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Stephen R. Risley


Steve’s practice primarily focuses on patent enforcement and patent defense.  Steve also handles trademark, copyright, trade secret, and related business matters.

Steve’s 30 years of experience results in efficient, goal driven outcomes.  Whether a plaintiff or a defendant, Steve’s clients range from start-ups and individual inventors to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to 30 years of litigating in various district courts throughout the United States, Steve also has been lead counsel on various matters before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, including both patent matters (IPRs, CBMs, interferences) and trademark matters (oppositions, cancellations).

Steve’s work has covered a wide range of technologies, including computer systems and software, Internet-related technologies, DRM, computer accessories, telecommunications and wireless communications, smart cards, packaging, medical devices, video games, drone and counter-drone technologies, pharmaceuticals, financial services, immunology, chemistry, oil and gas, barbecue grills, and textiles.

Steve was selected as a 2021 Super Lawyer, has achieved an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and is repeatedly recognized as a Top-Rated Attorney in Georgia for Intellectual Property Law.


Prior Experience


  • Founding Partner, Kent & Risley LLC (2016 to present) (Atlanta, Georgia)


  • Founding Partner, Smith Risley Tempel Santos LLC (2009 to 2016) (Atlanta, Georgia)


  • Equity Partner, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. (2005 to 2009) (Atlanta, Georgia)


  • Founding Partner, Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP (1996 to 2005) Atlanta, Georgia)


  • Associate, Hopkins & Thomas LLP (1992 to 1996) (Atlanta, Georgia)


  • Associate, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. (1990 to 1992) (Washington, D.C.)


  • Law Clerk, Merchant & Gould P.C. (1988 to 1990) (Minneapolis, Minnesota)


George Washington University, LL.M., Intellectual Property Law, 1990-92

Mitchell Hamline School of Law, JD cum laude, 1990

  - Senior Associate for the Law Review (1988-1990)

  - Two-time member of Giles S. Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court


University of Wisconsin-Madison, BS Biology, 1986


District of Columbia Bar
State Bar of Georgia
United States Patent & Trademark Office (Registered to Practice) (1990)
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Claims


American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section (ABA-IP)
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
Association of Patent Law Firms (APLF)
Association of University Technology Matters (AUTM)
Atlanta Bar Association
District of Columbia Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section
Emory University Advisory Board
Federal Bar Association

Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
International Trademark Association (INTA)
Lawyers Club of Atlanta
Licensing Executives Society (LES)
State Bar of Georgia, Intellectual Property Law Section




Legal and Strategic Implications of Litigation Funding in IP Litigation, Intellectual Property Law Section of the Georgia Bar, 24th Annual IP Institute, Amelia Island, Florida (September 20-22, 2018)

Recent Developments In Intellectual Property Damages, Intellectual Property Law Section of the Georgia Bar – Entertainment, Sports and IP Law Conference, Montego Bay, Jamaica (November 7-10, 2013)

Recent Developments In Intellectual Property Damages, Intellectual Property Law Section of the Georgia Bar – Entertainment, Sports and IP Law Conference, Cabo, Mexico (November 9-13, 2011)

What Every Lawyer Should Know About Intellectual Property Law, Georgia Asian American Pacific Bar Association, Atlanta, Georgia (April 19, 2008)

Patent Infringement Litigation, Patent Resources Group, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada (October 16-18, 2006)

Damages in Patent Infringement Lawsuits, Georgia Intellectual Property SpringPosium, Gardner Groff, Braselton, GA (April 30, 2006)

Moderator/Speaker, Licensing, Georgia Intellectual Property SpringPosium (May 2005)

Panelist, Advanced IP Litigation, 10th Annual Intellectual Property Law Institute (November 2004)

Moderator, New Frontiers in Therapeutics: Emerging Technologies in Infectious Disease and Oncology, Southeast Technology Expo (October 2004)

Host, Southeast Region Technology Transfer Directors Meeting, (July 2004)

Patent Law Update, Southeast Region Technology Transfer Directors Meeting (May 2003)

Moderator, Patent Litigation, 8th Annual Intellectual Property Law Institute (November 2002)

Host, Southeast Region Technology Transfer Directors Meeting, (November 2002)

Litigation Strategies for Optimizing Your Damage Awards, IP Litigator, Vol. 7, No. 8 (September 2001)

Calculating and Proving Patent Damages: Getting the Award you Want, American Conference Institute-Tactical Considerations and Strategies for Success in Litigation Patent Disputes (March 2000)

Pre-Filing Investigations, Georgia Bar Intellectual Property Roundtable (June 1999)

Moderator, Patent Issues, American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law Spring Meeting (March 1998)

In a Patent Case, Removing Questions of Law and Equitable Issues from the Jury, Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (1994)


• Married with two sons

• Member of The Vine Community Church

• USA Hockey Level 4 Certified Coach
• Two-time Captain of the University of Wisconsin Rugby team

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