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James T. Nikolai

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  • J.D., William Mitchell College of Law
  • B.A., University of Minnesota – Minneapolis


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

For nearly 40 years, Jim has represented clients on patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, licensing, software, and other intellectual property and business matters. He routinely assists clients in securing protections for their ideas and brands in the U.S. and internationally. And when intellectual-property disputes arise, clients call on Jim to deploy his substantial expertise in litigating cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States. 

The bench in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota recognized Jim’s expertise when they asked him to serve in the 2005 Patent Advisory Committee, which recommended the local rules the Court now uses in patent litigation.

Jim is a prolific writer.  He has authored more than a hundred articles covering interesting and important intellectual property topics. 

Outside of the office, Jim is an engaged community member who has focused on issues of ensuring quality and equitable public educational opportunities for all students. He was elected four times by the residents of northern Dakota County to its School Board, and he served for many years as the School Board Chair.

Jim will tell you that his greatest accomplishment is helping his wife raise their six children, five daughters and a son, all of whom are also accomplished professionals.  Jim’s hobby is photography, and his favorite pastime is spending time with his large family.


  • Dakota County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association

Articles & Presentations

Awards & Recognitions

  • AV Martindale Hubbell® Rated Attorney – Highest Possible Peer Review Rating in Legal Ability

Service Areas Subspecialties

  • Business
    • Major Business Litigation
  •  Intellectual Property 
    • Copyrights
    • Licensing​
    • Patents
    • Software protection
    • Trade Secrets
    • Trademarks Clearance and Protection
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
    • Computer and Software Litigation
    • Copyright Litigation
    • Licensing Litigation
    • Patent Litigation
    • Trade Secret Litigation