Gregory J. Leighton is a member of Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions practice group and is also a registered patent attorney. Greg’s practice involves both patent prosecution and the protection and enforcement of various forms of intellectual property. One key focus of Greg’s practice is controversies regarding intellectual property rights in the chemical and life sciences areas. Some of his recent representative matters in this space include successfully representing clients in patent disputes before federal courts and the United States International Trade Commission regarding the genetic sequence of microorganisms used in fermentation processes and the production of sintered rare earth magnets.
Greg also has represented clients in numerous patent, trademark, and copyright cases in federal court and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board dealing with digital or e-commerce-based properties. Many of these cases have turned on issues at the forefront of how laws are adapted to govern technology, including a ground-breaking decision in the Seventh Circuit regarding the type of copyright liability that can be attached to hyperlinks. Greg frequently counsels clients on how to structure their websites and online content to avoid legal pitfalls and take advantage of the safe harbors provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Greg is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, indicating he has a comprehensive understanding of U.S. privacy and data laws, regulations and requirements. He regularly counsels clients on domestic and international privacy issues, including privacy policies and cross-border data flows. He is deeply experienced in methods to proactively utilize Big Data to mine value and mitigate risk, and can provide clients with counsel on how to build efficient and effective information governance plans.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Greg had significant lab and commercial experience as a chemical engineer. During his studies at Northwestern, Greg participated in substantial amounts of lab research and work that included the design and experimental testing of chemical processing systems comprising a wide array of reactions and process components. During and after his undergraduate studies, Greg gained significant experience putting his research knowledge to commercial use with Kraft Foods where he, among other things, worked on taking new and innovative product and process designs from a small pilot-plant scale to large scale commercialization.
Greg received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialization in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. He then received his J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago, where he served as a member and Executive Editor of Publication of the Loyola Law Journal. He was also a Chicago Intellectual Property Colloquium Fellow from 2004-2005. In 2015, Greg was named an Emerging Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company, a designation earned by fewer than 2 percent of all attorneys in the state.
Greg is a member of the Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) board. ILAO is an organization focused on using technology in innovative ways to increase access to justice by streamlining the delivery of free and pro bono legal services to the poor, and providing easy to understand legal information and assistance to the public.