Jeannie Heffernan is an experienced trial lawyer who leads Kirkland’s IP litigation practice in Texas. She has won more than a dozen patent infringement trials in federal district courts across the country and at the International Trade Commission, with victories affirmed at the Federal Circuit. She represents clients in a wide range of fields, including computer networking, telecommunications, cryptography, semiconductors, and medical devices. Jeannie has particular experience leading high-profile patent litigation matters in Texas, where she has won numerous defense verdicts.

Jeannie is nationally recognized for her work, including by Managing Intellectual Property, The Legal 500 United States and IAM Patent 1000. The Legal 500 noted that she “is especially effective at managing complex issues and directing her teams appropriately to ensure that everything is handled timely and correctly. As an individual lawyer, Mrs. Heffernan’s analytical skills and work ethic are top notch.” IAM has praised her work in Texas courts noting that she “knows how best to conduct patent trials in the Eastern District of Texas, no matter what the technology involved.” IAM also said she has as “much experience in the Eastern District of Texas as any national litigator and has managed to get some big wins on the defense side there in terms of arguing for the exclusion of the plaintiff’s damages expert. She’s great at interrogating experts and witnesses, and her follow-up questions are especially probing.”

In addition to leading high-stakes patent litigation cases, Jeannie represents clients in matters involving allegations of copyright and trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract. Prior to launching Kirkland’s IP litigation practice in Texas, Jeannie spent 20 years in the Firm’s New York office.


Thought Leadership


"Want Fries with That Trademark?" American Bar Association, March 13, 2019

Quoted, “The Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Very Litigious Bikini,” New York Times, December 12, 2018

Quoted, "Finding Balance in US Patent Damages Awards," Managing Intellectual Property, September 1, 2018

Quoted, "How WesternGeco and TC Heartland Have Affected US Patent Damages," Managing Intellectual Property, August 21, 2018

"Is There Reasonable Certainty about the Standard of Review for Indefiniteness?" American Bar Association News & Developments, March 30, 2015

"Do You Have a Leg to Stand On? Standing Issues in Patent Cases." Chapter 9 of the State Bar of Texas, 10th Annual Advanced Patent Litigation Course, Jeanne Heffernan, Mangesh Kulkarni and S. Taylor, July 17, 2014

"Does Nautilus Avoid the 'Zone of Uncertainty'?" American Bar Association News & Developments, June 20, 2014


Moderator, “FRAND and Patent Damages,” The Eastern District of Texas 2021 Bench Bar Conference

Panelist, “Hot Topics in IP,” The 2021 ChIPs Global Summit

Panelist, “Fundamentals of Trademark Infringement as Punctuated in Buc-ee’s Litigation. Is That Big Beaver a Bully, or Just Building a Dam Around Its Lawful IP Rights?” The Eastern District of Texas 2019 Bench Bar Conference

Panelist, “Patent Damages Hot Topics,” The Eastern District of Texas 2018 Bench Bar Conference

Panelist, Duff & Phelps 2017 IP Value Summit, “2017 in Review: Hot Topics in U.S. Patent Litigation,” October 17, 2017

Moderator, “Willful Infringement and Enhanced Damages. Where Are We? Where Are We Going? Are We There Yet?” The Eastern District of Texas 2017 Bench Bar Conference. Panel included Judge Cathy Bencivengo (S.D. Cal.); Judge Cathy Bissoon (W.D. Pa.); Judge Robert W. “Trey” Schroeder, III (E.D. Tex.); Judge Christopher Burke (D. Del.); and Judge John Love (E.D. Tex.)

Panelist, “Trial Strategies and Litigation Tactics,” 13th Annual Advanced Patent Litigation Course, July 20, 2017

Presenter, “Discretion Advised: Attorney’s Fees and Enhanced Damages after Octane Fitness and Halo,” Federal Circuit Bar Association Bench and Bar, June 23, 2017

Moderator, “The Tension Between Privacy and Security,” The 2016 ChIPs Women in Tech, Law and Policy Global Summit. Panel included: Erin Egan (VP & Chief Privacy Officer, Policy, Facebook), Erika Brown Lee (Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, U.S. Department of Justice), Nuala O’Connor (President & CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology) and Noreen Krall (ChIPs Co-founder; Vice President, Chief Litigation Counsel, Apple Inc.)

Panelist, “Trials in East Texas. Is It What You Do or Is It The Way You Do It? From Preparation to Presentation, a Race for Credibility,” The Eastern District of Texas 2016 Bench Bar Conference

Panelist, “Celebrating Texas Innovation and the Law That Protects It,” Center for American and International Law, June 2016

Co-Moderator, “Fresh Faces of ED Texas. Policies, Procedures & Practice Pointers As Seen from Behind and Beyond the Pine Curtain,” The Eastern District of Texas 2015 Bench Bar Conference, October 23, 2015. Panel included Judge Rodney Gilstrap, Judge Amos Mazzant, Judge Nicole Mitchell, and their staff

Moderator, “Patent Docket Synergy: Challenges and Best Practices from Delaware to East Texas,” The Eastern District of Texas 2014 Bench Bar Conference, October 24, 2014. Panel consisted of Chief Judge Leonard Davis (E.D. Tex.), Judge Rodney Gilstrap (E.D. Tex.), Chief Judge Leonard Stark (D. Del.), and Judge Sue Robinson (D. Del.)

Presenter, “Do You Have a Leg to Stand On? Standing Issues in Patent Cases?” 10th Annual Advanced Patent Litigation Course, July 17, 2014

Presenter, “Protecting the Trade Dress Design of the Hermès Kelly Bag,” The 8th PanEuropean Intellectual Property Summit, December 11, 2013

Presenter, “Trademark Developments,” Copyright, Trademark & Internet Symposium, April 13, 2010

Presenter, Advertising & Trademark Law Seminar, July 21, 2009

Presenter, “Keep it Real: Protect Your Brand’s Integrity,” Harper’s Bazaar 2nd Annual Anti-Counterfeiting Summit, February 1, 2006


Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Patent, 2020–2024

Selected as one of Intellectual Asset Management magazine's (IAM) leading patent practitioners in the world for Litigation, 2015–2016, 2020–2024

Selected as a "Super Lawyer" for Intellectual Property Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine, 2014–2022, 2024

Recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. for Patent Litigation: Full Coverage, 2016 and 2019–2023, and Trademarks: Litigation, 2012–2013

Named as "Client Service All-Star" by the BTI Consulting Group in its 2020 and 2023 Client Service All-Stars Reports

Named one of Managing Intellectual Property magazine's "IP Stars," 2020–2023

Recognized as part of Lawyers Alliance for New York's Cornerstone Awards for "Exceptional Volunteerism Through the Decades," 2019

IP Hot List, The National Law Journal, 2015

Honored in Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars - Top 250 Women in IP, 2014

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows Program, 2014

Selected as a New York "Rising Star" for Intellectual Property Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine, 2012–2013

Empire State Counsel 50

Recipient, Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono Service Award, 2008–2010, 2012–2018

Recipient, Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono Partner of the Year, 2017

Memberships & Affiliations

The Honorable Lee Yeakel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, 2022

The Paul Brown American Inn of Court, 2021–Present 

Judge Albright WDTX Working Group, 2021–Present

Member, Eastern District of Texas Bench Bar Planning Committee, 2014–2021

Appointed to ABA IP Litigation Committee, Patent Subcommittee, 2019–2021

Appointed to ABA IP Litigation Committee, Trademark Subcommittee, 2018–2019

Appointed to the International Trademark Association Anti-Counterfeiting Committee and North America Subcommittee, 2012–2013

Appointed to the International Trademark Association Enforcement Committee and Subcommittee on Issues of Proof, 2010–2011


Admissions & Qualifications

  • Texas
  • New York


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


  • French


  • University of Chicago Law SchoolJ.D.

    George B. Pletsch Scholar

    Editor-in-Chief, Chicago Journal of International Law

  • University of ChicagoA.M., Divinity
    Merit Scholar
  • University of Notre DameB.A., Program of Liberal Studies and Frenchmagna cum laude
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • Université Catholique de l'OuestDiplome d'Etudes de Niveau Superieur