David L. Applegate | Partner

David Applegate is an award-winning Chicago-based trial and appellate lawyer with Williams Barber & Morel LTD., and a certified mediator in the state of Illinois. He graduated with honors from Yale College in 1975 and in 1978 received his law degree from The University of Chicago. There he chaired the Hinton Moot Court Committee and won the Lewis F. Powell Award for Excellence in Advocacy as a member of the school’s award-winning national moot court team. In March 2001, he received the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Service Award, and in October 2018 he was inducted into Marquis Who’s Who in America and received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

David L. Applegate

Mr. Applegate has been trying cases as lead trial counsel to both judges and juries since 1984, beginning in the Mississippi River delta town of Marianna, Arkansas, with the late Vincent Foster, Jr.—later President Bill Clinton’s Deputy White House counsel—as his local counsel. Since that time, Mr. Applegate has taken cases to verdict in both state and federal courts nationwide, while concentrating his practice in patent, trademark, and copyright defense and enforcement. He is first and foremost a courtroom trial lawyer with an instinctive feel for simplifying complex issues in a relatable way to convince lay persons and judges to find in favor of his clients. No verdict he has achieved has ever been reversed on appeal.

In addition, Mr. Applegate has a thriving pro bono Supreme Court amicus brief practice, primarily in intellectual property cases on behalf of the Intellectual Property Law Association, of which he is an active member. To date, Mr. Applegate’s record in cases in which he has been the lead author is 7-1 in supporting the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari, and 4-2-1 on the merits. In June 2018, U. S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito cited Mr. Applegate’s amicus brief twice in his majority ruling for the Court in Janus v. AFSCME, overturning forty-year old Supreme Court precedent.

Mr. Applegate has appeared on both local and national television beginning in high school, including a nationally-televised debate with William F. Buckley, Jr. against then-United States Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr. (R, CT) on CBS in the “60 Minutes” time slot, and more recent multiple appearances on the Fox Business News Channel, WTTW Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” Chicago’s CBS Channel 2, and Tribune Broadcast­ing’s CLTV, where he has spoken on matters including presidential power and the Supreme Court.

The subjects of Mr. Applegate’s professional writing include federal discovery, trial practice, and direct and cross-examination technique; law practice marketing and management; the intellectual property implications of the Affordable Care Act; numerous aspects of patent, trademark, and copyright law, including patentable subject matter, patent damages, and copyright term extension; and multiple matters of public policy, civil rights, and democratic theory, including health care, voting rights, the separation of powers, and the First and Second Amendments.

Mr. Applegate’s writing has seen print in publications as diverse as The ABA’s Landslide, Best's Insurance, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, CBA Record, Engage (The Journal of the Federalist Society's Practice Groups), Litigation Commentary & Review, Primerus Paradigm, Sports Illustrated, and The Wall Street Journal. He has guest-lectured at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago Law School, and the John Marshall Law School, and has appeared on panels at the law schools of IIT-Chicago-Kent, Northern Illinois University, and The University of Chicago. From 2005 to 2012 he taught an annual patent law seminar for the Practicing Law Institute in Chicago, and in 2015-2016 was an Adjunct Professor of Patent Law at The John Marshall Law School. He has consis­tently been selected by his peers as an Illinois Leading Lawyer and an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2005.

Mr. Applegate is a Senior Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honor society; a Founding Member of the Intellectual Property Institute; a past President of The Chicago Lincoln Inn of Court, an American Inn of Court focused on commercial litigation; an active Senior Master Member of the Richard Linn Inn of Court, part of the nationwide Linn Alliance of American Inns of Court that focus on intellectual property; and a Member of the National Association of Scholars.

Representative Matters

Chicago Board Options Exchange v. Multiple Parties.
Commercial interpleader action over ownership of stock. Tried to verdict awarding proceeds to client.

Patent Holder v. Commercial Transportation Client.
Invalidated patent on automatic tire inflation system in Inter Partes Review (IPR) before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Cup Lid Holder v. Competitor.
Settled federal trademark infringement and design patent infringement case with significant payment by plaintiff to represented defendant.

Scientific Instruments Manufacturer v. Nationally Known Clinical Laboratory.
Prepared patent infringement, copyright infringement, and trade secrets lawsuit between competitors in the scientific instrumentation field involving nephelometric inhibition analysis techniques for trial and settled in favor of plaintiff on courthouse steps.

Moves, Inc. v. MTV Networks and Jennifer Lopez, et al.
Defended trademark and copyright infringement action against entertainment clients MTV Networks and Jennifer Lopez.

Employee v. Packaging Products Client.
Jury trial taken to verdict in federal court in trade secret and employment discrimination claims brought by terminated former employee in the flexible packaging industry.

Individual v. Medical Insurance Coding Company.
Extended bench trial taken to verdict on behalf of innovator in the medical coding business against breach of contract and unfair competition claims by terminated former telemarketing manager.

Marketing Corp. v. MTV Networks and v. Viacom and Viacom International.
(Two cases.) Defense of licensing and copyright infringement claims against international entertainment television networks and entertainment companies involving licensing rights to Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle" video.

Sears Roebuck and Co. v. Sears PLC.
Successful prosecution of international trademark infringement litigation brought involving aggressive multinational discovery

Westinghouse Electric Corporation v. George Elevator.
Prosecution of international trademark infringement action in the United States and China based on extraterritorial application of U.S. trademark law.


Who Are Patent Trolls and What Will H.R. 9 Do About Them?

Intellectual Property Issues Are Too Important for Name-Calling

Hot News: The “Hot-News” Doctrine is Hot Again! Or Is It?

Five Lessons I’ve Learned and Am Willing to Share

Direct and Cross-Examination of a Patent Liability Expert

Put Yourself in Nike’s Shoes--If You Dare

So You Think You Have a Patentable Idea?

Direct and Cross-Examination of a Patent Damages Expert

Prometheus Unbound: The Federal Circuit Responds to Bilski

In re Bilski: Business Method Patents Resolved? Not Likely

Impediments to Innovation: Implications of Natural Health Care Legislation for the Intellectual Property Community

“Hungarian Holocaust survivors seeking justice through courts”

A House Divided: Walking the Fine Line Between Promotion and Production

New Federal Initiatives Project: Health Care Implications for the Intellectual Property Community

Sixty Years Later: Holden Caulfield, Fair Use, and Prior Restraint Under the Copyright Act

Railroaded Again? Jacobsen v. Katzer and the Open Source Debate

In re Bilski: A Rebuttal

Hope for Change: Is This the Year for Patent Reform?

Interesting Times: Some Do’s and a Don’t for Difficult Times

In re Bilski: Business Method Patents Transformed?

Quantum of Damages: Entire Market Value, Apportionment, and Use Damages

An Overview of the States Secrets Privilege in the United States

A Mark, a Yen, a Buck, or a Pound: Damages Make the World go Around

When ‘Exclusive’ is not ‘Exclusive’ and ‘Compulsory’ and ‘Compulsory’: eBay v. MercExchange and Paice v. Toyota

Rainmaking, Lightning Rods, and Aluminum Siding

A Billion Here and a Billion There: Talking Real Money in the Patent Damages Case

The Seagate Conundrum: Risks and Rewards of Raising the Defense of ‘Advice of Counsel’ to a Charge of Willful Patent Infringement

A Practical Approach to Protecting Intellectual Property in the Age of the Internet

Book Review, Robert C. Osterberg and Eric C. Osterberg, Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law

Fair Play: Mandatory Disclosure Under Federal Rule 26 in the Northern District of Illinois

Eldred v. Ashcroft: Just Another Mickey Mouse Copyright Case?

Latest Trends

The Role of the Insurance Carrier, Securities Litigation Prosecution and Defense Strategies

American Directors & Officers - An Overview of Their Duties and Liability Exposures

“Is it a ‘happy’ anniversary for the Constitution?”

“Seeing right from wrong in the Middle East”

“Constitutional separation of powers focus needed to restore republic”

“First Amendment is first for a reason”

“Constitutional amendment to protect voting rights unnecessary”

“The indefensible (yet fixable) incoherence of U.S. immigration policy”

“High court takes on conflict between choice and First Amendment”

“Famed hockey stick climate graphic scientist takes SLAPP shot in court”

“Two Cheers for a Do-Nothing Congress,”

“A simple solution for the complex problem of health care and religion”

“Eternal vigilance for sake of liberty includes intelligence gathering”

“Executive branch trampling on privacy, freedom of the press”

“The First Amendment, the IRS and freedom of speech”

“‘We the People’ Shouldn’t be Mistaken for a Peanut Gallery”

“The Supreme Court, the 10 percent solution and the dog that didn’t bark”

Chapter 10 in Latest Trends, Corporation Directors and Officers Liability, Insurance and Risk Management

Chapter on “Proving Patent Damages and Issues to Consider in Pursuing and Defending the Damages Case”

Health Care Reform: Implications for the Intellectual Property Community

State Secrets Privilege in the United States: The Price of Security

Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law

Speaking Engagements

Winning the Unwinnable Case: From Jury Selection to Closing Argument - Focus on What Matters Most, September 24, 2011

eDiscovery: Rise of the Machines, March 12, 2011

An Original Intent Approach to Constitutional Interpretation in the Context of the Second Amendment, March 4, 2011

A Design-Around Demonstration, February 15, 2011

Patentability Panel, February 8, 2011

Health Care Implications for the Intellectual Property Community, April 18, 2010

A Quantum of Damages: Entire Market Value, Apportionment, Quanta, and Use Damages, October 16, 2009

A Mark, a Yen, a Buck or a Pound: Damages Make the World Go Around, June 12, 2008

Proving Damages and Issues to Consider in Pursuing and Defending the Damages Case, October 12, 2007

A Billion Here and a Billion There: Taking Real Money in the Patent Damages Case, August 13, 2007

Mandatory Disclosure Under Rule 26 in the Northern District of Illinois, October 7, 2002

Mandatory Disclosure Under Federal Rule 26, May 12, 2002

Intellectual Property Protection for the Information Age, October 13, 1997

Intellectual Property Protection on the Internet, October 3, 1996

Intellectual Property Basics: Protection to Licensing, November 3, 1995

Creators’ Rights: Start to Finish, March 11, 1995

What? Me License? September 5, 1994

Characters: Creation to Commercialization, October 4, 1992

Proving Damages: Issues to Consider in Pursuing and Defending the Damages Case, November 30, 1999