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Robert A. Surrette


Robert Surrette is the current President of the firm.  He focuses his practice on the resolution of intellectual property and technology-related disputes with an emphasis on patent, trademark, trade secret, and trade dress litigation. For the last 15 years, Bob has counseled a leading global medical device manufacturer on numerous litigation and transactional matters.

Bob, building on his experience as a federal district court law clerk, has extensive experience in preparing and bringing complex intellectual property cases to trial, including overseeing all aspects of pre-trial discovery, procuring and supervising experts, preparing and arguing pre-trial, dispositive and post-trial motions, including claim construction and summary judgment, and participating in multi-week trials.  He also has significant experience in appellate proceedings, including arguing at the Federal Circuit.

Bob also maintains an active transactional practice through which he advises clients on transactions involving the transfer of intellectual property, including mergers, asset deals, and licensing deals, and on patent portfolio development.

Bob has worked in a number of diverse technology areas, such as surgical control systems, wrist implants, insufflators, hospital beds, surgical cutting tools, medical image capture systems, balloon angioplasty catheters, implantable cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, as well as digital jukeboxes, electronic dartboards, exhaust systems, contact lenses, fluorescent lighting systems, and chillers.

Bob has led a number of diverse organizations, including serving as President of the Chicago-Kent Alumni Board of Directors, President of the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, and Regional Commissioner of AYSO Region 210.

Related Experience

  • Adjunct Professor, IP Legal Writing, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable John A. Nordberg, Senior Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Lecturer, Northwestern University School of Engineering
  • Special Assistant to the Vice President, Quality Assurance and Product Integrity, Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies

Honors & Awards

  • President of the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, 2013-2014
  • Adjunct Professor of the Year, Chicago-Kent's Student Bar Association, 2011-2012
  • Distinguished Service Award, Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2011
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Intellectual Property Law Society, 2008
  • Executive Notes and Comments Editor, Chicago Kent Law Review and member of the Order of the Coif
  • CALI Award, Trial Advocacy II

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Chicago-Kent Alumni Board liaison to Chicago-Kent Board of Overseers
  • Vice President, then President, Alumni Board of Directors, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Regional Commissioner, American Youth Soccer Organization, Region 210
  • Coach, youth soccer, Hinsdale, IL


  • InsideCounsel, “Will the Supreme Court clarify which 'computer-implemented inventions' are patent eligible?" February 3, 2014. View File.
  • InsideCounsel, Fresenius USA, Inc. v. Baxter International, Inc. headed to the Supreme Court?” December 10, 2013. View File.
  • InsideCounsel, “Medtronic, Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corporation poised for a reversal," November 26, 2013. View File.
  • InsideCounsel, “IP: Lighting Ballast decision on future patent litigation remains uncertain,” November 12, 2013. View File.
  • InsideCounsel, “IP: Is it safe to settle? Patent holders have reason to think twice,” October 29, 2013. View File.

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions / Registrations

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., with high honors
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, M.S.M.E.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, M.B.A.
  • University of Massachusetts, B.S.M.E