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.


Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, May 28, 2019
Chicago Underground Film Festival Legal Panel Features Life, Becker
Becker, Life and fellow panelists will discuss copyright, fair use, intellectual property and other legal issues filmmakers face.

Chicago, April 22, 2019
Daily North Shore Profiles Robinson Ahead of Piven Theatre Workshop Gala
Robinson will be recognized at the "Once Upon A Stage" Gala for her work and support in helping PTW launch and operate its EPIC Program at the Cook County Jail in 2016.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

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Chicago, 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.

Chicago, April 17, 2019
Brenda Robinson Joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP's Entertainment and Media Law Practice
Robinson will lead the firm's growing film practice.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, April 1, 2019
Life Speaks at CBA Media and Entertainment Meeting
Life spoke on "Entertainment Dealmaking: Negotiation of On-Camera Talent Agreements."

Chicago, March 26, 2019
Life Speaks at ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries
Life will be on the panel "Breaking into the Sports and Entertainment Industries."

Chicago, March 18, 2019
Law360 Profiles New Lateral Partner Travis Life
According to the article, "after talking with some Swanson Martin partners with whom he had developed working relationships, 'it really made sense to bring my practice over to Swanson Martin & Bell and join their practice group,' Life said."

Chicago, 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."

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, March 7, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Welcomes Lateral Partner to Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group
"The addition of Travis demonstrates the very exciting growth our entertainment practice has experienced over the past several years," says Jeffrey S. Becker, Entertainment and Media Law Practice Group Chair. Our clients will be well served by the depth of experience Travis will bring to the firm."

Chicago, February 19, 2019
Life Speaks at Stage 18 on Rights, Contracts and Agreements
A film and media incubator on the lot of Cinespace Chicago Studios, Stage 18 provides services, spaces, and events to educate, unite, and develop the local filmmaking and media community.

Chicago, February 6, 2019
Robinson, Grammy Music Education Coalition Launch All-Star Ambassador Program
The non-profit collective is dedicated to bringing universal music education to all public schools in America.

Chicago, 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."

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, Madison County, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, Lisle, 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.

Chicago, 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."

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, May 5, 2016
Former Harpo Attorney Joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Entertainment Practice
McMillan’s practice encompasses a broad range of matters in the entertainment industry, with an emphasis on television and motion picture matters.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

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

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

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

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

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, 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.

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

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, April 26, 2012
Sheean Addresses Trade Secrets Law at DRI Conference
Sheean will discuss strategies for litigating trade secrets claims at DRI's Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Seminar.

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, March 16, 2011
Vogts, Waidzunas Join Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP recently added two attorneys to its Chicago office.

Chicago, February 24, 2011
Sheean Authors Blog Posting for Defense Research Institute
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner Christopher T. Sheean recently authored a blog posting for the Defense Research Institute (DRI) blog, DRI Today.

Chicago, February 15, 2011
Sheean Quoted in Chicago Tribune Article on Motorola Lawsuit
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner Christopher T. Sheean was quoted in an article in today’s Chicago Tribune titled, “Motorola Solutions heads to federal court; restraining order at issue.”

Chicago, 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.

Chicago, February 23, 2009
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Announces Arrival of Christopher T. Sheean
Christopher T. Sheean has joined Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Chicago office as a partner in its Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services and Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes Practice Groups.

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