Patent Hub News

Fall 2019


Hub Facts

The Chicago-Kent College of Law Patent Hub is one of 21 patent hubs around the United States that were created under the America Invents Act to provide assistance to low-income inventors. The Chicago-Kent Patent Hub currently has 78 attorneys from 21 law firms providing assistance to inventors. Through June 30, 2019, those attorneys have contributed 5,448 hours to helping inventors.


21 New Patents Issued This Year

We now have 37 patents issued, with 21 having come since January 1. Here are some of our most recent patents:

Wilcher Patent Drawing

Hair Product Applicators and Methods of Using the Same
A device includes a pump and a brushhead. The pump includes a housing and plunger. The housing has an upper opening, a cavity configured to store a composition therein, and a tip having a dispensing opening. The plunger is slidably disposed within housing such that it is moveable with respect to the housing. The brushhead includes a first plurality of bristle bores and a second plurality of bristle bores, each of which extend from a bottom surface of the brushhead towards an opposing top surface and have a bristle bundle extending therefrom. The brushhead includes a generally central throughhole extending between the bottom surface and the opposing top surface. The pump is coupled to the brushhead via the tip of the housing such that actuation of the plunger causes a portion of the composition stored in the housing to be dispensed on at least a portion of the bristle bundles.

Patent No.: 10,104,948
Inventor: Karol E. Wilcher
Attorney: Nixon Peabody LLP



Gordon Patent Drawing

Footrest and Method of Making Same 
Systems of a footrest are described, along with a process for making the footrest. The footrest may include a base with at least four side walls connected by a bottom side. The base may be folded into a flat or box shape. The footrest may also include a container lid connected by a bottom lid and a top lid, and the base may be configured to join with the container lid. The base may also fit inside the container lid when folded, and the bottom lid of the container lid includes at least two semi-circular shaped depressions.

Patent No.: 10,292,504
Inventor: Mary Gordon
Attorney: DLA Piper LLP



Briley Patent Drawing

Beverage Distributor for Party Games
A beverage distributor includes a reservoir having a reservoir first end and a reservoir second end. The reservoir first end and reservoir second end are open. A valve is connected to the reservoir second end. The valve throttles a flow of fluid from the reservoir. A plurality of passage tubes are connected to the valve. Each of the plurality of passage tubes has an inlet and an outlet. Each inlet of the plurality of passage tubes receives a flow of fluid from the reservoir through the valve. The plurality of passage tubes includes a first passage tube that includes a first diameter and length, a second passage tube that includes a second diameter and length, and a third passage tube that includes a third diameter and length. A base is connected to at least one of the first passage tube, the second passage tube, and the third passage tube.

Patent No.: 10,273,136
Inventor: William Briley
Attorney: Foley & Lardner LLP


Patent Hub Recognition

James O. Wilson, assistant regional director of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
James O. Wilson, assistant regional director of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Spring Patent Hub Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, March 19, James O. Wilson, assistant regional director of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, presented awards to volunteers and law firms contributing significant numbers of volunteer hours.

Attorneys recognized for more than 50 hours during 2018:

Attorney Firm Hours
Joseph Adamczyk (Patent Agent) McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (former) 57
Sangik Bae Ladas & Parry LLP 53
Genna S. Hibbs Hibbs Law, LLC 104
Paul Holly Foley & Lardner LLP 133
Kenneth Matuszewski Rabicoff Law LLC (former) 55
Randy R. Micheletti Incubate IP 65
Anna Onley Foley & Lardner LLP 86
Peter J. Prommer Nixon Peabody LLP 70
Benjamin D. Rotman Rosenbaum IP, P.C. 65
Roger Rozanski Foley & Lardner LLP 78
Arthur Siebel (Patent Agent)  Foley & Lardner LLP 55
Travis Simmons Foley & Lardner LLP 68
Oliver D. Yang Vitale, Vickrey, Niro , Solon & Gasey LLP 80
Kyle Yie (Patent Agent) Faegre Baker Daniels LLP 86


Law firms recognized for providing extraordinary service in 2018:

Firm Location Hours
Foley & Lardner LLP Chicago 727
Hibbs Law, LLC Woodstock, Ill. 104
Incubate IP Glen Ellyn, Ill. 65
Rabicoff Law LLC Chicago 55
Rosenbaum IP, P.C. Northbrook, Ill. 65
Vitale, Vickrey, Niro, Solon & Gasey LLP Chicago 80

Attorneys contributed 521 total hours during the second quarter.


We're Growing!

We're pleased to welcome the following law firms to the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub network:

  • Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP
  • Fleit Intellectual Property Law
  • Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP


USPTO Report and Updates

Chart of Patent Hub applications and placements, through 2nd quarter of 2019We recently submitted our report to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the second quarter of 2019.

We reported receiving 38 applications during that quarter; we interviewed 27 inventors and placed nine of those applicants with attorneys.


The Hub — By the Numbers Through June 2019

Applicants: 675
Interviews Conducted: 429
Applicants Placed with Attorney/Agent: 148
Provisional Applications Filed: 28
Non-Provisional Patent Applications Filed: 77
Design Patent Applications Filed: 8
Utility Patents Granted: 20
Design Patents Granted:  4


Opportunities to Help

There are many ways you can become more involved with the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub:

  1. Sit in on an interview. We have found it very helpful to have patent attorneys present when we interview our inventors. It has been valuable for the inventor, for the attorney present, and for the Hub.
  2. Speak at a Patent Basics session.  The sessions will always be on the third Tuesday of the month, usually from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the law school. The speaker does a short presentation and then responds to questions from inventors.
  3. Teach a group of students how to do a patent search. We are still hoping to be able to offer a session on searches for students who have taken the first patent law course and who are interested in volunteering to work with the Patent Hub. We need attorneys willing to spend about an hour showing students how to do basic searches.
  4. Take on a student worker. Working with attorneys on drafting patent applications is a very valuable experience for our students. It might take a little extra time, but if you have the time to give, please consider being on our list of attorneys willing to take student workers. We try very hard to make sure it’s a good experience for both students and attorneys. Also, attorneys are now taking students to help with responses to Office Actions. This might be less time-intensive for supervising attorneys.
  5. Help with prior art searches. If you are unable to take the time needed to help an inventor with an application, you can help us with prior art searches. We do not disclose the names of the attorneys or the law firms of those doing searches.

Please contact Mary Anne Smith at if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities.


Certification of Pro Bono Representation

The USPTO now has a Certification of Pro Bono Representation (form code AIA/440), which can be filed for all inventions, both new and those already filed. There is a direct link to a PDF of the short, very simple form under “Miscellaneous Forms” on the page listing forms to be filed with an application.

The sense of the Patent Hub's Advisory Board is that it can only be to the attorney’s advantage to complete the form.


Patent Basics

Patent Basics: September 19, 2019In September 2017, we began a program to present information about the patent system to inventors and students and to provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions about their inventions or about how the patent system works. The program has continued periodically, on the third Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

One of our volunteer attorneys or other experts gives a short presentation about the patent system and then responds to questions. Individuals who have given presentations recently include:

  • Oliver D. Yang, Vitale, Vickrey, Niro, Solon & Gasey LLP
  • Benjamin P. Rotman, Rosenbaum IP P.C.
  • Marci Rolnik Walker, Lawyers for the Creative Arts
  • Richard S. Stockton, Banner Witcoff
  • Bradley Taub, Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Genna S. Hibbs, Hibbs Law, LLC
  • Randy R. Micheletti, Incubate IP
  • Jordan J. Pringle, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
  • Calvin Flowers, Chicago Inventors Organization

Please contact Mary Anne Smith at if you are interested in presenting at a future Patent Basics session.


Make a Gift

Chicago-Kent’s Patent Hub is the only place in Illinois where patent attorneys can volunteer in their area of expertise to help low-income inventors and small businesses get their ideas patented.

We receive limited funding from the USPTO and rely on additional support to review, screen, and match cases to volunteer attorneys. Consider making a personal donation to support the Patent Hub or encourage your law firm to be a sponsor. We recognize your law firm’s support by including your firm’s logo on the Patent Hub website, in the quarterly newsletter, and in Patent Hub materials, as well as by recognizing your firm at the Patent Hub volunteer and donor reception. Champion and Partner supporters’ logos are also included in the Chicago-Kent IP newsletter, which is emailed to nearly 2,000 IP lawyers across the country, including approximately 230 in-house counsel.

To learn more, please contact Dana Pownall, director of development, at (312) 906-5234 or, or make a gift online.