Joseph A. Schouten

Ward and Smith, P.A.
919.277.9217 Fax 919.277.9177
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

Joe is an experienced litigator who focuses on intellectual property disputes.  In particular, Joe handles patent, trademark, and copyright infringement claims, as well as claims dealing with misappropriation of trade secrets. His experience includes successful representations in trial courts, appellate courts (including the Federal Circuit), and administrative agencies (such as the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board). Along with intellectual property disputes, Joe also regularly handles complex, high-stakes litigation on behalf of a wide variety of clients.

Joe's work has earned him recognition in publications such as Chambers USA, The World Trademark Review 1000, Benchmark Litigation, and Business North Carolina's Legal Elite. In these publications, clients and peers have referred to Joe as "an excellent litigator" who is "very energetic, thorough, knowledgeable and thoughtful in his approach to litigation." (Chambers USA 2022). He also has been praised as a "terrific advocate with the highest level of expertise and professionalism – [who] can be counted on to do an exceptional job" and a "first-rate IP litigator in every sense."  (World Trademark Review 1000 2022 and World Trademark Review 1000 2021).

Prior to joining the firm, Joe practiced with a large law firm in Chicago.


  • J.D., College of William & Mary Law School, 2004. Notes Editor, William and Mary Law Review
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of Dayton, 2001

Representative Experience

Examples of Joe's representations include:

  • Representation of a client-defendant in a suit alleging infringement of an e-commerce patent. Joe obtained a judgment in the client's favor, affirmance of that judgment at the Federal Circuit, and an award of all of the client's attorneys' fees. See, e.g., Voit Tech., LLC. v. Del-Ton, Inc., 2018 WL 385188(E.D.N.C. Jan. 11, 2018); Voit Tech., LLC v. Del-Ton, Inc., 2018 WL 37332671 (Aug. 6, 2018); Voit Tech., LLC v. Del-Ton, Inc., 2019 WL 495163 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 8, 2019).
  • Representation of a client seeking unpaid royalties pursuant to a consulting and development contract relating to the client's work on drug-eluting coronary stents for a major medical device manufacturer.  The case settled on confidential terms after Joe's briefing, and oral argument on the defendant's motion for summary judgment and Daubert motion resulted in favorable rulings from the Court. See, e.g., Stack v. Abbott Labs., Inc., 2016 WL 4491410(M.D.N.C. Aug. 24, 2016); Stack v. Abbott Labs, Inc., 2016 WL 6304729 (M.D.N.C. Oct. 27, 2016).
  • Representation of a leading developer of technology relating to telematics and electronic logging devices used in the commercial trucking industry in a suit seeking recovery of royalties under a patent license agreement. The case settled on confidential terms after Joe led briefing and argument in defeating the defendant's motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. See, e.g., Innovative Global Systems, LLC v. Zonar Systems, Inc., 2019 WL 4014623 (D.S.C. Aug. 26, 2019).
  • Representation of client in Federal Court and Arbitration in a dispute relating to termination of, among other things, a trademark license agreement. The case settled on confidential terms after Joe was able to obtain a TRO and Preliminary Injunction. See, e.g., EAFNC, LLC v. Equilon Enterprises, 2020 WL 12811411 (E.D.N.C. June 1, 2020).
  • Representation of a leading Durable Medical Equipment provider and manufacturer in defense of trade secret and unfair competition litigation. The case is ongoing.
  • Representation of leading stone and granite provider in a lawsuit involving claims of trademark infringement. The case is ongoing.
  • Representation of leading Durable Medical Equipment provider in an Opposition proceeding before Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The case settled on confidential terms after Joe's briefing led to favorable rulings on discovery issues.
  • Representation of a leading developer and retailer of outdoor recreational products in a suit against a nationally-known sporting goods retailer for infringement of the client's utility and design patents.  The case settled on confidential terms after claim construction discovery.
  • Representation of a life sciences company in a suit alleging that competitor client's trade secrets and included them in a patent application.  The matter settled after favorable rulings from the court denying the defendant's motion to dismiss and granting, in part, Joe's client's motion to dismiss defendant's counterclaims.
  • Representation of a background screening and records management company in a suit alleging trademark infringement.  After Joe filed the client's summary judgment motion, the suit was settled on confidential terms.
  • Successfully defended a manufacturer of plastic packaging in a jury trial alleging claims of patent infringement and tortious interference.

Honors and Distinctions*

  • Chambers USA, Up and Coming, Intellectual Property - North Carolina, 2022-2024
  • "Patent Star," IP Stars from Managing IP, 2023-2024
  • "Future Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2021-2024
  • World Trademark Review 1000, 2020-2024
  • Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2019, 2022

Legal Elite Chambers USA

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Federal Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Intellectual Property Law; Litigation

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2009
  • Illinois, 2004 
  • All state courts in North Carolina
  • All state courts in Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States Tax Court

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions:;; and

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234
  • 2024 Chambers USA

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