Biography

Having written and helped clients obtain hundreds of U.S. patents and register over a thousand U.S. trademarks, Richard M. LaBarge enjoys partnering with clients to coordinate the available forms of intellectual property protection into a strong, tight set of rights. Recognized for his efficient handling of unusual situations, he led the successful opposition to the effort to register the "thumpa-thumpa" sound of motorcycles as a federal trademark, and successfully defended one of the nation’s oldest surviving trademark registrations. He is currently coordinating the international trademark portfolios of several pharmaceutical companies, and registering the US trademarks of Korea's leading consumer electronics company.

In addition to his Martindale-Hubbell® AV Peer Review Rating™, he has been selected by the Chicago Law Bulletin's Leading Lawyer Network as a "Leading Lawyer." In 2013, he was selected as a "Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property" by American Lawyer Media (ALM) and Martindale-Hubbell. He was also recognized by the World Trademark Review (WTR) in the 2014 WTR 1000 rankings.

2014 WTR 1000 Recommended Individual

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Tailored an efficient suite of protection for a consumer goods company and its new style of paper packaging products. Under time pressure, he devised an effective strategy to consolidate the number of filings while also providing a broader scope of protection than commonly seen in the industry. This approach provided better control and market benefits for the company by making it tougher for competitors to copy without infringing, while also reducing client costs.
  • In a litigious industry, combined utility patent and design patent filings for a world-leading manufacturer to provide broad protection for a new line of innovative sprayer products that help to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. This approach is helping to secure the client’s line in the marketplace and may help to provide defenses or possible counterclaims if competitors assert unjustified claims against the client. 

BACKGROUND AND CREDENTIALS

The patents and trademark registrations that he has helped to obtain cover a wide range of products, and Richard M. LaBarge has gained particular experience with consumer products companies and pharmaceutical companies. His litigation practice has brought him before U.S. district courts throughout the nation as well as before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Internationally, he works closely with foreign agents in obtaining and enforcing foreign trademark rights, efficiently coordinating resolution of issues on a multi-national basis.

Mr. LaBarge brings an engineer’s mindset to his work. He is not just analytical, but also passionate about identifying the essence of what makes products and marketing valuable. He helps guides clients to portfolio of rights that efficiently and forcefully protects the most critical aspects of their business. In trademark counseling, he recognized – before “trademark bullying” became a buzzword -- that overzealous trademark policing can damage something even more valuable than a company’s mark: its reputation. 

Education

  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Civil Engineering

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. International Trade Commission
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

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