People

Natalie Hanlon Leh

Partner

Co-Partner-in-Charge, Denver Office

Hanlon_Leh_Natalie

Natalie Hanlon Leh is an experienced intellectual property lawyer who serves as lead counsel in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets matters. As part of Ms. Hanlon Leh's litigation practice, she represents clients in a wide range of technologies, including chemistry assays, genetic research methods, software, cloud storage, fiber-optic networks, tunable lasers and erbium doped fiber amplifiers. Ms. Hanlon Leh has substantial experience with injunctions and expedited proceedings. Since 2004, she has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, where she teaches patent litigation.

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Ms. Hanlon Leh was a senior trial lawyer focusing on complex intellectual property matters and national practice group leader in another firm's Denver office.

Recent Highlights

In recent years, Ms. Hanlon Leh's work has included:

  • Serving as lead counsel for plaintiff in a patent infringement and trade dress case in the Western District of Washington involving a patent on a skin care system resulting in a $12 million jury verdict.
  • Serving as lead counsel for a clothing retailer in a copyright infringement case involving a character. Obtained complete non-infringement summary judgment victory which was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit.
  • Obtaining a complete dismissal of a $20 million licensing claim against a client after taking over as lead counsel in post-Supreme Court litigation.
  • Serving as lead counsel in connection with patent infringement action in the Central District of California involving erbium doped fiber amplifiers.
  • Serving as lead counsel in an enforcement action before the International Trade Commission and the Northern District of California involving tunable lasers.
  • Serving as lead counsel in infringement action in the District of Delaware involving cloud storage, and resulting in dismissal and award of attorneys' fees in client's favor.
  • Serving as lead counsel and arguing on behalf of a petitioner in inter partes review proceedings in the US Patent and Trademark Office, resulting in final written decision of unpatentabilty of all claims involving microscope slide printers.
  • Representing patent owner in patent infringement action in the District of New Jersey and two inter partes reexamination proceedings in the area of audio mixers, resulting in confirmation of patentability of original and new claims of re-examined patents and settlement with accused infringers.
  • Authoring multiple amicus briefs in the United Stated Supreme Court and Federal Circuit on patent issues.
  • Defense of multiple cases in the Eastern District of Texas, District of Delaware, and Northern and Central Districts of California brought by non-practicing entities.
  • Serving as lead counsel for the defense in a bench trial in the Southern District of New York, in which the court found the plaintiff had no protectable mark and no likelihood of confusion, resulting in favorable judgment on all counts.
  • Representing plaintiff copyright holder in successfully obtaining seizure order, permanent injunction and $56 million judgment for multiple acts of copyright and trademark infringement arising out of sale of counterfeit footwear accessories.
  • Serving as lead litigation counsel in two patent infringement cases involving methods for intron-sequence analysis DNA and genomic mapping, including obtaining a favorable claim construction ruling on all 15 disputed claim terms which drove a favorable settlement.
  • Serving as lead counsel as a declaratory judgment plaintiff in a case involving noncontact wheel alignment systems.
  • Serving as lead counsel in a patent infringement case that involved performance monitoring for fibre channel switches used in storage area networks (including a preliminary injunction hearing).
  • Obtaining consent judgment for ski area stopping the use of an infringing domain name.
  • Obtaining a seizure order authorizing seizure of counterfeit merchandise at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Enforcing trademark rights and successfully obtaining a preliminary injunction for a major league baseball team enjoining improper use of a similar domain name.
  • Defending a media defendant sued by the US Olympic Committee over use of "Olympics" as part of a magazine title.
  • Serving as Colorado counsel for major motion picture studios in copyright litigation over unauthorized digitally edited versions of movies.
  • Successfully defeating a preliminary injunction motion and obtaining summary judgment dismissing trade secrets claims against board members of a nonprofit library and archive who were sued in Colorado and Virginia by the Church of Scientology for copyright and trade secrets violations based upon posting of church materials to the Internet.

Publications & News

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October 24, 2017

WilmerHale Leads All Firms in Law Week Colorado's Annual Barrister's Best Awards

WilmerHale lawyers in the Denver office have been recognized with seven Barrister's Best awards from Law Week Colorado, more than any other law firm in the state.

August 16, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, Nine Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 107 WilmerHale lawyers and names nine partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 24th edition.

August 9, 2017

5 Questions to Ask Before Entering Joint-Representation AFA

Partners Gregory Lantier, Natalie Hanlon Leh and Mindy Sooter have published a six-part series aimed at providing guidance to ensure that AFA proposals are meaningful and realistic to both clients and outside counsel. In the sixth and final part of the series, the authors discuss five questions that should be asked before a firm enters into a joint-representation AFA.

August 2, 2017

5 Questions All AFAs Should Answer Clearly

Partners Gregory Lantier, Natalie Hanlon Leh and Mindy Sooter have published a six-part series aimed at providing guidance to ensure that AFA proposals are meaningful and realistic to both clients and outside counsel. In part five of the series, the authors discuss five questions that all AFAs should answer clearly.

July 31, 2017

Denver Co-Partner-in-Charge Natalie Hanlon Leh Edits Leading Book on Discovery Issues in Colorado

Natalie Hanlon Leh served as co-managing editor of Discovery in Colorado, a practical guide to the application of the Colorado and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing the discovery process in the state.

July 26, 2017

5 Questions Firm Should Ask Before Approving Litigation AFA

Partners Gregory Lantier, Natalie Hanlon Leh and Mindy Sooter have published a six-part series aimed at providing guidance to ensure that AFA proposals are meaningful and realistic to both clients and outside counsel. In part four of the series, the authors discuss five questions that firm management should ask internally before approving a litigation AFA proposal.

July 24, 2017

WilmerHale Recognized in IAM Patent 1000 2017

The firm and several of its partners are ranked in IAM Patent 1000 2017 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals.

July 18, 2017

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting a Litigation AFA

Partners Gregory Lantier, Natalie Hanlon Leh and Mindy Sooter have published a six-part series aimed at providing guidance to ensure that AFA proposals are meaningful and realistic to both clients and outside counsel. In part three of the series, the authors discuss five questions that every outside counsel should ask themselves before submitting a litigation AFA proposal.

July 12, 2017

5 Questions to Ask Firm Before Accepting a Litigation AFA

Partners Gregory Lantier, Natalie Hanlon Leh and Mindy Sooter have published a six-part series aimed at providing guidance to ensure that AFA proposals are meaningful and realistic to both clients and outside counsel. In part two of the series, the authors discuss five questions that every client should ask their law firm before accepting a litigation AFA proposal.

July 10, 2017

5 Questions to Ask Client Before Proposing a Litigation AFA

Partners Gregory Lantier, Natalie Hanlon Leh and Mindy Sooter have published a six-part series aimed at providing guidance to ensure that AFA proposals are meaningful and realistic to both clients and outside counsel. In part one of the series, the authors discuss five questions that every law firm should ask their clients before proposing a litigation AFA.

Professional Activities

Ms. Hanlon Leh is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Hanlon Leh is Vice Chair of the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado and on the Standing Committee for the Civil Pro Bono Panel of the US District Court for the District of Colorado. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Sedona Conference's Patent Litigation Best Practices Working Group.

Ms. Hanlon Leh is the former president of the Faculty of Federal Advocates. She is also the former chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Colorado Bar Association, and former president of the Colorado Women's Bar Association.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in the 2010-2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America for intellectual property law
  • Highly recommended as a leading lawyer in the IP industry in the 2017 edition of Patents Expert Guide
  • Ranked in the 2005-2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for intellectual property
  • Named by 5280 Magazine as a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Denver Top Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation  
  • Listed in the 2012-2017 editions of IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners
  • Named a 2016 and 2017 Best Intellectual Property Litigator by Law Week Colorado in its Barrister's Best list. In 2017, Law Week said: "As Denver has become more of a destination for intellectual property, the legal talent has gotten more impressive as well. And yet, Natalie Hanlon Leh has continued to be a leader in IP, especially as the Denver office of WilmerHale has grown.”
  • Named among the 2016 Top 250 Women in IP by IP Stars, a Managing IP publication that identifies leading female IP attorneys in the US
  • Recommended in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Legal 500 United States for intellectual property: patents: portfolio management and licensing; intellectual property: trade secrets; and intellectual property: patent litigation: ITC
  • Selected as the Colorado Outstanding IP Litigator of the Year in 2013 and 2016 and named an IP Star in 2013-2017 by Managing Intellectual Property
  • Recognized by World Trademark Review as among the World's Leading Trademark Professionals in 2014 and 2015
  • Selected by the Denver Business Journal as the Power Book, Legal Category Winner in 2013
  • Named a Top Woman Lawyer in 2013 by Law Week Colorado
  • Named to Denver's Best Lawyers list in 2010-2015 for Litigation - Intellectual Property and was selected as the 2012 Litigation - Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year
  • Named among the 2010 and 2011 Super Lawyers' Top 50 Lawyers in Colorado
  • Ranked among Super Lawyers' Top 100 Lawyers in Colorado in 2012-2016
  • Selected by Super Lawyers as among the Top 25 Women in Colorado in 2006-2011
  • Named among the 2012-2016 Top 50 Women in Colorado by Super Lawyers
  • Recognized for intellectual property litigation by Super Lawyers in 2006-2016
  • Selected as the Best Trademark Lawyer in 2009 and 2011 by Law Week Colorado
  • Selected by Benchmark Litigation as a Future Star in 2013 and 2014
  • Named an Outstanding Women in Business by the Denver Business Journal
  • Recipient of the Denver Bar Foundation's Richard Marden Davis Award
  • Recipient of the John C. Benson Community Service Award
  • Recipient of the Irving R. Kaufman Public Service Fellowship
  • Recipient of the Berkeley Law Foundation Public Interest Grant

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Discovering Discovery," Colorado Bar Association CLE (July 28, 2017)
  • Moderator, "The PTAB Speaks: A Discussion with the Chief Judge," 15th Annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property and Technology Institute (June 2017)
  • Moderator, "Patent Risk Management – Litigation and Dispute Strategies," IP in the Auto Industry: Risk and Opportunity in a Changing Landscape (May 2017)
  • Panelist, "Willfulness, Enhanced Damages, and Opinion of Counsel Since Halo," Intellectual Property Owners Association IP Chat Channel Webinar (February 2017)
  • Moderator, "Agency Review and Practical Considerations for Appeals," FCBA Patent Litigation 2017: The Courts and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (February 2017)
  • Panelist, "Section 101 issues. Abstract ideas? Products of nature? Diagnostic tests? Medical Procedures? Computer software (is this a dead area for protection)?" The Naples Roundtable: 2017 Patent Experts Conference (January 2016)
  • Moderator, "The Patent and Trademark Appeals Board Process and Its Impact," and panelist, "Wrap-Up: Bringing It All Together," Silicon Flatirons: Patent Reform in Action (January 2016)
  • Panelist, "Damages in Patent Litigation," Colorado Law Institute: Patent Law Update (January 2016)
  • Panelist, "Confronting the implementation of Alice - When and how to address the issue in the courts and in the PTAB," The 15th Annual Sedona Conference on Patent Litigation: Improving the Efficiency of Handling Patent Litigation (October 2015)
  • Panelist, "Impact of Alice v. CLS Bank—when and how the courts should address Section 101 patentability," The Sedona Conference WG9 and WG10 Joint Midyear Meeting (May 2015)
  • Speaker, "2015 Update: Damages and Remedies in Patent Litigation," National CLE Conference - Intellectual Property (January 2015)
  • Panelist, "Design Patent Remedies," Design Law 2014 (November 2014)
  • Speaker, "Coordinating Litigation and Post-Grant Review Processes," 12th Annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Institute, Denver (April 2014)
  • Speaker, "2014 Update: Damages and Remedies in Patent Litigation," National CLE Conference - Intellectual Property (January 2014)
  • Speaker, "2013 Update: Damages and Remedies in Patent Litigation," National CLE Conference - Intellectual Property (January 2013)

Practices

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Education

JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1989

BS, cum laude, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1986

Bar Admissions

Colorado

Clerkships

The Hon. John C. Porfilio, US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1989 - 1990

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