Cynthia J. Rigsby: Lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP

Cynthia J. Rigsby

Milwaukee,  WI  U.S.A.

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Medical Devices
  • Sports
  • Trademark, Copyright & Advertising Litigation
  • IP Litigation
  • Patent Litigation
University University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, B.A., summa cum laude
Law SchoolUniversity of Wisconsin - Madison, J.D., cum laude, 1998 Order of the Coif
Admitted1998, Wisconsin; U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin; Federal Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Cynthia J. Rigsby is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she is the vice chair of the IP Litigation Practice and former IP Department chair for the Milwaukee office. She is also a member of the International Practice and the firm's Medical Device Initiative.

Ms. Rigsby's practice involves licensing across different fields, the resolution of patent, copyright, trade secret, and other complex commercial disputes. Her work involves various industries and technical areas, including pharmaceutical, medical device, telecommunications, media, entertainment, automotive, sports, Internet, semiconductors, and financial services.

Ms. Rigsby has significant trial experience, and has successfully first- and second-chaired both jury and bench trials. She has appeared before both state and federal courts, including appellate courts, and has represented clients in preliminary injunction hearings, in arbitrations, and before governmental agencies.

Ms. Rigsby also has extensive experience with the day-to-day management of complex fact-intensive cases, and thus the cases she has taken successfully through to trial include these multi-million dollar cases and class actions. She has also managed and conducted complex fact-intensive internal investigations, including investigations relating to trade secrets and federal compliance issues, and has counseled clients with regard to related governmental investigations.

Her most recent case experience led to a $400 million settlement between a global leader in medical technology and a global health care company. The litigation between the companies dated to 1998 and involved lawsuits in the U.S. and across Europe, all of which are now settled. Ms. Rigsby had significant responsibility for the day-to-day management of that matter, and argued discovery motions, claim construction, summary judgment, and pre-trial motions.


Ms. Rigsby has served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School, teaching an IP litigation course. Ms. Rigsby has lectured on a variety of litigation topics, including topics relating to electronic discovery, depositions, claim construction, expert witness practice, damages and case management. She has also lectured on ethics issues.


Ms. Rigsby was honored by the Wisconsin Law Journal as one of the Women in the Law 2013. This distinguished listing recognizes women attorneys who achieved excellence in their respective fields, benefitted the legal profession through their community involvement, and influenced other women to pursue legal careers.


Ms. Rigsby is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and before the Federal Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Professional Memberships

Ms. Rigsby is a member of the Licensing Executives Society. She is a member of the Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the American Society of Trial Consultants and a former co-chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Milwaukee Bar Association.


Ms. Rigsby received her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1998, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. Prior to joining Foley, Ms. Rigsby also served as an extern to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John L. Coffey. She is also White Belt Legal Lean Sigma® certified by the Legal Lean Sigma Institute.


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After the Supreme Court's Limelight Decision, Attention May Shift to Contract Analysis in Patent Cases
Jean-Paul Ciardullo,Cynthia J. Rigsby, July 9, 2014
In Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Tech., Inc., the Supreme Court unanimously held that there can be no liability for induced infringement of a patented method where the steps of the method are carried out by separate actors. Yet, only one week later, the district court in Digital Reg of Tex.,...

Trade Secret vs. Patent Protection: Consider FOIA or Public Records Requests
Cynthia J. Rigsby, March 18, 2014
With patents coming under increasing scrutiny at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) in conjunction with changes to the patent laws brought about by the America Invents Act (“AIA”), more companies are considering whether to preserve their methods as trade secrets...

Responding to Unsolicited Ideas While Avoiding Claims of IP Theft
Cynthia J. Rigsby, February 11, 2014
A company’s receipt of unsolicited ideas for new products or product modifications can create significant risks. The receiving company may have similar products or improvements under development or may undertake these efforts in the future without any actual knowledge that the unsolicited...
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Office Information

Cynthia J. Rigsby

777 East Wisconsin Avenue
MilwaukeeWI 53202-5306


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