Steve Gardner concentrates his practice on intellectual-property disputes, counseling, and transactions. He is a registered patent attorney. He has practiced for more than 20 years and was co-chair of the firm's 100+ attorney national patent-litigation group from 2004 until 2013.

Mr. Gardner has represented companies in more than 90 lawsuits in the federal courts of California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Virginia. He has litigated and analyzed patents in a wide range of technologies, including software, computer hardware, medical devices, chemical compositions, Internet and e-commerce systems, electronics, manufacturing systems, mechanical devices, optics, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. His litigation experience includes obtaining a preliminary injunction in a patent case and proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in both inter partes reviews and covered business-method reviews.

Mr. Gardner also regularly handles counseling and transactional matters relating to intellectual property, including providing strategic analysis and advice regarding trends relative to intellectual property in the client's field; negotiating agreements relative to intellectual property, such as patent licenses and software licenses; establishing patent programs and committees; handling trade-secret misappropriation; analyzing patents held by competitors; engaging in intellectual property due diligence in evaluating potential acquisitions; conducting freedom to practice analysis; providing written opinions; patent-portfolio management; analyzing and negotiating indemnification; pre-litigation advice; managing patent prosecution; and serving as general intellectual-property counsel. He has spoken on intellectual property and other topics at seminars in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Durham, Houston, New York, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, and Winston-Salem.

Mr. Gardner has been elected for many years to Business North Carolina magazine's "Legal Elite" List as one of the top patent attorneys in North Carolina based on a survey of all members of the North Carolina bar. He is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Intellectual Property Law. He is one of only six North Carolina lawyers listed as a #1 band attorney in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Intellectual Property. Mr. Gardner was recognized as an "IP Star" by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. Mr. Gardner is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Gardner served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alvin A. Schall, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington, D.C., 1995-1996, and to the Honorable Frank W. Bullock Jr., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 1994-1995.

*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.

Professional & Community Activities

Wake Forest Law Review, Editor-in-Chief (1993-1994)

ABA Intellectual Property Litigation Newsletter, Editor-in-Chief (2007-present)

ABA Open Source Software Sub-Committee, Co-Chair (2009-2012)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Member (1988-present)

The Children's Museum of Winston-Salem, Board Member (2005-2010)

UNC Charlotte, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Board of Advisors (2005-2013)

William G. White YMCA, Board Member (2015-present)

Arts Board of Mt. Tabor High School, Treasurer (2015-present)

Bethesda Center for the Homeless, Board Member, 2001-2003

Wake Forest University School of Law, Alumni Board Member

NC Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, Chair, 2006-2007

Member, Teacher, Deacon (2007-2011), Search Committee Member, South Fork Church of Christ, 1992—2011 and 2013-present

Adjunct Professor, Wake Forest University School of Law, 2000-2006

Adjunct Professor, UNC Charlotte Graduate School (Engineering Management), 2001-2008


  • Wake Forest University, J.D. (1994)
    with honors
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte, M.S., Electrical Engineering
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte, B.S., Electrical Engineering
    Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina (1994)


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit — Alvin A. Schall (Aug 1995-Aug 1996)
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina — Frank W. Bullock, Jr. (Aug 1994-Aug 1995)

Who We Are

What fully engaged means to me:

Caring deeply about our client's needs and objectives.

1001 West Fourth Street
Winston-Salem, NC, 27101-2400
t +1 336.607.7483
f +1 336.734.2650

Steven Gardner

Experience Highlights

Patent litigation for emerging technology development company
Represented an emerging technology development company in its dispute with a major medical equipment company regarding patent rights. The more
Patent litigation for window and door manufacturer
The firm served as lead counsel in the Southern District of Illinois on behalf of a leading developer and manufacturer of windows and doors in a case more
Dotcast, Inc. v. Movie Gallery, Inc., et al.
The firm served as lead counsel on behalf of Dotcast in a suit in the Northern District of Georgia to recover patent rights in the hands of a more
Patent prosecution and counseling services to Adobe Systems Incorporated
Provides patent procurement and counseling services to Adobe Systems Incorporated, one of the largest and most diversified software companies in the more