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Paul Steadman

Paul Steadman


Paul Steadman, an experienced first-chair trial lawyer, represents global companies in complex patent, trade secret, and other IP-related litigation. He leads an organized, aggressive strike team of trial lawyers in IP cases.

In 2022, Legal 500 quoted clients that "Paul Steadman is a very powerful, reliable and experienced trial lawyer, especially before judge and jury. He [has] outstanding [ ] focus on the most important issues in a complicated case …. Paul is the last attorney that we would want to argue against in the court as opponent['s] counsel." Legal 500 went on to compliment Paul's team for its automotive sector acumen, noting that "The team has strengths in the Japanese automotive industry and knows supplier chain structures well.'

Chambers USA has repeatedly recognized Paul's practice as "professional, capable and thorough" and says clients are "impressed with the service of the team" and "appreciate the oversight they give." Paul and his team "play a vital role in elevating DLA Piper's national patent litigation practice. [The] lawyers distinguish themselves in the ITC, where their collectedness, dedication and speed pay dividends; but are also highly adept in other forums, including district courts around the country, as well as the PTAB. Some of their best work has been done in the automotive industry, though they are completely at ease with any type of mechanical or electrical technology." – IAM Patent 1000, 2021Legal 500 noted his "proven track record in trade secrets work."

With a degree in Materials Science Engineering and a strong background in the materials, mechanical and electrical arts, Paul is comfortable in almost any technology. His ability to understand and present technology is reflected in his work on behalf of clients in diverse technical fields, including: SEPs, automotive infotainment, GPS and related navigation system technology, medical products, medical imaging, inverter controller integrated circuits, automotive safety systems and sensors, diesel fuel injectors and injection systems, lawn and garden and compact-utility tractors, high-tech glass, disposable and re-usable ear plugs, healthcare networks, consumer electronics, various semiconductors and integrated circuits, voltage protection, monolithic valves, computer software, digital compression, high-definition television, InGaN LEDs, DRAMs, MP3 players, hard disk media, and auto parts manufacturing.

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaIllinois, 1996United States Patent and Trademark Office
CourtsUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Central District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of TexasUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganUnited States District Court for the Western District of WisconsinUnited States District Court for the District of OklahomaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Second CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fifth CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit


Paul has appeared as lead trial counsel to clients in jury trials, before the International Trade Commission investigating Section 337 violations, in federal and state court appeals, in Markman claim construction and other evidentiary hearings, before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, in United States Bankruptcy Court, and in mediations and arbitrations.

  • J.D., The University of Chicago Law School 1996
    Editor, University of Chicago Law Review
    Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Symposium Edition
    Fellow, Olin Foundation in Law & Economics
  • B.S., Material Science Engineering (second degree in Economics), Rice University 1991


Chambers USA

  • Band 3, Illinois Intellectual Property (2023-2024)
  • Band 4, Illinois Intellectual Property (2021-2022)

The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended, Patents Litigation: Full Coverage (2016-2022, 2024)
  • Recommended, Patents: Litigation (International Trade Commission) (2016-2022)
  • Recommended, Trade Secrets (Litigation and Non-Contentious Matters) (2019-2021, 2023-2024)
  • Recommended, Patents: Licensing (2021)

Legal 500 United States 2023 noted that "Paul R. Steadman and Matthew D. Satchwell in [DLA Piper's] Chicago office are very powerful, trustworthy and experienced trial lawyers in intellectual property litigations before Federal District Courts, Federal Circuit and ITC. Both Paul and Matt are strong team leaders to lead their litigation team and other outside counsels in a joint defense arrangement" and “Paul Steadman and Shuzo Maruyama understand technologies, industry, and IP practices very well. Their advices are always practical and quick."

Additional Awards

Paul received the 2019 Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service from the United States District Court, in conjunction with the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

The IAM Patent 1000 states Paul's "Chicago patent litigation team does not just show up on the doorstep when companies get sued – it likes to get to grips with clients and understand their business at an intimate level. In line with this, the DLA Piper partners are hands on and routinely go the extra mile to visit those they represent – wherever they are in the world – which, for Paul Steadman and Matthew Satchwell, means lots of trips to Japan. Hailed by eminent peers as 'strong advocates who produce excellent written and oral work', these two dynamic and no-nonsense litigators are 'devastatingly effective in the courtroom.' They are in especially hot demand for representation when fights kick off in the automotive space, but their wins are notched up across the high-tech domain. They score additional points for running things at the ITC and making judicious use of the firm's rich chest of global resources whenever it is advantageous.

Paul is also part of an active IP practice lauded by several publications including those by BTI Consulting and Corporate Counsel. The practice has been selected by BTI as one of the “Best of the Best” IP law firms for more than five years. The firm was recognized BTI's Client Service 30 in 2019 recognizing the top firms who deliver the absolute best in client service, and has named DLA Piper to "The Awesome Opponents" list in BTI's Most Feared Firms in Litigation publication.

Pro Bono

Paul has had an active pro bono practice, including high-profile litigation on trademark and copyright matters. He is currently representing the Chicago Justice Project in FOIA litigation against the Cook County States Attorney and the Illinois Department of Corrections. He has twice represented a class of all children detained at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Facility (resulting in improved confinement conditions for all children held at the facility). He recently won a case to obtain electronic records from the Cook County Juvenile Detention Facility. He recently represented an inmate at Cook County Jail for violations to US Constitutional rights.



  • Speaker, "Litigation and regulatory developments in the automotive sector," DLA Piper Industrials Sector Speaker Series
  • Moderator, "Trade Secrets Litigation at the ITC with ITC Judge Cameron Elliot," IPLAC (April 8, 2021)
  • Speaker, "Inherency in Obviousness and Anticipation," Webinar (September 12, 2019)
  • DLA Global Patent Symposium (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, annually 2013-2019)
  • Speaker, "Global Trade Secret and Know-How Protection in an Evolving Landscape," Webinar (March 27, 2018)
  • The 7th DLA Piper Seoul Seminar Series/The IHCF Seminar (Seoul, February 2014)
  • Moderator, "Understanding the New Strategic Threats to Your Company's Intellectual Property," Association of Corporate Counsel (Chicago, January 2014)

Clerk Experience

  • The Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1996-1997)

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • The Federalist Society
  • Scribes, The American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects
  • American Inns of Court
  • The Chicago Inn of Court
  • Board Member, Trinity High School