Cynthia J. Rigsby



Cynthia J. Rigsby is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she is a member and former vice chair of the IP Litigation Practice and a member of the International Practice and the firm’s Medical Device Initiative. Ms. Rigsby also formerly served as IP Department chair for the Milwaukee office.

Ms. Rigsby’s practice involves licensing across different fields, the resolution of patent, copyright, trade secret, and other complex commercial disputes. Her work involves various industries and technical areas, including software, medical device, telecommunications, media, entertainment, automotive, sports, semiconductors, pharmaceutical, Internet of Things (IoT), industrial automation, and financial services.

Ms. Rigsby has significant trial experience, and has successfully first- and second-chaired both jury and bench trials. She has appeared before both state and federal courts, including appellate courts, and has represented clients in preliminary injunction hearings, in arbitrations, and before governmental agencies.

Ms. Rigsby also has extensive experience with the day-to-day management of complex fact-intensive cases, and thus the cases she has taken successfully through to trial include these multi-million dollar cases and class actions. She has also managed and conducted complex fact-intensive internal investigations, including investigations relating to trade secrets and federal compliance issues, and has counseled clients with regard to related governmental investigations.

One of her major cases led to a $400 million settlement between a global leader in medical technology and a global health care company. The litigation between the companies dated to 1998 and involved lawsuits in the U.S. and across Europe, all of which are now settled. Ms. Rigsby had significant responsibility for the day-to-day management of that matter, and argued discovery motions, claim construction, summary judgment, and pre-trial motions.


Ms. Rigsby has served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School, teaching an IP litigation course. Ms. Rigsby has lectured on a variety of litigation topics, including topics relating to electronic discovery, depositions, claim construction, expert witness practice, damages and case management. She has also lectured on ethics issues.


Ms. Rigsby was honored by the Wisconsin Law Journal as one of the Women in the Law 2013. This distinguished listing recognizes women attorneys who achieved excellence in their respective fields, benefitted the legal profession through their community involvement, and influenced other women to pursue legal careers.


Ms. Rigsby is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and before the Federal Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Professional Memberships

Ms. Rigsby is a member of the Licensing Executives Society. She is a member of the Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the American Society of Trial Consultants and a former co-chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Milwaukee Bar Association.


Ms. Rigsby received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1998, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. Prior to joining Foley, Ms. Rigsby also served as an extern to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John L. Coffey. She is also White Belt Legal Lean Sigma® certified by the Legal Lean Sigma Institute.

Representative Matters

Showing of
Foley secured a complete victory in the Federal Circuit on behalf of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLB Advanced Media), likely ending a 12-year patent dispute. Foley partner Cynthia Rigsby argued in the Federal Circuit in support of MLB Advanced Media’s District Court victory and received summary affirmance just two days post-argument.The case dates back to 2003 and stems from a dispute over a method of condensing a recorded baseball game. Plaintiff Baseball Quick claimed patent infringement and sought a royalty on MLB Advanced Media revenues alleged to exceed $400 million as of 2011. Baseball Quick also asked for damages to be trebled and for attorneys’ fees. MLB Advanced Media denied infringement and claimed that the Baseball Quick’s patent was invalid. In December 2014, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Forrest of the Southern District of New York granted MLB Advanced Media’s summary judgment motion, confirming MLB Advanced Media’s technology did not infringe Baseball Quick’s patent either literally, or under the doctrine of equivalents.Baseball Quick appealed the decision in March 2015 and on December 10, 2015, a Federal Circuit panel including Judges Dyk, O’Malley, and Stoll affirmed the District Court’s decision. MLB Advanced Media was represented on appeal by Cynthia Rigsby, Kevin Malaney and Michelle Moran. In addition to the appellate team, the District Court case team included George Beck, Mary K. Braza, Peter Wang, Yonaton Aronoff, Justin Gray and Sara Madavo.Our other representations for MLBAM involve patent litigation, patent counseling and procurement and licensing. To date, we have applied for 29 patents and successfully obtained 15 on MLBAM’s behalf. MLB has been a pioneer in its on-line sports content distribution and fan interaction strategies. Leading amongst professional sports leagues, MLB is at the forefront of new media technologies and opportunities for expansion to markets beyond the U.S., including Canada, Europe and Japan.
Foley secured for Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial, and consumer applications, an Order affirming the Final Determination, Cease and Desist Order, and Exclusion Order issued by the International Trade Commission upon finding a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, in favor of Avago Technologies issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The ITC upheld the validity of Avago's patents and finding that Emcore Corporation infringed Avago's intellectual property by importing and selling certain optoelectronics products used in optical communication systems, including parallel fiber optics products and components made and sold by Emcore and used for data communications for core routing and enterprise networking. Emcore appealed the validity and enforceability of Avago's intellectual property and the issuance of the Exclusion Order, which was rejected summarily and quickly on Monday, November 14, 2011, by the Federal Circuit after oral argument on Thursday, November 10, 2011.