David L. Applegate - Partner

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David L. Applegate is a partner of Williams Montgomery & John Ltd., chair of the firm's intellectual property practice group and a member of the commercial litigation practice group. He focuses his practice on patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, licensing, and business litigation and arbitration.

Mr. Applegate is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society, and a charter member of the Intellectual Property Institute. He is "AV Preeminent" peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the highest peer recognition for both ethical standards and legal ability.

Mr. Applegate has been named by his peers for inclusion in Illinois Leading Lawyers and Illinois Super Lawyers for both commercial and intellectual property litigation for many years.

Mr. Applegate joined the firm in 2003, after three years with an established intellectual property boutique, ten years running his own firm, and 12 years with two prior intellectual property and commercial litigation firms. Throughout his career, Mr. Applegate has represented corporations and individuals as both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal litigation at the trial and appellate levels. He has taken many cases to verdict as lead trial counsel in both jury and bench trials nationwide, has argued appeals in the Illinois appellate courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Federal Circuits, and has filed multiple briefs in the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Applegate also has extensive commercial arbitration and private mediation experience in both national and international dispute resolution forums, and is a member of the Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association.

Mr. Applegate's clients include individual entrepreneurs, startup companies, established mid-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies in the fields of advertising, authorship, arts and entertainment; broadcasting; computer security devices; environmental technologies; financial technologies; industrial turbine technology; medical, dental, orthopedic and orthodon­tic products; medical and clinical testing devices; trucking and transportation, including air-ride and leaf-spring suspension technology; and Internet domain names.

Examples of cases he has litigated for clients include multiple patent infringement cases in the air-ride and lift-axle trucking and trailer industry, cutting edge copyright litigation involving Nielsen Company "Designated Marketing Areas", representing Beckman Instruments in a patent, copyright and trade secret lawsuit against a competitor in the scientific instrumentation field, representing MTV Networks in licensing and copyright disputes related to the Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle" video, defending Jennifer Lopez and her producers in a federal Lanham Act trademark case, and prosecuting international trademark infringement claims on behalf of Sears Roebuck and Co. and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.  Mr. Applegate also has extensive experience in employment discrimination, civil rights and excessive force cases.

Education/Bar Admissions

Mr. Applegate received a B.A. in political science, cum laude, in 1975 from Yale University after pursuing a core curriculum in mathematics and science. He received his J.D. in 1978 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the national moot court team, chaired the Hinton Moot Court Committee and received the Lewis F. Powell Award for excellence in appellate advocacy.

Mr. Applegate has guest lectured at both The University of Chicago Law School and John Marshall Law School in Chicago, has judged moot court at The University of Chicago and Suffolk Law School, and has taught patent damages law, including demonstrating the examination of a patent damages expert at trial, for the Practising Law Institute from 2005 to 2012.  He writes and speaks frequently on matters of law and public policy, writes a monthly column for The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and has appeared on local and national television and radio as a guest commentator on various matters of legal interest.

Mr. Applegate was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1978 and also has been admitted to the following federal trial and appellate courts:

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (including the trial bar)
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Activities/Recognition

Mr. Applegate is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society, a founding member of the Intellectual Property Institute, and is active in numerous professional and civic organizations, including:

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association
  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
  • Republican National Lawyers Association
  • Chicago Lincoln American Inn of Court (member and officer)
  • Richard B. Linn American Inn of Court (member emeritus)

Mr. Applegate is past president of Literacy Chicago and its predecessor, Literacy Volunteers of Chicago; a former board member of the Yale Club of Chicago; and the founding member and current chair of the John Fischetti Scholarship Fund Advisory Board of Columbia College Chicago. He currently serves on the Business Alliance of the Metropolitan Club of Chicago.

Mr. Applegate has been honored by the judges of the Northern District of Illinois for his outstanding commitment to and results in pro bono representation of indigent clients in employment discrimination, police brutality and excessive force cases.


Representative Matters

  • Boler v. ArvinMeritor

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Prosecution of patent infringement suit on behalf of innovator in the trailer suspension systems industry against industry competitor ArvinMeritor.  Resolved following filing of cross-motions for summary judgment.

  • Beckman Instruments v. Kallestad Laboratories, Inc.

    U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
    Prosecution of patent infringement, copyright infringement, and trade secrets lawsuit between competitors in the scientific instrumentation field involving nephelometric inhibition analysis techniques.  Resolved following final pretrial conference and two years of protracted discovery and trial preparation.

  • Boler v. Watson & Chalin

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
    Vacated adverse judgment against innovator in the suspension systems industry in patent infringement lawsuit against industry competitor brought by prior firm.

  • Duro-Med Industries, et al. v. Bryan Cave

    Private Arbitration, Kansas City, Mo.
    Action involving patent rights in Japan and Europe.

  • Moves, Inc. v. MTV Networks and Jennifer Lopez, et al.

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of trademark and copyright infringement action against entertainment clients MTV Networks and Jennifer Lopez.

  • Nielsen Media Research, Inc. v. Truck Ads, LLC

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defended mobile advertising startup against copyright infringement claims relating to maps of designated market areas.  Case settled on day of pre-trial hearing.

  • Novissar v. Rollprint Packaging Products

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of trade secret and employment discrimination claims brought by terminated former employee in the flexible packaging industry. Jury trial taken to verdict.

  • Paullin v. PMIC

    Circuit Court of Lake County, Ill.
    Defense of innovator in the medical coding business against breach of contract and unfair competition claims by terminated former telemarketing manager.  Extended bench trial taken to verdict.

  • Project Leadership Associates v. Telepathy, Inc.

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of established internet domain name business in trademark infringement and domain name case.

  • Recycling Sciences International v. Four Seasons Environmental Services

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of patent infringement cases versus multiple defendants involving environmental soil cleanup system patents.  Obtained dismissals on lack of jurisdiction grounds.

  • Renaissance Marketing Corp. v. MTV Networks

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of licensing and copyright infringement claims against international entertainment television networks involving licensing rights to Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle" video.

  • Renaissance Marketing Corp. v. Viacom and Viacom International

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of international entertainment company over "fair use" rights with respect to Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle" video.

  • Rotary Systems, Inc. v. Hendrickson USA, LLC

    U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
    Defense of innovator in trucking suspension systems industry against wrongful inventorship claims.

  • Sears Roebuck and Co. v. Sears PLC

    U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
    Prosecution of international trademark infringement litigation brought involving aggressive multinational discovery

  • Tonerhead, Inc. v. Retail Inkjet Solutions

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Defense of manufacturer and distributor of inkjet toner refill cartridgesagainst patent claims by an inventor.

  • U.S. Ring Binder, LP. v. Staples, et al.

    U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
    Briefed and orally argued appeal of summary judgment entered against manufacturer of three-ring binders in patent infringement lawsuit.

  • United Financial Technologies v. British American Island Holdings

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill.
    Defense of international syndicate of real estate investor entrepreneurs in rescission lawsuit involving breaches of licensing agreements for rights to use patent-pending financial technologies.

  • Westinghouse Electric Corporation v. George Elevator

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Prosecution of international trademark infringement action in the United States and China based on extraterritorial application of U.S. trademark law.