Banner & Witcoff Expands Chicago Office With Five New Attorneys

October 2, 2006

(Chicago, IL – October 2, 2006) – Banner & Witcoff announces the addition of five attorneys to its Chicago office. The new attorneys enhance Banner & Witcoff’s existing IP practice, which is dedicated solely to the procurement, enforcement, defense, and counseling in all aspects of intellectual property.

Linda Kuczma, Bradley Rademaker, and Paul Nykaza have joined Banner & Witcoff as shareholders. Two other attorneys, Gregory Schlenz and Shaoni Mitchell, have joined the firm as associates. The team of attorneys has come from the Chicago intellectual property boutique, Wallenstein & Wagner Ltd.

“Banner & Witcoff has enjoyed serving leading innovators throughout its 86 year history and we are delighted to have these attorneys join our team,” said the firm’s president, Pieter van Es. “Their diverse backgrounds complement our depth and breadth.”

Kuczma, who has 25 years of experience in the practice of intellectual property law, has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and a ”Leading Illinois Lawyer.” She brings extensive litigation experience to the firm and has diverse expertise in the strategic management and procurement of intellectual property rights, including prosecution of patent, trademark, and copyright applications, as well as ex parte appeals and inter partes proceedings. Kuczma has also been active in various bar organizations throughout her legal career, serving among other positions as President of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago and the Advocates Society, Chair of the Saul Lefkowitz National Moot Court Competition, Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Practice Subcommittee, and Chairperson to the Chicago Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Committee of Young Lawyers Section.

Rademaker has 15 years of experience in the practice of intellectual property law. He is an experienced litigator, having served as lead trial counsel and trial co-counsel in patent, trademark and trade-dress cases before the U.S. District Courts, the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He also has extensive experience assisting clients with worldwide patent and trademark portfolio development, “freedom to operate” opinions, and licensing matters.

Nykaza’s practice focuses on patent procurement and portfolio management, primarily in the mechanical and electromechanical arts. His practice also encompasses diverse counseling experience, opinion work and litigation support work regarding all aspects of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition.

Schlenz’s practice also focuses on patent preparation and prosecution, although he also has diverse experience with litigation, opinion work, licensing, trademark prosecution and oppositions, and due diligence matters.

Rademaker, Nykaza and Schlenz’s success derives in part from their diverse education and professional experience. Rademaker previously worked as a research assistant at Rush St. Luke Medical Center. Nykaza worked as both a systems and automotive engineer at ComEd and Ford Motor Company. Schlenz worked as a metallurgist at LTV Steel and ALCOA.

Mitchell has experience preparing and prosecuting patent, primarily in the chemical arts, and trademark applications. She also has experience assisting with litigation matters.