Michael J. Femal

Michael J. Femal

Principal
P:
312.521.2768
F:
312.521.2868

Overview

Mike has nearly four decades of experience advising clients on all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition law and litigation. Mike serves as counsel in trial proceedings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including inter partes review trials. Many of his clients are involved in concurrent, high-stakes litigation and seek to challenge patents at the USPTO to supplement their overall litigation strategy. 

Mike regularly counsels clients in the evaluation, protection, procurement, and transfer of domestic and foreign IP rights, including the negotiation of licensing deals across the United States and in Asia, Europe and South America. 

“My forte is helping clients see possibilities other than litigation when they are facing an IP dispute. Often, the parties in conflict are from different cultures or countries. I have helped bridge their cultural differences and negotiated settlements that meet my client’s objectives.”

Mike frequently negotiates and drafts IP licenses, as well as joint venture, joint development, brand label and secrecy agreements. An experienced  litigator, Mike represents clients in jury and non-jury court cases, mediation and arbitration, and regularly coordinates legal strategies in global IP disputes. 

Mike also has significant experience in a broad range of general legal matters, including customs, anti-boycott, antitrust, distributor relations, recalls, product liability, real estate and construction issues. He regularly conducts IP due diligence for private equity groups, hedge funds, banks and other companies engaged in lending, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and other transactions in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Trained as an electrical engineer prior to beginning his legal practice, Mike has significant experience with wireless communications systems, TDMA/FDMA/CDMA communications systems, A/D converters, embedded and application-level software, fiber optics, audio/visual display systems, signal compression and encoding standards, semiconductor manufacturing, microprocessor and ASIC-based industrial controls, AC inverters, factory automation controls, electrical distribution and power management equipment, and many other technologies. Before entering private practice, he served as Senior IP & Special Counsel for Square D Company/Schneider Electric S.A.

Credentials

Education

Chicago-Kent College of Law
J.D., 1973
Marquette University
B.S.E.E., 1970

Bar Admissions

Illinois
California (pro hac vice)
Connecticut (pro hac vice)
Delaware (pro hac vice)
Massachusetts (pro hac vice)
Michigan (pro hac vice)
Wisconsin (pro hac vice)

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Organizations

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association 
  • Illinois Patent Law Association

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