Firm History

Our Story

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP was founded in 1955, then operating from offices at the Chicago Board of Trade Building under the name Merriam & Lorch. By the late 1950s, the firm numbered ten attorneys with an early focus on intellectual property litigation serving the chemical, electrical, and pharmaceutical industries.

From the 1950s to the present, the firm has continued to grow and strengthen its intellectual property practice through small mergers and lateral additions and the development of new attorneys and technical specialists hired from school or industry. The firm’s growth has been purposeful, with an emphasis on adding transactional and trademark capabilities as well as expanding and enhancing its patent prosecution capabilities across an array of fields and industries such as computer science and software, AI, electrical devices, optics, mechanical devices, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, and nanotechnology. 

Over the last fifty years the firm has also continued to expand and enhance its litigation practice, where its long and highly regarded experience in complex intellectual property litigation enjoys a distinguished history in the federal district and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court in such landmark cases as:

Blonder-Tongue Labs, Inc. v. University of Illinois Foundation which established the fundamental principle of offensive collateral estoppel.

Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corporation which set forth the basic principles for antitrust liability under the patent laws.

The firm’s litigation experience has also figured prominently in the application of the patent laws to new fields of technology including in the seminal case Amgen Inc. v. Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., which established several important legal precedents in the biotechnology patent field, and which still serves as a pillar for Amgen’s erythropoietin (EPO) patent estate that was upheld through the firm’s success in Amgen Inc. v. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., affirmed in 2009.

Today Marshall Gerstein has grown to a firm of more than 100 attorneys, patent agents, and technical specialists uniquely qualified to provide intellectual property service for clients worldwide in a comprehensive range of industries and practice areas. The firm occupies the 62nd and 63rd floors of Chicago’s Sears (now Willis) Tower, where it has maintained its offices since 1993.  2018 brought the firm's first physical expansion outside of Illinois, with the opening of an office near Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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