Cell: 312-498-2365     Fax: 312-264-0770

PRACTICE AREAS - Chicago patent attorney


Filing or responding to most any lawsuit is one of the boldest, or the most worrisome, activity in most businesses’ experience in dealing with the competitive process. IP litigation is among the most involved and complex types of litigation, where the issues and stakes are the greatest – from money to win or to lose, to product life, and to “bet the company” cases. Counsel experienced in all the phases of such litigation, both the substantive law and the procedural law, must be on your side in such matters, keeping a clear eye on your objectives for the case, whether obtaining a right to use, stopping an infringement, collecting or resisting assessment of damages, licensing the rights or the infringer, and such.


A U.S. patent is a form of intellectual property that grants the patent holder exclusive rights to make, use, and sell a patented innovation for a limited period of time, subject to certain defenses and exceptions. Patentable innovations include useful, novel, and non-obvious articles, machines, compositions of matter, and methods. The claims of a patent define the scope of a protection in the various subject matter areas. A U.S. patent lawyer can help you understand what can and cannot be patented and the process of applying for a patent, maintaining it over its life, licensing or selling it, and enforcing it against infringers.


Trademarks, like patents, are handled on a nation-by-nation basis; US states also issue trademark and service mark registrations, but state registrations have very limited effect and are rarely worth even the small, often $10 or $20, filing fee in each state. State corporate and limited liability entity name registrations do not follow trademark “confusing similarity” rules but need only be non-duplicates of prior names already on file in that state.


Copyright law in the United States, as throughout the world, protects the expression or artistry of a work fixed in some tangible medium, as on paper, film, canvas, magnetic or optical storage, computer fixed memory, or the like. Also, some added forms of creativity, as boat hulls and printed circuit mask works, are also protected by the US copyright law.Transient creations, as ballet performances and spontaneous orations, are not copyrighted unless simultaneously recorded, previously annotated or otherwise written down, or the like. Copyright law does not protect ideas or concepts, but only fixed and completed expression and artistry, and does not protect against independent creation by one not having access to the original.


Trade secrets protect internal procedures, proprietary compositions, customer information, and the like, if it is protected from disclosure to others, is not generally known to those in the trade or industry, and if it provides an economic advantage to the owner. State law has traditionally provided trade secret protection, such as under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act that is adopted in most all of the states.


Unfair competition is a common law construct, enforced in state court or by added claims in a federal lawsuit, for any of various acts taken askance by one who believes himself / herself / itself injured. Often such a claim is added to a federal trademark or trade dress action, or even a federal patent or copyright action, as a catch-all for any harms caused that may lie outside the main cause of action, as for advertising injury, invasion of privacy, libel or slander, or the like.


Claims for monopolization and attempted monopolization under the federal Sherman and Clayton Acts, and under related state statutes, are often made in IP lawsuit complaints or as counterclaims for suits perceived, or at least alleged, to be frivolous. The anti-trust law as to monopolization is complex and distinct from that of intellectual property, which tolerates and indeed encourages the limitation of competitive rights of others as against innovations and distinctive creations.


Exploitation of IP rights can be done directly by the owner or an assignee of the property rights, by making or importing and sale of the object or process of the rights. Depending on the resources of the owner and the nature of the property, however, licensing of the rights to one or more others may gain more return for the property than exploitation by the owner or any single assignee. Non-exclusive licensing opens a product, mark, or creative property to making and sale by one or many others who find the product or process or property to be profitable, and royalties from successful licensees can create a large stream of income.


John R. Crossan is pleased to meet with prospective clients to discuss and briefly advise as to creative developments, marks, and rights in competitive situations. Contact the office by telephone, e-mail, or mail to discuss generally how to proceed; however no attorney-client relationship is established until possible conflicts of other clients are cleared, a fee structure is agreed to, an engagement letter is signed by both parties, and any deposit required is received and collected.

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A sampling of the cases that John R. Crossan has litigated in each of the IP subject areas, with indications of their technical or business subject matter, is provided thrtough the links here and below for patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition, trade secrets, and related anti-trust areas.

When John R. Crossan started into the IP law practice in 1973 - then called Patent, Trademark, and Copyright law - most all attorneys had full-service IP practices. Each attorney then came to know the intricacies of all forms of the intellectual property practice - not as today where big-firms' attorneys' practices often are very narrowly confined and even simple but comprehensive advice must be gleaned from multiple counsel. John R. Crossan enjoys litigating and trying important patent, trademark, and unfair competition cases to final result or settlement and through appeal and certiorari petitions where warranted. John R. Crossan also prepares,...


John R. Crossan has, throughout his professional career, provided each client the highest level of specialty legal services, cost-effectively tailored to their business needs and objectives. John R. Crossan draws on his extensive experience to offer creative, knowledgeable skills for understanding and resolving business and competitive problems and for taking best advantage of business and competitive opportunities

Cell: 312-498-2365 · Fax: 312-264-0770
875 N. Michigan Ave., #3216,
Chicago, IL 60611-196.