Antoinette (Toni) Tease
Frances von Friedeburg
Antoinette (Toni) Tease
is a registered patent attorney who practices in the areas of intellectual property and
technology law. Before forming her own law firm in 2003, Ms. Tease was General Counsel for
Rocky Mountain Technology Group, Inc., a software development company with its worldwide
headquarters in Billings, Montana. From 1995 to 2001, Ms. Tease was a member of the law
firm of Crowley, Haughey, Hanson, Toole & Deitrich, P.L.L.P., the region's largest law
firm, where she represented clients in both high-tech and traditional industries in
intellectual property matters. While at Crowley, Ms. Tease was a partner and Chair of the
firm's Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. Before moving to Montana in
1995, Ms. Tease practiced with the law firms of Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington,
D.C., and Shearman & Sterling in New York City. After graduation from law school in
1990, Ms. Tease clerked for United States District Judge David A. Ezra in Honolulu,
Hawaii. Ms. Tease attended law school at the University of Connecticut School of Law,
where she was a Notes and Comments Editor for the Connecticut Law Review, and
where she graduated with High Honors in the top 3% of her class.
Ms. Tease obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where she majored in Economics.
Ms. Tease was an active member of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law for over a decade. Her last leadership position with the ABA was as the Assistant Financial Officer for the Section. From 2007 to 2012, she served as a member of Council, the governing body of the ABA-IPL Section. She also served as Publications Officer and Chair of the Content Advisory Board from 2010 to 2012 and Vice Chair of the Content Advisory Board from 2007 to 2010. As Publications Officer, Ms. Tease was responsible for overseeing all of the Section's publications, including the Landslide magazine, the Annual Review, and all books published by the Section. Ms. Tease is former Chair of Division VII, Information Technology, and former Chair of the Committees on Computer Software Technology, Computer Programs, and Databases. Ms. Tease has served on the Section's Strategic Communications Task Force, which engaged in long-range planning, and the Sponsorship Task Force. In addition, Ms. Tease is a former member of the Section's Patent Law Reform, Business Method Patents, and Chinese Patent Law Reform Task Forces. Ms. Tease has testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on issues pertaining to intellectual property enforcement, and she has also testified as an expert witness in a multi-billion-dollar patent infringement case involving a medical device. Ms. Tease has filed more patent infringement cases than any other lawyer in Montana, and she successfully represented the patent holder in the first Montana patent case to be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Ms. Tease is currently a member of the Montana World Trade Center Tech Export Team. Ms. Tease served on the Business Advisory Board for the Montana State University-Billings College of Business for a number of years and was formerly on the Board of Advisors for the Montana Business Incubator in Billings. She is also a frequent speaker on intellectual
property law topics and a current member of the Montana State Bar CLE Institute.
Ms. Tease is also an Inaugural Member of the Montana State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section, for which she serves on the Council and is Chair-Elect.
In addition to being admitted to practice in Montana and New York, Ms. Tease is
admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Supreme Court,
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Distruct Court for the District of Montana, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Tease is Treasurer of the Harvard
Club of Montana.
Thomas Lyford joins the Tease Law Firm as a Paralegal in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, litigation support, and special research projects.
Mr. Lyford has a broad range of intellectual property litigation experience in federal courts, including claims of patent, trademark, and copyright infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition. He also has extensive experience assisting clients in the management of their intellectual property portfolios, including representation of clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, preparation of patent and trademark availability opinions, and the application of trademarks, copyrights, and design patents in the U.S. and abroad. His intellectual property experience concerns a wide range of technologies and industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, computer hardware, toys, apparel, food and beverages, media, and entertainment.
Mr. Lyford received his bachelor's degree with honors in Biology and Chemistry from Rocky Mountain College in 1992. Prior to his legal career, he worked as a chemist for Energy Laboratories, Inc. in Billings and for the Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lyford graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 2000. After law school, he practiced in the area of intellectual property at the law firms of Fish & Neave in New York City, King & Spalding in New York City, Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck in Washington, D.C., and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles. In 2014, Mr. Lyford returned to his hometown of Billings to be near his family, where he completed a bachelor's degree in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics from Montana State University Billings.
Mr. Lyford is admitted to practice in New York, California, the District of Columbia, and Montana. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York.
Frances von Friedeburg joins the Tease Law Firm as a Legal Assistant. In this position, she will provide support to the firm's patent, trademark and copyright portfolios. Ms. von Friedeburg received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Georgetown University and graduated at the top of her class in 2017. While at Georgetown, Ms. von Friedeburg spent time working abroad in Central America and Europe. She also served as a Conservation Intern at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Following university, Ms. von Friedeburg worked as an outreach coordinator for an animal rights organization in Washington, DC. There she engaged with the public and conducted research for the law and policy teams. Speaking German fluently and Russian and Spanish at an intermediate level, Ms. von Friedeburg brings to the firm a skill for languages.