Locke Lord’s Patent Strategies Group is comprised of lawyers and patent agents that have extensive experience with patent preparation and prosecution. They have degrees in a variety of technical fields, and many have industry experience that complements our ability to manage complex patent portfolios in a timely and comprehensive manner. Our education and industry experience allow us to quickly grasp technical issues and partner with our clients to build strategies for developing, protecting and maintaining their valuable intellectual property assets on a global basis.
With more than 70 practitioners registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we are known for prosecuting high-quality patent applications and obtaining strong patents on the forefront of technology. The Firm has been ranked as a National Tier 1 and Metropolitan Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Patent and Patent Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
We provide an array of services, such as:
Portfolio Strategy and Prosecution
Counseling and Opinions
We have unparalleled experience in the following industry sectors:
Aeronautical and Aerospace
We prepare and file over 100 patent applications per year for aerospace technologies. Over the years, we have prepared and prosecuted patent applications and obtained patents for turbomachinery; aerostructures, fuel systems, deicing and anti-icing technologies, air probes, sensors, MEMS devices, including gyros and accelerometers, LIDAR, wireless aircraft systems, electronic flight bag technologies, fuel injection, control systems, electric machines such as starter motor generators, space systems, including technologies for the International Space Station and space telescopes, optical systems, landing gear, rotorcraft, aircraft health monitoring and unmanned aerial platforms. We also have prepared, prosecuted and obtained patents on applications for manufacturing technologies related to aerospace products, including advances in additive manufacturing and advances on conventional manufacturing. Additionally, we have prepared and prosecuted patent applications for emerging aircraft architectures, such as hybrid electric aircraft and next generation turbofan technologies for civilian and military platforms.
Automotive and Other Vehicles
Our patent lawyers and agents have prosecuted numerous patents involving technologies for gasoline-powered automobiles and other vehicles. For gasoline-powered vehicles, we have experience in combustion control systems, fuel injectors, clutch assemblies, flywheels, catalytic converters and air conditioning system components. For forklift trucks, we have experience in stabilization systems. We also have experience with the hydrogen-supply systems for hydrogen-powered vehicles and electric-powered vehicle charging stations.
Medical Devices and Systems
Our patent lawyers and agents have prepared and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications involving medical technology. A particular area of experience is laparoscopy, where we have patented a variety of surgical staplers for simultaneously ligating and joining blood vessels using linear and circular stapling patterns, mechanical and gaseous trocar seals for inhibiting the egress of insufflation gases from the abdominal cavity of a patient during a laparoscopic surgical procedure, insufflators and smoke evacuation systems for circulating medical gases used in laparoscopic procedures, and hand tools and retraction devices for use in laparoscopic procedures. We also have a wide range of experience working with cardiac devices such as active and passive endocardial pacing and defibrillation leads, cardiac ablation devices that employ radio frequency energy to ablate tissue and steerable vascular introducers for placing medical devices into the cardiac blood vessels. Our skills also extend to the orthopedic area where we have patented spinal stabilization systems, interspinous process implants and dynamic bone plates.
Oil and Gas Drilling and Exploration
Our patent lawyers and agents have prepared and prosecuted numerous patent applications involving oilfield technologies for multinational oil companies and oilfield services companies. The scope of our experience ranges from exploration through drilling and production. We have worked with downhole seismic and electromagnetic sensors and processors, recovery and analysis of data, computer processing systems for developing models of the data, onshore oil rigs and offshore platforms, including floating production, storage and offtake (FPSO) vessels, tension leg platforms (TLP), extended tension leg platforms (ETLP), Semisubmersibles, Spars and variations in mooring systems— catamaran systems for large topsides with floatover capabilities. A particular area of experience is directional drilling, where we have prosecuted a variety of applications for measurement while drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling (LWD) technologies. Other areas of emphasis include coiled tubing, drilling joints, wear control, and drilling fluids, as well as visualization software and methods, downhole photon imaging, fluid viscosity detection equipment and predictive modeling. We have also worked with wellbore tooling and equipment, including drilling motors, blowout preventers (BOP), hangers, anchors, jars, valves and packers, and drill bits and reamers, including polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, hybrid bits, anti-tracking bits, boride coated bits and inserts.
Financial, Insurance and Banking Services
Our financial and banking services and business methods team handles patent matters, trade secrets and manages IP assets for some of the most prominent financial and e-commerce services companies. In addition, we provide counseling for start-up companies to define procedures and strategies for protecting their innovation to support their developing business goals. We develop and implement customized intellectual property strategies, on a per-client basis, for pre-litigation, licensing, enforcement IP portfolio creation purposes in the challenging banking and financial services and business method IP practices areas. Our patent lawyers are skilled and experienced in virtually all areas of banking and financial services and business methods, including: cloud computing platforms; coordinated multi-computer data processing; mobile computing paradigms and systems; content caching and delivery; algorithms; user interfaces; social networking systems; e-commerce systems; mobile payment systems; mobile applications; digital content creation and web services.
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies turn to Locke Lord for assistance in protecting their valuable intellectual property assets. Many of our lawyers, patent agents and technology specialists have advanced degrees in biochemistry, chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and academic and industry experience as scientists. Our services include patent prosecution and portfolio management; IP audits and due diligence; patent acquisitions; opinions on infringement, validity and patentability; life cycle management; post-grant procedures (Inter Partes Review), technology transfer transactions, and litigation and dispute resolution. Our intellectual property litigators represent drug companies in Hatch-Waxman and other patent litigation involving pharmaceutical sales for clients. Our experience includes pharmaceuticals (approved drugs and drug candidates, formulations, manufacturing processes), diagnostics (kits, markers, research tools), agricultural technologies (animal and plant health), nutraceuticals, and consumer health and beauty products.
Chemicals and Materials Processing
Locke Lord patent lawyers and agents have prepared and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications in the fields of materials and polymer chemistry. The team has extensive experience in adhesive technologies, including pressure-sensitive adhesives, polymeric coatings, composite material preparations and ink formulations. Our lawyers also have in-depth knowledge of inorganic and organic materials, both particulate and monolithic, for use in a variety of chromatographic separations, including HPLC, HILIC and SPC. Locke Lord lawyers are similarly well versed in the preparation of electrical thin films for liquid crystal displays and touch screens as well as in the processing of metals and metal surfaces through electroplating, thermal spray and shot peening methods. Our skills also extend to cosmetic and formulation chemistry, including extensive work in sunscreens and other topical formulations.
Electronics and Telecommunication
Our patent lawyers have prepared and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications, both in the United States and internationally involving electronics and telecommunications. We have experience in wireless networks, power distribution and control systems and lighting systems. A particular area of experience is wireless networks, where we have patented systems that manage active coexistence of mobile radios that opportunistically use radio frequency white spaces otherwise dedicated to existing licensed TV stations. A related area of experience is in wireless sensor-based networks, where we have patented coexistence protocols for networks of large numbers of wireless sensors arrayed over kilometer-sized areas, which operate on battery power and must conserve their power during long periods of inactivity punctuated by short bursts of communication. Another related area of experience is in personal area wireless networks and local area wireless networks, where we have patented a variety of devices, circuits, systems, and protocols for RFID, NFC, Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11 networks. We also represent clients in the fields of power distribution and control systems and have patented a variety of wired and wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, over-current protective devices, arc-suppression devices and monitoring devices for electrical distribution networks. Some exemplary lighting systems that we have patented include LED lighting systems, downlights, wall wash lighting and area lighting.
Computer Hardware and Software
Our computer hardware and software lawyers handle IP matters involving computers and computerized systems and focus on patenting highly robust computer-dependent systems of hardware and software. We take great pride that our patent lawyers have the ability to legally define the complex computer algorithms and structures involved in such systems, which is central to ensuring the patentability of the core business advantages that these systems represent. For software developers and hardware architects, our patent lawyers are skilled at using patents (including business method patents), copyrights and trade secret agreements to protect software applications involving networking software and hardware, system and application software, user interfaces, data compression and encryption software and hardware, artificial intelligence, multimedia software, databases and database-backed systems, application management software, data storage systems, crowd sourcing, internet applications, mobile applications, security, social networking and web services.
Power Generation – Wind, Solar or Geothermal
Our patent lawyers and agents have helped clients in the alternative energy space with preparing and prosecuting patent applications for wind energy systems, particularly offshore systems and farms, including installation systems to reduce time and expense and floating platforms that self-align to wind direction. We have also helped clients with preparing and prosecuting patent applications for modular solar concentrators that are durable, lightweight and cost-efficient. Some of these solar concentrators are equipped with novel specularly reflective surfaces comprised of a plurality of highly reflective thin films. Further, our lawyers are experienced in preparing and prosecuting patent applications for photovoltaic (solar) windows comprising transparent thin film semiconductor compositions for the production of electricity.
Hugh Balsam (Chicago) argued an appeal before The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affirmed a judgment in favor of Sennco Solutions, Inc., on April 20, 2020.