You've Got Ideas, We Protect Them

Billie Jean Smith

boyle fredrickson - Billie Jean Smith

Billie approaches each day with the intention of making the world a little better. Well-known in the Milwaukee community for her involvement with local organizations and charitable causes, her work helping dreamers, designers and innovators protect their intellectual property rights is equally significant.

With more than 25 years of experience as an intellectual property attorney, she works with clients to procure, manage and enforce IP portfolios including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. In addition, her technical background in biomedical engineering gives her unique insight into the issues and challenges that innovators face when procuring and protecting their IP rights, from product development to positioning in the marketplace.

Positive, determined and communicative, she collaborates with clients and the larger IP community to ensure the best, most efficient, and most cost-effective outcomes possible.

Academics & Education

  • University of Wisconsin Law School, JD, Cum Laude
  • Marquette University, BSBE, Biomedical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude


  • Wisconsin
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

Awards & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Patent Law, 2019, 2020
  • Marquette University Opus College of Engineering Service Award, 2015
  • IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP, Managing Intellectual Property, 2013
  • IAM Patent 1000 – World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, 2013-2018
  • M Magazine’s Best Lawyers, July 2012
  • Wisconsin Law Journal, “Women in the Law”, May 2007
  • Milwaukee Young Engineer of the Year, Nomination 2004 and 2007
  • Milwaukee Business Journal’s Woman of Influence, 2005
  • “Leading Women in Business” Award from Entercon, 2005
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, 2005-2007


  • Identifying and protecting trade secrets for a large retail food manufacturer by conducting trade secret audits and inventories, and establishing protection procedures
  • Controlling trademark costs for a retail department store by establishing fixed fees for all trademark work
  • For a large retail food manufacturer, protecting an innovative new product by filing for a utility patent, design patents, copyright and trade dress protections
  • Protecting a technology consultant’s video series by establishing a licensing strategy, and securing an on-going royalty stream
  • For a very large international consumer products client, reviewing and establishing its intellectual property holding company structure

Professional Activities

  • Member, Society of Women Engineers
  • Member, Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Member, Women in Manufacturing
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Association for Women Lawyers
  • Member, Lex Mundi Women in the Law Committee
  • Member, ABA Women Rainmakers
  • Member, ABA Women in IP Law
  • Member, ABA Women and Minorities Speakers Clearinghouse
  • Signatory, Austin Manifesto on Women in Law
  • Yellow Belt Certified, Legal Lean Sigma

Community Involvement

  • National Trustee, Opera America
  • Board Member and Vice President, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD)
  • Board Member and Governance Committee Chair, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
  • Board Member, Code the Way
  • Board of Advisors, EAA Women Soar Society
  • Board Member, Village of River Hills Board of Appeals
  • Member, TEMPO Milwaukee
  • Member, Engineers Without Borders – USA, Wisconsin Professional Chapter
  • Life Member, Girl Scouts USA
  • Member, Women in Science
  • Member, Professional Dimensions
  • Member, Women of Influence Alumni Club
  • Mentor, Bizwomen Marketing, Milwaukee Business Journal
  • Member, Medical College of Wisconsin CTSI Translational Opportunities Panel
  • Member, Marquette University College of Engineering E-Lead Program Advisory Committee
  • Marquette University College of Engineering, Dean’s Steering Committee
  • Sponsor, Women for Women International

Past Non-Profit Board Positions

  • Playworks Wisconsin
  • Women’s Leadership Council, United Way of Greater Milwaukee
  • Go Red for Women, 2016 Women’s Executive Leadership Team
  • Campaign Cabinet, United Way of Greater Milwaukee
  • Campaign Cabinet, United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF)
  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee
  • Zoological Society of Milwaukee
  • Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Marquette College of Engineering Alumni
  • Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee

Adventure Travel Past Trips

  • Dogsled Winter Camping, Boundary Waters, MN
  • Antarctica on a Russian Icebreaker
  • Successful Kilimanjaro Summit Attempt
  • Ice Hotel stay, Sweden
  • Fly Fishing for Bonefish, Bahamas
  • Egypt, Crawled in Great Pyramid and Tut’s Tomb
  • Hiked Into/Out of Havasupai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon
  • Amazon River Boat Expedition with Piranha Fishing
  • Sea Kayaking, Phuket, Thailand
  • Culture-to-Culture Tour of Cuba
  • Sailing in the Galapagos Islands
  • Moroccan Camel Trek in the Sahara
  • Iceland Winter Sports Expedition
  • Hiking in the Himalayas, Bhutan
  • Chile Exploration, Easter Island in Torres del Paines Patagonia

Adventure Sport Passions

  • Rock Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Dog Sledding
  • Winter Camping
  • Fly Fishing
  • Walleye Fishing
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Parkour

(414) 225-1675