John R. Crossan has worked in these Industries


John R. Crossan has successfully prosecuted and defended patent infringement litigation for two of the “big three” US automakers and for suppliers to the automobile industry, against an inventor represented by contingent fee lawyers and in company-to-company disputes. He defended Ford Motor Company and later Chrysler Corporation against a patent for a friction-pivot headrest for automobile seatbacks. He asserted a patent for a cable-lift device for holding a spare tire beneath the rear of a van or pick-up truck against a major supplier to GM, leading to a jury trial in Detroit. He successfully defended an auto-body parts molder against an infringement suit, winning on summary judgment that Canadian-made parts did not infringe a US method patent. He successfully defended an Illinois maker of turbochargers from patent infringement allegations.

Business Methods

John R. Crossan in 1998 filed and duly obtained issuance of perhaps just the second “pure” business method patent from the US Patent Office, for a method of using crop insurance to enforce a “best practices” way of extending the life of genetically-engineered crops as against growing resistance in target pests. The method claimed used no computer or other machine and did not affect any other class of patentable subject matter. He has advocated for such “pure” business method patents, as distinct even from computer-implemented methods, as specifically permitted by the 1998 decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in the State Street Bank case.

Mr. Crossan helped to defend two Kentucky banks in federal patent litigation in Chicago against assertion of a group of patents for refund anticipation loans, obtaining dismissal of the entire claim.

Mr. Crossan, as Of Counsel to the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, has contributed to IPLAC’s amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court in August 2009 in the In re Bilski litigation, proposing a proper test – of simple “usefulness” – to qualify subject matter for method patent protection in place of the restrictive “machine or transformation” test more recently imposed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Computers and Internet

John R. Crossan has assisted clients by policing Internet sites for infringing domain names and recouping them or shutting them down, both by filing federal trademark infringement suits and by obtaining relief under the ICANN procedures directly from Internet service providers. He for instance captured the domain from a Bermuda cybersquatter via an ICANN complaint, and the domain from a Florida and Louisiana firm by a Chicago federal court lawsuit.

He also prosecutes computer-based patent applications for clients, such as one for a medical referral system which qualifies proposed referrals from one facility to another, ensuring that the referral is appropriate and necessary and that appointments and results are properly advised to the patient and the referring doctor.

Electrical and Pharmaceutical

John R. Crossan is familiar both with basic electrical systems and components and with basic organic and inorganic chemistry; he has assisted clients in protecting their inventions and processes against claims by others. For instance he helped represent Baxter Travenol in International Trade Commission and federal district court patent infringement proceedings involving amino acid nutritional formulations for patients with liver disease.

Agricultural Equipment and Methods

John R. Crossan has represented agricultural consultants and equipment suppliers in obtaining patents on their methods and equipment and in clearing accused devices and processes from infringement liability to others. He obtained an early ”pure” business method patent for a consultant’s method of facilitating use of best practices in protecting genetic engineering technologies from loss due to development of resistance in targeted pests.

Financial Services

John R. Crossan has represented Harris Bank, the Bank of Montreal, Founders Bank, and others in developing and protecting their patent and trademark portfolios, through registration applications and by the filing of federal lawsuits. He has assisted institutions in securitizing loans using patent, trademark, trade secret, and other IP rights with assignments and mortgages, including registering same with the Patent and Trademark Office and/or state UCC registries.


John R. Crossan’s engineering degree is in Engineering Science with specialization in aeronautical engineering, i.e., systems and fluid flow. He has prepared and prosecuted patent applications and trademark registrations for and has successfully filed and defended patent infringement lawsuits involving all sorts of mechanical .devices, from outboard electric motor trolling systems, folded cardboard mailers, collators for office copiers, credit card data recorders, spare tire storage cable winches, microfiber fabrics for hospital gowns and sterilization wraps, friction-pivot auto seat headrests, compression molding methods, bottle cap liners, horse blanket closures, and golf bag stands to railroad guard rail holding devices.

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