Experience, Value, Service

Withers & Keys, LLC was founded in 2004 by James Withers and Jeramie Keys. The mission of Withers & Keys, LLC is based around a strong value proposition – to provide top quality patent and other intellectual property services by experienced attorneys while maintaining highly competitive fees through a cost effective, low-overhead approach. Withers & Keys, LLC is focused foremost on client satisfaction. We believe that quality work and responsiveness need not be sacrificed to achieve affordable intellectual property representation. Our practice is focused to maximize client value when helping to obtain intellectual property rights, challenge third party rights, and providing strategic and timely advice to assist clients.



Withers & Keys LLC is a group of seasoned, partner-level intellectual property attorneys, each having practiced between 14-18 years in private practice and with prior work experience in industry. All of our attorneys have forged their practice with experience at top intellectual property boutique law firms, and have a robust and proven foundation in intellectual property procurement involving the United States Patent & Trademark Office as well as experience litigating and licensing intellectual property.

Withers & Keys attorneys have experience in a very wide range of technologies (chemical, electrical, mechanical), including the following:


  • Chemistry – including agricultural, polymeric, organic, and inorganic chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering – including process optimization, recycling processes, etc.
  • Compositions – including agricultural compositions, ink compositions, cleaning compositions, etc.
  • Textiles – including all fiber-containing articles, e.g., nonwovens, printable substrates, wovens, fiber-reinforced composites, etc.
  • Adhesives – including hot-melt, pressure-sensitive, etc.


  • Semiconductors
  • Test & Measurement Systems
  • Defense Electronics & Electronic Warfare

Consumer Products

  • Dispensing Systems
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Mobile Communications & Smartphone Technology
  • Business Methods
  • Analytics
  • Absorbent Articles – including diapers, incontinence devices, etc. and components thereof

Mechanical & Optical Systems

  • Optical Devices
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Transportation Systems
  • Automotive Systems
  • Prosthetic Devices

Computing Systems

  • Memory Systems
  • Data Communication And Networking
  • Secure Communications
  • Computer-based Solutions
  • Software – implemented technology
  • Data Storage Devices
  • E-commerce

Medical Systems

  • Active And Passive Medical Devices
  • Biomechanical Devices

James Withers

James Withers

James Withers co-founded Withers & Keys, LLC. Before practicing law, James spent six years in industry working as a Chemical Engineer for Milliken & Company and Hexcel Corporation, and then six years working as a Patent Examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, examining patent applications in a variety of technology areas, with primary emphasis on fiber-containing and multi-layered articles. Prior to forming Withers & Keys, LLC, James spent eight years with the Intellectual Property law firms of Oliff & Berridge, Jones & Askew and Merchant & Gould.

James practices patent, trademark, and copyright law, with an emphasis on patent work, including procuring both U.S. and foreign patent rights; rendering right-to-practice, invalidity, non-infringement, and patentability opinions; counseling clients; and pre-litigation support. James has expertise in exemplary areas of technology including, but not limited to, organic chemistry related to agricultural chemicals and compositions, adhesives (i.e., epoxies, acrylates, curing agents, etc.), ink jet ink compositions and printable substrates (i.e., photoinitiators, light-stabilizing compounds, dyes, solvent systems, etc.); cleaning compositions (i.e., surfactants, thickening agents, etc.), and ophthalmic solutions; polymer chemistry (e.g., coatings, adhesives, fibers, fabrics, films, particles, etc.); inorganic chemistry related to borates and abrasives; medical devices; dispensing devices; textiles (e.g., wovens, nonwovens, etc.); composite materials (e.g., fiber-containing matrices); and computer software applications.


  • Mercer University, 1982
    - B.S., Chemistry, with high honors
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, 1983
    - Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, with honors
  • The National Law Center, George Washington University, 1995
    - J.D.

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia State Bar, 1995
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office, 1996 (Reg. 40,376)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2002

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Jeramie Keys

Jeramie Keys

Jeramie Keys co-founded Withers & Keys, LLC. Prior to practicing law, Jeramie gained technical experience at Philips Consumer Electronics. Jeramie began his legal experience as a law clerk/patent agent for Luedeka, Neely, & Graham in Knoxville, Tn. Jeramie then practiced patent law as an associate with Merchant & Gould in both the Minneapolis and Atlanta offices. At Merchant & Gould, Jeramie gained experience in all areas of intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, litigation, and licensing.

At Withers & Keys, Jeramie practices primarily patent law with a focus on electrical, computer, and mechanical matters as well as business methods. Jeramie has experience in handling a variety of U.S. and foreign matters involving analog and digital circuitry, software, storage devices, computer networking, wired and wireless telecommunications systems, implantable medical devices, e-commerce systems, and analytics.


  • University of Tennessee, 1996
    - B.S. Electrical Engineering magna cum laude
  • University of Tennessee, 1999
    - J.D.
  • Emory University, Goizueta Business School, 2012
    - M.B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office, 1998 (Reg. 42,724)
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1999
  • Georgia State Bar, 2002

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Les Bessenger

Les Bessenger

Les joined Withers & Keys, LLC. in 2012 after practicing for nearly 15 years at Finnegan, one of the largest intellectual property boutique law firms in the world, in their Atlanta office and in Tokyo where he managed the firm’s Japanese office. As a partner at Finnegan, Les gained experience with all manner of patent law – trial and appellate litigation, strategic counseling with opinions and due diligence analysis, third party challenges to patents using U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) proceedings, licensing, and patent procurement activities on behalf of inventors. Previous to his time at Finnegan, Les worked with James at Jones & Askew, an intellectual property boutique firm in Atlanta. At Withers & Keys, LLC, Les brings his seasoned experience and relevant expertise to handle patent matters in the electrical, computer, and mechanical arts – including telecommunications, smartphones, semiconductors, test equipment, and computer/software implemented concepts. Les currently focuses his patent practice on all types of patent matters outside of full IP litigation, including representing clients before the USPTO to obtain patent rights and challenge existing patent rights, preparing all manner of written opinions of counsel, licensing and due diligence transactions, and other strategic patent counseling that efficiently assists in-house counsel with their patent goals and issues.

Before practicing law, Les was an electrical engineer at E-Systems (now Raytheon) doing design & automated test engineering work in the defense communications area, and worked at Hewlett-Packard (now Agilent Technologies) in the test & measurement equipment field. Les has and still frequently lectures on U.S. intellectual property matters, such as the America Invents Act (AIA), before audiences online as well as in live CLE seminars and client training presentations. Les remains active in the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).


  • University of Florida, 1985,
    - B.S. Electrical Engineering with honors
  • University of Florida, 1995,
    - J.D. with honors

Bar Admissions

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office, 1995 (Reg. 39,108)
  • Florida Bar, 1995
  • State Bar of Georgia, 1996

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Withers & Keys LLC is focused solely on intellectual property. Our practice primarily assists clients in strategic tasks outside of or in conjunction with intellectual property litigation. By focusing our practice in this way, we can provide an extremely economical and high quality work product from partner-level attorneys in a consistent manner, and help clients maximize their outside intellectual property counsel budgets.

Patents Including all Primary Areas of Technology

  • Non-disclosure & Confidentiality Agreements
  • Patentability Searches & Analysis
  • Provisional & Non-provisional Application Preparation – Utility & Design
  • Application Prosecution – U.S., PCT, Foreign
    • - Manage applications pending in most global regions, including foreign oppositions
  • Contested Patent Challenge Proceedings with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
    • - Third Party Submissions, Supplemental Examination, Ex Parte Reexamination, Inter Parte Review, and Post Grant Review
  • Licensing, Marking, & Other IP Transactional Counseling
  • Portfolio Management
  • Due Diligence Analysis for IP
    • - Patent Acquisition/Sale
    • - Product Line Acquisition/Sale
    • - Company Merger/Acquisition/Sale
  • Patent Related Opinions of Counsel
    • - Patentability, Infringement/Non-infringement, Validity/Invalidity, Clearance/Freedom to Operate (FTO), Landscape Survey

Trademark / Servicemark

  • Initial search & counseling on trademark/service mark selection, availability, and ability to register marks
  • Application preparation & filing – U.S., Foreign, CTM
  • Application prosecution with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • Trademark opposition proceedings
  • Trademark portfolio management
  • Trademark licensing
  • Opinions

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