As part of the firm’s sponsorship of the 2020 AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup, Banner Witcoff will announce on May 19 which finalist will receive free legal services for the preparation and filing of a U.S. patent application.

The Hardware Cup is an international pitch competition for early-stage hardware startups. Six regional competitions already took place in Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Chicago, and San Jose, as well as several international competitions. At each event, startups gave three-minute pitches to a panel of judges made up of local investors and venture capitalists.

The finals will be held virtually on May 19, when the winning team will be awarded a $50,000 grand prize. During the event, Banner Witcoff attorney Justin Philpott will announce the winner of the Banner Witcoff free patent application award. It will mark the first time a patent application was offered as part of the competition.

“We have seen some excellent pitches from many startups throughout this year’s competition,” Justin said. “And we look forward to the difficult decision ahead in selecting a winner of the Banner Witcoff free patent application award.”

To view a list of the finalists and to register to attend the virtual finals, click here.

For an upcoming webinar, Banner Witcoff attorney Robert S. Katz will join speakers from Canada, Germany and France to share their experiences about working from home and managing an IP business through lockdown.

Hosted by the Federation International des Conseils en Propriete Industrielle (FICPI), the webinar will take place at 7 a.m. on April 29. FICPI is an international organization made up of intellectual property attorneys.

Rob — who serves as vice president of FICPI’s U.S. Section — and the other speakers will discuss working from home and responding to clients’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also examine business development and industry implications, among other related issues.

Click here to register for the webinar, “Covid-19: Managing an IP Business through a lockdown and beyond.”

On April 16, Banner Witcoff attorney Scott M. Kelly will speak to the Young Lawyers Action Group (YLAG) of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law.

Scott, a principal shareholder in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, will join Chicago attorney Ross Hersemann for the YLAG’s virtual professional development panel and monthly call. Scott and Ross will share their experiences and tips for how to navigate legal careers and stay professionally relevant during uncertain times.

For more information about the group, visit to the YLAG’s website.  You can join the call at americanbar.zoom.us/j/542503633.

Banner Witcoff is sponsoring the 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Law Institute, which is scheduled to take place August 20-21 in Westminster, Colorado.

The two-day conference offers educational programming on a variety of IP and technology issues, including driverless cars and AI, the rise of big data, and other developments in IP law.

Click here for more information on the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Law Institute.

Banner Witcoff attorney Robert S. Katz will discuss prosecuting and litigating design patent claims for a May 12 webinar.

Rob and his co-presenters will examine recent treatment of novelty and obviousness issues by U.S. courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They will also offer best practices for prosecuting design patent applications and defending against obviousness and novelty attacks in litigation.

Following the 90-minute webinar, Rob and his co-presenters will participate in an interactive Q&A session.

Click here for more information or to register for the Strafford webinar titled, “Design Patents: Obviousness and Novelty Requirements.”

Banner Witcoff attorney Robert S. Katz will speak about design patent claims for a March 19 webinar.

Rob and his co-presenters will provide guidance to counsel on how to draft design patent claims to withstand scrutiny and avoid claim limitation claims. They will also explore recent court treatment of claim construction issues and examine considerations for drafting design patent claims.

Click here for more information or to register for the Strafford webinar titled, “Design Patent Claim Construction: Written Description, Ornamentality, Functionality, and More.”

Banner Witcoff is sponsoring CARPLS’s 2020 Golden Gavel Celebration Dinner, scheduled to take place Oct. 1 in Chicago.

The event will honor Susan L. Lees of The Allstate Corporation with CARPLS’s Golden Gavel Award, which recognizes individuals, law firms and corporations that make significant contributions to advance its mission of providing access to justice for all.

Founded in 1993 as Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services, CARPLS is Cook County’s largest provider of free legal services. 

More information about the organization and upcoming event can be found on CARPLS’s website.

Banner Witcoff attorney Robert S. Katz will speak at the FICPI Sweden’s webinar and seminar, which will take place March 9 in Stockholm.

FICPI Sweden is the Swedish national association of Federation International des Conseils en Propriete Industrielle (FICPI), an international organization made up intellectual property attorneys.

Rob — who serves as vice president of FICPI’s U.S. Section — will lead an afternoon session on U.S. restriction practice and permitted claim structures, as applied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and U.S. courts.

For more information or to register, go to FICPI Sweden’s website.

Banner Witcoff attorney Ross Dannenberg will sit on a panel at the 11th Annual IP Brief Symposium: IP and Video Games on March 2 at American University Washington College of Law.

Ross will speak on a panel exploring legal practice and policy related to IP and video games. Ross is the founder and editor-in-chief of the PatentArcade.com legal blog, a resource for video game IP law, news, cases, commentary and more.

More information about the symposium can be found on the IP Brief’s website.

Banner Witcoff attorney Joe Berghammer will participate in a Feb. 13 roundtable program taking place during the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas.

Joe will discuss Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) initiatives and hot topics during the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Property Law’s (ABA-IPL) Austin IP Advocacy and In-House Roundtable. The program will also examine IP-related legislation and patent, trademark and copyright reform.

Banner Witcoff is sponsoring a reception following the program.