Firm History

A Century of Service

Celebrating its centennial year in 2017, Brinks Gilson & Lione is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the US, and helps clients around the world to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Our more than 140 lawyers, patent agents and scientific advisors assist clients in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret, and copyright law. Brinks attorneys provide informed counsel with respect to innovations in a range of complex and valuable technologies, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, bioengineering, industrial manufacturing, electronics and software and medical devices. 

Click here to view more of our firm history.

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

2016 Stats

Patents Applications Filed: 2,504

Patent Grants: 2,906

Trademark Applications Filed: 254

International Patent Applications Filed: 1,250

International Trademark Applications Filed: 518

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, 2011-2017
             Trademark Law, 2013-2017
Tier 2 - IP Litigation, 2013-2017
             Patent Litigation, 2013-2017
Tier 3 - Copyright Law, 2017
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 - Brand Elite 2017: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms
Honor Roll of Value Driving Firms

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, 2012-2017
Silver Band, National Trademark, 2012-2017
World Trademark Review 1000

Top law firm for Patent Prosecution in Utility and Design, 2009-2016
Top law firm for Trademarks, non-contentious, 2014
Legal 500 - United States

Silver Band, Patent Litigation – Illinois, 2012-2016
Silver Band, Patent Law – Michigan, 2014-2015
Silver Band, Patent Law – North Carolina, 2012-2016
Silver Band, Patent Law – Utah, 2015-2016
Bronze Band, Patent Law – Michigan, 2016
Recommended, Patent Licensing – Illinois, 2012, 2013 
Recommended, Patent Prosecution – Illinois, 2012-2016
Recommended, Transactions - Illinois, 2015-2016
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

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