William Needle
William Needle

William H. Needle


Tel 678.420.9320
Fax 678.420.9301

William H. Needle is immediate past Chair of the firm's Intellectual Property Department. Mr. Needle is a registered patent attorney who has been exclusively practicing all aspects of Intellectual Property law for over 44 years. His experience includes copyright and trademark litigation for the CABBAGE PATCH KIDS® dolls and the State of Georgia in infringement cases involving the VIDALIA® onion mark, as well as patent infringement actions involving diverse technologies. He is the recipient of the 2015 IP Legends Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to intellectual property, including in business, law, and education. The award is sponsored by Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Intellectual Property sections of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association.

Mr. Needle also currently serves as an alternative dispute resolution neutral panel member of JAMS, in the mediation and arbitration of disputes involving intellectual property issues. He has been an expert witness in several patent, trademark, and copyright infringement actions. On several occasions, he has been appointed to serve as a Special Master by U.S. District Court judges in patent infringement cases in which his recommendations on validity, infringement, and damages in two actions were affirmed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

He was Chair of the committee that drafted pattern trademark jury instructions for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and also served on the committee tasked with formulating local rules regarding patent litigation for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Professional Activities

State Bar of Georgia, Fellow, Lawyers Foundation

Academy of Court-Appointed Masters

Atlanta Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, Master of the Bench

Georgia State University College of Law, Adjunct Professor, patent law

Emory University School of Law, Adjunct Professor, patent law (1983-1997) and licensing law (1988-2009)

State of Georgia, Special Assistant Attorney General, intellectual property law, 30+ years

Recognition & Accomplishments

IP Legends Award recipient, 2015

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, intellectual property law, highest ranking (band one), annually since 2003

The Best Lawyers in America, intellectual property litigation, patent law, and trademark law, annually since 1991

IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, patent litigation, annually since 2013

Recognized as one of "IP Stars" in Georgia by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, 2013

Georgia Trend magazine's "Legal Elite," annually since 2003

Certified "Memphis in May" barbecue judge


Co-author, "IP: An Arbitration Award May Not Be the End of the Road in Patent Disputes," InsideCounsel.com, April 30, 2013

"Trademark Law," chapter in Association of Technology Managers Technology Transfer Practice Manual, 3rd edition, edited and updated in Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agricultural Innovation, 2007

Board Memberships

Anti-Defamation League, Southeast Region, Board of Trustees

Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Sciences, Advisory Board

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Advisory Board

The Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER®) program (collaboration between Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Law that prepares students for commercializing new technologies), Advisory Board

University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Biomedical Engineering, Advisory Board

Emory University School of Law (J.D. 1970)

Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S., Chemistry, 1967)


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit