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Michael G. Babbitt is a partner in the firm's Litigation and Intellectual Property Departments in Chicago. Michael focuses his practice on complex civil litigation and counseling involving patents and technology.

Utilizing his background in electrical and computer engineering, Michael advises clients in the areas of consumer electronics, industrial machines, food processing machinery, power distribution systems, data centers, wireless networks, semiconductors, video and audio technology, and automotive/vehicle systems, as well as many other technologies. He is a registered patent attorney before the US Patent Office and regularly argues before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board as lead counsel.

Michael has deep experience leading high-profile patent and technology disputes, including those involving competitors and strategically significant technologies. He has a proven record of success in scores of patent litigations and scores of Patent Office proceedings. He has also won six major patent rulings in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Michael also has experience with matters involving trade secret, non-disclosure agreement, contract, antitrust, privacy, and trademark issues, among others.

Michael is the pro bono coordinator for the Chicago office and is strongly committed to the firm’s nationally recognized pro bono practice. He won a verdict of not guilty as lead trial attorney for a client falsely accused of attempted murder in Chicago. He also has argued a direct criminal appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and has represented clients in multiple federal civil rights and prisoner rights matters.

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Experience

Prior to joining Willkie, Michael was a partner at another major law firm.

  • IAM Patent 1000 (2023)
  • The Legal 500 United States - Intellectual property, Patents: litigation (full coverage), 2023
  • Best Lawyers in America
    Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2023-2024
    Patent Law, 2023-2024

Michael is a member of the PTAB Bar Association’s Board of Directors and has served as a sponsor in the USPTO Legal Experience and Advancement Program. He is a Trustee of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. He has served as an adjunct professor for the John Marshall Law School Intellectual Property Trial Advocacy Program. He has also been a mentor for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Lawyer-to-Lawyer Program (2015–2016). Additionally, Michael served on the Associate Board for Mercy Home Children's Charity (2013–2018).

  • Moderator, "Round Table Discussions with APJs," PTAB Bar Association Thought Leader Summit 2023, October 5, 2023
  • Speaker, “Effective Use of an Expert in a PTAB Trial,” PTAB Bar Association 2023 Annual Conference
  • Co-Author, "Recent Developments in Biometric Privacy Laws and What Companies Need to Know to Protect Themselves," Pratt's Privacy and Cybersecurity Law Report (September 2022)
  • USPTO Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) Sponsor, 2022
  • Co-Author, "The Future of Section 112 Patent Defenses: Catching up to Section 101?," Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal (December 5, 2018)
  • Panelist, "Is the Tide Changing Again on the Viability of 101 and 112 as Defenses in Patent Litigation?," Practising Law Institute (October 17, 2018)

Mr. Babbitt has handled the following exemplary matters:

  • Defended tractor-trailer manufacturer against allegations of willful patent infringement from alleged competitor, earning PTAB final written decision finding of “strong evidence” of obviousness and unpatentability in inter partes review.
  • Represented office supply maker in complex intellectual property dispute involving several victories against competitor’s patents, such as in PTAB inter partes review and reexaminations, a rare Federal Circuit appellate reversal of a PTAB decision, and a substantive motion to dismiss in the district court.
  • Led trial court, PTAB, and appeal strategy for power distribution supplier accused of patent infringement by rival, ending after appellate reversal of adverse jury verdict and favorable grant of summary judgment by the district court on remand.
  • Earned dismissal of patent infringement allegations against engineering and information technology company by non-practicing entity with successful motion to dismiss based on unpatentable subject matter finding under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (affirmed on appeal).
  • Secured PTAB unpatentability decisions involving hospitality software patents (affirmed on appeal).
  • Represented semiconductor technology company in enforcement action against LCD manufacturer that resulted in favorable settlement after summary judgment finding of infringement in client’s favor.

Credentials

Education


University of Illinois, J.D., 2008 University of Illinois, B.S., 2005

Bar Admissions


Illinois

Court Admissions


United States Supreme Court United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois United States Patent & Trademark Office