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Klarquist Sparkman, LLP
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About Klarquist Sparkman, LLP

Oregon firm Klarquist Sparkman is one of the oldest and largest IP boutique firms in the Pacific Northwest. The firm handles IP matters for individual investors, mid-size companies, and some of the world’s largest industry leaders, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, eBay, SAP, and ConAgra. The firm’s clients also include prominent federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as many prestigious universities.

Solo to Go-To

Klarquist Sparkman began as a solo practice when Elmer A. Buckhorn returned to his home state of Oregon in 1941 after a stint in Washington, DC. His first year as a solo practitioner raked in 10 cases, and he continued his solo streak until 1947, when Orme Cheatham joined him. Four years later, 1951 marked the addition of the two partners whose names stuck with the firm: Kenneth S. Klarquist, a former employee of the Atomic Energy Commission’s patent department, and Joe Sparkman. The number of attorneys with the firm grew to five by the end of the 1950s and started the firm’s steady expansion which continues today.

Planted Clients

Over the years, Klarquist Sparkman has racked up an impressive clientele. And not only that, but the firm knows how to keep clients for the long haul. Gift basket makers Harry and David have been with the firm since 1956, and the Oregon University System has been a loyal client since 1977. The year 1991 was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Klarquist Sparkman and Microsoft, for whom the firm has prosecuted hundreds of patents. The 1990s continued to bring clients the firm’s way, with Nikon Corp. in 1993, the National Institutes of Health in 1997, and Amazon in 2000.

The firm is also a go-to for certain government agencies and their patent needs. For multiple contract cycles, Klarquist Sparkman has been one of only two firms chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its patent representation needs. Klarquist Sparkman also serves as Patent Counsel to National Institutes of Health in the areas of biotechnology and chemistry. Klarquist Sparkman’s biological expertise allows it to have one of the largest plant patent practices (say that three times fast) in the nation. The firm has patented invented species including a hybrid tea rose, lily, oak tree, banana, cranberry, and green garlic plants.

Bill Less Hours, Still Have It All

Klarquist Sparkman is known for its reluctance to sacrifice quantity of work for quality of life. The firm’s billable hours requirement is 1,600—less than the common 1,800 or 2,000—and encourages its associates to use that extra time to enrich their lives in other ways, such as by writing articles, attending conferences, or pursing personal interests. And after their first few years at the firm, associates eventually choose their work-life balance when they transition to the compensation system earning 40 percent of their billings—this system gives associates the potential to earn even more than peers at large firms in major markets.

Klarquist Sparkman, LLP

One World Trade Center
121 S.W. Salmon Street, Suite 1600
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 1 (503) (503) 595-5300

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Todd Siegel
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
50 - 100
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Employment Contact

Human Resources Department
(503) 595-5300

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Portland, OR
Reno, NV
Santa Rosa, CA

Major Departments

Intellectual Property Counseling
Post-Grant USPTO Proceedings
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.