Jeffrey A. Simmons



Jeffrey A. Simmons is a partner and member of Foley & Lardner’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice, where he focuses on complex litigation matters. Mr. Simmons was lead counsel in one of the largest insurance rehabilitations in U.S. history, In the Matter of the Rehabilitation of Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corporation, Case No. 10-cv-1576 (Dane Co., Wis.). A large portion of his practice is also devoted to trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret disputes. He currently serves on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ subcommittee responsible for rewriting the circuit’s pattern jury instructions for trademark and copyright cases.

Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Simmons served as a law clerk to the Hon. John W. Reynolds, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Representative Experience

  • In the Matter of the Rehabilitation of Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corporation, Case No. 10-cv-1576 (Dane Co., Wis.). Lead counsel in Foley’s representation of the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance in the largest insurance rehabilitation proceeding in Wisconsin history.
  • Guardian Pipeline, LLC v. 249.59 Acres of Land, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35818 (E.D. Wis.). Lead counsel in federal condemnation proceedings under the Natural Gas Act involving more than 200 properties.
  • Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation, LCC, 766 F.3d 756 (7th Cir. 2014). Represented the prevailing party in one of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s most significant decisions regarding the copyright fair use defense. 
  • T&M Inventions, LLC v. Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc., 2013 WL 1754862 (E.D. Wis. 2013). Obtained summary judgment for the defendant in a $330 million patent ownership dispute.
  • Wolf Appliance, Inc. v. Viking Range Corp., 686 F. Supp. 2d 878 (W.D. Wis. 2010). Obtained a preliminary injunction protecting Wolf Appliance’s trademark red knobs for its kitchen ranges.
  • Neil Gaiman, et al. v. Todd McFarlane, et al., 360 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2004). Represented the prevailing party at trial and on appeal in one of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ most significant decisions regarding copyright joint ownership.

Mr. Simmons served as president of the Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association from 2014 to 2015 and was appointed by the chief judge of the Western District of Wisconsin to the committee reviewing the reappointment of one of the District’s two magistrate judges.

Thought Leadership

  • Member, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s Pattern Civil Jury Instructions Committee Subcommittee on Copyright and Trademark Instructions 
  • Speaker, 2016 Foley & Lardner Distribution & Franchise Group CLE Program, “Protecting Your Trademark Rights By Controlling Licensees and Policing Infringers” 
  • Instructor, 2016 State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Program, “The Defend Trade Secrets Act and Its Impact on Wisconsin”
  • Speaker, 2015 ABA National Convention, Copyright Fair Use Panel 
  • Author, “Defend Trade Secrets Act Good For Wisconsin Business,” Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (May 26, 2016)
  • Author, “Copyright Fair Use: The Ongoing Trouble With ‘Transformative Use,’” Intellectual Property Magazine (May 2015).
  • Author, "Congress and the Courts Rein In Patent Lawsuits," In Business (Dec. 2007)
  • Author, "New Patent Infringement Rules Established In Seagate Decision," Wisconsin Technology Network (Nov. 2007) (co-author)
  • Author, "Do Pay-For-Placement Search Engines Engage In Trademark ‘Use’?" IP Law360 (Dec. 19, 2006) (co-author)
  • Author, "Copyright and Trademark Damages: Are Larger Awards on the Horizon?" Insights, Willamette Management Assocs. (Summer 2006) (co-author)


Mr. Simmons has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of intellectual property litigation. He also has been ranked as one of the top intellectual property attorneys in Wisconsin by Chambers USA (2011 – 2017). He was included in the 2011 – 2016 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists and the Wisconsin Super Lawyers – Rising Stars® list in 2006 and 2007.

Mr. Simmons was named to the Western District of Wisconsin’s 2014-15 Honor Roll for pro bono legal service.


Mr. Simmons earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, with distinction, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1989. He graduated, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1998), where he was senior note and comment editor of the Wisconsin Law Review, a member of the Moot Court team, and elected to Order of the Coif.