Karl R. Fink
“At Fitch Even, we strive to recognize and live up to the trust placed in us for handling all matters, from relatively minor disputes to bet-the-company cases.”

Karl R. FinkPartner

Chicago
120 South LaSalle Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603VCard
312.577.7000 
312.577.7007 fax
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Education

J.D., University of Michigan, 1981
B.S., Engineering, University of Michigan, 1978, magna cum laude

Services

Technical Areas

Bar & Court Admissions

lllinoisU.S. Patent and Trademark OfficeNorthern District of Illinois, Trial BarIllinois Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme CourtU.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal and Seventh CircuitsNumerous U.S. District Courts

Recognition

Leading Lawyers Network Member in Intellectual Property Law and Patent Law (2001–17)
Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers – Intellectual Property Litigation and Intellectual Property Law (2005–06, 2008–17)

Karl R. Fink has been a partner in the firm since 1995. His practice includes all aspects of commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation, creation, management, enforcement and licensing, with particular emphasis on patent litigation. Karl has been a full-time first-chair trial lawyer since 1981, handling hundreds of lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, both at trial and on appeal. He represents numerous public and privately held companies, ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.

Clients have sought Karl’s counsel in a wide variety of intellectual property, commercial, and tort litigations. He has served as lead trial counsel for patent, trademark, unfair competition, copyright, and trade secret actions and has handled patent infringement actions, both on the plaintiff's side and the defendant's side. Karl handles alternative-fee and contingent-fee actions, as well as traditional hourly fee matters.

Karl has litigated complex cases involving an extensive range of technologies, products, industries, and issues. These include the following:

  • Advertising literature
  • Foam padding for sports use
  • Software
  • Remote controls
  • Digital imaging
  • Interactive computer interfaces
  • Electronic signaling, encryption
  • Digital media
  • Graphical user interfaces
  • Data transmission
  • Convergence of data
  • Sound and video transmission
  • Mechanical controls
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical devices
  • Blood processing
  • Digital microscopy
  • Defibrillators
  • Farm equipment
  • Furniture design
  • Mineral processing
  • Disposable diapers
  • Electronic components
  • Inductors
  • Fire and smoke alarms
  • Car waxers
  • Wristwatches
  • Sirens and alarms
  • Soap dispensers
  • Engine cooling systems
  • Windshield wipers
  • Printing presses
  • Punch and brake presses
  • Trademarks, and
  • Copyrights


Karl has played a leading role in numerous successful patent enforcement and licensing campaigns on behalf of the firm's clients. Clients also rely on Karl for advice regarding infringement, validity and patentability opinions, IP valuation, joint ventures, IP licensing, and other related business decisions.

Karl previously served as Fitch Even’s Managing Partner and is currently a member of the firm's Executive Committee.



Vaxcel Int’l Co., Ltd. v. HeathCo, LLC, et al. (N.D. Ill. 2015). Representing defendant in patent litigation involving dimmable LED lighting technology.

Somaltus, LLC v. Auto Meter Prods., Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2015). Representing defendant in patent litigation involving automobile battery testing and charging technology.

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Linear LLC (N.D. Ill. 2015). Representing plaintiff in patent infringement case involving network control of garage door openers.

Olivistar, LLC v. The Chamberlain Group, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2015). Represented defendant in patent infringement action involving network control of garage door openers. (patent)

McDavid Knee Guard, Inc. and Stirling Mouldings Ltd. v. Nike USA, Inc. (N.D. Ill. 2014). Represented plaintiffs in patent infringement action involving foam padding for sports apparel. Resolved on a confidential basis.

Bullets2Bandages, LLC v. Caliber Corp. (S.D. Cal. 2014). Represented Caliber in defense of a trademark infringement action. Case was settled in six months with Caliber taking assignment of the registered trademarks.

Milbon Co., Ltd., et al. v. Hair Color Research Group, Inc., et al. (N.D. Ill. 2013). Represented Milbon in this action for trademark infringement. Settlement negotiations resulted in an agreed permanent injunction and judgment being entered in favor of Milbon.

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. and Johnson Controls Interiors LLC v. Lear Corp. (N.D. Ill. 2011). Represented Chamberlain in a patent infringement action involving a rolling code encryption system for use with garage door openers. Confidential settlement reached on courthouse steps immediately before trial with Judge Posner. Obtained preliminary injunction against infringement. (software patent, antitrust)

Desa IP LLC and Heathco LLC v. EML Technologies LLC and Costco Wholesale Corp. (M.D. Tenn. 2009). Represented plaintiffs in patent infringement action involving light fixtures. Confidential settlement reached immediately before trial after granting of summary judgment on inequitable conduct claim in favor of plaintiffs. (patent)

Coilcraft v. Inductor Warehouse (N.D. Ill. 2008). Represented Coilcraft in this trademark infringement action against Inductor Warehouse, a seller of secondhand, surplus Coilcraft inductors. After discovery, Inductor Warehouse settled on the courthouse steps agreeing to a consent judgment. (trademark infringement)

Microchip Technology Inc. v. The Chamberlain Group, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2006). Represented Chamberlain in a declaratory judgment action brought by Microchip Technology Inc. Microchip sought a declaration that it was licensed under Chamberlain's encrypted security code patents covering Chamberlain's remote-control garage door openers. Chamberlain moved to dismiss for lack of a justiciable controversy because Microchip and Chamberlain had previously settled an earlier litigation wherein Microchip received a covenant not to sue under Chamberlain's patents. After a period of discovery, the district court entered summary judgment in favor of Microchip, but Chamberlain successfully appealed and obtained reversal. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted Chamberlain's request to have the entire action dismissed. On remand, the district court awarded over $185,000 in attorneys’ fees to Chamberlain. (declaratory judgment patent)

Vermeer Mfg. Co. v. Deere & Co. (D. Del. 2005). Represented Deere in a declaratory judgment action brought by Vermeer regarding patent on baler. Settlement reached. Vermeer sought a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of a patent covering an improvement to a round baler. The court dismissed the action after Deere moved for dismissal because of the lack of a justiciable controversy. (patent)

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Personeta, Inc. v. Persona Software, Inc. (N.D. Ill. 2005). Represented Personeta in a trademark infringement action against Persona. After discovery and a hearing, the district court entered a preliminary injunction against Persona. Thereafter, Persona changed the name of its company. (trademark)

Bacus Lab., Inc. v. Aperio Tech., Inc. (N.D. Ill. 2005). Represented Bacus Laboratories in a patent infringement action against Aperio. The patent covered a digital microscopy system useful for digital imaging, storage, and viewing of pathology slides locally and over the Internet. After a period of discovery and a Markman hearing, the court entered a favorable claim construction ruling. Thereafter, Aperio took a license under Bacus's patents.(software patent, antitrust, unfair competition)

Bolton v. Genender International, Inc. (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty. 2002). Represented Genender in a trade secret theft action brought by Boltin. After discovery and hearing, the court entered summary judgment in favor of Genender, finding that Genender had independently developed its accused, very popular fob watch design. (trade secret)

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. MVP America, Inc. (W.D. Mo. 1999). Represented Chamberlain in a patent infringement action against MVP. The patent covered a design of a car waxer. After an evidentiary hearing, the court entered a preliminary injunction enjoining MVP from further manufacture or sale of the accused car waxer. (patent)

Presentations

  • "Protecting Trade Secrets In the Workplace," American Intellectual Property Law Association, Minneapolis, Minn., May 19, 2016.
  • "The Impact of IPRs and CBMs on Patent Litigation," American Intellectual Property Law Association, Minneapolis, Minn., May 18, 2016.
  • "101 Post-Alice: How the USPTO and Practitioners Are Reacting," Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office program at Techweek Chicago, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, June 26, 2015.
  • "Intellectual Property as Business Asset: Where Is the Value and How Do You Find It?," Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery Webinar, April 30, 2014.
  • Presentation to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, focusing on the practice of law, the role of lawyers in society, and our system of justice, on behalf of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, November 2011 (with Joseph Shipley).
  • "How Far Do You Have to Look Under the Rock (to Find Invalidating Prior Art)?" AIPLA 2009 Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., October 15, 2009.
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois College of Law, Patent Defenses course (2011 to present)
  • Lecturer, University of Michigan Law School, Advanced Patent Law Seminar
  • Lecturer, DePaul University College of Law, Advanced Copyright Seminar
  • Lecturer, John Marshall Center for Intellectual Property Law, Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference

Publications

  • "Value Added Litigation," in Business Power: Creating New Wealth from IP Assets. Ed. R. Shearer. (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2007).
  • American Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Richard Linn American Inn of Court
  • Chicago Lincoln American Inn of Court
    • Past President and Program Chair
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • National Knowledge and Intellectual Property Management Taskforce

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