About Brinks Gilson & Lione

From its perch atop Chicago's NBC tower, Brinks Gilson & Lione is an intellectual property shop with a particularly firm grasp on the ins and outs of technology patenting. From biotechnology to international trademark law to trade secrets, Brinks has earned a reputation as one of Illinois', and the nation's, best corporate IP firms.

Commercial Magnetism

In 1917, George Wilkinson and Henry Huxley founded a two-man patent law firm in Chicago, a practice which eventually developed into the much larger intellectual property boutique of today. Founding partner Wilkinson argued a Supreme Court trademark case which led to the legal concept of "commercial magnetism," and Huxley taught patent law at Northwestern University. In the 1940s, partner James Hume provided patent counsel to Leo Szilard and Enrico Fermi, fathers of the atomic bomb. The following decade, partner Howard Clement contributed to LBJ's commission to revise the patent system in the U.S.

Since then, the firm has expanded to open offices in Michigan, Indiana, Utah, North Carolina and Washington, DC. The firm's intellectual property expertise has landed it more than once in Intellectual Property Today's list of the top IP firms in the country; Chambers has recognized Brinks for being the top intellectual property law firm in Illinois several years in a row. Brinks has represented clients like the Coca-Cola Company, Tri-Seal International, Amway, United Air Lines, ESCO Technologies Company, Herman Miller, Kodak and Bayer AG, and has also argued cases before the International Trade Commission.

Refusing to Dumb it Down for the Jury

With IP departments in fields like green technology, mechanical IP and nanotechnology, it makes sense that many of the firm's attorneys hold advanced technical degrees in fields like engineering, biology and chemistry. And in case the in-house acumen is still too low, the firm also employs scientific advisors with expertise in computers and the electrical and mechanical arts. Governing courtroom strategy is the firm's refusal to subscribe to "the notion that juries cannot understand highly technical subject matter," and the firm's attorneys have won over juries by knowledgeably breaking down the technologies governing products from meat-packing plastics to air mattresses.

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Brinks Gilson & Lione

455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive
Suite 3600 - NBC Tower
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 321-4200
Fax: (312) 321-4299


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President: James R. Sobieraj
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 127

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical
    Electrical & Computer
    Green Technology
    Intellectual Asset Management
    International Patent
    International Trade Commission
    International Trademark
    Medical Device
    Patent Prosecution
    Trade Secrets
    Trademarks & Unfair Competition

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Research Triangle Park, NC
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington, DC
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