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Bill Needle

Contact: 678.420.9320
Law School: Emory University
Jurisdiction: Georgia


About Bill Needle
Bill Needle is a registered patent attorney who has been exclusively practicing all aspects of Intellectual Property law for 42 years. Mr. Needle began his legal career at the first IP boutique firm in Atlanta (Newton, Hopkins & Orsmby) from 1970-1983. He then founded the IP boutique Needle & Rosenberg which, in 2008, merged into Ballard Spahr LLP. He served as the first Chair of Ballard Spahr's Intellectual Property Department until July 1, 2012 and remains a partner in the firm.

His litigation experience includes being counsel in the copyright and trademark litigation for the CABBAGE PATCH KIDS(R) dolls and the State of Georgia in infringement cases involving the VIDALIA(R) onion trademark, as well as patent infringement actions involving diverse technologies. Mr. Needle has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia for intellectual property law issues for more than 30 years.

Mr. Needle currently serves as an alternative dispute resolution Neutral Panel Member, JAMS. Since 1995, Mr. Needle has been mediating and arbitrating cases dealing with a wide array of intellectual property matters.

See details about Mr. Needle's ADR experience under Professional Experience.
Practice Areas
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patents
Additional Practice Areas
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Copyrights
  • Litigation
  • Trademarks
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Professional Experience
Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP
Served as Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Intellectual Property Department until July 1, 2012 and remains a partner in the firm.
Neutral Panel Member, Special Master, JAMS Alternative Dispute Resolution
Since 1995, Mr. Needle has been mediating and arbitrating cases dealing with a wide array of intellectual property matters, including patent infringement, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, breach of contracts, and misappropriation of trade secrets. He is the current Chair of an arbitration panel which has issued a Markman Order on patent claims directed to the recording of formation data measurements in a borehole. He also serves as the Arbitrator in a matter involving theft of trade secrets and claims under the Securities Act for breach of fiduciary duties. Previously, Mr Needle was the chair of an arbitration panel which dealt with the validity and infringement of several patents relating to beverage containers. Finally, Mr. Needle has been appointed by federal judges to serve as a Special Master in several patent infringement cases.
Founder and Partner, Needle & Rosenberg
Associate & Partner, Newton, Hopkins & Orsmby
Emory UniversityJ.D. (1970)Law
University System of Georgia - Georgia Institute of TechnologyB.S.Chemistry
Professional Activities
Speaker Various Continuing Legal Education seminars 2011-Current
Details: Recent Topics: What Your Client Should Know About the America Invents Act re: Patent Litigation, Suggestions for Effective Mediation and Arbitration in IP Cases, and Protecting Your Business and Your Intellectual Property
Advisory Board Member School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology 2008-Current
Advisory Board Member The Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER), a collaborative program between Georgia Tech and Emory Law School 2006-Current
Advisory Board Member College of Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology 2005-Current
Advisory Board Member School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2005-Current
Adjunct Professor, Patent Law Georgia State University School of Law 1991-2011
Adjunct Professor, Patent Law and Licensing Law Emory University School of Law 1983-2009
Adjunct Professor, Intellectual Property Law Charleston School of Law 1996-1996
First-tier intellectual property attorney, Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers
Since 2003, Mr. Needle has annually received the highest ranking as a first-tier intellectual property attorney in Georgia in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers where he has been referred to as: being "widely recognized as a leader in dispute resolution. He has extensive experience across patent, trademark and copyright litigation, and is sought after as a mediator and arbitrator" (2011 Edition); and "as an expert in patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law, as well as an active teacher on the subject, with adjunct professorships at two universities." (2010 Edition).
Legal Elite, Georgia Trend Magazine
Peers in the legal community have voted Mr. Needle one of Georgia Trend Magazine's Legal Elite annually since 2003.
Listed in the areas of intellectual property law, patent law and trademark law, The Best Lawyers in America
Since 1991, he has been listed by The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of intellectual property law, patent law and trademark law.
Professional Associations
Master, Atlanta Intellectual Property Inn of Court
Member, Georgia State Bar
Chair, committee that drafted model trademark jury instructions, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Founding Board Member and Co-Chair, IP Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association
Member, committee that drafted the Local Rules of Practice for Patent Cases, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia


Articles & Publications
  • "Trademark Law" Chapter
    Association of Technology Managers Technology Transfer Practice Manual, 3rd edition


Website: Website



999 Peachtree St.
Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30309
Telephone: 678.420.9320
Fax: 678.420.9301