Stout Expert Profile: Melissa Bennis

Stout Expert Profile: Melissa Bennis

We sat down with Intellectual Property expert Melissa Bennis to discuss what goes into being an expert, how she approaches her work, and her overall experience.

November 17, 2023

Melissa Bennis - Intellectual Property and Damages Expert



M.B.A., Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
B.S., University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign

Focus Industries


Intellectual Property (IP) Disputes (Patent, Trade Secret, Copyright, Trademark, Trade Dress), Complex Business Litigation, Royalty Audits, License Portfolio Consulting

Courts Testified In


Federal, State, U.S. Bankruptcy, USPTO, American Arbitration Association



Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Q&A With Melissa

How would you describe your practice and the clients you work with?

Although rooted in largely IP matters, in my practice I have handled matters involving general commercial claims such as breach of contract. I would describe my practice as varied and exciting. Subject matter has ranged from simple consumer products to highly technological service offerings, and everything in between. My clients are sophisticated and care about how they represent themselves. In turn, they care about how they are represented, and I have been honored to be an advisor to so many excellent companies when they find themselves in need of assistance.

What makes you particularly qualified as an expert in IP disputes?

I am able to bring my education and case experience to bear in such a way to be effective, efficient, and empathetic. The vast quantity of interesting and challenging cases has enhanced my ability to approach each case intellectually and be insightful and intuitive into what might be coming next in the heat of battle. And continuing with the alliteration, my clients have told me that I’m perceptive, poised, and always prepared.

What about IP and IP litigation interests you the most?

I love the ability to learn something new each day. It is inspiring to learn about so many inventions and businesses, and more importantly, to get to interact with the people behind them and their outside counsel that so expertly represent their interests.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned in your career? What guidance would you give to people early in their career that are pursuing a similar career path?

I would tell all those starting out in this line of work that you need to keep your head down and work hard, but your eyes and ears up and open to take it all in. There are so many learning opportunities if you are willing to say yes to tough projects and new challenges. Pay attention to the details and make yourself invaluable. You will thrive.

Growing up, what was your best class in school?

Math and English, which is apropos since I now use words to make numbers tell a story.

What interests and/or hobbies do you have outside of work?

One of my daughters is a collegiate runner. I was so inspired by her dedication and high school success that during the pandemic I took up running for the first time. I now run several times a week, multiple miles at a time for fitness, and can confirm that the runner’s high is real. I value the time outdoors and with my thoughts. I am also an avid volleyball fan, taking great pride and pleasure travelling around and watching my other two daughters compete in high school and club volleyball. I also enjoy travel and exploration, cooking, water skiing, and sunshine.