Christa Brown-Sanford

Deputy Department Chair - Intellectual Property (Firmwide) Partner


P: +1.214.953.6824 F: +1.214.661.4824
Christa Sanford

Christa Brown-Sanford is the Deputy Chair of the Intellectual Property Department.

Christa has a full-time patent practice, with the ability to advise on a number of different issues – working together with her clients to be a true counselor. With an electrical engineering background and keen business sense, her ability to communicate with anyone, from clients, opposing counsel, inventors, or patent examiners alike, in a clear and digestible way, underscores her commitment to being a true partner at every stage of the process.

She provides guidance on patent procurement, patent portfolio development, patent litigation, and patent licensing – particularly involving telecommunications, blockchain, electronics, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, software, personal mobility, and other cutting-edge technologies.

Christa also assists companies in developing and managing their patent portfolios and generating revenue from their intellectual property assets through licensing campaigns. While leading licensing efforts for companies, she continues to provide counsel and advice on patent procurement and litigation exposure.

An adjunct professor at SMU's Dedman School of Law, Christa teaches patent licensing and enforcement, in addition to patent prosecution courses.

Related Experience

  • Multinational telecommunications equipment company – lead negotiator and drafter of patent portfolio license with a large patent holding entity involving cellular and memory technologies
  • Multinational automotive company – lead IP counsel in joint development agreement work involving development of standards essential technology
  • Multinational telecommunications equipment company – drafting and prosecuting patent applications relating to wireless technologies, personal mobility, collaboration, communications equipment and devices, cloud computing, and big data; managing several patent review committees to develop the strategic direction of the company's patent portfolio
  • Multinational cloud security company – analysis of existing patent portfolio related to communication techniques and data management and strategic development of the portfolio in various technological areas, including security
  • National energy provider – negotiating and drafting technology transaction agreements for joint development and collaboration efforts
  • Worldwide networking company – assessing and managing third party assertions and related internal investigations; counsel in various aspects of IP and business strategy
  • Aviation and defense contractor – analysis of technology area and development of patent filing strategy for the business
  • National retail energy provider – development and execution of patent filing strategy and management of the patent portfolio related to energy management solutions
  • National financial institution – development of patent licensing strategy and lead counsel in patent license negotiations
  • Start-up healthcare technology provider – development and implementation of patent filing strategy
  • Multinational telecommunications equipment provider – defense counsel in a patent infringement case involving power conversion technology
  • National banking institution – development and management of a worldwide patent portfolio
  • Multinational telecommunications equipment provider – counsel in license negotiations involving standards-based technology and patent pools
  • Multinational wireless service provider – defense of multiple patent infringement cases involving wireless communications. In one of the matters, secured summary judgment of non-infringement before trial and secured unenforceability determination of the asserted patent in a subsequent bench trial. In another one of the matters, secured a stipulation of non-infringement based on the claim construction. On appeal of this matter to the Federal Circuit, secured a summary affirmance of the district court's dismissal.
  • Surveillance equipment company – drafted and prosecuted patent application submitted through Accelerated Examination program at the Patent and Trademark Office. Secured issued patent seven months from the filing date of the application.
  • Multinational telecommunications equipment provider – counsel in inter partes reexamination involving asserted patents in patent litigation, which resulted in a final rejection of all claims
  • Creditor in bankruptcy proceeding – counsel in license negotiations involving creditor as a third-party beneficiary to the license agreement
  • Large industrial equipment company – counsel in license negotiations involving patented technology leading to realizable revenue from intellectual property assets
  • Multinational telecommunications equipment provider – defense of a patent infringement case involving Internet routing and wireless communication resulting in a settlement for the client
  • Educational software company – patent infringement suit against a competitor resulting in a settlement for the client
  • Multinational telecommunications equipment provider – defensive patent studies regarding the applicability of third-party patents to products of the client
  • Multinational software company – analysis and categorization of its intellectual property portfolio
  • International optical networking company – drafting and prosecuting patent applications relating to optical networking and optical networking components

Awards & Community

Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for Litigation-Intellectual Property, 2020

Recognized as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity Council, 2020

Recognized in Chambers USA for Intellectual Property, 2020

Recognized as a "Next Generation Lawyer" by The Legal 500 U.S., 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020

Recognized by IAM 1000 for Patent Transactions, 2019

Recognized by Texas Lawyer as a Texas Trailblazer, 2019

Recognized by SMU Dedman School of Law as a Distinguished Alumni-Emerging Leader Award, 2019

Recognized as a "Most Influential Black Lawyer" by Savoy Magazine, 2018

Recognized as a "Top Woman Lawyer" by the Texas Diversity Council, 2018

Recognized as a "Minority Business Leader" by the Dallas Business Journal, 2018

Named one of the "Best Lawyers" in Dallas by D Magazine, 2016, 2017 & 2018

Recognized in the Dallas Business Journal's list of "40 under 40," 2016

"Young Leader Award" presented by the Dallas Women's Foundation, 2015

Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018

Recognized as an "Up-And-Coming 100" and "Up-And-Coming 50 Women" by Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), 2018

Serves on Baker Botts' Diversity Committee, Technology Sector Committee, Patent Practice Committee and Technology Editorial Committee

Serves on the Emerging Leader Board for SMU's Dedman School of Law and on the Boards of the Dallas Children's Theater and First Baptist Academy

Member of the Junior League of Dallas, previously New Member Chair, 2013-2014 Membership Vice President, and 2016-2017 Development Vice President

Counseled pro bono clients on trademark registration, copyright registration, and copyright infringement matters


Thought Leadership

Co-Chair for the 57th Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law

Speeches & Presentations

Institute for Law and Technology at the Center for American and International Law

Protecting Your Emerging Technology: Contracting with Key Stakeholders

Speeches & Presentations

Texas Minority Counsel Program