Carlson Caspers is a law firm dedicated to advocating for sophisticated clients during all the stages of their inventions. With a distinguished and credentialed team of intellectual property (IP) lawyers including scientists, chemists and engineers across many disciplines, Carlson Caspers has the subject-matter expertise to deliver strategic counsel and rigorous advocacy in opinion work, trials, appeals, due diligence, transactions and monetization.
Serving sophisticated clients in highly nuanced technological sectors with ingenuity means attracting sharp and diverse talent to complement the firm’s contingent of veteran practitioners. These ambitious associates bring unique perspectives and legal skills to help solve the challenges faced by today’s and yesterday’s inventors.
Among the firm’s growing ranks of associates are Megan Christner, Nathan Louwagie, Saukshmya Trichi and Sarita Matheson. These attorneys possess subject-matter expertise and business savvy that informs their law practice and assists them in connecting with the sophisticated individuals and companies they represent.
Christner’s practice emphasizes patent and trade secret litigation and counseling. She has worked on technologies from a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals and medical devices. She is also a chemical engineer who has found that her skills and passions translate well to a career in IP law.
“I worked as an engineer before returning to law school, and what I loved most about that job was learning how new manufacturing processes and equipment worked,” she said. “Ultimately, I was drawn to law school because it was an opportunity to combine the technical details I loved about my engineering jobs with oral advocacy and writing, which I’ve always enjoyed but didn’t have as much of an opportunity to do as an engineer. Luckily for me, I landed in a career that I absolutely love.”
Christner recently presented an oral argument for the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (USPTO) through its Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) program. “I got the opportunity to increase my skills as an oral advocate, and the client also got something — extra time to argue the case.”
Louwagie is a litigator and a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent Office. He counsels clients from a broad range of industries in all types of intellectual property disputes. After earning his undergraduate degree in chemistry, he served as a paid research intern in Medtronic Inc.’s Technical Internship Program.
“I was always most interested in the way technology intersects with different businesses to support their growth. It was a natural transition to what I’m doing now. At the end of the day, the question is always how to help the business use its technology to grow and ultimately avoid getting bogged down in IP issues. Whenever I develop a patent portfolio or engage in litigation, I spend a lot of time thinking about why the technology is key to the company’s business.”
Louwagie has given talks through the Federal Bar Association (FBA), has traveled abroad to speak at conferences attended by the firm’s pharmaceutical clients, and hosted webinars through The Knowledge Group. According to Louwagie, these presentations are more than marketing opportunities. “A big part of our job is oral advocacy. The more opportunities you have to stand and present, the better you get.”
Trichi has honed her skills as an IP practitioner with a focus on patent litigation and due diligence. Before joining Carlson Caspers, she advised multinational and Indian companies from numerous industries, including pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and hospitality services. She holds a master’s degree in biotechnology, and she frequently applies her scientific expertise to pharmaceutical and life science cases. She said the firm’s inclusive spirit has catalyzed her professional growth by fostering legal skills and rewarding fresh, creative ideas.
“I joined Carlson Caspers with a basic understanding of the U.S. legal system. I had practiced in India as an IP litigator for four years before pursuing an LL.M., and the skills and range of proficiency I bring to the table are a result of the opportunities and support from the firm. Carlson Caspers nurtures people with diverse backgrounds, recognizes strengths and facilitates independent thinking. It has been great to work with smart, hardworking and adept lawyers who have also made me feel at home in Minnesota.”
Trichi is committed to improving diverse representation in the legal profession and is now co-chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion committee. She participates in numerous pro bono projects, is a member of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA), and the Emerging Leaders Group at Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP), a Twin Cities nonprofit that aims to attract and retain attorneys from diverse backgrounds.
Also a woman of color, Matheson is a registered U.S. patent attorney with experience in complex patent litigation for clients in the biomedical and life sciences products and services sectors.
“I have a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois and a Masters in Molecular Cellular Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota. I have done lab research in the areas of immunology and cancer. I have a deep respect for the sciences and the scientific process, and I always knew I wanted to merge my science career with a legal career. Carlson Caspers is the perfect place for me. I love working at a place that specializes in intellectual property. Carlson Caspers also has a robust life science practice, which allows me to use my life science background at work every day.”
Matheson said that in addition to providing thoughtful and intelligent advice to her clients, she wants to “continue to provide mentorship to those entering the profession and help recruit and retain lawyers of diverse backgrounds in the field.”
She is a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion committee and TCDIP. She is also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), an organization of more than 350 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are working to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
These attorneys are among a leading group of associates who contribute to the firm’s Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) blog and provide service and leadership to organizations both inside and outside the legal profession, including TCDIP, Legal Aid, Minnesota Innocence Project, statewide and affinity bar associations, community fund-raising events and more.
This vibrant team of professionals is passionate about new technologies, fearless in the face of evolving technologies, and resourceful in creating solutions to complex problems for innovators across the spectrum.
“Because of our firm’s size and depth of expertise in IP, we are unique in that we are qualified to represent Fortune 500 companies in their most important IP litigation, but we also have the agility to support the solo inventor who is going up against that Fortune 500,” said Louwagie.
According to Christner, Carlson Caspers’ greatest asset is its exceptional people. “We’re people who are friendly, engaged, and care about what we’re doing for you.”