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About me

Bill Needle is a registered patent attorney who has been exclusively practicing all aspects of Intellectual Property law for 42 years.  


His litigation experience includes serving as counsel in the copyright and trademark litigation for the CABBAGE PATCH KIDS® dolls and the State of Georgia in infringement cases involving the VIDALIA® onion trademark, as well as patent infringement actions involving diverse technologies. Mr. Needle has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia for intellectual property law issues for more than 30 years.  


Mr. Needle currently serves as an alternative dispute resolution Neutral Panel Member, JAMS.  Since 1995, Mr. Needle has been mediating and arbitrating cases dealing with a wide array of intellectual property matters, including patent infringement, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, breach of contracts, and misappropriation of trade secrets.


He is the current Chair of an arbitration panel which has issued a Markman Order on patent claims directed to the recording of formation data measurements in a borehole.


He also serves as the Arbitrator in a matter involving theft of trade secrets and claims under the Securities Act for breach of fiduciary duties.


Previously, Mr Needle was the chair of an arbitration panel which dealt with the validity and infringement of several patents relating to beverage containers.


Finally, Mr. Needle has been appointed by federal judges to serve as a Special Master in several patent infringement cases.


Practice areas


  1. Patent Infringement: 20%
  2. Trademark: 20%
  3. Copyright: 20%
  4. Arbitration: 20%
  5. Mediation: 20%

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Contact info

Ballard Spahr LLP

999 Peachtree Street
Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA, 30309


GAActive Member in Good Standing 197007/15/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Highest ranking as a 1st tier IP attorney in GA since 2003Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers2011
Voted by peers as one of the "Legal Elite" since 2003Georgia Trend Magazine2011
Listed under IP, patent and trademark law since 1991The Best Lawyers in America2011
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerBallard Spahr, LLP2008 - Present
Partner & Chair, Intellectual Property DepartmentBallard Spahr, LLP2008 - 2012
Founder and PartnerNeedle & Rosenberg, P.C.1983 - 2008
Associate and PartnerNewton, Hopkins & Ormsby1970 - 1983
Association namePosition nameDuration
Atlanta Intellectual Property Inn of CourtMaster2010 - Present
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAdvisory Board2008 - Present
The Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER), a collaborative program between Georgia Tech and Emory Law SchoolAdvisory Board2006 - Present
College of Sciences, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAdvisory Board2005 - Present
School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alabama at BirminghamAdvisory Board2005 - Present
JAMS Alternative Dispute ResolutionNeutral Panel Member, Special Master1995 - Present
State Bar of GeorgiaFellowN/A
11th Circuit Court of AppealsChair, committee that drafted model trademark jury instructions2011 - 2012
IP Law Section of the Atlanta Bar AssociationFounding Board Member and Co-Chair2007 - 2008
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of GeorgiaMember, drafted the local rules of practice for patent cases2003 - 2004
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
CABBAGE PATCH KIDS® copyright & trademark litigationN/A
VIDALIA® onion copyright & trademark litigationN/A
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Association of Technology Managers Technology Transfer Practice Manual, 3rd edition"Trademark Law" Chapter2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Emory University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1970
Georgia Institute of TechnologyChemistryBS - Bachelor of Science1967
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
FastTrac TechVenture Entrepreneur Training CourseProtecting Your Business and Your Intellectual Property2012
Business Law Section of The Florida Bar’s Third Annual Intellectual Property Law SymposiumSuggestions for Effective Mediation and Arbitration in IP Cases2012
Association for Continuing Legal EducationWhat Your Client Should Know About the America Invents Act re: Patent Litigation2011