Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP at a Glance


  • “Steady substantive work”
  • “Welcoming people”


  • “Sometimes tedious work”
  • “Lack of a realistic path to partnership”

About Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

Premier Chicago intellectual property firm Marshall, Gerstein & Borun advises a diverse client roster made up of Fortune 500 corporations, startups, small to mid-sized companies, nonprofits, universities, research institutions and independent inventors in its specialty areas of patent, trademark, and copyright protection and litigation. Located in Chicago's Willis Tower, the firm is an enduring part of both Chicago's skyline and the IP legal landscape.  

Major Players in Intellectual Property

Founded in 1955 as Merriam & Lorch in the Chicago Board of Trade building, Marshall, Gerstein & Borun originally focused on the electrical, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Over the next 57 years, the firm branched out and today covers patents in a wide array of industries including nanotechnology, genetics, optics, biochemistry, microbiology, computer and software engineering and medical devices. The firm works with clients in 100 countries and on six continents. It has advised Procter & Gamble for 25 years, Amgen since its founding in 1980, GE, Pfizer, Hollister Inc., Merck Serono, Newell Rubbermaid Inc., and Northwestern University, among others.

Marshall Gerstein has been recognized by Chambers USA 2015 as one of the leading boutique IP law firms in the United States and several of the firm's attorneys have been recognized as leaders in their field by publications such as Fortune, Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, Intellectual Property Today and Corporate Counsel.  

Bring it All the Way to the Supreme Court

The firm has played a major role in historic Supreme Court cases in IP law, such as Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp. and University of Illinois Foundation v. Blonder-Tongue Laboratories, Inc., and more recently, the landmark Amgen cases Amgen Inc. v. Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Amgen Inc. v. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

A Culture of Science

Only those with scientific and technical educational backgrounds need apply: staffing deals and cases with attorneys who understand the complexities of the inventions behind the patents is of prime importance to Marshall Gerstein.  Over 90 percent of the firm's attorneys hold degrees in science or engineering and many of those attorneys have past technical and scientific work experience at companies and institutions like Abbott Laboratories, AT&T, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Motorola, Inc. and the U.S. Air Force. In addition, over 80 percent of the firm's agents and technical specialists have Ph.D.'s or other advanced technical degrees.

Samurai Warriors Will Protect your Patent

One client was so grateful for his Marshall Gerstein attorneys' refusal to back down on their defense of his patent, that he gifted them with a samurai suit of armor. The client, a surgery professor whose invention expanded skin tissue for the purpose of reconstructive surgery, explained that his attorneys had "represented him as loyally and fiercely as any Samurai warrior." He chose a suit of armor rather than a sword, he said, because he wasn't sure if the sword would get past security.


August 2016
Marshall Gerstein Selected as a Top Firm for LGBT Workplace Equality

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun was selected by Equality Illinois as one of the top Illinois law firms leading the way to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in the workplace. Firms were selected based on the results of Equality Illinois' 2016 Law Firm Survey, which evaluated firms on several factors, including personnel policies, civil union and same-sex partner benefits, diversity management, and community relations. Marshall Gerstein is recognized along with other leading firms in Raising the Bar: Recognizing Best Practices in Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining LGBT Employees.

June 2016
Ranked Among IAM Patent 1000 List of World's Leading Patent Professionals in 2016

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun and 11 of its partners have been recognized in the IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Professionals 2016. With multiple individuals recommended in each area of patent practice, Marshall Gerstein "can rightfully lay claim to one of the best-rounded capabilities in the state of Illinois," according to the IAM Patent 1000. It further states that clients appreciate the Firm's highly competitive rates, enthusing that "it offers far and away the best value," and that "the quality of its product is second to none."

March 2016
Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year - Midwest

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun was named "Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year - Midwest" during the Managing Intellectual Property North America Awards ceremony held on March 17, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The firm was also nominated for "U.S. Specialty IP Firm of the Year," and "U.S. Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year." For several years, Managing IP's World IP Handbook and Survey (now named the IP Stars Survey) has ranked Marshall Gerstein as one of the world's leading patent firms, and in 2016, the publication named 16 of the firm's attorneys as "IP Stars."

January 2016
Four Partners Ranked Among "World's Top Trademark Firms and Practitioners"

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun and four of its attorneys - Gregory Chinlund, Maureen Beacom Gorman, Marsha Hoover, and Richard LaBarge - were recognized in the 2016 edition of the World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000. This marks the sixth time that the firm and its partners have been recognized by the prestigious guide. WTR 1000 describes the firm as having "exceptional institutional expertise in intellectual property, along with an enviable client base which continually encourages it to raise its game." 

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Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

233 South Wacker Drive
6300 Willis Tower
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 474-6300


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Jeffrey S. Sharp
  • Hiring Partner: Julianne Hartzell
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 80

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,000/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    2 out of 2 (2016) (2Ls only)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Aerospace • Biotechnology & Life Sciences • Chemical Sciences • Cleantech & Renewables • Consumer Products • Copyrights • Design Patents • Electrical & Computer Technologies • Industrial & Mechanical Technologies • Internet & Cyberlaw • IP Litigation • IP Transactions • Materials Science • Medical Devices • Nanotechnology • Non-Profit Technology Transfer • Patent Prosecution • Pharmaceutical • Post-Grant Patent Proceedings • Trade Secrets • Trademarks

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL