Thomas J. Donovan

Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Thomas J. Donovan

Thomas J. Donovan

Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP


Thomas J. Donovan

One North Wacker Drive
Suite 4400
Chicago, IL 60606-2833
United States of America

Thomas J. Donovan is a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, chair of the firm's Intellectual Property Department and a member of the firm's Management Committee. He focuses his practice on patent and trademark litigation and prosecution, unfair competition and trade secret litigation and licensing. He represents clients in the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and foreign patent and trademark applications. His experience includes business method patents and software related to electronic trading and clearance systems for multi-class securities offerings. Mr. Donovan also has significant negotiation and drafting experience with software licensing; patent, trademark and copyright licensing issues; and in rendering patent validity and infringement opinions.

He represents companies in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, technology and software industries, including: companies involved in the development, manufacture and marketing of plastics and packaging; exercise equipment and other health and fitness products; financial clearing software; beverage dispensing equipment and other food service equipment; high performance racing components used in NASCAR, Formula 1 and other racing; sports marketing; packaging and other industrial equipment; a wide range of consumer goods; and automotive and aerospace parts and equipment.

Mr. Donovan is vice president of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois and is an adjunct faculty member at Chicago-Kent College of Law, acting as an instructor for an intellectual property course. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Notre Dame. Additionally, Mr. Donovan has been named to the 2011 Intellectual Property Law360 editorial advisory board. He is a member of the International Trademark Association and serves on a sub-committee for this Association. Since 2006, Mr. Donovan has been recognized each year as an “Illinois Super Lawyer” in surveys conducted by Law & Politics and featured in Chicago Magazine. He has also been recognized as a 2010 Leading Lawyer in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network, and by The Best Lawyers in America® 2012, 2013 and 2014 for his work in patent law. Additionally, Mr. Donovan was honored by the Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) at their annual Alumni Awards program in 2012.

Mr. Donovan received his B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1982 from the University of Illinois. He received his J.D. from the Chicago-Kent College of Law with honors in 1987. He is admitted to practice in the state of Illinois and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Donovan is also admitted before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Bar Admissions

Illinois, 1987

Court Admissions

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


University of Illinois (B.S., 1982)
Chicago-Kent (J.D., 1987), with honors


More than 160 Barnes & Thornburg Attorneys Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America 2014©
Barnes & Thornburg Receives Top 5 Ranking from Intellectual Property Today
Barnes & Thornburg Adds Intellectual Property Attorney Jordan Weinstein to Growing Washington, D.C. Office

View All

IPLS Annual Alumni Awards Night


Advertising & Marketing
Antitrust and Competition Law
Cloud Computing & Cyber-Security
Software and Technology Transactions
Intellectual Property
Advertising & Marketing
Business Methods
Copyright Litigation
Engineering and Scientific Fields
Entertainment - Publishing and the Arts
Information Technology
International IP
International IP Litigation
Internet and Technology Law
IP Clients
IP Strategy and Management
Mergers and Acquisitions
Patent Interferences
Patent Litigation
Patent Services: Counseling, Prosecution and Litigation
Rights of Publicity
Technology Transactions
Trade Dress
Trade Secret Litigation
Trade Secrets
Trademark Litigation
Trademark Oppositions and Cancellations
Unfair Competition and False Advertising
Arbitration/Alternative Dispute Resolution
Commercial Litigation
Trade Secret Litigation

Industries and Sectors

Internet and Technology Law

RelSci Relationships


Number of Boards


RelSci Relationships are individuals Thomas J. Donovan likely has professional access to. A relationship does not necessarily indicate a personal connection.

Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Dallas Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Chicago Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Columbus Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

South Bend Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Chairman Emeritus at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Firm Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Indianapolis Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former Managing Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Paths to Thomas J. Donovan
Potential Connections via
Relationship Science
Thomas J. Donovan
Partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP
JD with Honors
Class of 1987

Chicago-Kent College of Law, is a law school affiliated with Illinois Institute of Technology. It is the second oldest law school in the state of Illinois, and one of two law schools in the United States with a three-year legal writing program, the other being the University of Minnesota Law School.

BS in Mechanical Engineering
Class of 1982

UIC is a major research university offering the cultural, business and entertainment opportunities you can only find in a world-class city. As one of the top 200 research-funded institutions in the world, UIC faculty discover the things that others teach. Choose from 15 academic colleges including the UIC College of Medicine-the largest in the nation-which educates one in six Illinois physicians. With nearly 2,574 instructional faculty members, there is one faculty member to every 11 students, which allows for a more personal learning experience. What's more, 75 percent of tenured faculty members teach undergraduate courses and 83 percent of full-time instructional faculty have earned a PhD or equivalent.


The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. The not-for-profit Association was founded in 1878 by 17 merchants and manufacturers who saw a need for an organization “to protect and promote the rights of trademark owners, to secure useful legislation and to give aid and encouragement to all efforts for the advancement and observance of trademark rights.” Today, more than 6,000 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries make INTA a powerful network of powerful brands. Members of INTA find true value in the Association’s global trademark research, policy development and education and training. Headquartered in New York City, INTA also has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington DC and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.

Career History

Barnes & Thornberg LLP is a private company headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. The firm provides Legal services.

Adjunct Faculty Member

Chicago-Kent College of Law, is a law school affiliated with Illinois Institute of Technology. It is the second oldest law school in the state of Illinois, and one of two law schools in the United States with a three-year legal writing program, the other being the University of Minnesota Law School.

Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
$2,500 - $4,999

Established in 1935, the University of Illinois Foundation is an independent Illinois not-for-profit membership corporation registered with the state of Illinois. Its corporate mission is to advance the interests and welfare of the University. As stated in its Articles of Incorporation, the role of the University of Illinois Foundation is procuring private support on behalf of the University. The Foundation functions as the independent official fundraising and private gift-receiving agency for the University of Illinois. The Foundation works hand-in-hand with the President of the University of Illinois and the Chancellor for each campus to identify strategic private support priorities, create suitable fundraising strategies and tactics and then implement and evaluate appropriate development programs. The Foundation operates through a professional staff under the direction of the President who is appointed by the UIF Board of Directors. Together, the President and the UIF Board provide leadership and direction to guide the Foundation’s activities. Each campus also has its own development or advancement office, whose overall efforts are directed by a designated chief leadership officer. This individual acts as the principal fundraising officer for the specific campus represented; they have a dual reporting relationship, heading both the campus office of development or advancement and acting as a Vice President of the Foundation, so they act as a liaison between the Foundation and the specific campus that they serve. Development professionals throughout the University community represent donors during the giving process and serve as stewards of their generosity. In its role of developing private gifts, the Foundation leads the effort to plan and mount special fundraising initiatives, as well as annual giving programs and major capital campaigns, working in collaboration with a network of University development professionals. The Foundation provides wide-ranging leadership and assistance to each campus relative to fundraising responsibilities that require specialized subject matter expertise, including areas such as campaign planning and deployment, donor relations, annual giving, gift planning, trust services and events management. Foundation personnel also have extensive expertise in matters of taxation, investments, estate planning and financial management, especially as they relate to the benefits associated with charitable giving. Foundation professionals also assist donors and their advisers in structuring tax-sensitive gifts through the gift planning and trust services office, so that donors are in a better position to make informed decisions about their charitable giving. The emphasis is on accommodating a donor’s personal and family priorities while permitting them to provide support to the University of Illinois.

Other Affiliations
This web site is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, maintained, authorized, or sponsored by Thomas J. Donovan. The use of any trade name or trademark is for identification and reference purposes only and does not imply any association with the trademark holder. The Presence of Thomas J. Donovan's profile does not indicate a business or promotional relationship of any kind between RelSci and Thomas J. Donovan.