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Robert M. Barrett

Practice Area Leader - Intellectual Property
Fax +1.312.827.1270
Robert M. Barrett concentrates his practice in intellectual property law and, more specifically, strategic counseling and portfolio management leveraging his decades of experience handling patent litigation, prosecution, licensing, due diligence, portfolio management, and counseling. Mr. Barrett’s extensive experience includes working with companies in the biotech, chemical, software, e-commerce, health care, manufacturing, medical device, packaging, and food science spaces. He has acted as strategic IP advisor for some of the world’s largest and most prominent companies including Nestlé, Baxter International, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Ondeo Nalco Chemical, Methode Electronics, and Kyocera, as well as for a number of the nation's leading universities. In addition, he has helped a number of organizations monetize their IP rights including representing the seller in the largest royalty monetization.

He is one of the firm’s Global Practice Area Leaders for the IP group and sits on the firm’s 16 member management committee. Previously, Mr. Barrett was vice chairman of Bell Boyd & Lloyd at the time of its combination with K&L Gates in 2009. A degreed chemist prior to law school, he worked as a chemical engineer for Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.

An adjunct professor of patent law at two separate law schools, Mr. Barrett has been recognized by industry publications as a leading practitioner in intellectual property law. For example, he served as one of Law360’s “Voices of the Bar,” a panel of highly accomplished IP professionals, including former judges, policy makers, academics, and inside and outside counsel, discussing timely and important developments in the field of intellectual property law. He also co-founded the Kent Intellectual Property Law Clinic and Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance.


  • Named an IP Star for 2014-2019 by Managing Intellectual Property in the United States and Illinois categories
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America for patent law (2014-2020)
  • Named an Illinois Super Lawyer annually since the honor's inception (2005- 2019)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance (Co-Founder; Past President, President Emeritus)
  • French-American Chamber of Commerce – Chicago (Former Board of Directors)
  • Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (Past President; Former Member of Board of Managers)
  • IPLAC Education Foundation (Founding Member and Past President)
  • MIT Enterprise Forum of Chicago (Former Executive Committee)

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Barrett is a frequent lecturer with professors from Chicago-Kent College of Law on recent developments in patent law.

Additional Information

  • "A Guide To USPTO Guidance On Patentable Subject Matter," Law360, 19 May 2014