Attorney Mike Bendel

Michael J. Bendel

Mike Bendel is passionate about helping others achieve tangible results with intangible property rights. He works with makers, creators, and innovators to discover the value in their ideas and manage their intellectual property (IP) estates to optimize their assets and opportunities.

Mike started his career as an IP attorney in the upper level of an award-winning renovated barn where he worked alongside three colleagues – and above an aromatic working horse stable.  He went on to join Kimberly-Clark Corporation as a patent attorney and IP counsel and developed strategic IP plans that helped drive the global conglomerate’s business success.

In his over 25 years of experience, Mike has helped his clients obtain hundreds of registrations for their patents, trademarks and copyrights.  He is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Mike works with all kinds of entrepreneurs to really understand their innovations and then meaningfully protect their differentiated products and solutions through a comprehensive IP protection plan.


Practice Areas:


Mike and his wife, Karen, live in Appleton with their three sons.


Juris Doctorate 
The John Marshall Law School,  Chicago, IL

St. Norbert College, DePere, WI

Questions & Answers

Ever since first learning about patent law, in college, I knew it was the right fit for me. It combined my love of math and science with lots of technical reading and writing. Not quite seeing myself a frontline scientist or product developer, I always loved seeing the fruits of innovation (I am a tinkerer too) and I could quickly get up to speed on the cutting-edge details. My contribution became figuring out how to best protect the innovation with intellectual property. And, even more so over my career, I have identified proven ways to effectively do this tied into the business world and drive IP strategy and tactics that appropriately realize innovations’ importance to the business.

My career has taken me from private practice serving individuals and small to large companies as outside counsel, to in-house counsel at a fortune 200 company, and back into private practice serving individuals and small to medium size companies. The biggest differences across these groups is the volume, variety and depth of the legal issues they encounter. The biggest similarity is, their issues are still their important issues, regardless of client size. Thus, quality client service matters, for all sized clients, and it is a key tenant of my practice that drives professional success and personal satisfaction. Another aspect to my varied practice is better enabling me to see both sides of the client experience, as the outside provider of legal services and as the inside consumer of legal services. This has resulting in me being able to drive cost out of less valuable services based on business realities when I was in-house counsel. Now, back with my outside counsel hat, this enables me to tailor service offerings to provide more of what is needed and less of what does not bring real value. In conclusion, I enjoy the change of scenery over my career and have really been able to leverage the differences to my advantage. I look forward to continuing to do so and invite my clients to challenge the way legal services are delivered and ensure they are driving business value.