Brinks Facts

Intellectual Property Team

Attorneys & Scientific Advisors: 135+

Technology areas covered: 60+

Attorneys with advanced degrees: 30+

Languages: 13

Licensed at the USPTO: 100+

Incorporated: 1917

2015 Stats

Patents Applications Filed: 2,327

Patent Grants: 1,869

Trademark Applications Filed: 420

International Patent Applications Filed: 931

International Trademark Applications Filed: 621

Brinks' Docketing System

Flash Docket

Flash Docket is a proprietary software solution that automatically updates clients' patent information by directly connecting Brinks' docketing technology to the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Client Portals

Client Portals offer 24/7 access to your domestic and foreign matters. The Client Portals are implemented as web portals that provide secure access from virtually anywhere to your applications, USPTO correspondence, docket information, and due date reports. Your Client Portal is extensible.

Custom Analytics

Our docketing system captures detailed USPTO data from the PAIR system, including art unit and examiner data. Our docketing system enables client specific analysis of your portfolio to help obtain a better understanding of how your applications are progressing through the USPTO and to identify potential roadblocks in advance.

Community Involvement | Pro Bono

Serving Our Communities

Brinks Gilson & Lione has a firm-wide commitment to pro bono work.  Recognizing that our attorneys have a professional responsibility to contribute time, skills, and other resources to provide necessary legal services to members of the public who could not otherwise afford them, we formally organized and approved a written pro bono policy in 2001 emphasizing that service to persons of limited means is the essence of pro bono. 

We believe our community is stronger and safer as a result of our attorneys participating in our pro bono program. For example, our attorneys have partnered with various legal-aid agencies to:

  • assist immigrant crime victims who have suffered mental or physical abuse and have helped law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity;
  • assist members of our community get back on their feet by assisting them with petitioning for executive clemency;
  • assist residents in housing court that are facing improper evictions;
  • act as court appointed guardians to represent the interests of minors; and
  • provide legal advice to artists and art organizations

Our pro bono program permits every attorney to represent need-based clients who qualify for our services.  In addition to the above-matters, attorneys at Brinks Gilson & Lione have assisted members of our communities by handling pro bono matters referred by:

  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid;
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services;
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association;
  • Indianapolis Bar Association;
  • Lawyers Committee for Better Housing;
  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts;
  • Legal Services of South Central Michigan; 
  • Utah Courts Office of Guardian ad Litem, and many others 

Brinks Gilson & Lione also serves our community in other ways.  For the past several years, the Firm has assisted the students of Legal Prep Charter Academy, a free legal-themed high school on the West Side of Chicago.  Legal Prep aims to provide a high quality education and increase the population of diverse attorneys in the legal profession.  Our attorneys have mentored high school juniors and seniors through mock-trial and negotiations programs, as well as through ACT tutoring.  Through this program, Brinks aims to prepare these students for the next stages of their education.

Charitable Giving

In addition to the time and skill provided by our volunteer attorneys, the firm makes annual financial contributions to organizations that provide additional legal services to persons of limited means, including:

  • Chicago Bar Foundation Investing in Justice Campaign
  • Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS)
  • Legal Aid Society;
  • Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), and many others

Through these contributions Brink Gilson & Lione strives to ensure that our local legal aid agencies can provide the necessary legal assistance to the members of our communities.

Cristo Rey Program

For more than 13 years, Brinks has sponsored four students as part of the Corporate Internship Program at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. Each student works at the Firm one day each week in various departments to offset the cost of his or her education, and to experience a real-world work environment. The Firm pays a flat fee that is applied directly to a portion of the students' tuitions. The program was started in order to provide a quality education to students who could not otherwise afford it.

Brinks has been committed to the quality of the students’ hands-on experience. The skills developed in the program become the foundation of the skill sets they use later in their careers.  The Firm is pleased to include two Cristo Rey alumni among its full-time employee ranks.  

Awards and Recognition

Brinks Gilson & Lione is frequently recognized as a leader in all areas of intellectual property.

Best Law Firm - National - Intellectual Property Law
Tier 1 - Patent Law, 2011-2016
             Trademark Law, 2013-2016
Tier 2 - IP Litigation, 2013-2016
             Patent Litigation, 2013-2016
Tier 3 - Copyright Law, 2016
U.S. News & World Report

Top Ranked for Intellectual Property Law in Illinois, 2003-2016
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Tier 3, Copyright - United States
Tier 3, Patent Prosecution – United States
Tier 3, Trademark Prosecution – United States
Tier 4, Trademark Contentious – United States
Tier 4, Patent Contentious – United States
Highly Recommended, Patent Prosecution – Illinois
Highly Recommended, Trademark – Illinois
Recommended, Intellectual Property – North Carolina
Highly Recommended, Intellectual Property – Michigan, 2015
Managing Intellectual Property magazine’s IP Stars 2016

Corporate INTL magazine, Copyright Law Firm of the Year - Illinois, 2015

BTI Consulting - 2015 IP Outlook
Brinks is one of 12 IP VIPs: the law firms "best-positioned to deliver in all IP aspects-litigation and patents, complex and routine."

Gold Band, Illinois, 2012-2016
Silver Band, National Trademark, 2012-2016
World Trademark Review 1000

Top law firm for Patent Prosecution in Utility and Design, 2009-2015
Top law firm for Trademarks, non-contentious, 2014
Legal 500 - United States

Silver Band, Patent Litigation – Illinois, 2012-2015
Silver Band, Patent Law – North Carolina, 2012-2015
Silver Band, Patent Law – Michigan, 2014, 2015
Silver Band, Patent Law – Utah, 2015 
Recommended, Patent Licensing – Illinois, 2012, 2013 
Recommended, Patent Prosecution – Illinois, 2012-2015
Recommended, Transactions - Illinois, 2015
IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners

Firm of the Year Midwest, Trademark – Contentious , 2013 
Tier 1, Trademark Prosecution - Midwest, 2012, 2013
Tier 1, Trademark Contentious - Midwest, 2012, 2013
Tier 1, Patent Prosecution - Midwest, 2012, 2013
Tier 2, Patent Contentious - Midwest, 2012, 2013
Managing Intellectual Property magazine's North American IP Awards

Trademark Prosecution Firm of the Year - Midwest, 2010-2011
Trademark Litigation Firm of the Year - Midwest, 2009-2011
Patent Litigation Firm of the Year - Midwest, 2010
Managing Intellectual Property magazine's North American IP Award

Top 5 Trademark Practice, 2012
Intellectual Property Today magazine's "Top Trademark Law Practices"

Top 15 Trademark Firms, 2014
Intellectual Property Today magazine's Top Trademark Firms

Top 20 Patent Law Firm in the U.S., 2008-2014
Intellectual Property Today magazine's "Top Patent Firms"       

Ranked in the Top 300 Law Firms, 2012, 2013
National Law Journal

Top 10 Largest IP Law Firm, 2014

Top 30 Largest IP Practice Groups, 2012     

#1 Intellectual Property Firm in Illinois, 2005-2011
Practical Law Company, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook

#1 Intellectual Property Firm in Illinois and Chicago, 2009-2011
Best Lawyers in America

Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year USA, 2010
Finance Monthly

Law Firm of the Year (Intellectual Property) – North America, 2010
InterContinental Finance

Trade Law Firm of the Year: USA, 2014
Lawyer Monthly-Legal Awards

Top 5 Patent Litigation Firm - National, 2010

Top 5 Trademark Litigation Firm - National, 2010

Top 5 Patent Prosecution Firm - Regional, 2010
Managing Intellectual Property magazine's North American IP Awards

Top 10 Indianapolis-Area Intellectual Property Law Firm, 2009-2011
Indianapolis Business Journal

Top 20 Largest U.S. Intellectual Property Law Firm, 2009-2010
Law360's "Largest IP Practices"

Top 20 Largest IP Law Firm in Metro Detroit, 2011
dBusiness Magazine

Top 20 Most Diverse Law Firm in Illinois, 2010
Chicago Lawyer

Top 25 Largest Chicago Law Firm, 2009-2010
Crain's Chicago Business

Top 25 Largest Law Firm in Illinois, 2009-2011
Chicago Lawyer

Recipient of the Decade Award for Outstanding Legal Writing, 2010
The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement



At Brinks, diversity is a cultural dynamic.

At Brinks, we do not simply want mirror images of ourselves; sameness is limiting. Our differences are many, and include gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. One thing is the same, however. We are all talented and dedicated professionals, committed to supporting one another. We celebrate our differences as well as our similarities. We enjoy the mix, and we know it makes us a stronger, better whole.

In recruiting, we seek individuals of integrity who are team players, committed to excellence in client service and earnest contribution to our firm's pro bono and community service traditions. We recruit persons of widely divergent backgrounds from many communities because we know from experience that we find the right people in the usual places and in some perhaps surprising places. We continually assess our recruiting efforts and results. We don't want to miss out.

Brinks is brimming with opportunities and challenges, available for all. However, we understand that cultural and other barriers may make it difficult for some, especially newcomers, to take advantage of all we have to offer. Through mentoring, social interactions, and a thorough evaluation process, we are committed to placing those opportunities and challenges equally and fairly within everyone’s reach.

Leadership Approach

The internal dynamics of a law firm derive from those who lead. At Brinks, the pervasiveness of teamwork and knowledge-sharing—the essence of who we are and how we work—starts right at the top, with our leaders. They are informal, interactive, open-door types. Associates frequently visit shareholders' offices impromptu, gaining insights, absorbing knowledge, and developing rapport. That kind of open communication and mutual respect, modeled by our shareholders, flourishes firm-wide.

Another positive characteristic modeled by our firm's leaders is the practice of recognizing individual team members for their special efforts and achievements. At Brinks, personal initiative doesn't blend into the background of overall firm success. We place great importance on maintaining a firm-wide culture of appreciation for attorneys individually.

Managing Diversity and Inclusion

While diversity and inclusion are organic to Brinks's work culture, we are continually mindful of them. Cynthia Homan is our diversity shareholder, and chair of the Diversity Committee. She and the Committee report directly to James R. Sobieraj, our president, and to the Board of Directors. Together with the Diversity Committee, Cindy oversees an array of initiatives in connection with:

  • Recruitment of diverse lateral attorneys and law students;
  • Retention and promotion of women, minority, and LGBT attorneys;
  • Recommendations for sponsorship of diverse legal and charitable organizations;
  • Promotion and support of pipeline programs that provide avenues to legal careers for young people from historically under-represented groups;
  • Review and recommendation for revisions of firm policies and practices to ensure compliance with the firm's diversity and inclusion goals;
  • Provision of mandatory, professional diversity and inclusion training programs for all Brinks employees.

We encourage all of our attorneys to participate and seek positions of leadership in organizations that foster career success for members of groups historically under-represented in the legal profession. We offer appropriate moral and financial support in these endeavors. Some of the groups we currently support include:

  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)
  • Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (CCOM)
  • Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms
  • Illinois Institute for Inclusion
  • Just the Beginning Foundation
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area (AABA Chicago)
  • Asian Pacific American Affairs Commision of Michigan
  • Council of Asian Pacific Americans
  • Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago (IABA)
  • Lambda Legal
  • Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC)
  • Black Women Lawyers Association
  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Chicago Council of Black Law Student Associations (CCBLSA)
  • University of Illinois College of Law Latino/a Law Students Association
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