For Jeff Harty, science and law intersect in his intellectual property litigation practice. Mix in his desire to help people solve problems, and you have a dedicated intellectual property advocate.
As a registered patent attorney, Jeff represents companies and inventors on both sides of IP disputes: when someone is potentially trespassing or infringing on his client’s rights and when his client is charged with trespassing or infringing on others’ rights. While finding resolution is the primary objective, Jeff also enjoys the cerebral and unique characteristics of each case. “It’s not cookie cutter,” he says. “It can be an advocacy challenge to take a patented invention and really bring it to life—to tell a story to a jury in a way that they can understand and appreciate the invention and who’s right and who’s wrong.”
In zealously representing his clients, Jeff has found authenticity and sincerity to be his most valuable assets. “The jury sees everything,” Jeff says. “It’s not just what you say in court, but it’s the way in which you say it. The jury is looking at everything, judging credibility, and who do they believe and not believe—who is the truth-giver. You really want your witnesses to be perceived as the truth-givers.”
In that pursuit, Jeff has learned that—while he takes everything he’s learned from all of his mentors and extensive trial experience into court—you have to be yourself. “You have your own style and you have to own it.” His style comes down to three things. He is hard-charging, is dedicated to his clients (but doesn’t take himself too seriously), and knows it’s not about him but about his client.
When he’s not litigating, Jeff is a certified mediator. “It’s an opportunity for me to look at the merits of the underlying case for strengths and weaknesses, and then use that and the whole psychology of mediation to help bring the parties together and reach a resolution,” Jeff says. “You’re helping people to bring closure and peace to situations, but you really have to have an understanding of the issues.”
Now, with years of experience in IP law, Jeff shares his knowledge by teaching law students at the University of Iowa. “The thing that really excites me about teaching my students is they typically have a real thirst for knowledge,” he says. “It’s not only a thirst for knowledge to understand the relevant law but how to use it in practice to actually make a difference. That’s one thing that I can bring to the table.”