Hiwot’s practice focuses on patent litigation and patent prosecution for chemical, biological and mechanical processes and devices. Hiwot helps clients protect and enforce their intellectual property portfolios and implement comprehensive protection strategies, yet it is the ability to help inventors foster an idea to a real-world implementation that brings Hiwot the most joy at work each day.
“I love talking to inventors. It’s a lot of fun to help someone protect and defend something they’re passionate about and something they created,” she says. It’s a process she’s uniquely suited to assist with, as Hiwot worked as a professional engineer before entering the law. “I have multiple points of view for each project I handle. My experience as an engineer helps me view a project both as an engineer and from the legal perspective,” she says.
In her day-to-day practice, Hiwot prepares and prosecutes domestic and international patent applications, drafts licensing agreements, and prepares patent validity, patentability, and freedom-to-operate opinions. She also works with clients to enforce their intellectual property rights in federal courts. Hiwot’s experience includes work at every stage of litigation from drafting motions and depositions to oral arguments.
Having seen how intellectual property can impact a business in her days as an engineer, Hiwot strives to help clients understand the underlying issues in their cases. “I want my clients to understand why we’re doing something so that they can be in a better position,” she says. She also works with inventors and in-house counsel to find creative solutions to their problems, often helping inventors think about their work in new and different ways. Regardless of venue, Hiwot is a thorough, dependable resource for clients, who rely on her to understand the budget and time constraints they are facing.
As a professional engineer, Hiwot worked on several satellite programs as a materials and process engineer. Hiwot’s work focused on developing procedures to bond and test optical sub-assemblies, selecting adhesives and substrate materials during instrument design, and creating systems for maintaining cleanliness of instruments. In this position, Hiwot developed an extensive background in polymer chemistry. She also worked with teams of engineers to build mechanical designs for various satellite components.
While in law school, Hiwot held an externship with the Honorable Arthur P. Roy and the Honorable Gilbert M. Roman of the Colorado Court of Appeals. Hiwot also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law (now Colorado Technology Law Journal) and President of the Student Bar Association. Hiwot remains active in the Colorado community. She recently completed the Leadership Denver program and is currently the Chair of the University of Colorado Law Alumni Board. Hiwot also frequently mentors young people, especially young women of color in legal and scientific fields.
University of Colorado School of Law (J.D., 2009)
University of Colorado (B.S., Chemical Engineering, 2001)
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Patent Office Post Grant Proceedings
- Patent Prosecution
- Trade Secrets and Confidentiality
- Green Technology
- Life Sciences
- Mechanical Engineering
United States District Court, District of Colorado, 2009
United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2010
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2015
United States Supreme Court, 2016
American Bar Association, IP Section
Colorado Bar Association
University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board, Chair in 2020
Presentations and Publications:
- Speaker: “IP Ownership Issues,” American Chemical Society National Conference, Denver, Colorado, 2015.
- Jury Finds Willful Infringement in IP Trial, Law Week Colorado, Nov. 16, 2015, read full article
WCM Industries v. IPS Corp., (W.D. Tenn) — Trial counsel for plaintiff in a patent infringement action involving multiple patents related to bath waste and overflow products. Following two-week jury trial, received a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff on all claims asserted, including a finding of willful infringement by defendant. Successfully defended against counterclaims of invalidity and non-infringement.
Court granted request to enhance the jury’s damage award due to willful infringement. Court found that: “based on the egregious nature of IPS’s conduct, that treble damages are appropriate.” Court trebled amount to more than $4.1 million.
Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2013-2018