Savoy Magazine Names Jeanne Gills Among its 2022 Most Influential Black Lawyers

22 February 2022 News

Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Jeanne Gills has been named a 2022 Most Influential Black Lawyer by Savoy magazine. The list includes the “best of the best” of Black lawyers that are partners within leading national law firms, and corporate and general counsel from Fortune 1000 corporations. The lawyers are recognized for their professionalism, protection of rights, and community service.

Gills is an intellectual property lawyer who advises clients on global IP strategy and serves as lead trial counsel in complex patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright, and unfair competition litigation and appeals — including USPTO post-grant proceedings — in diverse industries ranging from electronics to biotechnology. She is also a member of the firm’s Management Committee, through which she is responsible for helping to set and steer the strategic direction of the firm, and serves as vice chair of Foley’s Intellectual Property Department, where she helps guide over 300 IP attorneys and professional staff on a range of strategic marketing and business development initiatives.

Gills has been lead counsel in over 25 PTAB proceedings, having handled IPRs, CBMs, and rare derivation proceedings, including defense of several PTAB decisions before the Federal Circuit. Her trial experience includes “bet the company” cases with several hundreds of millions at stake, for example:

  • In re Certain Multi-Stage Fuel Vapor Canister Systems and Activated Carbon Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1140 (victory in ITC patent trial on automotive technology) (related Fed. Cir. appeal won)
  • Gianni Versace S.r.l. v. Fashion Nova, Inc., Case No. 19cv10074 (case settled four days before jury trial)
  • TAS v. Cummins (jury trial on a license covering engine technology)
  • DeKalb v. Pioneer (jury trial on patents covering genetically engineered corn)

With her electronics background — she holds a B.S. in electrical engineering — Gills’ litigation experience has dovetailed into counseling clients on global IP strategy, including working on the division of patent/technology assets for Kraft Foods’ 2012 split (into Kraft Foods and Mondelēz) and leading the IP side of M&A transactions, such as a potential $4 billion acquisition in the power technology space and a recent $1.2 billion deal involving the creation of two JV entities (one in the U.S. and one in Switzerland) on behalf of power technology companies.

Gills also co-founded the Chicago Black Partners Alliance, a professional networking group that works to improve the recruitment, retention, advancement, and promotion of Black and other diverse attorneys in Chicago-area law firms and corporations, and is a founding member of the Black Patent Network.

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