Intellectual Property

Shay Phillips, Ltd. has a respected intellectual property practice, one of the few in downstate Illinois. Its attorneys are experienced in securing intellectual property rights, enforcing those rights in court, and monetizing those rights through sale or licensing. Our attorneys handle intellectual property matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, and the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. We have appeared in other courts by pro hac vice admissions, especially relating to our BitTorrent litigation practice.

Intellectual property is about protecting your ideas.  Not your personal property, your money, or your real estate, but amorphous, hard to pin down, ideas. Intellectual property law is composed of patent law, trademark law, copyright law, trade secret law, and various laws relating to the right of publicity. We are knowledgeable in all of these areas.

Intellectual property is thought of, in many fields, as the most important asset of a business. But even for non-tech businesses, protecting intellectual property is incredibly important. Unlike many other firms, Shay Phillips, Ltd. always considers intellectual property when providing advice about your business formation, development, and other legal work.  Protecting the client’s intellectual property is a constant concern.  Our attorneys are able to counsel on all forms of intellectual property, prosecute (or register) trademarks, provide representation when the USPTO issues office actions, put an end to cybersquatters with UDRP Complaints, and even enforce our client’s rights with cease and desist letters and litigation.  From engineers to sculptors to web-designers, Shay Phillips, Ltd. makes sure our clients are aware of, and protect, their intellectual property.

Sometimes, our clients are accused of infringing another company’s or person’s intellectual property. Shay Phillips, Ltd. provides intellectual property infringement defense representation as well. We have handled dozens of cases involving the BitTorrent protocol, online downloads, and purported trademark infringement. No matter where you stand with intellectual property issues, we can help you through it.

You can find recent blog articles involving intellectual property here.

Internet Law

What is internet law?  It is a smorgasbord of more traditional practice areas, narrowed and updated for the next century.  There is a new digital economy and digital soapbox with its own legal standards and navigating the same can be tricky for those who are unfamiliar with the “new ways” of doing things.  Examples may be the best manner of helping with the same.

An example would be the interplay between defamation and free speech. Defamation becomes online and anonymous.  But speaking out against authority is easier to do.  Shay Phillips, Ltd. helps protect reputations and help protect privacy. Internet law balances these competing interests in the new digital world. Another example is piracy. Before the internet, people may have gotten caught selling bootleg concert footage.  Now content producers, or those who purchase their rights, attempt to determine the identity of those persons downloading movies through the internet.  Shay Phillips, Ltd. is able to help clients on both ends of the spectrum, including the painful process of either protecting anonymity, or finding out the identity of infringers. Our firm regularly represents, and is nationally known for defending,  individuals accused of using BitTorrent to download films.

People used to rent storefronts to businesses.  Now the web-developing and web-hosting world creates, maintains and hosts the websites of the world.  These sites are constitute what many think to be the new economy.  Shay Phillips, Ltd. has represented many web-development companies and web-hosting companies.  We have also negotiated hosting and development contracts for clients.

In all, internet law is "old law" in a new age. Shay Phillips, Ltd. has attorneys that know both the old law and the new ways that it is applied. By devoting a significant portion of our practice to these matters, we can assure our clients that they are getting representation from attorneys who have seen it before.

Our Intellectual Property & Internet Law Successes

No attorney can guaranty results. However, our intellectual property and internet team at Shay Phillips, Ltd. is proud to have resolved many disputes on quite favorable terms for our clients on top of all the intellectual property rights we have procured for our clients. Some of our more recent examples follow.

  • In Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe we represented an individual accused of copyright infringement. The Plaintiff accused our client, who we kept anonymous throughout the proceedings, of using BitTorrent software to pirate its works. After discovery, all parties filed cross-motions for Summary Judgment. After thorough briefing, and our subsequent motions to strike portions of Malibu's motion and response, Northern District of Illinois Magistrate Judge Brown granted our Motion for Summary Judgment on February 8th, 2016.  This is one of the first victories against one of the most prolific copyright plaintiffs in the United States. 
  • In Slep-Tone Entertainment  Corp & Phoenix Entertainment Partners v. The Basket Case Pub, Inc. we represented a karaoke bar owner. The Plaintiffs accused our client of trademark infringement based on a theory of media-shifting karaoke tracks from CD+G discs onto computer hard drives. We responded with counterclaims for trademark invalidity and a motion to dismiss. The Court granted our motion to dismiss. On July 21, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal.
  • In Bennett v. Arizona Sports Shirts, Inc. we represented a mobile app developer, Timothy Bennett. Arizona Sports Shirts accused our client of trademark infringement. When negotiations were not productive, our client went on the offensive on our client's,  rather than Arizona's, home turf. We filed a Complaint for Declaratory Relief. It asked the Court to determine that our client did not infringe. The case was settled shortly afterwards.
  • In Koppaka v. Doe we represented the John Doe defendant.  In this Northern District of Illinois internet case, our client was an anonymous individual in Tennessee sued for alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. After filing our Motion to Dismiss and this Memorandum, arguing lack of jurisdiction, the Plaintiff dismissed the case voluntarily.