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James R. Higgins, Jr. is the founder of the firm’s intellectual property law section and also handles business litigation. Since its founding, the firm’s intellectual property law section has expanded into the largest in the state. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Higgins was a Registered Professional Engineer for 14 years with a Fortune 100 Company.

He has litigated a wide range of intellectual property and other commercial cases in federal and state courts in 19 different states at trial and appellate levels, including The United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Higgins is a frequent speaker and author of articles relating to intellectual property law and has been engaged as an expert witness for both patent and trademark matters. 

He is coauthor of State Law of Trademarks and Unfair Competition (Kentucky Chapter); and Intellectual Property Law in Kentucky (patent, copyright, computer law, trade secret, Internet and litigation update chapters), published by National Business Institute. Mr. Higgins was an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law from 1981 to 1999, where he taught all intellectual property law courses.

Mr. Higgins is a member and has served as the business manager of Louisville’s seven time international chorus champions, The Thoroughbreds. He was also a member of a tennis team that won the 1997 national championship at the USTA senior level.

Read more about Mr Higgins in this Business First profile.

Honors & Awards

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers® from inception in 2007 to 2020, including Top 10 from 2009-2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America® since the original edition (1991) in intellectual property litigation, patent litigation, and patent law
    • Best Lawyers 2012 Louisville Litigation - "Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year"
    • Best Lawyers 2013 Louisville Litigation - "Patent Lawyer of the Year"
  • Chambers USA 2004 - 2018 as a leading lawyer in intellectual property in Kentucky
  •  Benchmark Litigation, the Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys 2010-2018, General Commercial and Intellectual Property Litigation Star
  •  Benchmark Plaintiffs 2012, plaintiffs litigation star
  • Louisville Magazine's Top Lawyers in patent law
  • Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars, 2015 - 2019

Representative Matters

  • In a landmark trademark case, Moseley v. Victoria’s Secret, Mr. Higgins was the prevailing lead counsel in a trademark dilution case before the United States Supreme Court.
  • In a significant patent infringement case, Minco v. Combustion Engineering, Mr. Higgins led a team which secured a judgment in excess of $30 million that was upheld on appeal by the Federal Circuit.
  • In a trademark infringement case, Mr. Higgins successfully defended, in New York City, against claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution (Columbia University v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, appeal dismissed).
  • In state courts, Mr. Higgins counseled and successfully represented a franchisor in fending off a vigorous franchisee revolt. 
  • In a "patent troll" case, Mr. Higgins lead a trial team to secure a rare dismissal of a patent infringement case in E.D. Texas.




  • Kentucky
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • Numerous courts on pro hac vice basis


University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1978

Alfred University, Ceramic Engineering, B.S., 1965

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