Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services

Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services

It is difficult to conceive of novel and innovative ideas, create works of art and develop valuable goodwill in a mark. It takes dedication, commitment, creativity and ingenuity. In order to benefit from these innovations, inventors, artists and businesses need strong protection and counseling. Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys bring knowledge, proficiency and innovative strategies to bear on protecting intellectual property owners’ rights. The firm strives to understand the distinctive needs of its clients and tailors its services to meet those unique needs.
Our intellectual property group offers a full spectrum of superior litigation, prosecution and transactional assistance in a wide range of areas, including trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. While providing these services, our attorneys have represented clients ranging from entertainers and small companies to large corporations.

In addition, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP draws upon its national reputation as a litigation firm to protect its clients in the courtroom. Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP is often retained as counsel in injunctive proceedings. In these fast-moving actions, immediate expert decision-making is required. Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP can and does provide this critical legal advice to its clients.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys have represented and assisted clients with numerous intellectual property issues, including in the following areas:

Trademark, Trade Dress and Unfair Practices
  • Application Drafting and Prosecution
  • Counseling and Opinion Letters
  • Licensing, Assignments, and Transactions
  • Madrid Trademark Registration
  • Mark Monitoring
  • Preliminary Investigations and Clearances
  • Researching and Providing Availability Reports
  • Application Drafting and Prosecution
  • Licensing, Assignments and Transactions
Trade Secret
  • Counseling and Opinion Letters
  • Employment Contract Formation and Counseling
  • Copyright
  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Patent
  • Trade Dress
  • Trade Secret
  • Trademark and Trademark Dilution
  • Right of Publicity
General Intellectual Property
  • Auditing
  • Counseling
  • Insurance Coverage Analysis and Opinions
For more information on Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services Practice Group, please contact Stephen Fardy at or 312-923-8247.


March 20, 2023
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts Copyright Law Panel for Women in Music Chicago
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP will host a panel, "Copyright Law: What Music Creators Need to Know," for Women in Music Chicago on March 30.

Chicago, December 9, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Lateral Associate, New Law School Graduates
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that one lateral attorney and four new law graduates have joined the firm's Chicago office as associates.

Chicago, September 7, 2021
Fitzgerald Named One Of Crain's Chicago Business' Notable Rising Stars in Law
Fitzgerald is one of 74 Chicago attorneys selected for this honor, which recognizes attorneys who have been partners for five years or less and have demonstrated an impact at their firm and in the community.

Chicago, August 10, 2021
Five Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
They will all practice in the firm's Chicago office.

Chicago, July 27, 2021
Becker Speaks at Lollapalooza University on Chicago Music Scene
The course is designed to offer full immersion in the annual Lollapalooza festival experience and a broad look at the innerworkings of various areas of the music industry.

Chicago, July 16, 2021
Entertainment and Media Law Newsletter: NCAA Allows Student-Athletes to Profit Off Name, Image and Likeness
The newsletter shares more detail on the NCAA's new interim policy that allows student-athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness.

Chicago, May 19, 2021
Becker Speaks on Music Publishing and Mechanical Licensing Collective
Becker and Serona Elton of the MLC will discuss how this new organization changed the way songwriters receive their mechanical royalties,

Chicago, April 12, 2021
Becker Named to Billboard Magazine's Top Music Lawyers List for Third Consecutive Year
According to Billboard, "Over the past tumultuous year, the leading music attorneys chosen for the 2021 edition of Billboard's Top Music Lawyers — nominated by their firms and peers and chosen by our editors — have played an essential role."

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Chicago, February 2, 2021
Illinois Super Lawyers Recognizes 25 Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that 12 attorneys have been named n to the 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers list and 13 have been named to the Illinois Rising Stars list.

Chicago, January 18, 2021
Three Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Partner
Jessica Levitt Acuna, Jack A. Gould and Jonna McGinley Reilly have all been named partner.

Chicago, Lisle, Libertyville, Madison County, January 11, 2021
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers for 2021
Those designated Leading Lawyers were recommended by their peers to be among the top lawyers in Illinois.

Chicago, December 3, 2020
Patterson Shares How Santa Monetizes His Intellectual Property
Hosted by the Center for Creative Entrepreneurship, the webinar offered a timely case study for entrepreneurs on how to mind their business and protect their interests.

Chicago, November 18, 2020
Wahl Speaks at Virtual Music and IP Conference for Law Students
Wahl spoke on a panel with four other speakers.

Chicago, October 20, 2020
Becker Speaks on TikTok at Cardozo Law School
The panel, hosted by Cardozo School of Law's Entertainment Law Society and its Fashion, Arts, Media and Entertainment Law Center, will cover how TikTok has transformed the music business and how partial American ownership could affect entertainment.

Chicago, October 12, 2020
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Sponsors General Counsel Session at ABA Entertainment and Sports Conference
"General Counsels in Entertainment and Sports" will cover key legal issues facing in-house legal departments in the sports and entertainment industries.

Chicago, August 24, 2020
Wahl Discusses "Copyrights Vs. COVID-19" in City of Chicago Cultural Affairs Virtual Program
The artist enrichment class will also showcase speakers on vocal performance, marketing and other topics.

Chicago, July 27, 2020
Becker Named to Billboard Magazine's Top Music Lawyers List
This prestigious list honors prominent music and entertainment attorneys from around the country. Becker is one of only a few attorneys in the Midwest named to this year's list.

Chicago, July 13, 2020
Wahl Speaks on Copyright Basics in Musical Compositions and Sound Recordings
Wahl's presentation will instruct how musical performers can address copyright matters, including fair use and compulsory licenses, as well as copyright duration.

Chicago, June 26, 2020
Becker Speaks on Lawyers for the Creative Arts' Copyright Litigation Panel
"From Student to Master: What You Need to Know About Copyright Litigation" gives volunteer LCA attorneys the chance to learn more about copyright litigation.

Chicago, June 9, 2020
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts "Concerts From My Couch" Series
"Concerts From My Couch" entertained viewers via Zoom during stay-at-home orders and gave artists an outlet to interact with an audience after being sidelined from touring and performing live.

May 18, 2020
Becker Interviewed on The What Podcast on Force Majeure
The podcast co-host also wrote an article for the Chattanooga Times Free Press featuring Becker's podcast interview.

May 4, 2020
Wahl Hosts Webinar on "Copyright vs. COVID-19" for Women in Music Chicago

April 16, 2020
Becker Quoted in Chicago Tribune on Potential Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Cancellations

April 7, 2020
Chicago Lawyer Magazine Interviews Wahl on City's Expanding Entertainment Legal Market
Wahl tells readers that Chicago's musicians, artists and entertainers are among the most knowledgeable in the industry.

February 13, 2020
Wahl Speaks On Women in Sports and Entertainment Law Panel
Wahl spoke along with three fellow female attorneys who work significantly in the sports and entertainment industries.

December 16, 2019
Lateral Partner Joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Commercial Litigation Practice
Harkness focuses his practice on commercial litigation, manufacturing disputes, partnership and membership disputes, class action defense, intellectual property litigation, and real estate litigation.

December 9, 2019
Sheean Serves as Law Institute Liaison at DRI Insurance Seminar
Sheean welcomed attendees to the symposium last week.

November 26, 2019
Reilly Volunteers at Immigration Processing Center on U.S. Border
With the help of translators, Reilly interviewed numerous detainees, assessing their claims for asylum or alternative immigration relief in hopes of collecting enough facts to enable Las Americas to take on their case pro bono.

October 3, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Sponsors Chicago International Film Festival
Partner Jeffrey S. Becker will be a panelist at Industry Days, the festival's hub for filmmakers and industry professionals to connect, share ideas and be inspired.

September 27, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Fardy in "40 Under Forty" Look Back
Fardy was chosen from among his fellow "40 Under Forty" Class of 2009 peers for a detailed profile on his career since receiving the honor.

September 26, 2019
Illinois Wesleyan University Profiles Becker for Billboard Honor
Becker talked to the university about the career path that led him to representing musicians, producers and songwriters, publishers, record labels and other artists.

August 28, 2019
Patterson Speaks on Litigation Finance
Patterson and fellow panelists will offer "A Case Study: How Litigation Funding Saved A Business."

August 26, 2019
Becker Named to Billboard Magazine's Top Music Lawyers List
Becker is the only Chicago attorney and one of two Midwest-based attorneys named to this year's list.

August 2, 2019
"Sound of Summer" Empowers Women With All-Female Concert Lineup
GRAMMY®-nominated artist CAM headlined show benefiting nonprofit She Is The Music

July 23, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts Fifth Annual Charitable Concert "Sound of Summer"
GRAMMY®-nominated artist CAM will headline, with additional performances by Ness Heads and Zealyn. Sound of Summer benefits nonprofit She Is The Music and will feature women in key roles from stage to soundboard.

July 12, 2019
Becker Moderates Panel on "Getting Noticed Through the Noise" at 2112
Industry experts from Spotify, Atlantic Records, Symphonic Distribution and Systemic & Outside the Box Music will be part of the panel.

June 19, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts Health and Wellness Panel for Women in Music Chicago
Topics include dealing with performance issues and stage fright, finding work/life balance in a creative career, finding and nurturing your inner artist, being authentic, and learning how to care for yourself inside and out.

June 18, 2019
Becker Speaks at 2112 on Indie Vs. Major Labels Panel
Becker and fellow panelists will discuss "Indie Vs. Major Labels" and how artists, managers and consultants can navigate the process of finding the right label.

May 29, 2019
Becker Quoted in The Verge on Metadata in Music Industry
The article explains how lack of synchronization of underlying information tied to a released song or album across industry databases leaves potentially billions unpaid to musicians.

April 22, 2019
Becker Quoted in Pitchfork Regarding "Stranger Things" Rip-off Lawsuit
Becker was quoted in Pitchfork regarding the lawsuit alleging that "Stranger Things" creators ripped off the idea for the television show from a filmmaker.

April 17, 2019
Becker Quoted in The Verge Regarding Artificial Intelligence and Music
The article questions if AI's ability to makes music makes AI an artist, which leads to questions regarding authorship.

April 17, 2019
Wahl Profiled in Chicago Music Guide Article
Wahl was profiled in Chicago Music Guide regarding her her path to music law and her thoughts on the music industry in Chicago and beyond.

April 16, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Hosts "Leading Ladies of Radio" Panel for Women in Music Chicago
The panel will feature discussion on careers in radio, the radio industry, and advice for women wanting to pursue similar career paths.

April 2, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Sponsors Ebertfest in Champaign
Ebertfest celebrates films, genres and formats that have been overlooked by distributors, audiences and/or critics.

March 15, 2019
Vulture Quotes Becker on Spotify and Songwriters Battle
Vulture quoted Becker in its article, "Is Spotify Suing Songwriters? The Latest Legal Battle Explained."

March 11, 2019
Becker Quoted in The Verge on U.S. Copyright Royalty Board Ruling
Becker was quoted in The Verge regarding Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon's decision to appeal a U.S. Copyright Royalty Board ruling to increase payouts to songwriters.

October 22, 2018
Patterson Addresses Legal Realities in a Virtual World at 2112 Tech Summit
Patterson led "a discussion of known-knowns and known-unknowns in immersive tech."

October 19, 2018
BTI Consulting Names Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP A Standout in Commercial Litigation
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP was one of nine law firms singled out in Commercial Litigation and one of seven named a Commercial Litigation Standout.

October 2, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Celebrates 25th Anniversary, Continued Growth
In recognition of its 25th anniversary year, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP has made a monthly donation to a non-profit with whom the firm has a strong relationship.

September 21, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Client Obtains Summary Judgment in Copyright Case
The ruling granted Frenchy's summary judgment as defendant in an action brought by a former employee.

July 25, 2017
Three Associates Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that two lateral attorneys and a newly sworn-in attorney have joined the firm as associates.

May 9, 2017
Sheean, Wahl Speak at DRI Business Litigation Seminar
Sheean chairs the DRI Business Litigation Committee; Wahl will speak to young lawyers on copyright basics in musical compositions and sound recordings.

January 5, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names Three New Partners
Sullivan practices in Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Lisle office, while Lothson and Wahl practice in the firm’s Chicago office.

July 15, 2016
Fardy, Reilly Represent Convenience Store Chain in IP Dispute
The chain has asked U.S. District Court to allow it to continue referring to its four-sided doughnuts as "square donuts."

June 21, 2016
IP Newsletter: How the Defense of Trade Secrets Act Impacts Your Business
The Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services Practice Group has released its June newsletter.

January 21, 2016
Patterson Authors "Above the Law" Article on Litigation Finance
Patterson discusses three ways litigation finance changes an attorney's job, inside and out.

January 18, 2016
Becker, Patterson Lead Tech Talk on New Media
The talk is hosted at 2112, Chicago's first incubator focused on the development of entrepreneurs in music, film/video, and creative technology.

December 17, 2015
Lateral Associates, Law School Grads Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
The firm welcomes two lateral associates and two recent law school graduates to the firm's Chicago office.

October 30, 2015
Skiko, Fardy Recognized at Jury Verdict Reporter Awards
The pair were recognized for obtaining the highest settlement of 2014-2015 on behalf of client Business Logic.

October 12, 2015
October's Chicago Lawyer Cover Features Fardy
Chicago Lawyer recognized partners Steve Fardy and Pete Skiko for obtaining the largest settlement in 2014 on behalf of a client.

April 6, 2015
Recent Results Highlight Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Growing Strength in Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property
Long known for its depth in tort defense and trial experience, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s success continues in other litigation areas.

January 15, 2015
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Names New Partners
Six associates were recently named partners, including one in St. Louis.

September 10, 2014
Fardy, Skiko Author Intellectual Property Magazine Article
The article details a trade secret dispute that settled for over $60 million.

July 21, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Trade Secret Settlement
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP represent Business Logic Holding Corporation in its $61 million settlement with Morningstar, Inc.

July 18, 2014
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Client Business Logic Obtains $61 Million Settlement
The publicly reported settlement ranks as both one of the largest reported Illinois settlements in recent years and is among the ten largest reported settlements involving trade secret misappropriation, according to Orrick.

June 17, 2014
Wahl Receives Rising Star Award at IDC Awards Reception
Wahl also received the Meritorious Award and the President's Commendation.

June 4, 2014
Lateral Associates, New Grad Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes three associates, including one who was recently sworn in to the Illinois Bar.

January 8, 2014
Fardy Wins IP Bench Trial on Patent Ownership and Fraud Issues
The client won a declaratory judgment on patent ownership issues as well as counterclaims of fraudulent concealment and fraud misrepresentation.

September 4, 2013
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Wins Summary Judgment in Trade Secret Matter
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP won summary judgment on behalf of its client, a California plant propagator, in a sophisticated multi-million dollar trade secret matter involving the licensing, marketing and development of specialized plant lines.

July 9, 2013
Seven Lateral Attorneys Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Four partners and three associates have recently joined the firm's Chicago office.

July 19, 2012
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Wins Summary Judgment in IP Case
The firm won summary judgment immediately prior to trial in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

March 19, 2012
Toxic Tort Team, Former Patent Examiner Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes four lateral attorneys to its Chicago office.

November 3, 2009
Fardy Named One of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” in Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s Annual Survey
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces that P. Stephen Fardy, an equity partner in its Chicago office, has been selected from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees.

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