Edmund J. Sease

Ed is a trial lawyer with over 50 years of experience litigating intellectual property cases before judges and juries throughout the country. Ed is equally adept as an appellate lawyer and prosecutor. He has represented clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in a precedent-setting case shaping the law of utility patents for plants. Ed’s clients appreciate his skills in patent prosecution, including appeals. Ed was recognized by his peers and Best Lawyers in 2020 as “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in intellectual property litigation and patent law. (Only a single lawyer in a specific practice area and location is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” designation.)

Ed holds a degree in chemistry and graduated Order of the Coif from Drake University Law School in 1967, where today he is an adjunct professor. He has taught copyright, trademark and patent law and courses in intellectual property litigation. He was the Interim Director of the Drake Intellectual Property Law Center in 2015 and 2016. Ed has also taught Patent Law at the University of Iowa College of Law.

  • Chemical Patents
  • Litigation
  • Mechanical Patents
  • Trade Secrets
  • Trademarks
  • Agritech
  • Animal Health
  • Chemistry, Material Sciences, and Nanotechnology
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharma and Nutra

Professional Associations

Iowa Bar Association

Ohio Bar Association

American Bar Association

Polk County Bar Association

Phi Alpha Delta

Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association

American Chemical Society

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Blackstone Inn of Court.


Drake University Law School, J.D., with Honors and Order of Coif, 1967

Drake University, B.A. , Chemistry, with Honors and Phi Beta Kappa,  1964


70 North Dakota Law Review 781(1994), “Misappropriation is Seventy-Five Years Old; Should We Bury It or Revive It?”

2004 University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, 99 (2005), “Markman Misses the Mark, Miserably.”

Drake Journal of Agricultural Law (Fall 2006), “Plants are Properly Patentable Under Prevailing U.S. Law and This is Good Public Policy,” Vol. 11, No. 3.

1991 Iowa Bar Association Annual Meeting, “A Review of Iowa Unfair Competition Law”;

1991 Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, “Defending Patent Litigation”;

1992 Iowa Abstracters Annual Meeting, Des Moines, Iowa, “Intellectual Property Protection For Title Abstracts”;

1992 Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, “Lecture Defending Patent Litigation”;

1992 American Intellecual Property Law Association Annual Seminar, Washington, D.C., “Jury Litigation in Patent Cases”;

1992 Arnold, White and Durkee Breakfast Seminar, Houston, Texas, “Expert Witnesses: Their Selection, Taking Depositions of Them and Cross-Examination of Adverse Experts”;

1993 Trade Regulation Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, “Legal Protection of Trade Dress”;

1993 Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, “Defending Patent Litigation”;

1994 American Intellectual Property Law Association Annual Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., “Jury Voir Dire”;

1994 Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, “Persuasive Trial of Validity Issues”;

1995 Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, “Reflections on Effective Presentation of a Patent Validity Defense”;

1996 Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, “Persuasive Presentations of an Accused Infringer’s Case, in Particular Obviousness”;

2000 Iowa Bar Association, Trade Regulation/Corporate Counsel Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa (September 13, 2000), “The Internet: Intellectual Property Considerations”.

“United States Supreme Court Approves Utility Patents for Plants and Seeds,” Seed & Crops magazine, Vol. 55, No. 4 (May 2002), pp. 22-23.

Contributing author to Chism, Principles of Patent Law, Third Edition, preparing “Side Bar – Plant Patents and the J.E.M. AG Supply Case”, pp. 803-806, Foundation Press, New York, New York (2004).

Federal Judges Roundtable – View from the Bench: Issues in Patent Litigation,” The Patent Lawyer, Vol. 3, Issue 3, (Fall 2006), pp. 4-11, 21.

Conceived and Coordinated the Drake Law Review Spring 2021 Intellectual Property Special Edition Issue.

Significant Cases

J.E.M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., 534 U.S. 124, 122 S.Ct. 593 (2001), 60 USPQ2d 1865 (S.Ct. 2001) (plants are 35 U.S.C. § 101 statutory subject matter)

Deprenyl Animal Health, Inc. v. University of Toronto Innovations Foundation, 161 F.Supp.2d, 1272 (D. KS 2001), reversed, 297 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2002), (personal jurisdiction over patent licensee).

Andreas v. Volkswagen of America, Inc., 63 USPQ2d 1447 (N.D. IA 2002) (lost profits in a copyright infringement case)

Kemin Foods, L.C., The Catholic University of America v. Pigmentos Vegetales Del Centro S.A. de C.V., 240 F.Supp.2d 963 (S.D. IA 2003) (patent preliminary injunction) (revs’d on appeal).

Andreas v. Volkswagen of America, Inc., 67 USPQ2d 1429 (8th Cir. 2003) (damages / copyright infringement indirect profits).

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. v. Ottawa Plant Food, Inc., 283 F. Supp. 2d 1018 (N.D. IA 2003) (validity of seed wrap license).

Silent Drive, Inc. v. Strong Industries, Inc. et al, 326 F.3d 1194 (Fed. Cir., 2003)
(personal jurisdiction)

Advanta USA, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., No. 04-C-238-S, slip op. (W.D. Wisc. Oct. 27, 2004) (Federal preemption – issuance of a plant variety protection certificate on a given plant did not result in barring subsequent assertion of state law trade secret protection with respect to that variety).

Sioux Biochemical, Inc. v. Cargill, Inc., 410 F.Supp.2d 785 (N.D. IA 2005) (whether tort of misappropriation is an Iowa cause of action)

Maytag Corporation v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc. d/b/a Frigidaire, 411 F.Supp.2d 1008 (N.D. IA 2006) (Markman claim construction)

Primos, Inc. v. Hunter’s Specialties, Inc., 451 F.3d 841 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (patent infringement)

Flex-Rest, LLC v. Steelcase, Inc., 455 F.3d 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (patent infringement-35 U.S.C.§ 102(g)/inequitable conduct)

Sutton v. Iowa Trenchless, LLC, 808 NW 2d 744, 2011 IA. Appl. Lexis 1359
(covenant not to compete)

Art Etc., LLC v. Angel Gifts et al, 686 F.3d 654 (8th Cir., 2012) (copyright arbitration vs. litigation)

Bar & Court Admissions

Iowa State Bar

Patent Bar

Ohio State Bar

Federal District Courts of Iowa

Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court.

The Best Lawyers in America®, 2011–2022

Great Plains Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation, 2007, 2009 – 2021

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