Press Releases
Brinks' Ropski and MBHB's Sigmond and Thymian Lead Team USA in 2017 Patent Cup Regatta
Patent Professionals Converge for Annual Race Centered on Sailing, Friendship and Fun
May 12, 2017

CHICAGO—The fabled bays, harbors, and coves of the Long Island Sound welcomed Gary Ropski of Brinks Gilson & Lione along with Leif Sigmond and Marcus Thymian of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (MBHB) this spring as they sailed Team USA to a fifth-place finish in the 29th Annual Patent Cup Regatta, held May 8 through May 12, 2017, in the West Harbor off Oyster Bay, New York.

(Team USA with Gary Ropski at the helm in Boat #12 at the start of the race)

As in past years, the Regatta drew teams from around the world, this year with 14 teams and almost 60 sailors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the US. Teams competed on matched SONAR sailboats, keelboats that are specifically designed for competitive racing with three to five crew and for high performance in all wind conditions.

This was the 11th Patent Cup for IP litigator Ropski, who celebrated 40 years at Brinks Gilson & Lione in 2016. “Everyone enjoyed three days on the water in the spirit of the Patent Cup’s motto: Sailing, Friendship and Fun,” he said.

Sigmond, an IP litigator and the Commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club, remarked, “The competition this year was tough, with most of the best teams vying for the Cup. We are already planning to improve our standing next year.”

Added patent attorney Thymian, “The Patent Cup always exceeds its promise of fostering camaraderie among patent professionals from around the world. That brings us back year after year.”

Oyster Bay, the farthest eastern township in New York’s Nassau County, is the only town on Long Island to have shores on the Sound and on the Atlantic. The 2017 Patent Cup Regatta was ably handled by the race committee at the WaterFront Center, a non-profit community center for marine education and recreation on the North Shore. Once the home of US president Theodore Roosevelt, whose Sagamore Hill estate is managed by the National Park Service, the area now bears the moniker the Gold Coast.

The Patent Cup Regatta was established in France in 1989, when a French and a German patent attorney created the friendly competition to promote international cooperation and explore sailing venues around the world. According to its charter, each yacht must have a crew consisting primarily of patent professionals. Held in a different country each year, the tournament was last hosted in the US in 2006 at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Team USA won the Patent Cup in 2006, 2010, and 2014.

(Team members from left to right: Marcus Thymian, Gary Ropski and Leif Sigmond)

Brinks Gilson & Lione

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. Brinks Gilson & Lione’s 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. More information is at