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Kevin J. Byrne

Partner

Kevin J. Byrne concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and related business law counseling, with a particular emphasis on the representation of manufacturing and consumer goods companies in intellectual property disputes.

Mr. Byrne has represented companies in connection with patent, trademark and trade dress issues involving a wide range of consumer, commercial and industrial products, including:

  • Food and beverage containers
  • Commercial ice machines
  • Commercial coffee-making equipment
  • Soft drink dispensing equipment
  • Barbecue grills
  • Designer sunglasses
  • Gemstones
  • Cable television equipment

He has appeared in state and federal courts throughout the country and in proceedings before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Applying the insights that he gained during a four-year hiatus from Schiff Hardin while serving in an in-house corporate counsel capacity at Household Manufacturing, Inc., then a $1 billion diversified manufacturing company, Mr. Byrne also provides advice and counseling to manufacturing and consumer goods companies on both day-to-day and special project matters. His counseling activities frequently include advice regarding:

  • Product distribution, sales and marketing arrangements
  • Manufacturing and licensing agreements
  • Antitrust, trade regulation, advertising, unfair competition and product safety issues
  • Strategies designed to protect the domestic and international intellectual property portfolios of clients

Experience

Mr. Byrne's litigation representations include the following illustrative experiences:

  • Pacific Market International v. Thermos LLC (W.D. Washington, 2005) (defense verdict for client in eight-day trial of product configuration trade dress and state statutory claims after replacing prior trial counsel, who had been retained by clients insurance carrier, less than 90 days before trial)

  • Howe Corporation v. Scotsman Group Inc. (American Arbitration Association 2000) (successful defense of worldwide distributor dispute presenting tort, contract, and antitrust claims in three-week arbitration hearing; arbitration decision confirmed by Circuit Court of Cook County and confirmation affirmed on appeal in Scotsman Group Inc. v. Howe Corporation, 337 Ill. App.3d 1165 (1st Dist. 2003)

  • Thermos v. PriceCostco (D. Massachusetts 1996) (temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction secured on behalf of client in trademark infringement action involving the defendant's importation and distribution of goods that client had manufactured and distributed only outside the United States; claims later resolved by settlement)

  • Thermos Travel Tumbler Litigation (N.D. Illinois, D. Massachusetts, and D. Minnesota 1996-1998) (represented plaintiff in a series of nine lawsuits initiated over a three-year period to protect clients design patent and trade dress rights in an industry-leading, vacuum-insulated tumbler that commanded a retail price in the $25-30 range and brought a rash of imitators into the market; all cases resolved through settlements)

  • Thermos v. B2M2 Systems, LLC (S.D. Florida 2006) (represented plaintiff in trademark infringement, dilution and cyberpiracy action; claims resolved by settlement)

  • Scotsman Group Inc. v. IMI Cornelius (N.D. Illinois 2003) (represented plaintiff in patent infringement action involving patents for a fault restart system and for a system of preventing the formation of icy slush in ice machines; claims resolved by settlement)

  • Thermos v. Tefal S.A. (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board 2001) (represented opposer in trademark opposition proceeding challenging application for THERMOSPOT based on client's rights in THERMOS trademark; claims resolved on a worldwide basis by settlement agreement)

  • Schaeppi v. Thermos (D. Minnesota 2000) (defended client against patent infringement claims involving patents on beverage containers for use with vehicle beverage holders; claims resolved by settlement after Markman claim construction hearing)

  • Thermos, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, et al. (N.D. Illinois 1996) (represented plaintiffs in action involving various intellectual property claims, including patent infringement claims involving a process for manufacturing vacuum-insulated food and drink containers; case resolved by settlement in 1999 after completion of fact and expert discovery)

  • Biggs Corp. v. Wilen, et al. (Washoe County, Nevada 1999) (defended Katy Industries against state law claims that defendants had misappropriated plaintiff's idea for an ergonomically improved mop handle design; claims resolved by settlement after mediation)

  • Jerry Martin Associates Inc. v. Thermos (D. South Carolina 1997) (defended client against legal and equitable claims brought by former sales representative; claims resolved by settlement reached during course of trial)

  • Thermos v. Igloo Products Corp., 1995 WL 745832 (N.D. Illinois 1995) (obtained dismissal of antitrust and Lanham Act counterclaims asserted against client in trademark infringement action initiated against one of clients competitors; client's trademark infringement claims resolved later by settlement)

Awards and Honors

Leading Lawyer - Commercial Litigation; Intellectual Property Law, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network

Education

Northwestern University School of Law(J.D., cum laude, 1981)Member, Editorial Board, Northwestern University Law Review
Loyola University Chicago(B.A., magna cum laude, 1978)

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Business Law Section
Litigation Section
Section of Intellectual Property Law
Chicago Bar Association
Intellectual Property Law Committee