Press Releases
2013 Burton Award for Legal Achievement Goes To Brinks IP Attorney Handelman for Article on Protecting Product Design
June 10, 2013

CHICAGOJeffery A. Handelman, an intellectual property attorney at Brinks Gilson & Lione, has been recognized for outstanding legal writing, winning a 2013 Burton Award for Legal Achievement for his article, 'Stretching Trademark Laws to Protect Product Design and Packaging,' published in Landslide (Jan./Feb. 2012).

Mr. Handelman, whose entry was chosen from a field of more than 1,000 nominees, was recognized for his achievement at the 14th Annual Burton Awards Program and Gala, at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on June 3, 2013. Only 30 attorneys nationwide were accorded recognition this year.

'Enforcing design patents is difficult and utility patents have a limited term,' notes Handelman. 'Leading companies with investments in iconic design and packaging are considering how trademark law can best be used to defend their investments and their legal rights, and extend their brands.'

Mr. Handelman's article suggests that companies are increasingly using trademark law to protect unique aspects of designs and packaging. The article examines leading cases decided at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The article lays out the legal requirements that must be satisfied to protect product design and packaging under trademark law, and offers specific recommendations intended to help companies protect trade dress and trademarks in this developing area.

Past co-chair of Brinks' litigation department and its trademark practice, Mr. Handelman has practiced trademark law at Brinks for more than 25 years and is nationally recognized as a litigator, legal advisor and author. Primarily focused on litigation, he counsels clients on trademark law, unfair competition, trade dress, dilution, false advertising, copyright, licensing, trade secret, and Internet-related matters. He also manages international trademark portfolios, conducts trademark audits, prepares trademark compliance manuals, and develops global trademark-filing strategies.

Mr. Handelman's clients include some of the world's best known brands, including American Airlines, the oneworld alliance, Coca-Cola, Alticor and the Amway companies, Kimberly-Clark, Little Caesars, the National Association of Realtors, Raytheon, General Mills, and Jockey. He has represented these and many other clients in U.S. District Courts and internationally, and has argued cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and in the Fourth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits.

Mr. Handelman has also practiced extensively before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and wrote what is now a leading treatise in the field, Guide to TTAB Practice (Wolters Kluwer, Supp. 2013, 2 vols.). On publication of the Guide, Mr. Handelman was named co-winner of the 2008 Burton Award for Legal Achievement in the category of Best Law Firm Compendium.

Held in association with the United States Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress, the Burton Awards program is a national annual competition that recognizes excellence in legal writing and other legal achievement. The Burton Awards program is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit cultural and academic organization that promotes the performance and stature of the legal profession.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
Brinks has more than 160 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. Brinks has offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Research Triangle Park, N.C., Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor, Indianapolis and Detroit. More information is available at

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