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IP Law Firm Brinks Synonymous with Patents, Says Patent 1000
Chicago-based IP Law Firm Recommended in Multiple Categories in Illinois, North Carolina, Individual Attorneys Cited for Excellence
July 15, 2013

CHICAGO—When you're in the business of protecting others' brands, patents and intellectual property, it helps to have a winning brand of your own.

That's the situation of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest IP law boutiques in the country, again this year ranked among the top U.S.-based patent law firms in Intellectual Asset Management’s second annual IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners.

Brinks heads the Recommended band in Illinois for licensing and patent prosecution, and the Silver Band both for patent litigation in Illinois and for patent law in North Carolina.

IAM describes Brinks as 'head and shoulders' above other specialist IP players in Chicago. 'The name Brinks has become synonymous with patents,' notes Patent 1000, remarking on Brinks' specialty in technically complex IP litigation. The publication cites Brinks' 'impressive range,' adding that Brinks 'has done a great job striking the balance between prosecution and litigation, and has the bandwidth to compete with the best.'

IAM further cites Brinks' growth in the past year. 'With new hires giving Brinks added firepower, especially for International Trade Commission (ITC) patent litigation—an increasing area of focus—the practice is enjoying growth across the board.'

Also garnering attention are the 'investment in innovative software tools' that have 'given it an edge.' Citing sources, IAM says, 'Attorneys are quickly informed of the progress of specific cases and can give clients additional breathing space to respond.' Sources also comment on Brinks' newly expanded offices in Washington, D.C., and a recently opened site in Detroit, where the USPTO maintains a satellite branch. The firm is in part distinguished for its expertise in handling post-issuance proceedings at the USPTO.

Among North Carolina patent law practices, Brinks’ office in Research Triangle Park, N.C., headed the Recommended band, with IAM reporting sources who describe it as 'home to a group of highly-rated life sciences patent attorneys, handling a mix of patent portfolio management, licensing and IP due diligence mandates.' Advising large multinationals is a sweet spot, but Brinks is also adept at tailoring its services to the needs of other clients, including venture capital-backed start-ups and research institutions.

IAM Patent 1000 singles out several Brinks attorneys for particular distinction, including the firm's immediate past president Gary M. Ropski, described 'an excellent all-round trial and appellate lawyer,” and current president James R. Sobieraj, described as a 'gentleman' and as “a careful thinker and personable guy who is great on his feet in the courtroom.” Ropski, notes IAM, is one of the city's most experienced litigators, having handled well over 100 IP disputes and numerous appeals in his career, adding that Sobieraj and Ropski 'have the dexterity to try cases across the technological spectrum.'

These 'A-list' practitioners are joined by colleagues and fellow Brinks shareholders Ralph J. Gabric, who heads the firm's litigation group, described as 'a decorated trial lawyer with a wealth of first and second-chair experience'; copyright 'guru' William H. Frankel; and Andrew D. Stover, one of the top prosecutors in Chicago and focused on medical device, highway safety and consumer products matters.

Allen R. Baum, who manages the firm's office in Research Triangle Park, N.C., is recognized as 'a driving force' for that office, and sources say he is 'always easy to deal with, he really knows his stuff.” A former pharmaceutical chemist working in industry, as source in IAM adds, Baum demonstrates one of the team’s best features – 'its focus on achieving what is strategically and commercially important to clients within the context of their business.'

Adds another IAM source: 'With its dual expertise in litigation and prosecution, [Brinks] is a natural fit for this sort of work.'

About the IAM Patent 1000
The rankings in Intellectual Asset Management's IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners are based on nearly 1,000 interviews conducted by IAM researchers with outside and in-house counsel. Firms qualify for rankings based on their depth of expertise, market presence and the level of work for which they are typically engaged. More information is at

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., Ann Arbor, Detroit, Research Triangle Park, N.C., Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. More information is at