Our History


Charles P. Jacobs

The history of the Firm can be traced back to 1879, when Charles P. Jacobs (right) became one of the first attorneys in Indianapolis to specialize in patent, trademark, and copyright law. Mr. Jacobs built a reputation as the leading patent attorney in Indiana and argued a number of cases before the United States Supreme Court. An avid astronomer, his house was constructed with a private observatory and mounted telescope where he would often entertain friends. Mr. Jacobs was also active as a lecturer, inventor, lyricist and composer, in addition to teaching law at various Indiana law schools.

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Virgil Lockwood & Ralph Lockwood

In 1892, Virgil Lockwood took over the practice and continued to develop the firm’s expertise in patent law. Following in Charles Jacobs’ tradition of teaching, Mr. Lockwood taught patent and trademark law at Indiana Law School for several years and published a book on the subject. His son, Ralph Lockwood, joined him in 1915, and the two practiced as father and son until Virgil’s passing in 1932. Ralph continued the practice for the next twenty-five years along with partners Elmer Goldsmith and Dwight Galt.


Harold Woodard

Harold “Hal” Woodard joined the Firm in 1946. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Woodard succeeded Ralph Lockwood as senior partner in 1957. In addition to serving as president of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, he became the first patent lawyer from Indiana to be inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was named as one of three giants of the U.S. trademark bar by the Trademark Reporter, the official journal of the International Trademark Association. He was also an adjunct professor of intellectual property law at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis for thirty-two years and has an endowed professorship named in his honor.

Hal was joined in 1959 by Dave Emhardt, another Harvard Law School graduate, and Joe Naughton. Jack Moriarty came to the firm in 1969, with John McNett joining shortly thereafter in 1970. Over the next thirty years, the Firm experienced tremendous growth.  Known for his energy and enthusiasm, Mr. Woodard continued to keep a busy work schedule up until his passing in 2003 at the age of 91.