A knowledgeable IP attorney with vast industry experience
Over his decades-long legal career, Mike Sellers has counseled hundreds of inventors and business leaders, helping them build robust patent portfolios and giving them the tools they need to legally protect their interests. His core practice at Patterson + Sheridan focuses on assisting clients with litigation and dispute resolution. He also prepares and prosecutes domestic and international patent applications, with an emphasis on chemical products, clean technologies, industrial products, medical devices and procedures, electronics, semiconductors, and oil and gas services.
Mike takes the ‘counsel’ title to heart. He enjoys all aspects of being a legal, technical, and business advisor, and is skilled at building long-lasting relationships with creators and industry leaders alike. Throughout his career, Mike has served as a litigator, in-house counsel and portfolio manager for international clients specializing in petroleum and chemical-based technologies. While working for The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), Mike managed the global Exploration and Production Advance Research Center (EXPEC ARC) patent portfolio and fostered a culture of capturing the innovation created within the company. During his time at Saudi Aramco, the number of U.S. patent applications filed increased sixfold, and the number of granted US patents increased from about 50 to almost 600 per year.
As an in-house attorney, Mike strategized with business leaders to proactively address potential litigation issues, including breach of contract by patent portfolio licensees as well as technology theft and trade secret violations by former employees. He also drafted and negotiated agreement terms with external partners, including university cooperation and development research agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and sampling/non-reverse engineering agreements.
A tenacious litigator and skilled writer
Mike’s passion for patent law has never wavered because he is constantly exposed to a new area of law or technology. The challenges along the way only renew his interest in the creative vision that all inventors and entrepreneurs share.
The BP oil spill and Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 marked a career-defining moment for Mike. He volunteered to go off-shore and observe a critical portion of the evidence recovery for that matter and conducted the on-site investigation that followed. Many of those findings have proven critical to his client’s interests in later litigations. He also supported his client and its employees by protecting their legal interests in the face of both adversarial and government representatives at the remote site during the high-profile investigation. That experience expanded his appreciation in understanding his own tenacity in representing his client’s interests and assuring them he is there to protect and act for them. Sometimes all that is needed is a presence to provide a client and their people a sense of security.
Mike is also an effective communicator with strong writing skills. He has drafted more than 100 original patent applications for both domestic and foreign prosecution in a variety of technology fields. While pursuing his law degree, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal. A paper he published as a law student was later cited in an antitrust law textbook. Since then, he’s published numerous professional articles on key patent law issues and industry trends. Mike has provided several internal corporate and law firm presentations on both technology and law. He has also mentored many patent professionals starting their career in prosecution.
A dedicated life-long learner
Prior to his law career, Mike worked as a production engineer at a chemical plant producing ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol. He also worked as a software implementation manager where he designed interfaces, integrated, and quality-tested chemical process computer simulators. As an attorney, Mike has assisted with a vast array of innovative processes and inventions, including medical devices and treatments, nanotechnology, downhole tools, carbon dioxide sequestration, drilling fluids, polymer chemistry and production, crude oil and natural gas treatment and refining, renewable and sustainable energy generation, computer monitoring and control systems, toys for children, waste heat recovery systems, and consumer beverages, just to name a few examples. Exposure to these cutting-edge products added to Mike’s breadth of technical knowledge and made him more adaptable to working with inventors in diverse fields.
Mike demonstrates his dedication to patent law by learning as much as possible about a wide range of technologies. He is always pursuing additional education opportunities to broaden his technical base even further. He has recently taken college courses in computer programming and mathematics in the hopes of pursuing an M.S. in Computer Science within the next few years. Mike is also actively studying to take the CIPP/US exam, a certification exam for privacy management. He recently completed the Fundamentals of Petroleum certification course provided by The University of Texas’s Petroleum Extension (PETEX).
When he’s not in a classroom or at the office, Mike and his wife enjoy watching movies and college football. He is also an avid gardener.