Jeanne M. Gills is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and vice-chair of the firm's national Intellectual Property Department. She is a member and former vice-chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice.
Her trial experience includes such "bet the company" cases as DeKalb v. Pioneer, a patent case concerning genetically engineered corn where over $500 million was at stake. With her electronics background, Ms. Gills has litigated many patent and technology cases involving semiconductors, memory devices, wireless devices, plasma displays, optical projectors used in aircraft, diesel engines, and other complex electronics and computer software matters. In addition, she has experience litigating complex technology patent cases where antitrust claims have been asserted.
Throughout her career, she has represented clients in many diverse industries (from electronics to biotechnology) in complex patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright, and unfair competition litigation and appeals. Other recent trial experience includes federal jury trials and arbitrations in multiple forums, including jury trial involving patent infringement of a dual-energy x-ray scanning device; jury trial involving copyright and trade dress infringement of a silo unloader; jury trial involving trade dress infringement of a rotary electric shaver; and arbitration involving copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and other business claims regarding computer software. She has also successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous preliminary injunction and TRO proceedings, including suits involving copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation of computer software; patent, trademark, and trade dress infringement of a hand tool; copyright and trade dress infringement of robotic toy designs; copyright infringement of architectural plans; and trade secret misappropriation of customer lists—all of which resulted in favorable settlement terms for her clients. In addition, her experience includes ITC actions and conducting discovery abroad throughout Europe and Japan.
Her broad-based intellectual property experience resulted in her being recognized by the AIPLA and the MCCA as one of the country's "Top Minority IP Partners" (2003), as a recipient of Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 Award by National Bar Association and IMPACT (2010), as being one of less than 5% of Illinois attorneys selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers® (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), and as a leading patent litigator and trade secrets lawyer by The Legal 500 US (2007, 2010). She was also recognized among the notable lawyers in Who's Who in Black Chicago (1st/3rd eds). In addition, Ms. Gills received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell's peer review process. An "AV" rating is given to those attorneys with "very high to preeminent legal ability," and reflects her "expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence."*
As an attorney registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ms. Gills regularly counsels clients in all aspects of the procurement, registration, enforcement, advertising, marketing/branding, and protection of intellectual property in the U.S. and abroad. Representative experience includes: counseling companies on the protection of product configuration trade dress and the use of color as a trademark; counseling companies regarding copyright ownership and infringement disputes, particularly in the areas of computer software and associated documentation; handling contractual disputes concerning intellectual property rights and licenses and the theft or use of intellectual property by a company's former employees or independent contractors; counseling clients on IP holding companies, including how to maximize value from an IP portfolio when certain assets are likely to be the subject of IP litigation; and handling cases involving the intersection of trade dress, design patent, and utility patent protection for consumer and industrial products. Apart from her intellectual property litigation and counseling experience, she has prepared various intellectual property agreements, including joint development agreements, as well as franchise, software, and disaster recovery agreements.
Ms. Gills is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1994) and Michigan State University (B.S., with honors, electrical engineering, 1991). She is admitted to practice in Illinois, the Seventh Circuit, and various federal district and appellate courts, in addition to the USPTO. She is an active member of the AIPLA, IPLAC, and the Intellectual Property Law sections of the ABA and the NBA.