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.
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 2019, Chris was 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.” In 2015, IAM magazine first included Chris in its IAM Patent 1000, referring to him as one of the U.S.’s “pre-eminent design law experts.” In the 2016, IAM Magazine noted that he “is one of the nation’s top design patent specialists.”
Chris 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.
In the landmark design patent case Egyptian Goddess v. Swisa, Chris authored amicus briefs on behalf of the American Intellectual Property Law Association at both the petition and en banc stages, taking positions which were ultimately adopted by the Federal Circuit and thereby reshaped U.S. design patent jurisprudence. In Calmar, Inc. v. Arminak & Assoc., Chris authored a brief on behalf of the Industrial Design Society of America in support of a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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 a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) Committee on Industrial Designs. Chris is currently vice president of the U.S. chapter of AIPPI.
Chris is on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching Intellectual Property Law & Policy, a course which covers patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret law. Chris is also an Adjunct Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law teaching a course on Design Law, which is one of only a few such courses in the U.S.
Prior to joining McAndrews, Chris served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Chris received his Juris Doctorate from The University of Chicago Law School. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Marquette University.
He is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and other U.S. District Courts. He is a registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Chris has received numerous awards and accolades, including IAM Patent 1000 (2015-2019), Super Lawyers (2007-2019), IP Stars (2018-2019) and Leading Lawyers Network (2012-2019). In 2018, Chris was named one of the “Top 100” attorneys in Illinois by Thomson Reuters in its Super Lawyers publication.
He has published and lectured extensively on the topic of design law, including presentations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Washington D.C.), the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, Switzerland), the Korean Patent Office (Daejeon, Korea), the Chinese Patent Office (Beijing, China) and the European Union’s Office of Harmonization of the Internal Markets (Alicante, Spain). Chris is the author and editor-in-chief of the book “Design Rights: Functionality and Scope of Protection,” which was published in September 2017 by Wolters Kluwer N.V.
He is a frequent contributor to CNN and Bloomberg TV on intellectual property law issues, and often is called upon to provide commentary for other media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS TV, CNBC TV, BBC, Reuters, InformationWeek, Fast Company, ComputerWorld, PCWorld, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Fortune, and FoxBusiness TV. Away from the law, Chris is a studied jazz musician playing upright bass on the Chicago jazz circuit.