Irwin IP is pleased to announce that on April 15, 2020, Honorable Judge Gettleman granted summary judgment in favor of firm client Oasis Legal Finance Operating Company, LLC (“Oasis”), and against Oasis’s former CEO Gary Chodes, his business associate, and his personally-held entities (collectively, “Chodes”), on multiple counts of trademark infringement and unfair competition. 

This victory is a follow up to the Court’s February 8, 2018 Order granting Irwin IP’s motion for partial summary judgment that Oasis, and not Mr. Chodes or his entities, owns the Oasis trademarks.   Despite that early, partial victory, Chodes argued his use of the Oasis marks was non-infringing and that Oasis’s claims were barred by numerous affirmative defenses.  In its recent order, however, the Court explained that no reasonable jury could say defendants had not infringed the Oasis trademarks by founding or helping to found companies called “Oasis Legal Finance Group” and “Oasis Disability Group.”  The Court also held that none of the defendants’ 20 affirmative defenses could stand.  The issue of appropriate remedy remains to be decided.  Oasis intends to seek statutory damages, a permanent injunction, and attorneys’ fees.

Oasis provides litigation funding, a form of specialty finance in which an entity, such as Oasis, provides money to plaintiffs involved in litigation in exchange for an interest in any future recovery received by the plaintiff.  Oasis arguably is the most well-known brand nationwide for legal funding, having invested millions of dollars every year to promote its Oasis brand. 

Lisa Holubar and Adam Reis were primarily responsible for drafting the summary judgment briefs.  The Court ruled on the papers without hearing. 

Irwin IP is proud to announce that for the 15th straight year, Barry Irwin has been named a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters and for a 16th straight year a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media.

Irwin IP recently obtained a victory for its client LKQ in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals against FCA US LLC a/k/a Chrysler.  The government has seized certain LKQ aftermarket repair parts on the basis that they are alleged to infringe Chrysler trademarks.  After Irwin IP obtained a Court Order requiring the Government to “immediately” defend its seizures or release LKQ’s goods, Chrysler attempted to intervene in those actions.  LKQ opposed Chrysler’s effort to intervene, and the district court denied Chrysler’s request.  FCA then appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The 11th also agreed with LKQ and the district court, and denied FCA’s appeal in its entirety.

Last week, the Irwin IP team participated in our annual volunteer day at The Greater Chicago Food Depository. This year we helped pack over 8,587 pounds of potatoes and 26,125 pounds of cabbage! That’s equivalent to 29,927 meals for our neighbors in need throughout Cook County.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s mission is to provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. They have partnerships with over 700 agencies and distribute food throughout Cook County.

We look forward to continuing our tradition in 2020!

US News and World Report and Best Lawyer included Barry Irwin in their 2020 Edition of “Best Lawyers in America” and named Irwin IP as a “Law Firm of the Year” in Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Law! Best Lawyers are selected after a rigorous evaluation and include the Top 5% of private practitioners. And, only 2,106 of 14,931 law firms evaluated were recognized as a Best Law Firm. Irwin IP thanks all of those who were involved in the submission, evaluation, and review process.

Irwin IP recently obtained a major preliminary victory for it’s client LKQ in its trademark and antitrust case against FCA US LLC. FCA moved to dismiss LKQ’s declaratory judgment trademark claims and certain of LKQ’s offensive claims relating to antitrust and RICO counts. A report and recommendation by the Delaware Magistrate Judge assigned to the case recommended denying FCA’s motion to dismiss in its entirety.

This week the entire Irwin IP Team got out of the office and gave back to the community! We worked a repack session at The Greater Chicago Food Depository, where we repacked and boxed up over 5000 pounds of pears. The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s mission is to provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. They have partnerships with over 700 agencies and distribute food throughout Cook County. Last year they distributed nearly 70 million pounds of food! Thank you for having us and we look forward to coming back! #happyholidays #givingback

February turned out to be a great month for Irwin IP and its clients.

First, on February 7th, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) agreed to a petition prepared and submitted by Irwin IP on behalf of one of its clients to institute an inter partes review (IPR) of a patent that was touted as the foundation for a billion dollar per year business despite that patent having previously withstood numerous other invalidity challenges, including prior Patent Office reviews and several federal court litigations.  In instituting the IPR, the PTAB found that there was at least a “reasonable likelihood that [Irwin IP’s client] would prevail.” Reid Huefner and Ifti Zaim were primarily responsible for drafting the request for the inter partes review.

Then, on February 8th, Irwin IP secured a major victory for another client on summary judgment.  At issue was whether an agreement adequately transferred ownership of intellectual property to Irwin IP’s client.  In granting Irwin IP’s motion, Judge Gettleman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held that the agreement was unambiguous and that the plain language of the agreement clearly supported Irwin IP’s position.  Irwin IP considers this a substantial step towards successful resolution of the case. Jared Hedman, Lisa Holubar, and Adam Reis were primarily responsible for drafting the summary judgment briefs.

These two victories came shortly after Thomson Rueters selected Barry Irwin to the 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers’ Top 100 list.  Attorneys on this list were ranked in the top 100 during the Super Lawyers selection process, a rigorous process that includes peer review and independent research.  Barry is one of only 8 intellectual property attorneys on the list, and the only one from a small (under 75 attorney) intellectual property boutique.  Barry has been selected as a Super Lawyer every year since 2005.

We are proud to announce Irwin IP has been chosen as the USA IP Litigation Law Firm of The Year and Barry Irwin as the USA Lawyer of The Year by ACQ5 Global Awards 2018. The annual ACQ5 Global Awards recognize the most outstanding organizations and professionals across the globe, celebrating the best in achievement, ability, and performance. We would like to thank both clients and colleagues who nominated and voted for Irwin IP.

Irwin IP is excited to announce recent University of Notre Dame grad Manon Burns has joined the firm as an associate. Prior to joining Irwin IP, Manon represented various clients in trademark, copyright, and patent matters with the Notre Dame Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic. Manon received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Legal Research, Copyright Law, and Entertainment Law and was a perennial member of the Dean’s list.

Irwin IP is also excited to announce recent Chicago-Kent College of Law grad Francyn Brown (“Frankie”) is officially a full-time associate. Frankie competed and placed first at the 2016 Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Moot Court Competition (Midwest Regional) with the third-ranked brief nationally. Last summer, Frankie worked for Irwin IP as a summer associate taking an active role in several contentious IP litigation matters. Prior to joining Irwin IP, Frankie worked as a law clerk at an intellectual property law firm in Chicago, performing legal research and drafting successful responses for trademark matters in the USPTO.

Welcome new associates!