Split Decision Leads to Spectacular Backdrop for 2016 Patent Cup

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff’s Thymian and Brinks Gilson & Lione’s Ropski Lead Team USA to Second-Place Finish in Sailing Tournament in Split, Croatia

Against the beautiful backdrop of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, on the pristine waters of the fabled Adriatic Sea, co-captains Gary Ropski of Brinks Gilson & Lione and Marcus Thymian of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (MBHB) led Team USA to a second-place finish in the 28th annual Patent Cup Regatta, held May 30 through June 2, 2016.

S. Richard Carden, managing partner of MBHB, and Patrick Erk, an attorney in the Berlin office of the German patent law firm Grünecker, returned this year as members of the Team USA crew, and were joined by newcomer Ian Schillebeeckx, a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis.

Eleven teams representing countries worldwide competed in six races over the course of the four-day event. Team Brazil took first place. Team USA won the Patent Cup in 2006, 2010, and 2014, the latter also with co-captains Thymian and Ropski at the helm.

“This Regatta offers a unique opportunity to bond with colleagues in a competitive yet friendly and relaxed setting,” noted Thymian. “‘Sailing, fun, and friendship’ is the Regatta’s motto, and this year’s event certainly fit the bill.”

Last year, a German intellectual property attorney offered to host the 2016 Patent Cup Regatta in Split. A port of access well known in Europe for sailing on the Adriatic, the city is also famous as the site of Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient palace built by the Roman emperor at the turn of the fourth century AD.

Split, adds Brinks’ Ropski, has a special connection to Chicago through two bronze equestrian sculptures, The Bowman and The Spearman, that stand as gatekeepers to Congress Plaza at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue in Grant Park.

“When people in Croatia learned we were from Chicago, they enthusiastically reminded us of Split’s favorite son, sculptor Ivan Meštrović,” said Ropski. “His 1928 statues in Chicago are his most famous works outside Europe.”

The Patent Cup Regatta was 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 professionals. The race is held in a different country each year, with the host country responsible for the organization, terms and conditions of the race, choice of boats, and all other arrangements for the event. Up to fourteen teams have participated, at times representing the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Italy, as well as several multinational teams and teams from the European Patent Office.

“I always enjoy competing in the Patent Cup,” said Ropski, who participated for the tenth time this year and has previously guided Team USA to victory. “Traveling to new destinations to compete with fellow intellectual property professionals, some of whom we have known for years, continues to provide insights about different cultures as well as sailing venues.”

“Now,” he adds, “when I pass Meštrović’s sculptures in Grant Park, I’ll always be reminded of Split—and our exciting days of sailing in the nearby waters.”



Left to right: Team USA members Patrick Erk, Ian Schillebeeckx, Marcus Thymian, Gary Ropski, and Richard Carden display their second-place trophies from the 28th Annual Patent Cup Regatta.

Left to right: Ian Schillebeeckx, Richard Carden, Marcus Thymian, Gary Ropski, and Patrick Erk aboard Team USA’s First 35 sailboat in Split, Croatia.

About Brinks Gilson & Lione

The attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents at Brinks Gilson & Lione focus their practice in the field of intellectual property. Brinks is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Brinks lawyers provide counseling in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. Website: www.brinksgilson.com.

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: www.mbhb.com.