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Richard D. Harris is Co-Chair of the firm's Global Patent Litigation Group. He focuses his practice on U.S. and foreign patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright and unfair competition matters, with particular emphasis on litigation. His practice remains actively involved with patent and trademark prosecution and intellectual property-related transactional projects.


  • Patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright litigation
  • Prosecution (acquisition) of patents and trademarks from the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Patent interpretation towards avoidance and design-around
  • Intellectual property portfolio evaluation
  • Intellectual property mediation and arbitration
  • Federal Court-appointed technical expert/mediator
  • Expert witness in patent and trademark matters
  • Development of transactional relationships concerning intellectual property rights



  • Lead counsel in numerous cases over the last four decades that have had significant impact on national intellectual property issues. The seminal case before the United States International Trade Commission, In Re Certain Novelty Glasses, established the criteria for the federal exclusion of infringing, foreign-made articles from U.S. Ports of Entry. Action Repair, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. set the standards for "reasonable innocent construction" in commercial defamation actions. Richard was also lead counsel in Golden Valley Microwave Foods Inc. v. Weaver Popcorn Co., Inc., which serves as an encyclopedia on the commission of fraud before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as in Custom Accessories, Inc. v. Jeffrey-Allan Industries, Inc., a hallmark CAFC decision on the issues of patent novelty, non-obviousness and the effects of re-examination. In Bard V. M3 Systems, for the first time in decades, a jury verdict of anti-trust damages against a patent-enforcing plaintiff was upheld by the CAFC. Richard litigates cases involving his clients’ most valuable intellectual property assets, cases involving the infringement of their patented inventions, and/or the misappropriation of their trade secrets, trademarks/branding and copyrights. These cases often involve his clients’ “crown jewel” assets such as key technologies involving wireless communication software, and formulations for polymers—as well as manufacturing and chemical processes associated with those formulations—amongst other technologies. His practice also involves defending his clients from claims relating to their competitors’ purported intellectual property rights.
  • Several of Richard's other cases have involved the invalidation, unenforceability and non-infringement of high-profile patents. National Diamond Syndicate v. Kuwayama, a design patent on a gemstone design, was determined to be invalid and not infringed, as was a chemical process patent in Atofina v. Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. Each of the patents in these two recent cases was, likewise, deemed unenforceable as having been obtained by the respective patent holders through the commission of inequitable conduct before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In Sears v. Target, he halted the sale of a "look-alike" electronic leveling tool through issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order. He has likewise participated in European Patent Office litigation in Munich, Germany.
  • Federal court-appointed expert/mediator settling United Technologies Automotive Inc. V. Pontiac Coil, Inc. and Chrysler Corp. V. Franklin Mint.
  • Cases profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The American Lawyer, as well as on network television. Publicly held clients are involved in fiber containers, OEM automotive components, developmental toys for infants, traffic signaling equipment, orthopedic implants and chemical flame retardants, amongst other varied areas of technology.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Recipient, Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, 2017
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Intellectual Property; Patent Law, 2013-2024
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2023
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Patents: Litigation (full coverage), "Recommended Lawyer," 2023
  • Listed, Managing IP Magazine's World IP Handbook and Survey, "IP Stars: Chicago Patent Stars," 2013-2023
  • Listed, Leading Lawyers Network, 2004-2023
  • Listed, IAM magazine, "IAM Patent 1000," Litigation, 2012-2023
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2017
    • "Recognized Practitioner," 2015-2017
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago
  • Event Sponsor/Fundraiser, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
  • Fundraiser, American Cancer Society
  • Fundraiser, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Former Vice-Chairman, Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyer's Section


  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1975
  • B.S., Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1971
    • College of Mechanical-Industrial Engineering
  • B.A., Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1971
    • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Supreme Court of the United States