Shannon D. Powers, Of Counsel

Patent practice informed by research background and in-house experience

Shannon Powers has spent her entire career developing and protecting advanced innovations. She earned a bachelor’s in physics from Rice University and worked on natural space environments research at a major federal aerospace lab. Shannon then earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Utah, focusing again on space research, and developed devices and methods to detect high-energy particles created by supernovae. While in law school, Shannon clerked for Patterson & Sheridan. After graduating, she worked at a leading national firm before spending five years as in-house IP counsel for a large Norwegian oil and gas exploration company. In 2015, she returned to Patterson & Sheridan as Of Counsel.

Her extensive background means Shannon understands both the day-to-day realities of researchers and the business challenges faced by corporate executives. As comfortable in the lab as she is in the boardroom, Shannon speaks the language of each of the varied stakeholders involved in a particular invention. She knows the right questions to ask of inventors to gain a thorough understanding of their innovations, and is a quick study, thanks to her own scientific background. Shannon also takes the time to study a client’s industry and competitive environment closely. This holistic approach ensures Shannon addresses the unique goals and needs of her clients.

Strategic counsel rooted in scientific decision-making

Shannon focuses her practice on domestic and international patent and trademark preparation and prosecution as well as counseling. She also has a litigation background, primarily preparing cases for both trial and post-grant proceedings. Because of her in-house work managing a global oil and gas IP portfolio, Shannon has significant international experience, particularly in Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. She has worked extensively in the oil and gas sector on a variety of technologies, including electromagnetic surveys, geophysical data processing, seismic streamer retriever systems, marine seismic vibrators, anti-biofouling technologies, oil field services technologies, oil and natural gas exploration and recovery equipment, and offshore wells.

Clients value Shannon’s ability to quickly understand new technology and see how it fits into the bigger picture of their overall business goals. She also knows her clients depend on her for timely, practical counsel grounded in evidence. This is particularly important in today’s accelerated first-to-file environment, where delays can be costly — but so can mistakes that are made by rushing the process. A strategic thinker, Shannon relies on her scientific background to inform her decision-making, efficiently sorting through all the available information and determining the best course of action to fit a given set of circumstances. In this way, she secures patents that provide not only the broadest protection possible, but also a competitive advantage her clients can leverage.

When not working, Shannon enjoys running, particularly participating in charity events. In 2013, she challenged herself to complete 13 half-marathons (13.1 miles) by year’s end. She not only succeeded, but also organized 13-Cubed, a group of fellow runners who took up the same challenge. There were 43 finishers, who all got medals from Shannon to mark their achievement. She also volunteers with the Armed Forces Appreciation Day committee at the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. 

Practice Areas


  • J.D., (Order of the Barons) University of Houston Law Center, 2007
  • M.S., University of Utah, 1993
  • B.A., Rice University, 1988

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • College of the State Bar of Texas

Professional Affiliations

  • Geophysical Society of Houston
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Mensa
  • Society of Exploration Geophysics
  • St. Thomas More Society
  • Women's Energy Network