primary counsel in numerous inter partes review (IPR) proceedings and has argued IPR final hearings before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, including for the victorious parties in Illumina, Inc. v. The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, IPR2012-00006,- 00007 and -00011 (aff’d Fed. Cir. 2015), and Intelligent Bio-Systems, Inc. v. Illumina Cambridge Ltd., IPR2013-00517.


Jeff was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2013 for his work in intellectual property litigation and patent litigation. He was also named the 2019 Milwaukee “Lawyer of the Year” for patent litigation by Best Lawyers in America©.


Jeff has been an adjunct professor at the Marquette University Law School, where he taught Intellectual Property Litigation.


Jeff is a graduate of the Ohio State University (B.S., mathematics, 1985) and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary (J.D., 1988).


He is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Seventh and Federal Circuits, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Representative Matters

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On August 19, 2015, Foley obtained a win for our client Emerson Electric Co. in an appellate case brought by plaintiff ABT Systems, LLC. Linda Hansen, Jeff Costakos and Kadie Jelenchick tried the original case to a jury in 2013. The plaintiff appealed the damages award from that case and our client appealed on patent validity grounds. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with Emerson, finding that the patent was indeed invalid, and that the plaintiff is no longer entitled to the damages award.
Defended lllumina, a manufacturer of DNA testing instruments, against its competitor, Helicos, asserting infringement of three Helicos patents. During the litigation, Helicos dismissed two of the patents with prejudice, and Illumina won summary judgment of invalidity regarding the third Helicos patent.