2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“People are genuinely nice, and they treat others with respect.”
“Great work-life balance.”
“There is always work-related stress, but this is manageable.”
“Lack of commitment to pro bono.”
About Banner Witcoff
Chicago-based IP boutique firm Banner Witcoff is unique not only for its status as a top firm in its field, but also for its role in shaping IP law by having represented defendants in groundbreaking Supreme Court cases. The firm—which has additional offices in Boston; Portland; and Washington, DC—continues to be involved in developments in its field by representing top companies.
From Crops to Patents and Trademarks
Banner Witcoff’s beginnings date back to 1920. Many of the firm's early clients were farmers and paid for their legal services in crops and produce. The firm’s Chicago office—its current headquarters—opened in 1937, where the firm began to represent clients like Lenox, Honeywell, and Meredith Publishing. The firm's Washington, DC, office opened in 1965. An office in Boston followed 20 years later, and its fourth office, in Portland, opened in 1997.
In 1978, name founder Don Banner was appointed Commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, kicking off a tradition of expertise in USPTO policies among firm attorneys. This expertise has been widely recognized by the likes of U.S. News’ “Best Law Firms,” Chambers and Partners, and the World Trademark Review 1000.
Go-To for IP Matters
Handling a wide range of IP matters, Banner Witcoff is among the top five law firms in Vault’s Best Intellectual Property Boutique Law Firm ranking. The firm handles everything from copyrights and trademarks to design patents and patent prosecution to PTAB litigation and section 337/ITC litigations—and much more. It works in such industries as chemistry and chemical engineering; computer technologies; internet, ecommerce, and business methods; life sciences; and medical devices. The firm is also adept at providing clients with counseling on IP strategies, patentability, and potential infringement of copyrights, patents, and trademarks.
A Role in History
In 1980, Banner Witcoff won verdicts for defendants in the history-making case Diamond v. Chakrabarty, which established that the bacterium a General Electric engineer developed to break down crude oil—and living, genetically-altered organisms in general—could be patented. The firm made history again in 2001 with New York Times v. Tasini, in which the court ruled that publishing articles by freelance journalists that were licensed specifically for print editions of the New York Times and other print publications in electronic databases such as LexisNexis or University Microfilms International was a violation of those journalists' copyrights.
News & Awards
Banner Witcoff earned five national and eight regional rankings in the 2021 edition of U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms” for IP litigation, patent litigation, patent law, copyright law, and trademark law.
Chambers and Partners also recognized Banner Witcoff as a top firm in its 2020 rankings for patent prosecution and for intellectual property law.
For the 18th year in a row, Banner Witcoff obtained more U.S. design patents than any other law firm in the country in 2020. The firm obtained 1,136 U.S. design patents in 2020, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Records show Banner Witcoff secured more design patents last year than the two closest firms combined.
January. 2021, September 2020
Banner Witcoff was one of the most active law firms at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in 2020, according to Managing Intellectual Property magazine, which named the firm among the top 30 law firms at the PTAB for petitioners and respondents. It also ranked Banner Witcoff No. 11 on its list of the top firms for petitioners and patent owners.
In addition, Patexia’s 2020 IPR Intelligence Report ranked Banner Witcoff among the top 100 best performing and most active firms representing both patent owners and petitioners in inter partes review. Notably, the report recognizes Banner Witcoff as the 11th most active law firm representing petitioners and the 14th most active firm.
Banner Witcoff is ranked as a top trademark firm in Illinois in the 2021 edition of World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals.
71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 463-5000
President: Binal Patel
Recruiting Chairs: Brian Emfinger, Elizabeth Almeter
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
100 - 150
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
Senior Shareholder Attorney, Recruiting Co-Chair
Boston; Portland; Washington, DC
Senior Shareholder Attorney, Recruiting Co-Chair
No. of U.S. Offices: 4
No. of International Offices: 0
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
Counseling, Opinions & Licensing
Electrical & Computer Technologies
Internet, E-Commerce & Business Methods
Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals
Patent Post-Issuance Proceedings
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.