Steven L. Baron

Partner

 

EDUCATION:
J.D., University of Minnesota – 1988
B.A., University of Wisconsin – 1984

 

EXPERIENCE:
Mr. Baron has significant experience in complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution, with particular emphasis on matters involving intellectual property, media, First Amendment, advertising, marketing and class action defense.  Mr. Baron represents media and entertainment companies, advertising and marketing agencies, graphic artists, authors, publishers, recording companies and recording artists, information technology businesses, Internet service providers and other clients with intellectual property and media interests.

 

Mr. Baron has appeared before state and federal courts and arbitrators and mediators on matters involving defamation, privacy, copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets and to defend clients against class action claims.  He also appears in administrative tribunals such as the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings and WIPO domain name dispute resolution proceedings.

 

Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Baron guides clients in selecting and clearing trademarks and prosecuting trademark and copyright applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Copyright Office.  He also counsels clients on matters involving rights of publicity and privacy.  To assist clients in their commercial relationships, Mr. Baron drafts, reviews and negotiates a host of agreements, including intellectual property licenses and assignments, software escrow agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, work-made-for-hire agreements, employment agreements, merchant agreements, and web site terms of use and privacy policies.

 

Demonstrating his experience, Mr. Baron:

 

  • Prevailed in a precedent setting First Amendment appeal before the Illinois Supreme Court that defeated claims of negligent hiring, supervision and retention on behalf of a national media corporation and its on air talent.
  • Represented to successful conclusion a major television news network and its television commentator in a defamation and invasion of privacy suit.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a local news station under the Illinois Citizens Participation Act.
  • Successfully defended a provider of premium mobile content in class action litigation in several courts across the country.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court against a media conglomerate on behalf of an Illinois retailer in a trademark suit.
  • Successfully compelled major Internet web portal and service providers to turn over information about anonymous posters on financial chat rooms.
  • Negotiated a successful pre-trial resolution of a defamation suit against authors of a book about organized crime in Chicago.
  • Mediated a successful resolution of a false advertising suit between major cellular telephone service providers.
  • Manages the trademark portfolios of several clients, including a major health care institution, a Chicago restaurant owner and a nationwide provider of on-line obituaries and memorials.
  • Oversees the legal review of 50-60 sweepstakes and contests rules annually.

 

Mr. Baron is licensed to practice law in Illinois and a member of the bar in Minnesota. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Third and Seventh Circuits, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (member of Trial Bar) and the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

 

Mr. Baron is a member of the American Bar Association, and its Litigation and Intellectual Property Law Sections and Forum on Communications Law. He is also a member of the Copyright Society of the USA the Author’s Guild, the Media Law Resource Center where he serves as the Co-Chair of the Advertising and Commercial Speech Committee  and the Illinois State Bar Association where he served as the Chair of the Intellectual Property Section Council, and he is a member of the Lawyer’s Club.

 

Mr. Baron is a frequent author and lecturer on topics involving media and intellectual property and an adjunct professor at Bradley University where he teaches a course on media theory at the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts.  He is also a frequent lecturer at the DePaul University Law School Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology and a guest lecturer at John Marshall Law School, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. He is a co-author of the book Intellectual Property Law & Interactive Media – Free for a Fee (Peter Lang) and the Illinois chapter of MLRC’s 50-State Survey: Media Privacy and Telated Law 2009-2013 (Oxford University Press). Mr. Baron also co-authored the published article: “Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Not Flip About The Bird”, Illinois State Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law Newsletter, October 2013, vol. 53, no.1.

 

At the University of Minnesota School of Law, Mr. Baron served as an editor on the Minnesota Law Review and was active in the Minnesota Justice Foundation, a public interest organization. Before starting his practice, Mr. Baron served as a law clerk for two Minnesota District Judges.

 

Mr. Baron is also active in pro bono circles. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Heartland Human Care and Services.  He has also received the “Distinguished Service Award” for his volunteer work representing low income clients through the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation and presently serves as Chair of Operations of a local pro bono legal clinic.