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Gerald C. Willis
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Since joining the firm in 2001, Mr. Willis’ practice has been focused on patent, antitrust and trademark litigation. Mr. Willis has worked on patent infringement cases involving lighting devices, plastic applications in lighting, electronic digital lighting control systems, medical devices, aluminum cans, Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, session initiation protocol (SIP) technology, flame resistant fabrics and multiple trademark infringement litigations.

During his tenure at our firm, Mr. Willis has written and argued numerous dispositive motions in multiple district courts throughout the country. He has also written numerous Markman briefs and successfully presented oral argument at Markman hearings.  Recently, Mr. Willis was retained to represent several defendants in a patent infringement case after an unfavorable Markman ruling.  He immediately filed a motion to reconsider and, in a very rare circumstance, convinced the district court that it had made a mistake.  The district court reversed its original decision and the case settled within days after the district court’s ruling.

Mr. Willis has written several appellate briefs and presented oral argument in the United States appellate courts.  Since 2001 Mr. Willis has served as lead or co-counsel in multi-week trials in various district courts, including the Northern District of Illinois, where he is a member of the trial bar.  Mr. Willis has also tried complex corporate disputes in federal court.  In addition to his regular case load, Mr. Willis has also successfully tried multiple pro-bono cases in Illinois State courts, as well as in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  

Prior to joining the firm in 2001, Mr. Willis gained significant litigation experience working on all aspects of preparing cases for trial, developing trial strategies and trying cases. Mr. Willis’ litigation experience included a wide range of areas, including product liability, toxic tort, asbestos cases, employment law, securities fraud, ERISA and commercial law.  During that time, he successfully tried and/or arbitrated several cases in state court and conducted several mediations for his firm’s clients.

Also prior to joining the firm, Jerry spent two years as general counsel for the TearDrop Golf Company, which sold golf equipment under the product names Tommy Armour, Ram and TearDrop. While he was general counsel, Jerry gained experience in a variety of legal areas including trademark prosecution and litigation, employment law, and commercial transactions. He also gained significant experience negotiating and drafting license agreements, endorsement agreements and asset purchase agreements.

Related Experience

  • General Counsel at TearDrop Golf

Publications

  • How Safe Are Your Trademarks? Corporate Counsel (January 31, 2014).
  • Proofread Your Company's Patents Just as You Would Any Other Important Contract, BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (October 2011).

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions / Registrations

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Illinois State University, B.S.