Meet the Team at HFZ: 5 Questions With Patent Attorney Marianne Buckley

Headshot of marianne buckley on chicago backdrop

Marianne Buckley has been a patent attorney at Hanley Flight & Zimmerman for the past 10 years, preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications in the mechanical and electro-mechanical arts.

She enjoys working with a wide variety of technologies, including medical devices, electronic user devices, automotive vehicles, aircraft, child care products, information and process management systems, and others.

“I feel lucky to be at a firm that prioritizes the quality and value of the patents we obtain for our clients,” she said.

We spent some time with Marianne to ask about how HFZ delivers best-in-class results for its clients, what it’s like to work there and why she chose patent law as a career.

Why did you become interested in patent law?

Marianne was a biomedical engineering major in college, where she worked in a research lab and enjoyed learning about new developments in the field of biomechanics. She pursued patent law as a way to combine her interests in engineering and technical writing. That path eventually led her to HFZ.

“I was attracted to HFZ because of its nature as a patent prosecution boutique,” Marianne said. “We can focus on developing skills and best practices in this area of patent law to obtain high quality patents for our clients.”

How did you get your start in the intellectual property field?

After college, Marianne worked for a company that developed software for healthcare data analytics software, exposing her to an environment that encouraged innovation.

Then during law school, Marianne interned in the general counsel’s office at the American Medical Association, which introduced her to the role of in-house counsel in protecting and advancing the interests of an organization, including intellectual property.

“That experience helped me appreciate that the work we do at HFZ contributes to our clients’ broader business goals,” she said. “Each patent we obtain is valuable not only on its own, but as a block in our clients’ patent portfolios to help our clients protect and advance their investments.”

What is special about HFZ’s patent prosecution philosophy?

“We are thoughtful about obtaining valuable patents for our clients,” Marianne said. “We consider each case from several angles—as an opportunity to protect innovation, as a strategic tool for our clients in a competitive landscape, and as a legal asset that will withstand challenges.

“When working with inventors to draft new patent applications, we consider how the technology may evolve in the future. As a result, the patent applications we prepare serve as living documents that remain relevant as the technology advances over time.

“This multi-faceted, forward-thinking approach to patent prosecution sets us apart.”

What is HFZ’s mentorship program like? How has it been rewarding for you?

“The program doesn’t just last for a few months or a year, but rather is directed toward establishing a long-term career path with us,” Marianne said. “As a result, it is rewarding to see our mentees grow and progress, managing their workloads and taking on responsibilities across the firm.”

How does HFZ create a culture that allows for work/life balance?

“HFZ is not just a collection of individual attorneys but rather a team that works together to help our clients,” she said. “This team-based approach carries over into how we work with each other.

“Rather than taking a siloed approach to operating the firm, we regularly evaluate workload distribution and management across the firm and create a culture in which everyone is a team player to help not only our clients, but each other.”