Dr. Michael (Mike) Houston is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He leads the firm’s Patent Office Trials Practice, and is a member of Foley’s IP Litigation Group, its Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice, and the Health Care and Life Sciences and Energy Sectors (with a focus on renewable energy and bitcoin mining operations).
Mike prosecutes and defends virtually every type of intellectual property dispute, including patent infringement and trade secret cases, patent challenges before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), trademark litigation, and investigations before the International Trade Commission (ITC), including disputes having international scope. His practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) includes not only inter partes reviews (IPRs), but also rare post-grant reviews (PGRs) and derivation (DER) proceedings, with a success rate so exceptional that he has been recognized by Patexia® as a Top-5 Best Performing Attorney for IPRs.
A Ph.D. chemical engineer by training followed by several years of R&D experience at a startup company, Mike is a named inventor on over 40 patents and patent applications and understands true innovation. He has a deep understanding of a vast array of technical areas, including electronics and microelectronics, packaging, chemistry, biotechnology, nanotechnology, optics and ophthalmic lenses, polymerization and polymer processing, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). He has handled patent disputes involving small-molecule and protein-based pharmaceuticals (including Orange Book-listed drugs/ANDA litigation), medical devices and treatments, solar panels, electronics, semiconductor manufacture and packaging, complex mechanical devices (including medical implants and large industrial processing equipment), and biorenewable fuels, to name a few.
Mike’s broad-based IP experience also includes: counseling related to optimizing IP protection through multiple avenues, particularly in the areas of computer software and algorithms; handling contractual disputes concerning IP rights and the theft or use of IP by a company’s former employees, business partners and/or independent contractors; counseling clients on IP protections and concerns in working with business collaborators/partnerships; handling cases involving the intersection of trade secrets, patent infringement, and FDA clearances; and conducting discovery abroad throughout Europe, Singapore, and Japan.
Mike also believes in giving back to the community, dedicating a portion of his practice to pro bono efforts, resulting, for example, in recoveries for the unconstitutional treatment of prisoners and the reversal of improper foreclosures.
Exemplary patents as co-author and named inventor:
- Method of Drying Passivated Micromachines by Dewetting from a Liquid-Based Process, US 6,114,044
- Expandable Polymeric Fibers and Their Method of Production, US 6,221,486
- Near-Net-Shape Polymerization Process and Materials Suitable for Use Therewith, US 6,380,314
- Hollow Polymeric Fibers, US 6,387,492
- Precision Composite Lens, US 6,416,690
- Morphology Trapping and Materials Suitable for Use Therewith, US 6,419,858
- Precision Composite Article, US 6,570,714
- Method for Synthesizing Thermo-Expandable Polymeric Microspheres, US 6,617,364
- Microcellular Foams, Their Method of Production, and Uses and Products Thereof, US 6,638,984
Awards and Recognition
- Named among Top 5 most successful IPR practitioners by Patexia® (2018)