About

At GBC, We’re All About Intellectual Property

Not Too Big, Not Too Small

Greer, Burns & Crain is large enough to offer a full spectrum of intellectual property legal services to even the largest clients with extensive IP portfolios, yet is small enough to achieve cost efficiencies and intense client focus that are often not possible at larger firms. GBC is large enough to provide experienced attorneys to serve any IP need, yet is a size that ensures that clients are never neglected or lost in the shuffle.

We Value Long-term Relationships

Many of our client relationships date from prior to the founding of the firm. Long-term relationships allow us to understand the businesses we represent, provide continuity to management, and help us practically incorporate business considerations into the development of intellectual property portfolios. Our depth of knowledge developed through long term client relationships produces more efficient representation and higher quality results.

All Clients are Served by Partners

Unlike many larger firms where clients have limited access to partners, GBC believes that every client deserves an experienced partner’s attention. Our partners are consistently available to clients. Greer, Burns & Crain maintains a high partner-to-associate ratio to ensure that every client’s IP agenda is overseen and guided by a highly experienced attorney.

We Serve Clients of All Sizes

Our diverse client base encompasses large multi-national corporations, universities, small businesses and individuals. A representative few of our trusted clients include: Hewlett Packard, Bosch, Fujitsu, UGG® footwear, US Gypsum, Metso Minerals Industries, Whirlpool, Stora Enso, Biotronik AG and the Universities of Illinois, California, Missouri, and Louisville, Kentucky.

Full Range of IP Services

While a firm of modest size, we are not a micro firm. GBC’s nearly 20 attorneys are widely experienced in all aspects of the practice of IP law — a range of experience that matches or betters IP groups at larger firms.  We are far more than just a patent prosecution shop: we have extensive, international trademark and transactional practices, and our attorneys litigate IP matters around the world. We have developed industry-leading international anti-counterfeiting strategies and tools that have resulted in large scale take-downs of online networks and physical operations. We manage the intellectual property portfolios of companies from start-ups to publicly traded multi-nationals.

Budget-conscious

GBC understands the economics of businesses, and delivers excellent IP legal services within reasonable budgets. Simply put, our attorneys are committed to delivering value to clients.

Leaders in the IP Community

Many of GBC’s intellectual property attorneys lecture at seminars, law schools, and bar association events in Chicago and elsewhere regarding obtaining and securing intellectual property rights.

List of Patents Granted

Click below to search some of the thousands of patents granted to GBC in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database

Success Stories

Large Corporations

  • GBC and its associate Australian counsel obtained a $6.5 million judgment against a trademark counterfeiting enterprise in Australian Federal Court. This decision closed down a notorious multi-national counterfeit footwear operation. The award included punitive and compensatory damages, as well as costs.
  • In 2008, GBC represented the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition and the American Apparel and Footwear Association as Amici Curie before the United States Supreme Court in the case Prefect 10, Inc. v. Visa International. GBC on behalf of the Amici urged the Supreme Court to take a case having significant implications on U.S. trademark counterfeiting law.
  • GBC lawyers successfully argued dispositive pretrial motions in a patent infringement action, allowing a major consumer water treatment manufacturer client to produce water filtration pitchers. The Federal District Court’s decision in GBC’s favor was upheld on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • GBC obtained a favorable settlement prior to trial for a cell phone industry-manufacturing client.
  • Greer, Burns & Crain lawyers obtained summary judgment rulings that achieved a nuisance value settlement for a soil remediation client that had been faced with a multi-million dollar settlement demand for allegedly infringing five patents. GBC’s investigation and efforts led to court orders compelling plaintiff to produce evidence that supported summary judgment rulings that the plaintiff intentionally misled the Patent Office.
  • GBC lawyers prevailed in over 11 appeals involving disputed positions by Examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a major computer manufacturer.
  • Greer, Burns & Crain successfully defended a hair clipper company in a patent infringement suit on summary judgment, without trial. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed.

Small Corporations

  • Greer, Burns & Crain negotiated a pretrial settlement in a lawsuit over a popular outdoor living consumer product involving trademark and trade dress issues.
  • GBC lawyers obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against a major corporation that came to Chicago and used the name of a successful messenger service and forced the large corporation to use a different name.
  • GBC enforced a patent in the tool industry and negotiated a license from the defendant, without trial.
  • GBC attorneys successfully obtained an emergency temporary restraining order for a manufacturer of automotive parts and accessories. As a result of GBC’s efforts, the court order ultimately led to the permanent injunction of the manufacturer’s competitor from any and all use of the company’s trademark, as well as destruction of infringing product.
  • GBC lawyers also successfully defended a home accessory company in a design patent suit, without trial.

Universities

  • Greer, Burns & Crain works with major universities to provide commercial value to the university research programs. The tech transfer, licensing, professor, and student cultures are well understood by GBC lawyers.
  • GBC attorneys have helped build important patent portfolios, worked in cooperation with licensees and universities, and worked to protect universities when licensing situations have failed.

Independent Inventors

  • Greer, Burns & Crain negotiated a lucrative license between an individual inventor client and a major consumer products manufacturer in the field of oral hygiene products.
  • GBC lawyers obtained a lucrative license between an individual inventor client and an accused infringer without filing a complaint.

IP Opinions & Expert Testimony

  • GBC attorneys have prepared numerous opinions on patent, trademark and copyright matters, and have testified about their opinions in depositions and in court. GBC lawyers have also served as experts in litigation.

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • GBC attorneys have spoken at many patent seminars in the United States and Asia on all aspects of infringement patent prosecution.