Karl R. Fink has been a partner at Fitch Even since 1995 and is co-chair of the Litigation Practice Group. 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. Karl's litigation practice also includes the handling of inter partes reviews in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
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:
- Gypsum wallboard
- Advertising literature
- Foam padding for sports use
- 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
- Medical devices
- Blood processing
- Digital microscopy
- Farm equipment
- Furniture design
- Mineral processing
- Disposable diapers
- Electronic components
- Fire and smoke alarms
- Car waxers
- Sirens and alarms
- Soap dispensers
- Engine cooling systems
- Windshield wipers
- Printing presses
- Punch and brake presses
- Trademarks, and
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.
In addition, Karl has handled numerous civil rights actions on behalf of inmates in Illinois correctional centers through the Trial Bar Pro Bono Program of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Karl previously served as Fitch Even’s Managing Partner.
Limestone Memory Systems LLC v. Micron Technology, Inc. et al. (N.D. Cal. 2016–20). Represented plaintiff in patent litigation involving semiconductor memory devices. Case settled shortly before trial.
United States Gypsum Co. v. National Gypsum Corp. (D. Del. 2017–19). Represented plaintiff in patent litigation involving gypsum wallboard composition and manufacture. Obtained settlement on a confidential basis.
National Gypsum Corp. v. United States Gypsum Co. (PTAB 2017). Represented patent owner USG in seven IPR proceedings filed against patents directed to gypsum wallboard manufacturing technology. After submission of petitions, preliminary responses, and expert declarations, the PTAB denied institution of trial in all proceedings.
Vaxcel Int’l Co., Ltd. v. HeathCo, LLC, et al. (N.D. Ill. 2015). Represented defendant in patent litigation involving dimmable LED lighting technology. Obtained favorable settlement on a confidential basis.
Somaltus, LLC v. Auto Meter Prods., Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2015). Represented defendant in patent litigation involving automobile battery testing and charging technology. Obtained favorable settlement on a confidential basis.
Olivistar, LLC v. The Chamberlain Group, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2015). Represented defendant in patent infringement action involving network control of garage door openers. Obtained favorable settlement on a confidential basis.
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. Obtained favorable settlement 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.
Haltronics, Ltd. v. Coilcraft, Inc. (American Arbitration Association International Centre for Dispute Resolution, 2012). Defended Coilcraft in arbitration of claim for commissions brought by manufacturer’s representative regarding sale of inductors and other products. Obtained favorable result after arbitration hearing.
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.
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.
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.
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.