Thomas J. Ring has more than 25 years of experience in various aspects of patent and trademark law, including the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and foreign patent applications; representing clients in re-examinations and interferences; preparation of patent and trademark opinions including non-infringement, invalidity, product clearance, and trademark availability opinions; patent and trademark litigation; negotiating and drafting patent and trademark licenses, IP due diligence reviews, and IP litigation support.
Thomas has been selected by Leading Lawyers, a division of Law Bulletin Media as a “Leading Lawyer.”
- Developed and prosecuted a client’s entire patent portfolio from the ground up, resulting in a substantial eight-figure purchase of those assets by a competitor.
- Successfully handled IP litigation resulting in one of the largest jury-verdict punitive damage awards in the United States at the time.
- Successfully conducted interference proceedings instigated in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by a client’s most aggressive competitor.
- Successfully assisted a number of clients in designing around a main competitor’s patent portfolio providing a pathway that resulted in commercial successes for those clients.
Background and Credentials
Thomas has marshaled numerous patent applications to issuance through the United States Patent Office and has represented clients in strategic, administrative ex parte and inter parte proceedings. His work spans across a wide range of technologies, including:
- Aircraft safety features, structural components and jet engines
- Air fragrance dispensers and related accessories
- Automotive interiors, including lighting and door panel manufacturing, as well as engine filter technology
- Ballistic-resistant materials, garments, and devices inclusive of textile fabrication and composite plate technology
- Bioreactors for algae production
- Business Methods
- Construction equipment
- Circuit board assembly
- Electrical connectors
- Farming equipment
- Firearm safety devices
- Furniture and furniture accessories
- Hand tools
- Household appliances and cleaning equipment
- Heating and ventilation systems and controls
- Hydraulic pumps and valves
- Kitchen and cookware items
- Medical devices
- Mining and excavation equipment
- Network cabinets and cable management
- Oil drilling equipment and deep water oil drilling safety equipment
- Pneumatic systems and desiccant drying equipment
- Packaging equipment
- Sporting equipment
- Telecommunication devices
- Waste water treatment equipment and processes
Thomas, over his career, has designed offensive and defensive patent strategies for numerous corporate clients, including Fortune 500 companies and franchises. Clients value his in-depth knowledge of a wide range of technologies. His strategic guidance has provided clients with the ability to avoid unfriendly patents and thereby reduce risk. As well as, has provided them the opportunity to enhance the value of their IP asset portfolio here in the United States and in foreign countries. In addition, he has guided clients to monetize their IP portfolios through licensing and sales and has provided the requisite due diligence for IP asset acquisitions.
Thomas received his J.D. from the John Marshall Law School and a B.S.C.E.E. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He is admitted to practice in the state of Illinois, before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (trial bar), United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago.
- The John Marshall Law School (J.D.)
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (B.S.C.E.E.)
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
- U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
Publications and Presentations
- “Patent Fundamentals Bootcamp 2018: An Introduction to Patent Drafting, Prosecution, and Litigation,” Practising Law Institute, May 8, 2018.
- “Patent Fundamentals Bootcamp 2017: An Introduction to Patent Drafting, Prosecution, and Litigation,” Practising Law Institute, May 9, 2017.
- “Fundamentals of Patent Prosecution 2016: A Boot Camp for Claim Drafting & Amendment Writing,” Practising Law Institute, May 11, 2016.
- “Fundamentals of Patent Prosecution 2015: A Boot Camp for Claim Drafting & Amendment Writing,” Practising Law Institute, May 13, 2015.
- “What Pet Product Companies Must Know About Intellectual Property: Protecting Your Competitive Advantage,” Co-Presenter, American Pet Products Association (APPA)'s Global Opportunities Education Series, October 10, 2013.
Community and Professional Involvement
- Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
- American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
- Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC)