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. With over 140 attorneys covering more than 60 technology areas and fluent in 13 languages, it is no wonder that Brinks has gained national and international recognition.

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. This year, the firm celebrates its centennial year, having grown to become one of the largest intellectual property firms in the US. 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.

An IP Powerhouse

Although Brinks has grown to focus in everything from green technology to medical devices, the firm's standout is still intellectual property law, so it's no wonder that the firm routinely tops many national rankings in this area. In 2016, Brinks has once again been recognized as the best national law firm in intellectual property law by U.S. News & World Report, and landed Tier 1 rankings in Patent and Trademark again in 2017.  In addition, Chambers USA ranked Brinks as a top intellectual property law firm in Illinois, a list the firm has been on since 2003. Corporate INTL magazine named Brinks the Illinois Copyright Law Firm of the Year again in 2017.

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Brinks Gilson & Lione

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

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman and Managing Partner: James R. Sobieraj
  • Recruiting Chair: Rasad L. Morgan
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 135

  • Base Salary

    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,075/week


  • Major Departments & Practices

    Appellate • Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical • Chemicals, Energy & Agriculture • Copyright • Electrical & Computer • Green Technology • Hatch-Waxman • International Patent • International Trade Commission (Itc) • International Trademark • Licensing • Litigation • Mechanical • Medical Device • Nanotechnology • Patent Prosecution • Post-Grant Patent • Trade Secrets • Trademarks & Unfair Competition

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL (HQ) • Ann Arbor, MI • Durham, NC • Indianapolis, IN • Salt Lake City, UT • Tampa, FL • Washington, DC Shenzhen, China