William H. Needle, Esq.
is a registered patent attorney who has been exclusively practicing all aspects of Intellectual Property law for over 44 years. Mr. Needle began his legal career at the first IP boutique firm in Atlanta (Newton, Hopkins & Orsmby) from 1970-1983 when he then founded the IP boutique Needle & Rosenberg which, in 2008, merged into Ballard Spahr LLP. He served as the first Chair of Ballard’s Intellectual Property Department from 2008 – 2012 and currently remains a partner in the firm.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
Mr. Needle is an effective IP mediator and arbitrator with a unique confluence of attributes and background. These include expertise in the subject matter, communication skills honed through managing his own firm and later Ballard Spahr's IP Department, more than 20 years' service as an adjunct professor at several law schools, and experience in developing alternative business solutions for his clients.
Since 1995, Mr. Needle has been mediating and arbitrating cases dealing with a wide array of intellectual property matters, including:
- Patent infringement in such diverse arts as printed electronic wiring boards, road-working machines, long distance calling cards, mining equipment and fishing line;
- Trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, counterfeit goods, cybersquatting and dilution, with such matters as a name dispute between two universities and trademark infringement involving dietary supplements;
- Copyright infringement cases involving product packaging and software programs;
- Breach of contracts, including software purchase agreements and patent and trademark licensing agreements; and
- Misappropriation of trade secrets, including those associated with an energy accounting and scheduling system.
- Current Chair of an arbitration panel which has issued a Markman Order on patent claims directed to the mining industry;
- Served as the Arbitrator in a matter involving theft of trade secrets and claims under the Securities Act for breach of fiduciary duties; and
- Chair of an arbitration panel which dealt with the validity and infringement of several patents relating to beverage containers and including the entry of a Markman Order
Mr. Needle has been appointed by several federal judges to serve as a Special Master in several patent infringement cases, including one in which his recommendations on validity and infringement of the patents-in-suit were adopted by the Judge and affirmed by the Federal Circuit which referred to the “thorough and exhaustive recommendations of the special master.” Recently, finding his recommended Markman Order to be "well-founded, consistent with the evidence presented and supported by the law," Senior Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. adopted it as the Court's order in UCB, Inc. et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (N.D. Ga.).
His litigation experience includes being counsel in the copyright and trademark litigation for the CABBAGE PATCH KIDS® dolls and the State of Georgia in infringement cases involving the VIDALIA® onion trademark, as well as patent infringement actions involving diverse technologies. Mr. Needle served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia for intellectual property law issues for more than 30 years