Chicago Patent Attorneys Take 3rd for the U.S. in 2009 Patent Cup Sailing Race
CHICAGO, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Co-skippers and fellow patent attorneys, Gary M. Ropski, president of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, and Leif R. Sigmond, Jr., a partner at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, brought in a third place victory for their U.S.A. team when they crossed the finish line in the 2009 Patent Cup sailing regatta held May 27-30 at the Yacht Club de Ilhabela, Brazil, located on the island of Ilhabela on the northeast coast of the Brazilian state of Sao Paolo. The crew also consisted of Marcus J. Thymian, a partner at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, and Derek Minihane, in-house counsel at Intermolecular, San Jose, California.
"This is a wonderful event that allows patent attorneys from around the globe to develop contacts and friendships, sail in exciting new locations and participate in friendly competition," said Mr. Ropski. "We were glad to place among a field of excellent competitors."
Participating for the third time in this event, Ropski, Sigmond and their crew sailed an HPE 25, manufactured and sailed in Brazil. All of the boats were identically rigged. The regatta was organized by the Brazilian intellectual property firm of Dannemann Siemsen. First place this year went to Mark Robinson of the European Patent Office. Second place went to Henrique Steuer I. de Mello of Brazil.
In 2006, the Ropski-Sigmond team earned the first-ever first place U.S.A. victory in the Patent Cup race which was held at the Chicago Yacht Club in Chicago, Illinois, and in 2007 the team placed third in Venice, Italy. Thymian and Minihane were also part of the 2007 team.
"Representing the United States in this international regatta was an honor for our whole team," said Mr. Sigmond.
Twelve teams representing the U.S. and other countries, including Canada, France, Germany and Brazil, as well as several teams from the European Patent Office, competed in this competitive, but friendly, sailing race. There were also two "international" boats with teams from different countries. The Ropski-Sigmond team was the only all-USA team.
Established in 1989 by two friends, a German patent attorney, Peter Franck, and a French patent attorney, Frederic Benech, the Patent Cup was created to foster camaraderie and help cultivate strong relations among patent attorneys from around the world as well as provide opportunities for new sailing venues. According to the Patent Cup charter, each sailing boat must have a crew consisting primarily of patent professionals. Every year the race is held in a different country with the host country responsible for the organization, terms and conditions of the race, the boats chosen and all other arrangements for the event. Next year's race is planned to be held in either Denmark or Sweden.
Mr. Ropski is the president of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione and has practiced intellectual property law exclusively since joining Brinks in 1976. His practice now focuses on litigation, but has included patent prosecution and litigation, trademark prosecution, including oppositions, and litigation, trade dress litigation, copyright registration and litigation, trade secret litigation, right of publicity counseling and litigation and related unfair competition and antitrust matters in federal and state courts. He races a Shields one-design sailboat in Chicago during the summer months and has consistently been in the top two or three in the fleet championship series.
Mr. Sigmond served as the Managing Partner of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP for three years and is currently on the firm's Management Board. He concentrates in intellectual property litigation and advises clients on protecting, obtaining and licensing intellectual property. He owns and actively races a Tartan Ten class sailboat in Chicago. Mr. Sigmond's firm, MBHB, is the official law firm sponsor of the 101st Race to Mackinac, which will be held in Chicago in mid-July.
Founded in 1917, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is based in Chicago with five additional offices across the country serving the intellectual property needs of clients from around the world. The firm is one of the largest IP law firms in the country, with more than 170 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents specializing in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, intellectual asset management, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments in fields as diverse as electrical, chemical, mechanical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, Internet and computer technology, as well as in trademarks or brand names for a wide variety of products and services. For additional information, visit www.usebrinks.com.
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP is an intellectual property boutique with 75 attorneys. It was founded in 1996, and has offices in Chicago and Washington. MBHB provides comprehensive legal services to obtain and enforce our clients' intellectual property rights, from navigating patent office procedures to litigating complex infringement actions. MBHB prosecutes patent and trademark applications in both the U.S. and abroad, handles intellectual property litigation matters in trial and appellate courts across the country, and counsels clients nationwide and worldwide on the enforcement and defense of their intellectual property rights. For additional information, visit www.MBHB.com.
Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
Source: Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione