Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Amanda Lippes

March 1, 2024

IP and patent lawyers are something of a breed apart from attorneys who practice in other areas of the law. In many ways, IP attorneys represent the scientists or engineers of the law, crafting very specific documents to provide the broadest support, greatest protection and big picture vision for inventors, entrepreneurs, and artists. 

Amanda Lippes, a member of Bond’s intellectual property practice group in Buffalo, deftly practices the fine art of IP and Patent Law, focusing her practice on patent and trademark prosecution and counseling related to matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

What attracted Amanda to her practice?  Creativity is the short answer. It was her love of drawing, playing piano, and learning about science and science research that together acted as a springboard to her future career.  She attended Byram Hills High School in Armonk, N.Y., which at the time was regularly recognized for the quality of its contenders in the prestigious national Intel Science Talent Search, Amanda among them. To this day she remembers it as a seminal experience.  The longer answer is that Amanda is herself inventive and wanted to pursue a path of her own design, incorporating the arts along with the sciences.

As a student at Brandeis University, Amanda’s proclivity for the sciences fit in well with the student population.  Even so, Amanda followed her muse, choosing classes that interested her and professors who were recommended across many disciplines in the liberal and fine arts. When it came time to declare a major, she had almost all the credits she needed for a degree in biology, so let that satisfy her degree requirements. 

Fresh out of college, Amanda joined a  law firm in New York City as a paralegal. Her background in the sciences was a valuable asset to firms pursuing claims relating to drugs and medical devices. She was quickly selected out of nearly 20 paralegals in the department to be on a trial team handling a failure to warn case against the manufacturer of the pain medication Vioxx, Merck.  While the case ultimately settled, robbing Amanda of a front seat at a landmark mass tort case, her efforts did not go unrewarded.  She was among the group sent on an all-expense-paid trip to Rome in recognition of its exemplary work in what Amanda wryly calls, “An interesting first year post college.” 

After a few years of this work, Amanda decided to get her law degree. 

In 2009, she enrolled at The University at Buffalo School of Law because of its reputation for excellence and state school affordability.  There Amanda employed the same “I’ll pick classes and professors of interest” approach that served her so well at Brandeis. This strategy landed her in a Patent Prosecution class. This strategy also led her to meet her now husband.

“Patent class showed me the potential for a marriage of art, science, and law beyond what I had experienced. It just clicked. I knew this was what I wanted to do.”  Her performance in class led to an invitation from the professor to work at his boutique patent firm. With the biology degree from Brandeis, she had the science background required to sit for the Patent Bar.

“Learning about new inventions and how they work is particularly intriguing to me.  My job is to first understand what has been invented, then to articulate it and secure patent protection in Patent Offices all around the world. Drafting and amending patent claims is the most important aspect of the job, for the claims define the metes and bounds of the subject matter that is sought to be protected. The art and challenge is to capture this as seamlessly and broadly as possible. It’s thrilling and very powerful.”

Amanda joined Bond in 2016 looking to be part of a full service law firm. What she found was a collegial firm with a breadth of knowledge and a depth of experience that is unparalleled. “It’s truly an honor to work with amazing clients alongside my Bond colleagues.”

Amanda is grateful to her family for supporting her need to invent her own path. “Only by trying many things did my path become clear.  I later found out that my paternal grandfather, who worked  in the publishing industry, was involved in a landmark trademark case. I also found out my paternal great-grandfather, who owned a photography studio in New York City, was involved in a landmark copyright case. So, my career path seems like destiny of a sort.”

Amanda lives with her husband, Joshua, in Amherst and they have two daughters, ages 4 and 8 months.