Eley O. Thompson is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Eley brings more than a quarter-century of experience in counseling and litigating patent, trade secret and trademark matters for both property owners and respondents. He has led litigation teams handling complex cases that resulted in more than $100 million in recoveries. Multi-national corporations and Fortune 100 companies often call on him to handle their significant intellectual property matters.
His experience spans diverse technologies such as aero-space, high-tech mobile, cloud based systems, polymers and specialty chemicals, quantum devices, nanodevices, RFID, video games, manufacturing technologies, filter technologies, medical devices including gene sequencing and machine vision, among others.
In addition to litigation, Eley provides counsel on patent program strategies and assessments to fine tune programs for maximum value and impact. Eley establishes IP programs that produce high value assets at a high rate for strategic business goals. Eley also provides counsel on acquisitions and risk investigations for mergers and acquisitions. He has handled post-grant proceedings before the USPTO, including interference proceedings. For multi-national companies, Eley handles prosecution of large intellectual property portfolios, including ones with more than 1,000 active assets.
Prior to joining Foley, Eley was a partner with a highly regarded intellectual property boutique firm. Before entering the legal field, he conducted research in artificial intelligence systems and thick and thin film technologies. He also conducted post-graduate study in polymer chemistry.
Eley was an invited guest of the White House and USPTO, where he participated in roundtable discussions on patent reform legislation. He has written and spoken on various topics, including patent reform, formulating trade secret damages, creating clean rooms, and developing litigation alternative fees.
Selected Publications and Presentations
Eley co-authored the article, “Trade Secret Owners Lack Federal Protection,” which was published in the Chicago Daily Bulletin (January 16, 2012). He also wrote and spoke about “The Rising Importance of Trade Secrets in an Age of WikiLeaks,” VPP-Rundbrief (January 2012).
Eley earned his law degree from George Mason University (J.D., 1990). He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (B.S., 1987). He has also conducted post-graduate studies in polymer chemistry.
Admissions and Professional Memberships
Eley is admitted to practice in Illinois and the District of Columbia. He is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He also holds court admissions with the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal District, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin.
His professional memberships include vice chair of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), Litigation Committee; Sedona Conference, Working Group 10, Patent Litigation Best Practices; the Federal Circuit Bar Association.
*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.