Brian Gilpin is a registered patent attorney and shareholder in Godfrey & Kahn’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He provides counsel to clients on U.S. and international patent, trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property and technology issues including licensing and litigation. Brian also has significant experience in e-business and information technology and counsels clients on privacy and internet use policies, domain name disputes, and technology development and distribution agreements.
Representative clients Brian regularly represents in patent and trademark matters include automotive parts manufacturer Asyst Technologies, Duluth Trading Company; Johnsonville; Kohl’s; and Pacific Cycle, manufacturer and distributor of Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, and other brands of bicycles and recreational products. He has experience in a variety of mechanical and technological areas, including plastic part molding, metal part fabrication and automated components assembly.
Brian is a member of the State Bars of Illinois and Wisconsin and is admitted to practice before numerous federal courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Brian serves on the Board of Directors of First Stage and previously served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Milwaukee and on the Executive Business Advisory Board of NameProtect (now part of Corsearch).
Brian received his engineering degree from Purdue University and graduated from UIC John Marshall Law School, cum laude. While in law school, he was the editor-in-chief of the John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law. In 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Brian was named a "Rising Star" in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine.
Representative Trademark Clients
Duluth Trading Company – retailer of work wear, products, and accessories
Johnsonville – manufacturer of popular meat products
Kohl's – retail department stores
Pacific Cycle – manufacturer and distributor of Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, InSTEP and other brands of bicycles and recreational products
Representative Patent Clients
Asyst Technologies – OEM of automotive parts primarily for forward lighting equipment
Harken, Inc. – manufacturer and marketer of sailboat hardware and accessories
Representative Litigation and Arbitration Matters
Unique Coupons v. Menasha Corporation and Northfield Corporation. Represented packaging equipment manufacturer Northfield in two trials in the Northern District of Illinois and appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit relating to patent infringement claims brought by competitor and resulting in findings of no liability.
Johnsonville Sausage v. Premio Foods. Represented Johnsonville in trademark infringement action against Premio in Eastern District of Wisconsin resulting in settlement during jury trial.
Krause Publications, Inc. v. Chester L. Krause. Represented Krause Publications in trial before Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in trademark opposition matter resulting in denial of Mr. Krause's attempt to obtain trademark registration.
Asyst Technologies v. Eagle Eyes. Represented Asyst Technologies in patent infringement action in Eastern District of Wisconsin against Taiwan manufacturer of after market automotive parts.
U.S. Dairy Export Council et al. v. Interprofession du Gruyère and Syndicat Interprofessionel du Gruyère. Represented U.S. dairy organizations and companies in a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board trial opposing the attempted registration by Swiss and French organizations of GRUYERE as a certification mark in U.S. The TTAB determined “that purchasers and consumers of cheese understand the term ‘gruyere’ as a designation that primarily refers to a category within the genus of cheese that can come from anywhere” and sustained the opposition in a precedential decision. The Swiss and French organizations appealed the decision to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia which granted summary judgment in favor of the opposer group. In a decision garnering substantial press coverage in outlets ranging from NBC News to the New York Times to The Hill, the Court found the evidence “overwhelming” that gruyere is a generic term for a type of cheese. The case is currently on further appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Counsel for various clients in dozens of domain name arbitrations under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).
Admitted To Practice
Illinois - 1996
United States Patent and Trademark Office - 1996
Wisconsin - 1997
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
United States District Court, District of Colorado
United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
International Trademark Association
Milwaukee Bar Association
State Bar of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association
Recommend by IAM Patent 1000 (2021)
Recommend by World Trademark Review 1000 (2021)
Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Trademark Law, 2018 - present; Litigation - Intellectual Property, Patent Law, 2023)
Recognized by Chambers USA (Intellectual Property, 2017 - present)
Recognized as a Wisconsin Rising Star (2007 - 2008, 2010 - 2011)
AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
Juris Doctor, UIC John Marshall Law School, 1996, cum laude
Bachelor of Science, Purdue University, 1993, Civil Engineering