Drawing from her diverse and versatile experience as an in-house attorney for a consumer products company, an international trade lawyer at a large DC law firm, and (currently) a commercial and intellectual property litigation attorney at Pierce Atwood LLP, Margaret Minister focuses on a mix of strategic business and legal advice for clients involved in a variety of disputes, including contract, unfair competition, trade secrets, and copyright, trademark and patent infringement.

An equally significant component of Margaret’s practice involves brand and product licensing, intellectual property asset management, intellectual property protection and enforcement, and matters of special concern for consumer products and creative services companies.

At the start of her career, Margaret was an attorney in Washington, DC. at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she counseled clients in the semiconductor and electronics industries on U.S. law and policy affecting international trade and business, including export controls, customs, and the intellectual property provisions of such treaties as NAFTA and the WTO. She joined Pierce Atwood in 1997 as an associate in the litigation department, where she handled a wide variety of business litigation matters, including disputes involving contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, noncompetition agreements, and intellectual property rights.

From 2007 until March 2010, Margaret served as General Counsel and Chief Licensing Officer of the contemporary lifestyle brand angela adams, where she was responsible for negotiating and drafting multinational licensing agreements, developing and implementing the licensee portfolio and strategy, including brand marketing and consistency, revenue enhancement, and enforcing the company's IP rights.

Check out Margaret and the IP Litigation team's videos on litigation in the United States.

Honors & Distinctions
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" in Maine by The Best Lawyers in America® for Intellectual Property Litigation in 2016, 2018, and 2020
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Intellectual Property Litigation since 2013
  • Recognized in Litigation by Chambers USA since 2007
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named a New England Super Lawyer for Intellectual Property,  2013-2019
  • In 2003, for her pro bono work on behalf of Maine children on Medicaid, received the Maine Children's Alliance "Champions for Children Giraffe Award" for individuals "making extraordinary efforts on behalf of Maine children"
Professional Activities
  • Member, Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar
  • Elected Member, American Law Institute, 2006-present
  • Member, Justice Action Group, 2010-2013
  • Chair, Advisory Committee of Providers (of legal aid), 2010-2013
  • Robert H. Stier, Jr. & Margaret Minister O'Keefe, Settlement of Patent Disputes, in Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook, Third Edition 31 (Barry Grossman & Gary Hoffman eds., 4th ed. 2015).
Civic Activities
  • Board of Trustees, Maine College of Art, 2009-2013
  • Steering Committee, Maine Campaign for Justice, 2005-2007
  • Board of Directors, Maine Bar Foundation, 2004-2008

Practice Areas

Representative Experience
  • Lead counsel in a patent infringement action between two multinational competitors involving circuit protection devices
  • Trial counsel for inventor of high performance liquid chromatography technology in the District of Massachusetts, successfully resulting in a verdict for willful patent infringement
  • Defense of multinational consumer products company in trademark infringement litigation in the Northern District of California
  • Lead negotiator and legal counsel for multimillion dollar copyright and trademark licensing agreement
  • Trial counsel for nationally-recognized home furnishings brand in copyright infringement action against world's leading carpet manufacturer resulting in jury verdict of willful infringement
  • Defense of foreign biotech company accused of infringing patents concerning kits used to track mutations in HIV genome
Representative Experience
  • Lead counsel for a leading manufacturer of commercial flooring in a products liability case
  • Lead counsel for a construction machinery company in a trademark infringement, unfair trade practices, and breach of contract action, obtaining a $500,000 settlement and consent judgment following jury selection