CIPLIT Faculty Lecture: LKQ Corp. v General Motors

Join CIPLIT and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) for a discussion on LKQ Corp. v General Motors with speakers Joshua Sarnoff (DePaul Law) and Christopher Carani (McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.).

This program will be hybrid, both in person (Lewis 805) and online.

1 hour of IL CLE will available for all attendees. Lunch for in-person guests.

RSVP to with how you plan to attend and your ARDC #, if you're seeking CLE.



In LKQ Corp. v. General Motors, the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will decide the proper standard of “obviousness” for design patents.  LKQ challenged the requirements established in earlier Federal Circuit precedents for a “primary reference” that is “basically the same” as the claimed design, and for any prior art used to modify that primary reference to be “so related” that it would suggest substitution of its features with those of the primary reference.   Join us for lunch to hear from two authors of amicus briefs in the case who attended the oral argument, Christopher V.  Carani, Shareholder at McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd., and Professor Joshua D. Sarnoff, DePaul U. College of Law.   They will discuss the importance of the case, the arguments presented, and their predictions about what rule for design obviousness the court may establish going forward.  The lunch is co-hosted by the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago and DePaul’s Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology (CIPLIT).

Speaker Bios:

Christopher V. Carani is a Shareholder at McAndrews and has been at the firm since 1995. He practices in all areas of intellectual property law with a particular emphasis on design law, which regards the protection and enforcement of rights in the appearance of consumer products.

Chris has extensive experience litigating design patent cases, including representations before U.S. district courts, the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the International Trade Commission. In each year since 2019, Chris has been named to the IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists list, with IAM magazine noting that he is “one of the world’s leading design patent strategists,” one of the U.S.’s “pre-eminent design law experts,” and “widely regarded as one of the country’s premier design patent lawyers.” He also has extensive experience in creating valuable design right portfolios. He represents some of the world’s most design-centric companies, including the top filer of U.S. design patents. He has procured thousands of strategic design rights, both in the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world. He counsels a wide range of clients (big and small) on design protection and enforcement issues and is often called upon to render infringement, validity, and design-around opinions.

Chris is currently the chair of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) Design Rights Committee. He is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Design Rights Committee and also the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) Committee on Industrial Designs. Chris is a past president of AIPPI-US. In 2023, Chris received the AIPPI Award of Merit for his dedication and effort to forward the mission of the storied organization. Chris is only the eighth American to have received the prestigious award.

Joshua D. Sarnoff is a Professor of Law at DePaul University, received the 2018 DePaul Spirit of Inquiry Award, and has received numerous awards for his scholarship. He is an internationally recognized expert on the intersections of intellectual property law, environmental law, health law, and constitutional, administrative, and international law.  In June 2019, he testified before the Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on pending legislation to revise subject matter eligibility doctrine under Section 101 of the Patent Act (testimony here).  From January 2014 to July 2015, he served as the Thomas A. Edison Distinguished Scholar at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Professor Sarnoff is proficient in on-line, doctrinal, clinical, and legal writing instruction. He has taught courses at American and international law schools and legal research centers. His teaching interests are in the fields of intellectual property law, environmental law, health law, and constitutional, administrative, and international law. He directed the DePaul Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology (CIPLIT®), and organized and moderated the 2018 Jaharis Health Law Symposium on Emergency and Technological Responses to Pandemic Diseases and the 2011, 2015, and 2019 Intellectual Property Scholars Conferences (IPSC). He also hosts the annual Edward D. Manzo Scholars in Patent Law series.

His current research focuses on: innovation policy and technology development; climate change technology and data, climate modification, and governance; utility and design patent empirical analyses, history, and theory; responses to pandemic diseases; and intellectual property rights in genetic and natural resources, diagnostics, and therapeutics. He is the editor and co-author of the Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change (Edward Elgar Publ. 2016), and has published extensively in law reviews and peer reviewed journals. Selected recent publications are listed below.

Tuesday, March 12 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Lewis Center, 805
25 E Jackson Blvd

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