Gray Plant Mooty
Loren Hansen is a problem-solver and an engineer at heart. That’s why, when his work at Accenture shifted from software design and systems implementation to people management, he went to law school to get involved in patent law. After graduating from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007, he joined Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, until 2012, when he moved to Gray Plant Mooty.
Hansen practices in the firm’s intellectual property, technology and privacy practice group, representing clients from agribusiness, manufacturing, data storage and other industries.
Lately, he said, that involves more defense against patent trolls, companies that file for patents without having an underlying product so as to bring actions against other companies. “If you’re just a small coffee shop getting sued on a Wi-Fi patent, that’s frustrating,” he said. “And often the trolls are looking for settlement amounts that are less than the cost of litigation.”
Hansen commits 50 hours a year to pro bono work, but he’s been known to spend hundreds of hours on a single case, such as the effort to keep AT&T from erecting a 450-foot cellphone tower in sight of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Hansen helped the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to obtain a ruling against the tower, but the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the ruling and the state Supreme Court declined to review the decision. “Sometimes you get results you don’t agree with, but you take some comfort in the fact that you had your day in court,” he said.
Hansens is a board member for the Minnesota Land Trust, and a member of Gray Plant Mooty’s pro bono committee. He also volunteers for Catholic Charities, Hearts and Hammers, and the Salvation Army.
Ultimately, Hansen’s true love is representing inventors. “It’s so rewarding to help protect a business and their market space when they’ve come up with a great idea,” he said.