Contributors

Preston Heard is a team player. 

The idea of a group pulling together in the same direction to achieve a goal too big for the individual appeals to Preston. His team-first mindset is front and center when he’s litigating a high-stakes patent case before a federal court or the PTAB, as the leader of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Patent Prosecution & Litigation Practice Group, and even as his kids’ basketball coach.

“I’ve always liked playing and watching team sports. I like the collective—having a goal, achieving it together, and knowing your role on the team,” he said. “Litigation feels like a team sport, and I think that’s why I was drawn to it.”

“I’ve always liked playing and watching team sports. I like the collective—having a goal, achieving it together, and knowing your role on the team. Litigation feels like a team sport, and I think that’s why I was drawn to it.”

Preston Heard, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

In IP litigation, Preston found a career that matched his talents and interests. He first became interested in the law as a junior at Georgia Tech. He was studying engineering and had intended to pursue a career in that field. But a favorite professor suggested IP law as a way for Preston to use both his engineering degree as well as his knack for debating ideas.

That same professor led a summer study abroad program in Beijing and Singapore, which attracted engineering students from across the country. There, Preston studied with local professors, toured manufacturing facilities, and gained a first-hand appreciation for the cultures.

After graduating from Georgia Tech, he attended American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.

“I had the good fortune of starting my legal career at an IP boutique firm where you were encouraged to seek other experiences,” he said. During his first full-time week on the job, he was digging through a stack of patent prosecution matters, when a firm partner stuck his head in Preston’s door and asked, “Do you want to help with a litigation?”

The answer, of course, was yes—and there was no looking back. He said, “I loved it and before long, I was focused exclusively on litigation.” 

“I had the good fortune of starting my legal career at an IP boutique firm where you were encouraged to seek other experiences.”

Preston Heard, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

When he isn’t leading teams of attorneys, Preston can be found in Atlanta-area gyms leading basketball players. He currently coaches his two daughters’ teams and previously coached his son’s team.

“I love coaching basketball,” he said. “It’s always fun to get a new team, where you have such a range of personalities and skill sets. Seeing them improve and learn to work together is so rewarding. I think I enjoy it more than the kids!” 

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