Ms. Tease is a patent and trademark attorney in Billings, Montana. She helps inventors and business owners protect their intellectual property.
Intellectual property and technology law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and technology-related agreements and representation
Antoinette (Toni) Tease is a registered patent attorney who practices in the areas of intellectual property and technology law. Before forming her own law firm in 2003, Ms. Tease was General Counsel for Rocky Mountain Technology Group, Inc., a software development company with its worldwide headquarters in Billings, Montana. From 1995 to 2001, Ms. Tease was a member of the law firm of Crowley, Haughey, Hanson, Toole & Deitrich, P.L.L.P., the region’s largest law firm, where she represented clients in both high-tech and traditional industries in intellectual property matters. While at Crowley, Ms. Tease was a partner and Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. Before moving to Montana in 1995, Ms. Tease practiced with the law firms of Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington, D.C., and Shearman & Sterling in New York City. After graduation from law school in 1990, Ms. Tease clerked for United States District Judge David A. Ezra in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ms. Tease attended law school at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was a Notes and Comments Editor for the Connecticut Law Review, and where she graduated with High Honors in the top 3% of her class. Ms. Tease obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where she majored in Economics.
Ms. Tease was an active member of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law for over a decade. Her last leadership position with the ABA was as the Assistant Financial Officer for the Section. From 2007 to 2012, she served as a member of Council, the governing body of the ABA-IPL Section. She also served as Publications Officer and Chair of the Content Advisory Board from 2010 to 2012 and Vice Chair of the Content Advisory Board from 2007 to 2010. As Publications Officer, Ms. Tease was responsible for overseeing all of the Section’s publications, including the Landslide magazine, the Annual Review, and all books published by the Section. Ms. Tease is former Chair of Division VII, Information Technology, and former Chair of the Committees on Computer Software Technology, Computer Programs, and Databases. Ms. Tease has served on the Section’s Strategic Communications Task Force, which engaged in long-range planning, and the Sponsorship Task Force. In addition, Ms. Tease is a former member of the Section’s Patent Law Reform, Business Method Patents, and Chinese Patent Law Reform Task Forces. Ms. Tease has testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on issues pertaining to intellectual property enforcement.
Ms. Tease served on the Business Advisory Board for the Montana State University-Billings College of Business for a number of years and was formerly on the Board of Advisors for the Montana Business Incubator in Billings. She is also a frequent speaker on intellectual property law topics and a current member of the Montana State Bar CLE Institute. In addition to being admitted to practice in Montana and New York, Ms. Tease is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Distruct Court for the District of Montana, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Tease is Treasurer of the Harvard Club of Montana.
How I Want to Participate in PowerHouse
I would like to support women inventors and business owners throughout the state by spearheading MentorMonday meetings in Billings and providing legal representation and support where needed.
For the past 20 years, Tease Law has supported inventors and business owners in Montana, Wyoming and throughout the world to obtain patents, register trademarks and copyrights, and enforce their trademark rights where necessary. Ms. Tease prides herself on working with individual inventors and small businesses to resolve intellectual property disputes in a cost-effective manner.
Tease Law is female-owned and is the first full-service intellectual property law firm in the State of Montana. A small business owner herself, Ms. Tease believes that fostering entrepreneurship and supporting small business is the key to Montana’s economic success.
What motivates and inspires you?
I like working with inventors and creative people. I get energized by talking to people about how they solved a particular problem and then learning how their invention works. Intellectual property is a positive area of the law because you are helping people protect their ideas so that they can build a business around them.
Who are your sheroes?
The two women who currently work for me (one is Legal Assistant, and the other is a Paralegal) are both incredibly bright, conscientious and open to learning new things. They both juggle family life and work and try to do the best they can to raise their kids to be responsible adults, as all of us do.
What technology do you love and recommend to others? What about books, ideas or podcasts?
In terms of our day-to-day practice, we could not live without Microsoft Outlook. Besides the obvious (which is email), we use Outlook for all of our calendaring (patent and trademark deadlines) and also for tasks, which we use religiously in this office. My favorite book is Burial Rites, which is a historical novel based on the story of a young woman who was the last person to be hanged in Iceland in the early 1800s.
How do you reboot?
I don’t reboot as much as I should. Having turned 50 this year, and with one son off to college and the other soon to go, I am trying to make more time for “myself.” I have always been an ardent exerciser, and I run five days a week and lift weights when I can. I am also a lifetime member of Blue Creek Sports Shooting and love shooting skeet. We also like to ski and hike as a family.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My two boys. My husband and I cannot believe how lucky we are that they turned out so well. One son is at MIT, and our other son is on his way to valedictorian of his high school class.
What is the mark you hope to leave on the world?
If I leave a mark at all, I hope it will be through my sons and what they bring to the world, but I also hope to be remembered by my clients as someone who was competent and delivered what she said she would.
Words of wisdom you want to share with Montana women?
Plan for the future but try to find some enjoyment in every day. Believe in yourself – Montana is a receptive environment for entrepreneurs.