McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP and Brinks Sailing Team Lead Team USA to First Place Finish in 2014 Patent Cup Regatta

Friendship, sailing and fun were the prevailing matters at hand for team captains Marcus J. Thymian of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (“MBHB”) and Gary M. Ropski of Brinks Gilson & Lione, who recently led Team USA to a first place finish in the 26th Annual Patent Cup Regatta.

“This is an amazing annual event,” said Thymian, a patent lawyer and managing partner at MBHB. “The chance to build lifelong relationships across continents through sailing is quite the opportunity.”

The June event, hosted by German patent attorneys and held in Warnemünde, a Baltic Sea resort in the former German Democratic Republic, attracted eleven teams representing countries in North America and Europe, as well as the European Patent Office. The sailors competed in seven separate contests over the course of three days in identically rigged boats.

Team USA, which also won the Patent Cup in 2006 and 2010, took first place this year in three races, second place in three races, and third place in one race, for an aggregate race score that was eight points better than that of the second place team. Team USA was rounded out by Derek Minihane, head of intellectual property strategy at Australian medical device company Cochlear, Ltd.; Dr. Patrick P. Erk of German IP firm Grünecker; and MBHB partner S. Richard Carden.

“Friendly competition among peers is what the Patent Cup is all about,” said Ropski, a highly regarded patent attorney and past president of Brinks, who participated in his seventh Patent Cup Regatta this year. “Of course, in the courtroom or on the water, it’s always most fun to win, and I was proud of our team members for using their competitive drive to bring home the cup.”

Next year’s Patent Cup Regatta will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, to coincide with the 2015 World Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriéte Intellectuelle (FICPI).

The Patent Cup sailing race was first established in 1989 by two patent attorneys to foster camaraderie and cultivate relationships among patent attorneys from around the world. According to its charter, each yacht must have a crew consisting primarily of patent attorneys. The race is held in a different country each year, with the host country responsible for the organization, terms and conditions of the race, the boats chosen and all other arrangements for the event. All boats in each year’s race are identically rigged. Up to fourteen teams participate, at times representing the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, as well as several multinational teams and teams from the European Patent Office.

About Brinks Gilson & Lione

Brinks Gilson & Lione has 160 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. Based in Chicago, Brinks has offices in Washington, D.C., Research Triangle Park, N.C., Ann Arbor, Detroit, Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. Website:

About McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP provides creative, pragmatic business solutions through a variety of intellectual property services, including litigation, prosecution, and general client counseling. With offices in Illinois, California and North Carolina, MBHB provides comprehensive legal services to obtain and enforce its clients’ intellectual property rights, from navigating patent office procedures to litigating complex infringement actions. MBHB attorneys prosecute patent and trademark applications in both the U.S. and abroad, handle intellectual property litigation matters in trial and appellate courts across the country, and counsel clients nationwide and worldwide on the enforcement and defense of their intellectual property rights. MBHB attorneys are experienced in the procurement, licensing, enforcement, and defense of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and unfair competition actions in a number of technological disciplines and product categories including biotechnology, business methods, chemical, electrical, mechanical and materials, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, software and telecommunications. Comprised of over 80 attorneys, the law firm provides effective and service-oriented representation on a case-by-case basis. MBHB attorneys undertake each challenge with a full understanding of their client’s business plan and the ways in which the firm’s services help their clients reach their goals. Regardless of MBHB’s role, the firm never loses sight of their clients’ business objectives. MBHB clients know they have trusted their legal issues and plans for the future with knowledgeable, principled professionals who have their best business interests in mind. Website:

(In photo l-r) Patrick Erk (Grünecker), Derek Minihane (Cochlear Limited), Richard Carden (MBHB), Marcus Thymian (MBHB), and Gary Ropski (Brinks).