As the founder of IpHorgan, I am proud of the ethnic and national diversity of our team.

The genius of the American experiment is that it has thrived by nurturing and welcoming people of ambition, talent, and virtue from wherever they can be found—whether their skin be brown, black, or white; whether they come from Ireland, Syria, or Wyoming; and whether they be Christian, Jewish, or Muslim. I believe in America. But to continue being a great nation, we must be American not just in name, but also in spirit. We must judge all people by who they are and without regard to color, national origin, or religion.

Dermot Horgan

IpHorgan Intellectual Property Lawyers

Our goal is to provide forward-looking, efficient, and effective service through focused planning, perseverance, and relentless drive. We propel decisions and provide solutions that work for today and for the future.

IpHorgan clears, registers, maintains, and enforces trademarks worldwide. We prosecute a wide range of engineering and scientific patents. Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of copyright law and a detailed knowledge of domain name rules, including the technical aspects of domain name management. We also have many years of experience with license drafting and related issues.

Our lawyers are authorized to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Through decades of training and experience, we have developed a deep knowledge of international law. And our attorneys are fluent in major world languages.

Our firm represents some of America's leading corporations, including companies that specialize in fashion, household products, professional services, recreation, and oil and gas exploration. As well, IpHorgan serves some of the world's largest overseas companies, among them those engaged in the automation, automotive, and consumer electronics industries. We assist some of the music industry's most popular and influential artists.


Trademarks and Trade Identity

We help businesses develop brands, secure registrations, maintain, and enforce trademarks.

Trademarks are words, signs, designs, colors, shapes, sounds, or smells that distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of others.

Representative Projects:

  • Executed the smooth spin-off of a multi-billion dollar business; completing in under three months the rebranding and worldwide rights lock-up;
  • Thwarted disastrous reputational damage by successfully enjoining similarly named Romanian company engaged in hiring ex-vets for Middle East conflicts;

Patents and Inventions

IpHorgan reviews inventions for patentability, drafts and prosecutes applications, enforces issued patents, and assists clients to navigate around others' patents.

Patents protect the ownership of useful inventions that are new and not obvious to those skilled in the field.

Representative Projects:

  • Underpinned client's nine-figure acquisition through forward-looking due diligence that identified and powered the inclusion of crucial patent families previously withheld;
  • Extricated client from anticipated multi-million dollar patent litigation by invalidating competitor's patent under the America Invents Act's Inter Partes Review procedure;

Copyrights and Audio-Visual Works

We provide registration, assignment, fair use, licensing, and enforcement services to owners of copyrights.

Copyrights protect original works of authorship in tangible form, such as literary writings, musical compositions, paintings, movies, and photographs.

Representative Projects:

  • Staunched misuse of client rights by registering copyrights and successfully deploying them in an offensive-defense;
  • Debunked competitor's copyright infringement claims by demonstrating the alleged work's lack of originality and independent creation;

Domain Names and the Internet

Our attorneys tackle online fraud and abuse, and the technical aspects of managing domain names.

Domain names are addresses used to locate websites and/or email accounts through the worldwide web.

Representative Projects:

  • Derailed attempted theft of client's online business identity by terminating fraudsters' email accounts, taking down their websites, and positioning the cases for law enforcement intervention;
  • Established the foundations for numerous businesses' online operations by identifying, registering, and acquiring necessary gTLDs and ccTLDs, including critical dot-coms;

Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

We regularly assist clients with the management of confidential information and trade secrets.

Trade secrets protect confidential information that is valuable to businesses.

Representative Projects:

  • Safeguarded crucial R&D investments by implementing a program establishing clear procedures for identifying, cataloging, and securing company's confidential information and trade secrets;
  • Furthered client's joint collaboration program through fair, but robust, NDA and joint-development agreements providing for the open exchange of information, while safeguarding innovations, trade secrets, and business data;

Our Global Capabilities

We have a roster of counsel in over 200 jurisdictions, and have prosecuted over 70,000 foreign intellectual property cases. We draw on that experience to independently evaluate local counsels' initial assessments and recommendations. We infuse our own knowledge to craft the most efficient solution for each client.

Case Studies

On The Heels Of TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, IpHorgan Secures Dismissal in Arizona District Court

A patent troll, alleging patent infringement, sued a client of IpHorgan in federal court in the District of Arizona. IpHorgan did not concede venue, recognizing the pending ruling in TC Heartland and that it might impact the case, as the client was not incorporated in Arizona and did not have a regular and established place of business there. Within days of the Supreme Court's decision, IpHorgan filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue. The plaintiff conceded the issue and immediately agreed to a stipulated dismissal of the case.

IpHorgan Foils Online Impersonation Scam

A con-artist was impersonating our client's executives in order to defraud customers out of their money and personal information. The con-artist would register free email accounts that incorporated the names of the executives and use those accounts to contact targets.  The con-artist would then seek to enter into contracts with the victims and then seek to obtain from the targets personal information and money.  By compiling and analyzing all of the evidence related to the fraudulent accounts, we were able to build a persuasive case against the fraudsters and terminate their accounts and put an end to their fraudulent activity.

In Mississippi District Court, Iphorgan Invokes Lanham Act To Shut Down Bait And Switch

Client was losing sales to an ex-dealer. Despite repeated requests that it immediately stop, the ex-dealer continued to display on its exterior a large sign featuring our client's logo. In addition, it ran newspaper advertisements claiming to be an authorized dealer of our client's products. Further, the owner engaged in classic bait and switch tactics by disparaging our client's products to customers lured into his store, and recommending instead those of our client's largest competitor.

Our office contacted the owner insisting that he immediately cease his unlawful activities. The ex-dealer agreed to comply with our requests. But then he became recalcitrant based in part on advice received while out hunting with a retired judge.

We prefer persuasion over the iron bar of litigation, but sometimes a fight is thrust upon reasonable right-holders. Thus, we sued the ex-dealer in the U.S. District Court, alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, false advertising, and dilution. This course had the desired de-intoxicating effect: the owner promptly settled on terms very favorable to our client, which included the payment of monetary damages. The lesson here: never ask a barber if you need a hair-cut, and never ask a judge if you should litigate.

For China, The IpHorgan Recipe For Defeating Counterfeiters—Persistence And Stick-To-It-Ness

Offender was flooding the Chinese market with counterfeits. In Foshan, a city close to the Hong Kong border, we sued. The marks and goods were virtually identical; there was no issue about infringement. Judgement should be a matter of course. But then we received a call from the Court. It had misgivings: it doubted our evidence, it doubted our case, and it doubted us. We knew that the fix was in. We withdrew the pending case immediately.

We knew that our villain also sold products in Shenyang, which was near the border with North Korea. Our research confirmed that its court system was robust. We moved ahead there and refiled. This time we prevailed; the target appealed to the High Court and again we won. We had hoped he would appeal because a High Court ruling would greatly strengthen our hand.

Armed with an iron-clad judgement, we returned to Foshan. We first froze the counterfeiter's bank accounts; we next closed his business; and we then recovered over 300,000 rmbs in damages. Deploying equal measures of perseverance and resilience, we defeated our target in detail.

Standard For Claim Construction In IPR's To Change On 13 November 2018

Over the next month, we can expect to see a mad dash to the patent office by petitioners seeking inter partes review ("IPR"), post-grant review ("PGR"), and covered business method ("CBM") patents, and a during the same period a delay on the part of patentees in asserting patents.

Triggering this is the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's ("PTAB") adoption - effective November 13 - of a different claim construction standard: moving from the broadest reasonable interpretation ("BRI") to the standard adopted by the Federal Courts, the so-called "Phillips" standard.

The BRI standard is somewhat focused on technology in general. The BRI construes claims broadly in the context of deciding whether to award a patent in light of the prior existing technology.

In contrast, the claims construed under the Phillips standard has an additional focus on whether another party is infringing the invention. The Phillips standard seeks to construe the claims to define the invention as the inventor actually intended, with a focus on the patent and related correspondences with the patent examiner. Construing the claims in this manner may result in a claim being more narrowly rewritten.

Prior to the change, petitioners seeking to invalidate patents for obviousness before PTAB have benefitted from the tribunal's use of the BRI claim construction because this takes into account a much wider scope of prior art than is the case under the narrower Phillips standard. The difference in approach means that it is often easier and less expensive to invalidate a patent before the PTAB than it is in court. However, by harmonizing its claim construction rule with that of the courts, the PTAB is raising its bar for invalidity and making it harder for petitioners to succeed in an IPR, PGR, or CBM.

However, PTAB's more petitioner-friendly BRI claim construction will continue to apply to all proceedings filed prior to the effective date of the new rules.

Accordingly, petitioner's considering a trial proceeding before the PTAB will be motivated to file their petition prior to new rules' effective date and lock for those proceedings the more petitioner-friendly BRI claim construction. For the same reason, patent owners will hesitate to assert a patent prior to November 13.

April 24, 2018

The US Supreme Court held that a jury trial is not required to challenge validity of U.S. patents. Thus, the court upheld the constitutionality of administrative Inter partes reviews.

Since their institution in 2012, with the relatively low cost, limited discovery, 12 month review timeframe, and high success rate, IPR proceedings have become a potent tool for parties seeking to invalidate US patents.

Patents owners had questioned the seemingly routine invalidation of U.S. patents through IPR proceedings. This issue came to a head when Oil States Energy services, LLC petitioned the US Supreme Court to declare the IPR process unconstitutional.

The dispute began when Oil States Energy asserted its wellhead related patent against Greene's Energy Group, LLC. Greene's Energy responded by requesting an IPR.

The district court ruled against invalidity. But a few months later, the IPR Board ruled the claims were unpatentable. "The Board acknowledged the District Court's contrary decision, but nonetheless concluded that the claims were anticipated by the prior art."

On appeal, the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the Board's decision. Oil States petitioned the US Supreme Court to hold IPR proceedings unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court granted cert, and has now ruled that Inter partes reviews are a valid and constitutional procedure for challenging the validity of issued US patents.

Link to full judgement at

Successful Patent Prosecution And The Art Of Deconstruction

Prior Office Action responses directed by others were unsuccessful. IpHorgan dug deeply into all of the Actions, Amendments, cited art, and other documents in the file history—perhaps thousands of pages. We figured out where previous arguments had gone wrong and determined how we could overcome them after the invention had received so many rejections. We explored the technical issues in depth.

Through a process of deconstruction—breaking each objection into its individual elements and then arguing against each of those components—we were able to prevail upon the Examiners to allow in turn each application.

A Winning Trademark Reconsideration Brief

In USPTO practice, a Request for Reconsideration is often the functional equivalent of a gladiator's final salute at the Colosseum. It is a way of getting things in order before the inevitable denial.... or death. But, in this case we were able to prove that hard work and grit can make a difference.

Citing the registration of a Spanish language term, our client's English language trademark faced a final likelihood of confusion refusal based on the Doctrine of Foreign Equivalents. According to this, words from common modern languages are considered similar to the corresponding English words. In our case, the English trademark was an aptronym, much like "baker;" a word that names a trade and can also be a surname. We closely studied the origin and usage of the English and Spanish words. Using "baker" as an example, we determined that the cited Spanish mark could only be understood to mean one who is in the baking trade. We also analyzed the marketplaces and the consumers. Threading the needle, and taking care to avoid a disastrous surname objection, we argued in our Reconsideration Brief that confusion was unlikely because the relevant purchasers would perceive the marks to be very different.

We persuaded the USPTO to accept our position and the client's application proceeded to registration.

IpHorgan Scuttles Opponent's Attempts To Warehouse A Trademark

An overseas communications firm asserted a broad U.S. trademark registration against a client's application for a similar mark, alleging likelihood of confusion. IpHorgan responded with a counterclaim of fraud, alleging that the opposer had fraudulently filed for and obtained successive U.S. registrations based on broad international rights that were subsequently abandoned and refiled without showing use on any of the goods. IpHorgan secured an agreement in which the opposer withdrew its opposition with prejudice and the client withdrew its counterclaim of fraud without prejudice.

Our Attorneys

Dermot Horgan assists clients with implementing and managing programs to protect their intellectual property rights. His knowledge of trademark, trade dress, trade identity, trade secret, and copyright law is deep. His skill-set extends to U.S. and international practice. Dermot is a frequent speaker on intellectual property issues: recent topics include The Law of Music and Video Licensing, and Due Diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions.


  • B.C.L., University College Cork;
  • Barrister-at-Law, Kings Inns, Dublin;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law.


  • State of Illinois Bar;
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • New York State Bar;
  • Trial Bar in the Republic of Ireland.

Jeannine Rittenhouse counsels clients ranging from small businesses to multinational Fortune 500 corporations on the searching and clearance of new brands worldwide and on the maintenance, prosecution, protection, and enforcement of their global trademark and domain portfolios. She has represented clients in trademark oppositions and cancellations in multiple jurisdictions and has substantial experience in copyright prosecution, enforcement, and licensing matters. In addition, Jeannine counsels clients on trade identity, domain name, and unfair competition issues. She has frequently lectured and provided continuing legal education on intellectual property issues including copyright law, licensing, and intellectual property due diligence.


  • B.S., University of Wisconsin;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law.


  • State of Illinois Bar.

Dmitriy O. Makarov handles anti-counterfeiting, copyright, domain-name, trademark, trade identity, and unfair competition matters. He has been active in all aspects of international trademark law, from managing customs recordals, title updates, and assignment recordals to performing trademark clearance searches, conducting due-diligence portfolio reviews, preparing and prosecuting trademark applications and extensions of international registrations, and investigating misuse. Dmitriy has counseled clients on the proposed new gTLD application process and helped secure usernames for brands on social-media sites. He is fluent in Russian and has an extensive background in business and computer technology.


  • B.S., North Central College;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law.


  • State of Illinois Bar.

Carlynn B. Davis assists clients ranging from start-up companies and artists to corporations with world-wide intellectual property portfolios on a variety of issues, including trademark clearance, registration, maintenance, and enforcement, and copyright licensing and enforcement. She also specializes in enforcing client rights against counterfeiters and cybersquatters and managing Criminal anti-counterfeiting actions in China and elsewhere.


  • B.S., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law (Certificate in Intellectual Property Law; Legislative Updates Editor for DePaul Journal of Art and Entertainment Law).


  • State of Illinois Bar.

Michael L. Kenaga is the Director of Patents. He is a registered patent attorney and has twenty years of experience that includes advising and counseling large and mid-sized corporations on patentability and protection options. He is highly skilled at opinion drafting. Mike has substantial experience in IP due diligence. His practice includes licensing and litigation support. He has successfully prosecuted several Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings. Mike regularly lectures on issues related to U.S. and foreign patent practice. He is an electrical engineer and, prior to law school, worked for a telecom company and for a military and government contractor.


  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering;
  • J.D., John Marshall Law School.


  • State of Illinois Bar;
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit;
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Bar.

Eric Estadt drafts and prosecutes patents and assists clients in a variety of patent-related matters. His technical background includes four years of computer-aided design and drafting.


  • B.S., University of Pittsburgh;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law (Treasurer, Intellectual Property Law Society).


  • State of Illinois Bar;
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Bar.

Christopher B. Lay represents multinational corporations in trademark opposition, cancellation, and infringement, copyright infringement, medical device patent infringement, and related litigation matters. He has represented clients in trade secret, class action, and civil rights cases, including a recent appeal in which he obtained reversal and remand for a client whom he represented before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In addition, Chris regularly counsels clients on trademark, copyright, and other transactional matters. He has taught the Intellectual Property section of legal writing at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.


  • B.M., DePaul University;
  • J.D., cum laude, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (Certificate in Trial Advocacy).


  • State of Illinois Bar;
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including trial bar);
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit;
  • United States Supreme Court.

John T.D. Bathke counsels clients on a variety of trademark, copyright, and rights of publicity matters. He helps clients secure trademark and copyright protections. He also helps clients resolve their intellectual property disputes both in and out of the courtroom. In addition to practicing law, John sings, plays the piano, and speaks both French and Spanish.


  • B.M., Vanderbilt University;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law.


  • State of Illinois Bar;
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado;
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Alexander T. Bara assists clients with patent and trademark prosecution. His patent experience encompasses both domestic and foreign prosecution in multiple technology areas, including mechanical, chemical, and electrical arts. His technical background is nuclear engineering, and has previously worked at Argonne National Laboratory developing computer models for the safe disposal of used nuclear fuel.


  • B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law (Certificate in Intellectual Property: Patent Law).


  • State of Illinois Bar;
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Bar.

CLE Event

Guidelines For Using Music, Video, And Creative Content In Business

February 15, 2018
2pm Central Time
Manhattan, New York

As part of Lawline's one-day entertainment law seminar, Attorneys Dermot Horgan, Jeannine Rittenhouse, and Christopher Lay will present their lively 90-minute CLE program. Through stories, case studies, and scenarios, participants will have fun learning about this tricky area of the law. Already, the program been approved for CLE Credit in nearly 20 states.

Access to the live webstream can be purchased through The show can be watched as it happens live from Broadway at 2pm Central Time on Thursday 15 February 2018, or it can be downloaded for viewing and learning enjoyment at any time afterwards.

The Law Of Music And Video Licensing

October 13, 2017
8:30am to 9:30am
Costa Mesa, California

Your company is hosting a sales event at a hotel and one of the attendees brings his guitar and offers to play for the gathering his own version of the Rolling Stones' hit Satisfaction with adapted lyrics. Is this okay?

At the same event, the marketing group wants to honor a retiring customer leader by playing a special video the group has created featuring a sequence of funny movie clips. Any problem with this?

This lively seminar addresses these issues and many others. The program is suitable not only for attorneys, but also for marketing professionals and others whose work can involve use of third party copyrights.

The Law Of Music And Video Licensing

April 27, 2017
10:30am to 11:30am
Bannockburn, Illinois

Your company is hosting a sales event at a hotel and one of the attendees brings his guitar and offers to play for the gathering his own version of the Rolling Stones' hit Satisfaction with adapted lyrics. Is this okay?

At the same event, the marketing group wants to honor a retiring customer leader by playing a special video the group has created featuring a sequence of funny movie clips. Any problem with this?

This lively seminar addresses these issues and many others. The program is suitable not only for attorneys, but also for marketing professionals and others whose work can involve use of third party copyrights.

Trademark Enforcement and the Law; Copyright Law and Marketing Communications

October 20, 2016
8:30am to 10:00am
800 Beaty Street, Davidson, NC 28036

Please join us for a discussion on trademark and copyright law. Experts in intellectual property will discuss trademark enforcement mechanisms, the effect of copyright law on marketing communications, and open source licensing agreements.

Intellectual Property Due Diligence In Mergers And Acquisitions

September 29, 2016
2:30pm to 3:30pm
Kohler, Wisconsin

Using examples from actual transactions, the program explains why a special kind of due diligence is essential to any deal comprising patent and/or trademark rights. It also considers why due diligence must go beyond confirming the existence of and title to intellectual property assets, but also requires a forward-looking evaluation of those rights.

The Law Of Music And Video Licensing

September 29, 2015
10:00am to 11:00am
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Your company is hosting a sales event at a hotel and one of the attendees brings his guitar and offers to play for the gathering his own version of the Rolling Stones' hit Satisfaction with adapted lyrics. Is this okay?

At the same event, the marketing group wants to honor a retiring customer leader by playing a special video the group has created featuring a sequence of funny movie clips. Any problem with this?

This lively seminar addresses these issues and many others. The program is suitable not only for attorneys, but also for marketing professionals and others whose work can involve use of third party copyrights.

Contact Us

IpHorgan uses its ability, draws upon its years of experience, and its track record of achievement to provide service that produces excellent results for today and for the future.

We welcome your enquiries.

195 Arlington Heights Rd., Suite #125
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089
United States of America

Tel 847-808-5500
Fax 847-808-7238/7245