Robert Unikel is a partner in the Chicago office of Paul Hastings and is head of the Chicago and Midwest Intellectual Property practice. Mr. Unikel has a diverse practice that includes litigating patent, trade secret, and trademark cases in a variety of industries, including digital media distribution, consumer products and brands, financial products and services, auto parts, and medical devices.
Mr. Unikel's extensive experience includes trying patent and trade secret cases involving varied products such as, a digital distribution platform for mobile "apps," a digital media store, thin film transistors, LCD panels, vascular stents, compiling computer software, auto parts, office products, baby strollers, minicell vaccines, anti-aging cosmetics, and casement window operators, and such diverse business methods as a method for tracking promotional mailings, a method for implementing consumer rewards programs, a method for configuring products through an electronic interface, and a method for automatically executing securities and derivatives trades.
Additionally, Mr. Unikel has unique experience in successfully defending against claims of false patent marking under 35 U.S.C. §292. He has managed disputes involving various well-known trademarks and has litigated numerous trade dress matters implicating product and packaging designs and non-traditional source indicators (including color and scent). Mr. Unikel has handled appeals to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and to the United States Supreme Court. Further, he regularly counsels businesses and individuals on intellectual property development, protection, and licensing strategies. Mr. Unikel received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, where he was a Notes and Comment Editor for the Northwestern University Law Review and recipient of the Lowdeb-Wigmore Prize for Legal Scholarship, as well as a finalist in the Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition.
Intellectual Asset Management notes that Mr. Unikel "is a versatile litigator" who "litigates with aplomb in all fields of intellectual property" "with his impressive patent, trade secret and trademark nous." Chambers lauds Mr. Unikel for being "'a very sophisticated patent litigator' who is particularly recognized for his work on cutting-edge technology intellectual property issues emanating from Silicon Valley," with sources highlighting his "strategic ability, saying he 'has a good mind for the risk analysis of key exposure points and for creating multiple paths for resolution,' while also highlighting his courtroom abilities, saying that 'he is good on his feet' and 'a great presence in front of a jury.'"
Accolades and Recognitions
Chambers USA Intellectual Property (Illinois) (2014-2018)
Managing IP Americas Awards - Outstanding Litigator: Illinois (2018)
"IP Star" Illinois - Trademark, Patent (2013-2015, 2017-2018)
IAM Patent 1000 - Illinois (2016-2018)
Member, Sedona Conference's Working Group 10 on Patent Litigation Best Practices
Adjunct Professor of Law (Trial Advocacy), Northwestern University School of Law