Lecturer Adam Mortara Named to Crain's 40 Under 40

Adam Mortara, 37, partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, lecturer, University of Chicago Law School, Chicago
Steven R. Strahler
Crain's Chicago Business
December 3, 2011

Forget the dweeby stereotype: Patent law rocks, especially at law firms like Adam Mortara's, which prefer to litigate rather than settle cases.

"It's sexy because patents are becoming the primary motivating force in a lot of business battles," Mr. Mortara says.

As in the mobile phone industry, with Google Inc.'s takeover of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and its cache of 17,000 patents. Or Big Pharma's patent-infringement claims against generic drugmakers.

Still plentiful are old-fashioned, David vs. Goliath patent brawls pitting individual inventors against giant corporations. Jacob Krippelz Sr., founder of Aurora machine shop Jake's Inc., alleged Ford Motor Co. stole his idea for a side-mirror lamp and won a judgment in 2009.

Mr. Mortara led the trial's second phase, arguing Ford's violation was willful. A federal judge here agreed and more than doubled the jury's award to $56 million. (Ford appealed; an attorney for the automaker declines to comment. Mr. Krippelz died last year at age 79.)