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From Chicago IP Alliance to Illinois IP Alliance:

Promoting the Midwest as a center for new ideas and innovation

Just as the century changed, Dolores Hanna,* a very prominent and respected trademark attorney in Chicago who had been a pioneer throughout her career, undertook a new endeavor. She assembled a group of IP professionals who shared her vision of the Chicago region as a vibrant center of IP and of innovation. At the time, the east and west coasts enjoyed those reputations, but the middle of the country did not. She outlined an organization of educators (law schools and universities), IP attorneys, innovators (businesses and corporations), and other supporters of invention, creation, and innovation. These groups would work together to promote Chicago and the Midwest as a center for new ideas and innovation through programs, networking, education, and other opportunities.

An interested and enthusiastic group** representing law schools, law firms, corporations, and associations became the founders of the Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and began to reach out to the area with a variety of programs:

  • IP Day for Chicago highlighted the international nature of the region, its businesses, and the international connections that IP creates through protection, licensing, and enablement.

  • IP Primers for Inventors and Innovators provided the basics to audiences of inventors and small businesses before the advent of formal incubators with similar activities in an informal setting that encouraged interaction with attorneys knowledgeable of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets as well as the business implications of invention and creation.

  • Chicago Public Schools Science Fair Most Inventive Awards given by CIPA recognized outstanding and potentially patentable projects with generous monetary awards as well as the opportunity for fair participants to interact with IP attorneys paired with IP law students and learn a little  about the value of IP to their work. Additionally, the winning project because the subject of a provisional patent, when possible, with the help of the Patent Clinic at Chicago-Kent where law students could interact directly with the student inventor.

  • Girls4Science has been a recent project that engages girls in Chicago with science and invites participants in CIPA to provide IP feedback to the girls and parents on the final projects that they undertake in the semester-long sessions. The resulting Q&A was always lively!

  • Student Mentoring was an original goal of CIPA, partnering local law students with attorneys. 
    This program recently has been a partnership with IPLAC with the speed-mentoring between 
    attorneys and law students.

In November, 2017, CIPA was the primary sponsor of the first IP Awareness Summit organized by the Center for IP Understanding. At that meeting Scott Frank, CEO of AT&T IP and founder of the Georgia IP Alliance had an initial quick meeting. A follow-up meeting in 2019 provided time to compare the missions and activities of the two groups, realize the alignment that they have, and began discussions to move CIPA beyond the confines of Chicago to a state-wide presence with the Illinois IP Alliance. Subsequently, the members of CIPA agreed and approved this change, recognizing that a state-wide
alliance would enable the good programs begun by CIPA to reach the entire state.

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FEB 2020

Initial merger discussions with Chicago IP Alliance (CIPA)

MAR 2020

COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Order

JAN-FEB 2020

Founders committee begins meeting weekly to discuss how to form and organize ILIPA

MAR 11 2020

First organizational meeting: pre-formation discussion

APR 2020

ILIPA incorporated as 501c

APR 21 2020

ILIPA website launched

APR 27 2020

Second organizational meeting: post-formation discussion

MAY-JUN 2020

ILIPA board formation

JUL 27 2020

ILIPA LinkedIn presence launched

SEP 15 2020

Informational meeting

* Dolores Hanna was a very prominent and respected trademark attorney in Chicago. She was a pioneer who was the first female INTA President who worked tireless to promote the role of women in the legal profession. She began her career at the Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery IP law firm, was trademark counsel in the legal department of Kraft Inc., the head of the trademark group at the law firm of Hill & Simpson. She chaired the Trademark Review Commission and worked for the passage of the Trademark Law Revision Act of 1988. She joined Bell Boyd and Lloyd (now K&L Gates) where she founded the firm’s trademark practice.

She was instrumental in creating the Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition for trademark and unfair competition. Additionally, she gave her time and her mentoring abilities serving as president of the IP Law Association of Chicago, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Women’s Bar Foundation, and Cook County Court Watchers.

Ms. Hanna received the Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association, a Founder’s Award from the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women, and the first President’s Award from INTA. She was inducted into the IP Hall of Fame and received Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Professional Achievement Award and was honored as one of its 125 Alumni of Distinction.

** CIPA Founders included:
Law Firms: Brinks, Gilson, & Leone; Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery; Welsh and Katz (now Husch Blackwell); K&L Gates; Marshall, Gerstein & Borun; McAndrews Held & Malloy; McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff; Neal & McDevitt; Apogee Law Group (replaced by AddyHart P.C.); Pattishall; Corporations: Baxter Healthcare Corporation; Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company; Law Schools: Chicago-Kent College of Law IIT; Loyola University Law School; John Marshall Law School; Northwestern University School of Law; Organizationa: Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) Additional organizations, law firms, law schools, and individuals became involved and active after the founding.

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