Chicago, IL -Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. today announced a gift of $25,000 to The John Marshall Law School to support the school’s Donald W. Banner Scholarship for the study of intellectual property law.
Marc Cooperman, the president of the intellectual property law firm, said, “We are delighted to be contributing to a scholarship that not only will help deserving students learn to practice in this wonderful profession, but will also recognize one of our firm’s senior partners and our profession’s senior statesmen.” Banner, one of the named partners in the firm Cooperman leads, “has given so much to the patent system in the United States and throughout the world,” Cooperman added.
The ceremony at which Marc Cooperman presented this donation took place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2002, in the courtroom of The John Marshall Law School.
“The John Marshall Law School has long been an outstanding leader in its programs for teaching intellectual property law,” Donald Banner noted, ” I am greatly honored that the school has created this scholarship in my name. And, I am also grateful to the firm for this substantial gift to the school in implementation of that scholarship. It is my hope and expectation that the men and women who benefit from that scholarship will be wise and honorable, as well as a credit to their country and profession.”
“On behalf of The John Marshall Law School, I want to thank Banner & Witcoff for this $25,000 gift in the name of Don Banner, who received his Masters Degree in Intellectual Property Law here,” said William K. Beach, assistant dean for institutional development and chief development officer.
“The Banner Scholarship is one in a string of special scholarships established as part of The John Marshall Law School’s Centennial Campaign,” Beach noted. “The scholarship recognizes the extraordinary efforts of Don Banner who was instrumental in building the reputation of the intellectual property program as an adjunct faculty member and then IP program director. “Our centennial campaign focuses on the law school’s legacy of opportunity and the alumni’s lifetime of achievements. Don Banner is someone who has helped create the law school’s legacy,” Beach added. “Now we will continue that legacy through this scholarship for a deserving IP student who will walk in Don Banner’s footsteps.”
The scholarship will be presented to a J.D. or LL.M. student based on academic performance, prior employment history demonstrating an interest in and a capacity for the study of intellectual property law, and the candidate’s written statements supporting their suitability as a scholarship recipient. The school created the Donald Banner Scholarship last year.
Mark Banner, both a graduate of the school and a partner at Banner & Witcoff, noted, “A solid legal education is essential to lawyers entering the field of intellectual property. We know John Marshall will put this scholarship to good use with deserving students,” he added. Mark Banner is also chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law, a position Don Banner held several years ago.
Banner & Witcoff has targeted support for the cities in which it has offices – Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC and Portland, OR – in a variety of ways in the past. In the greater Chicago area, several firm attorneys currently volunteer time to serve as faculty at The John Marshall Law School, a practice that has existed for several years. The firm also formed a partnership with Head Start last year by donating work clothes to Head Start parents who were in the Welfare to Work program. The Chicago office of the firm has also donated computer equipment to a local school.
Donald Banner served as United States Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks. He is a graduate of Purdue University, which named him as Outstanding Electrical Engineer as well as granted him the Distinguished Engineering Alumni award. He has been Distinguished Professor of intellectual property law, and the leader of the faculty in intellectual property law at both The John Marshall Law School and George Washington University School of Law.
Donald Banner also has served as Chairman of the American Bar Association – Intellectual Property Law Section, head of the U.S. delegation to International Conferences on Revision of the Paris Convention; member, United States Delegation to the Conferences establishing the Patent Cooperation Treaty; chairman of the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel; trustee of the Licensing Executives’ Society; president of the American Patent Law Association; chairman of the International Patent and Trademark Association; and co-founder and president of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Courts.
The Banner scholarship is in the amount of full tuition and carries an annual stipend of $7500. It will be awarded from time to time in the discretion of the awards committee to law students who show great commitment to and capacity for high achievement in the study of intellectual property law, including patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret law.