Areas of Practice

  • Patents
  • Copyrights
  • Licensing
  • Trademarks
  • Trade Secrets
  • Trade Dress
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • International Law
  • Joint Ventures
  • International Joint Ventures
  • Employment Agreements
  • Consulting Agreements



  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
    M.S.Ch.E., Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
    B.S.Ch.E., Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Eastern District Court of Wisconsin
  • Western District Court of Wisconsin

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Wisconsin Bar Association Member
  • American Bar Association Member
  • Wisconsin Patent Law Association Member
  • Christian Legal Society Member
  • Licensing Executives Society Member
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association Member


Past Employment Positions

  • American Can Company
  • Dana Corporation
  • Stanadyne Corporation
  • Kraft Foods
  • Western Electric
  • US Army

Thomas D. Wilhelm

Senior Patent Attorney

Tom Wilhelm’s Retirement Message

“As I began thinking about retiring some years ago, I was concerned about our reputation as a law firm, and whether I could find someone who I could trust to take my place, to take care of our clients, many of whom are good friends, and someone who would take care of our people, our employees.


First let me say that Steve and I have enjoyed a great personal and professional relationship, and a great friendship, which goes back more than 20 years. When Steve first expressed an interest in taking over the business when I was ready to let go, I was thrilled. I knew that Steve would take good care of my clients and my employees, and he has. And I know that I can trust Steve to carry on the work I started so long ago, and that I can trust him to uphold our reputation in the community.”





In 1983, after nine years of service at American Can Company–the first several of which were in an engineering capacity–Tom’s position at the company was eliminated due to a corporate restructuring. By that time he had become a Patent Agent, so he decided to open his new business, with American Can Company being his first client.


While at American Can, Tom was responsible for working with multiple business units in identifying the intellectual property rights related to all of the company’s flexible packaging and folding carton businesses, and for securing the patents related to these technologies, both in the U.S. and in foreign countries, including the European Patent Office, Japan, and Canada. In the process, Tom worked on projects related to a wide variety of films and laminates, and including the products, processes, machines, and tubes used in those processes.


The products included: single layer films; multiple layer films, including laminates using film, paper, and foil; co-extrusions; extrusion coatings; and discharges. The polymers were typically food grade materials including olefins such as polyethylene, polypropolene, ethylene copolymers including ethylene vinyl acetate and ethylene vinyl alcohol, and poly chloride copolymers. The processes included cast extrusion, blown film, tubular water quench, tenter frame and double-bubble stretching, shrink films, and other films.


The machines included the extruder, dyes, capture and control devices, as well as machines for forming and sealing flexible packages, including form-fill-and-seal, and thermal forming.


Since opening the business in 1983, Tom has handled a wide variety of technology including paper, fiber and adhesives, batteries, a wide variety of machinery, construction materials, automotive equipment, ultrasonics, agricultural machines, dairy industry, foundry machines, medical devices, and food-making processes and machines.


In 1991, Tom went back to school, and received his law degree from University of Wisconsin in 1993.


Tom has made personal appearances before the U.S. Patent Office, has made oral arguments before the European Patent Office, and has made appearances in the Federal Courts of Wisconsin. He has represented clients in Canada, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Argentina.


Tom has also handled mediations and arbitrations, even using mediation principles or principles based on Biblical/Christian teachings.


In his spare time, Tom conducted farming operations for many years, including both field crops and livestock operation. He currently owns and manages a Wisconsin timber operation.


And, oh yes, Tom has his pilot license and loves to fly. So he’ll gladly come to your location, even if it is some distance away. Just pick him up at the closest small airport.