Bret Winterle’s well-rounded practice focuses on patent litigation, with additional focuses on intellectual property counseling, negotiating complex IP agreements, performing portfolio assessments and guidance, and conducting post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and Section 337 proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
With a background in mechanical engineering and prior work experience with telecommunications technology and steel casting and rolling, Bret has developed expertise in both subsea and surface oil and gas exploration and production technologies. He also has significant experience with building products and systems, security and monitoring systems, banking and payments systems, telecommunications, semiconductor manufacturing, lithography systems, computer software, orthopedic medical devices, and other e-commerce technologies.
Bret spends much of his time litigating high-value patent infringement suits, including hard-fought competitor suits. Bret has developed proven strategies that he has used to achieve clients’ goals in a wide variety of forums, including U.S. District Courts, the PTAB, and the ITC, while also seeking to minimize litigation costs for clients. These strategies can be variously employed when needed, including against competitors and non-practicing entities. Bret has led teams throughout Texas and in many other courts (e.g., Delaware, Oklahoma, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, and Iowa).
Bret also uses his trial and litigation experience to build litigation-ready patent portfolios for clients through drafting, prosecuting, licensing, and acquiring patents in a variety of industries. He has prepared and prosecuted dozens of patent applications related to electro-mechanical devices, computer software, machining technologies, nuclear technologies, medical devices, consumer products, and electrical power supply and distribution systems. He also routinely advises clients on complex transactions involving IP and helps them draft and negotiate complex licenses, acquire IP portfolios and tech businesses, perform due diligence, develop enforcement plans, and draft many different types of agreements. He has analyzed patent portfolios in various technology spaces to better understand the existing patent claims’ depth and breadth, and how the portfolio could be tailored to both add value and better relate to competitors’ business activities.
While focusing intently on clients' business interests and goals, Bret stays abreast of industry trends and developments by regularly attending industry conferences and trade shows, and is always looking for ways to add value, depth, and understanding to his advice. Bret has presented multiple times at IPO Annual Meetings and conferences and has been named a Super Lawyers "Rising Star."
In his free time, Bret enjoys attending baseball games, traveling to new locales with his wife, and tutoring his three children.
Recognitions & awards
Eppa Hunton IV Memorial Book Award
University of Virginia School of Law
Pro bono activities
Bret maintains a multifaceted pro bono practice. Alongside the Texas Defender Service, he has represented a death row inmate in post-conviction proceedings. He also regularly works with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to provide pro bono services via the Election Protection hotline, a non-partisan resource that assists voters throughout the U.S. with questions about voter registration, polling places, and ballot curing, and helps those who want to vote navigate election laws and overcome obstacles to participation. Additionally, through the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, Bret provides pro bono support to U.S. military veterans and their spouses, helping them answer general legal questions. Since 2017, he has served as the pro bono coordinating attorney for Fish's Dallas office.