Kwanwoo is a registered patent attorney who secures and protects intellectual property rights for Fortune 500 companies, universities, and other high-tech clients in the electrical and computer technology fields. Tapping into his extensive knowledge in the areas of cellular wireless networks, computer systems, software design, and related technologies, Kwanwoo likes to “get under the hood” to gain a deep understanding of his clients’ inventions, allowing him to develop sophisticated patent strategies that often employ novel approaches to achieve the desired outcome.
Kwanwoo’s journey to a career in patent law was unexpected. Throughout his pre-law education and into his early years working in the consulting industry, Kwanwoo had no exposure to the legal field. Only after he engaged an attorney to represent him in a landlord-tenant dispute did he learn firsthand how lawyers can help their clients solve problems. That personal experience inspired him to attend law school so that he could apply his engineering background to help others at the intersection of technology and the law.
In 2022, Kwanwoo was selected to participate in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder Program. The LCLD Pathfinder Program focuses on foundational leadership skills and strategies for continuous career development.
“A patent is the formal recognition of an inventor’s creativity, vision, and hard work. I’m honored to help my clients achieve that milestone, protect their ideas, and propel their businesses forward.”
Outside the office, Kwanwoo enjoys playing the piano, a passion that took off after having performed at Carnegie Hall with a group of classmates during high school and continued throughout college-level piano courses. He is also an avid runner who has completed five marathons, including two in Chicago and one each in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Drawing on his electrical engineering degree and related work experience, Kwanwoo manages patent portfolios and prepares and prosecutes patent applications for technologies directed to:
- 4G and 5G standards for cellular networks
- Artificial intelligence
- E-commerce systems
- Vehicle navigation, including autonomous vehicles
- Mobile applications and data management for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices
- Digital image processing for video games and other applications
- Semiconductors and related fabrication processes
- Internal combustion engines and turbochargers
- Insurance and financial services
Within these technology areas, Kwanwoo has secured patent protection in the United States and foreign jurisdictions, considering issues related to patentability and freedom-to-operate, counseling clients on infringement matters, performing portfolio due diligence, and participating in patent litigation. He has also filed a number of successful pre-appeal briefs with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a strategy that allowed his clients to avoid the time and expense often associated with a traditional patent appeal brief or continued prosecution.
Background and Credentials
Prior to his legal career, Kwanwoo was a technology analyst at Accenture, where he gained extensive experience in software testing, development, and project management.
While attending law school classes in the evening, Kwanwoo worked full-time as a patent agent at an international law firm, providing patent prosecution services to Fortune 500 companies. He also served as a submissions editor of the Chicago-Kent College of Law Journal of Intellectual Property, drafted patent applications for under-resourced inventors through the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub pro bono program, and was selected as a Chicago IP Colloquium Fellow. Kwanwoo earned CALI awards for the highest grade in Software Patents, Legal Writing III, and Legal Analytics.
While completing his undergraduate studies in electrical engineering, Kwanwoo worked as an intern at a start-up company focused on developing software related to speech recognition technology.
- Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (J.D.)
- Certificate in Intellectual Property Law
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (B.S.)
- Electrical Engineering
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Publications and Presentations
- "Careers in Intellectual Property and Patent Law," Panelist, Illinois Intellectual Property Alliance (ILIPA) Panel Discussion, April 7, 2022.
- "Careers in Intellectual Property,” University of Illinois Pre-Law Honors Society, Presenter, March 3, 2022.
- "Let's Talk It Out: Law Student Forum," Asian American Bar Association, Co-Panelist, April 22, 2020.
- "USPTO 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidance and PTAB Updates," CLE Presentation, Co-Presenter, June 13, 2019.
Community and Professional Involvement
- Asian American Bar Association of Chicago, Board of Directors
- Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC), Board of Managers and Vice-Chair of Symposium Committee
- Korean American Bar Association of Chicago, Member
- Lawyers for the Creative Arts, pro bono legal services for financially eligible clients in all areas of the arts
- Wills for Heroes Foundation, pro bono assistance with essential estate planning documents for veterans and first responders