Irwin IP is very pleased to welcome Ted Mahan as a new associate. Ted’s practice focuses primarily on patent and trademark litigation, including post-grant proceedings before the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Ted graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. As a student, Ted served as a senior editor of the Loyola Law Journal and as president of the school’s intellectual property law society. Ted also supported legal scholarship as a research assistant to the program director. Please join us in welcoming Ted to the team.

 

Irwin IP is very excited to announce that Mike Bregenzer has joined Irwin IP.  Mike has over 25 years of experience in intellectual property and complex commercial litigation; transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, and IP license negotiations; and risk management, contract management, and intellectual property counseling.  Mike graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Law School cum laude, and received a B.A. in History and Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining Irwin IP, Mike was General Counsel at Ranir, LLC.  And prior to joining Ranir, Mike was a partner in the intellectual property litigation practices of Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis.  Welcome, Mike.

Irwin IP is thrilled to announce that over the last few months we were fortunate to see two of our stellar mid-level associates go in-house to two of our fabulous Fortune 500 clients.  First, Chris Eggert joined LKQ Corporation as Senior Corporate Counsel.  Shortly thereafter, Peggy Herrmann joined Kraft-Heinz as Global Patent Counsel.  While they will be greatly missed, we could not be happier for the two of them and we wish them all the best in their new roles.

We’re extremely excited to announce that Irwin IP has again been named as a “Law Firm of the Year” in Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Law by US News and World Report and Best Lawyer! Only 2,106 of 14,931 law firms evaluated were recognized as a Best Law Firm. Firms included in the 2021 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Earlier this year, US News and World Report again recognized Barry Irwin as Best Lawyer and recognized Peggy Herrmann as One-to-Watch!  We are very proud of the hard work and effort put in by Peggy to achieve this designation.

Irwin IP thanks all of those who were involved in the submission, evaluation, and review process!

See the link below for the entire press release: https://www.bestlawyers.com/article/announcing-the-2021-best-law-firms-rankings/3183

 

Irwin IP is very excited to welcome Victoria Hansen as a new associate. Victoria graduated from Notre Dame Law School, and received a B.A. in Media Studies from University of California. Victoria’s practice primarily focuses on trademark and advertising litigation, including issues in trademarks, trade dress, unfair competition, copyright, counterfeiting, and false advertising.

 

 

Irwin IP is excited to welcome Peter Danos to the team as a new associate. Upon graduating from the John Marshall Law School, Peter served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles P. Kocoras of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Peter then served as an associate attorney at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC, where he practiced in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group.

Irwin IP is thrilled to announce Andy Himebaugh has joined the firm as an associate. Andy worked as a summer associate and law clerk for Irwin IP prior to his graduation from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. While in school Andy served as President of the Intellectual Property Student Association, President of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and was distinguished as a Pedrick Scholar for academic excellence.

On September 30, 2020, Honorable Judge Andrea R. Wood denied a motion for summary judgment brought by the Defendants in an on-going copyright infringement dispute Irwin IP filed on behalf of its client, Massarelli’s Lawn Ornaments, Inc. (“MLO”), a long-standing leading manufacturer of concrete garden statuary.

MLO’s lawsuit against Continental Studios, Inc. and its owner (“Continental”) asserts infringement of the copyright in three separate copyrighted works—a turtle statuette, a basket statuette, and a lion statue.  Continental moved for summary judgment that it did not supply the turtle, that the first-sale doctrine precluded a claim of infringement as to the basket, and that the lion was independently created.  MLO argued the facts established the exact opposite—Continental did supply the infringing turtle, the basket being distributed by Continental did not originate from MLO so the first-sale doctrine did not apply, and using MLO’s lion as a starting point and adding clay to alter it is not independent creation.  The Court denied Continental’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety.

MLO has also asserted claims based on Continental’s removal and alteration of copyright management information during the creation of the infringing turtle and lion.  MLO is eager for a jury to hear this case and will seek the maximum statutory damages, a permanent injunction, and attorneys’ fees.

Adam Reis was primarily responsible for drafting the summary judgment briefing. 

On September 9, 2020, Honorable Judge Gettleman awarded Irwin IP’s client, Oasis Legal Finance Operating Company, LLC (“Oasis”), the maximum statutory damages on its cybersquatting claim against Gary Chodes and his wholly-owned entity Oasis Disability Group (“ODG”) (Gary Chodes and ODG are referred to collectively as “Chodes”)The court also ordered Chodes to transfer the infringing domain to Oasis, and to cease and desist further use of the name Oasis in connection with any legal funding or similar business.

This latest victory for Oasis is the fourth significant pre-trial victory Irwin IP has achieved for Oasis in its battle with its former Chief Executive Officer.  On February 8, 2018, Judge Gettleman ruled on summary judgment that Oasis’s predecessor transferred the Oasis trademark to Oasis as part of the funding transaction wherein Oasis was formed, and its predecessor (which was controlled by Gary Chodes) did not retain ownership of the mark.  Then, on April 15, 2020, Judge Gettleman granted Oasis’s motion for summary judgment of liability on all but one count of its complaint, including that Chodes was liable for cybersquatting and trademark infringement.  Oasis Leg. Fin. Operating Co., LLC v. Chodes, 17 C 358, 2020 WL 1874097, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 15, 2020).  Thereafter, Oasis promptlyrequested that the Court award Oasis the maximum in statutory damages for Chodes’ cybersquatting, order transfer of the infringing domain name, and enter a permanent injunction.  While the Court was considering Oasis’s requests, the defendants requested reconsideration of the April summary judgment decision and moved to strike Oasis’s request for relief.  On September 9, 2020, the court struck defendants’ motions as improperly filed and granted Oasis each item of relief it sought.  In assessing the maximum statutory damages, the court explained that two factors were “decisive: the egregiousness of the cybersquatting and the contempt shown for plaintiff and this court.”  The court reiterated both that there was “no question” defendants registered the infringing domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the Oasis marks, and that the defendants displayed an “utter failure” to follow the rules of litigation.

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 is arguably the most well-known brand nationwide for legal funding, having invested millions of dollars every year to promote its Oasis brand.

Lisa Holubar was primarily responsible for the briefing on this matter, with the assistance of Adam Reis and Manon Burns.

Barry Irwin has again received the “Best Lawyers in America” designation by US News and World Report and Best Lawyer US News and World Report and Best Lawyer. Best Lawyers are selected after a rigorous evaluation and include the Top 5% of private practitioners. Irwin IP thanks all of those who were involved in the submission, evaluation, and review process.