Mary Ann Novak
Hilgers Graben PLLC
575 Fallbrook Blvd.
Lincoln, NE 68521
Mary Ann is an experienced litigator whose trial practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, with particular emphasis on intellectual property disputes. Mary Ann has represented clients in a broad array of intellectual property issues, including trademark, trade dress, unfair competition, false advertising, copyright, utility patent, design patent, trade secret and right of publicity disputes, in numerous federal district courts around the country, as well as on appeal.
Mary Ann also chairs the firm’s Trademark Practice Group. She counsels clients on intellectual property matters and transactions. She conducts trademark clearance searches and prosecutes trademark applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mary Ann also regularly litigates matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, including oppositions, cancellations, and concurrent use proceedings.
Mary Ann has represented clients of all sizes, from individuals and start-up companies to Fortune 500 companies, and in a broad array of industries, from manufacturing to consumer goods and apparel to entertainment to financial services.
Mary Ann regularly speaks on trademark and intellectual property matters and is past Chair of Nebraska State Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section.
- Stanford Law School, J.D., with Honors, Associate Editor, Stanford Law Review, Articles Editor, Stanford Law & Policy Review
- University of Michigan, B.A., with Highest Distinction
- Nebraska State Bar Association – Past Chair of Intellectual Property Section
- Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court
- New Mexico
- U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
A significant part of Hilgers Graben’s practice is intellectual property litigation for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that the firm founders started their careers at Fish & Richardson P.C., a preeminent patent litigation boutique. They have significant experience litigating matters in patent litigation hotspots, including the Eastern District of Texas and the District of Delaware.
Second, patent litigation is one of the most expensive kinds of litigation, and is an area in which the firm’s model results in significant cost savings for clients.
At Hilgers Graben,we understand that among the most valuable business assets a company has is the goodwill of its trademarks and service marks. We also understand the pain of bloated legal bills from big law firms.
Our trademark team is devoted to helping companies select strong marks and protect, enforce, and monetize those marks. We provide a broad array of services from counseling clients during the initial selection and clearance of marks, to registering marks and maintaining trademark portfolios, to litigating trademark disputes. We also litigate trade dress, false advertising, unfair competition, and domain name disputes (plaintiff or defense).
Our team understands what it takes to build and protect a valuable trademark portfolio. We are here to help clients optimize the value and enforceability of their marks from the inception of the mark forward, and to do so at a lower cost point than traditional firms.
The firm is built on two ideas. The first is that clients want to pay for legal services and not non-legal overhead. The second is that innovation could create a law firm that provides better value in the marketplace. Where other industries produce, over time, innovations that make their products and services better and cheaper, the price of complex legal services seems to rise at a 5-10% annual clip because of nothing more than inertia and industry practice.
Since the firm founders have been in private practice, the constant refrain in the industry is how to drive value without constantly increasing already-exorbitant rates, either through lower rates or through alternative fee arrangements. Our firm addresses that challenge in a unique way, and the model, our team, and our clients have fueled significant growth for the firm—Hilgers Graben recently was named to the Inc 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies of 2017″ List (#891).