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Firm History

New Patent Company Organized in City

Des Moines Register article, Talbert Dick photo

Talbert Dick Opens Law Firm

Talbert Dick opens his law firm in Hippee Building (Now Surety Hotel) on Sixth Avenue in downtown Des Moines. The intellectual properties practice grows quickly because of Talbert Dick’s attention to detail and superior client service.

Hippee Building, Des Moines

Golf Bag Support Patent

Talbert Dick is the inventor for patent 1,693,889: The golf bag support. Over the past 95+ years this invention, a mechanism with retractable legs when the bag is set down, makes it more convenient and faster for golfers to rest and pick up their bags.

Patent drawings for golf bag stand

Move to 500 Des Moines

The law firm moves to the 500 Des Moines Building in the heart of the city.

500 Des Moines Building

Don Zarley Joins Talbert Dick

Don joined Talbert as an associate after passing exams for both a professional engineer and the patent bar.

Don Zarley joins Talbert Dick

Bruce McKee and Dennis Thomte Join the Firm

As they say, the rest is history. The first offices were at 500 Des Moines Building. Almost immediately (1962) Bruce McKee joined with Don. Dennis Thomte joined in 1963.

Bruce McKee joins firm

Move to Central National Bank Building

The law firm continues to grow, it moves to the Central National Bank Building (now the Boatman’s Bank Building), continuing a commitment to the central city.

Central National Bank building

Global Expansion

Associations opened in other countries, expanding services globally. Today, McKee, Voorhees & Sease continues this dedication to serving at the intersection of science and law as an internationally recognized intellectual property law firm advising clients in 160 countries.

Japan and Canada offices

Move to Ruan Center

The law firm moves to the 24th floor of the Ruan Center in 1975 soon after Mike Voorhees (1970) and Ed Sease (1973) joined the firm.

Ruan Center Des Moines Ruan Center Office Sign

Hansing and Hartung Join

Mark Hansing and Kirk Hartung join the firm in 1981 and 1982, respectively.

Hansing and Hartung join MVS

Move to 801

The firm moves to its present location, the 32nd floor of 801 Grand building.

MVS Principal Building sign Principal Building Des Moines

Transforming Business & Technology

In a cover story in May, MIT’s Technology Review magazine touts the biotech patent prosecuted by our firm (Heidi Sease Nebel). The author relates five patents that he concludes will “…transform business and technology…”

One of these is United States patent 6,136,320 that we prosecuted on behalf of Prodigene, Inc. The patent relates to edible vaccines and discloses the making of transgenic plants that express viral proteins so that one could become vaccinated by eating the plant.

MIT Technology Review Cover

Legendary Ruling

On December 10, our firm receives a favorable decision from the United States Supreme Court in an opinion heralded by many as the high court’s broad affirmation of the wide breadth and scope of patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

In the matter, Ed Sease represents Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a DuPont corporation, involved in the patentability of plants under the patent statute. The decision held that the broad scope of 101 includes plants even though there were other more specific statues that address plants. Legal analysts view this case as important in that the decision affirms the intended broad scope of the patent statute to protect a wide variety of technologies.

Ed Sease Supreme Court Drawing

Professor Yang’s Patent

Penn State professor of plant pathology Yinong Yang’s multiplex RNA genome editing technology may produce gene therapy to correct defects that cause human diseases such as sickle-cell anemia and cystic fibrosis. He pioneers the successful use of CRISPR/Cas genome editing in plant systems, for which he filed an invention disclosure and a patent application in 2013. MVS attorneys protect Professor Yang’s patents 10,308,947 and 11,702,667.

PSU seal

Coaxium Patent

Marketed as Coaxium to farmers in North America, patent 9,578,880 is a herbicide resistant wheat licensed to seed companies Albaugh and Limagrain. MVS attorneys write the license and conduct the trademark for the product invented by Michael Hal Ostlie, Scott Haley, Philip Westra, and Victoria Ashley Valdez.


Drought-Resistant Turf Patents

Drought-resistant turf requires up to 50% less water and has saved hundreds of southern California golf courses and uncounted lawns. MVS attorneys protect plant patents PP35441 and PP35357 invented by UC Riverside’s Turfgrass Research & Extension program lead researcher Jim Baird.

Drought-resistant turf patents

Heidi Sease Nebel Recognized

Heidi Sease Nebel serves on the USDA PVP Advisory Board that helps shape the country’s IP policy for plants through the Plant Variety Protection Act. She also serves as Vice Chair of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC).

Chair of the Biotechnology/Chemical Practice Group, Heidi is the 2022 recipient of the Iowa Biotechnology Association Biotech Leader Award for her accomplishments and significant achievements in biotechnology.

Heidi Sease Nebel

Kevin M. Kercher Recognized

Kevin M. Kercher receives the Outstanding Service Award for his work on the AUTM Member Development Committee and Industry Task Force in 2017 and in 2022. He has developed extensive knowledge regarding technology transfer from educational or research institutions to corporate entities.

Kevin M. Kercher

Cassie Edgar Recognized

Chair of the Regulatory Law Practice Group and Co-Chair of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group Cassie Edgar is appointed Vice President of the FIN Capital Investor Association. FIN Capital Investor Association funds startups across agriculture, medicine, and technology that are changing the world.

Cassie Edgar

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