Christopher J. Rourk
Chris Rourk, a thought leader in artificial intelligence legal matters, is a Dallas intellectual property attorney with 10 years’ field experience as a former engineer and over two decades of diverse legal experience handling matters related to all aspects of intellectual property, as well as corporate transactions, commercial litigation and other complex interdisciplinary matters for clients across industries.
Chris has prosecuted 400+ patents to issuance in diverse technological fields such as nanotechnology devices, semiconductor systems and devices, radio frequency systems and devices, analog systems and devices, telecommunications systems and devices, medical devices, image data processing systems and devices, and consumer electronics. One area in which Chris excels is in the use of strategic post-grant proceedings to invalidate patents that have been or might be asserted against clients. These proceedings allow improperly-granted patent claims to be attacked in the patent office, to save clients the expense and stress of district court litigation.
As an engineer, Chris developed numerous technical proficiencies while working for Bechtel Power Corporation on-site for a major power plant construction project, where he was involved with designing and installing telecommunications, control and power systems components. He then worked for Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he designed large turbine generators and extensively applied three-dimensional finite element computer models to new and existing designs. This unique background gives Chris specific insights into solutions for many business problems encountered by clients, as well as preventative measures and strategies for avoiding those problems.
During law school, Chris worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he performed research and directed research at a number of national laboratories into issues pertaining to nuclear power safety, including probabilistic risk assessment computer models of nuclear power plant safety systems.
B.S.E.E, cum laude, University of Florida
M.Eng., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
J.D., cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas
Patent Infringement Litigation
- Represented one of the largest electronic payment processors in a patent infringement case involving debit card payment technology that resulted in a Federal Circuit decision that confirmed summary judgment in favor of the client and which clarified joint infringement liability.
- Represented a developer of image data compression technology in licensing and litigation which resulted in significant revenue.
- Represented one of the largest semiconductor memory chip manufacturers in a patent infringement case involving DRAM, SRAM and flash memory technology that led to a take-nothing jury verdict in New Jersey.
- Represented a large electrical equipment manufacturer in patent and trade secret litigation involving power transformer technology that resulted in a favorable settlement for less than ten percent of the claimed damages.
- Represented a large electronic payment processor in a patent infringement case involving credit card payment technology that resulted in a favorable settlement for less than ten percent of the claimed damages.
- Represented a polymer lining manufacturer in a patent infringement case involving extruded plastics technology that resulted in a favorable settlement.
Trademark Infringement Litigation
- Represented a software developer and marketer in a trademark infringement and unfair competition case involving misrepresentation by a third party of which company originally developed features of a software package that resulted in a favorable settlement.
- Represented a food manufacturer in a trademark infringement case that resulted in a favorable settlement.
- Represented a pet charity in a trademark infringement appeal, including briefing and presentation of arguments to the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
General Practice Experience
- Prosecuted to issuance patents that were successfully asserted against infringers in the area of data messaging technology to generate significant settlement revenue.
- Prosecutes patents for Fortune 50 companies, start-up companies, leading universities and numerous other clients in the areas of electrical engineering, software, data communications, artificial intelligence, data encryption, block chain and other technologies.
- Represents largest provider of authentication devices and associated services in negotiating agreements with suppliers and licensees and patent/trademark matters.
- Routinely performs due diligence in deals ranging from $1 million to over $1 billion in value.
- Routinely advises clients on intellectual property strategy, sales strategy, marketing strategy and resolving commercial disputes in cost-effective manners to avoid protracted litigation where it is not strategically necessary.
- AV Rating, Martindale-Hubble
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2018-2019
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.)
- Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2020-2021
- “Can we realistically create laws on artificial intelligence?,” Open Access Government (February 2020)
- “ABA Resolution: Caution with AI Use in Legal Practice,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes (January 2020)
- “‘Romag v. Fossil’: License Provisions for Avoiding a Trip to the Supreme Court,” Texas Lawyer (January 2020)
- “Intellectual Property Financing Unveiled,” Asia IP (October 2019)
- “USPTO Rebukes High Court’s Approach To Abstract Ideas,” Law360 (February 2019)
- Co-Author, “Design Patent Confusion In Fed. Circ. Maatita Ruling,” Law360 (September 2018)
- “Ex Parte Reexamination May Cost Apple $177 Million,” Jackson Walker e-Alert (June 2018)
- “The Top 10 Things You Wanted to Know About False Patent Marking but Were Afraid to Ask,” Jackson Walker Insights (April 2010)
Chris was the lead briefing attorney for the appellant in In re Magnum Oil Tools International, 829 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2016), one of the first cases to result in a full reversal of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board from a decision in an inter partes review. The Federal Circuit agreed with Chris’ argument that it was improper to shift the burden of proof to the patent owner to prove the validity of the challenged patent.
Chris has handled a number of high-profile patent litigation matters, including filing the lawsuit that resulted in the Federal Circuit decision in BMC v. Paymentech, which provided controlling precedent on the question of joint infringement of patent claims. His patent prosecution work has also been cited as exemplary by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has withstood attack in district court litigation and post-grant challenges.
- “New U.S.-China agreement: Signed, sealed… and then comes implementation,” Asia IP (March 31, 2020)
- “Chris Rourk Presents “Artificial Intelligence and Legal Ethics” at Dallas Bar Association Clinic” (July 19. 2019)
- “Patent Subject Matter Eligibility,” Asia IP (September 29, 2017)
- “Before Sue-rise,” Asia IP (July 31, 2017)
- “LESI 2017’s Augmented Reality,” Asia IP (April 18, 2017)
- “A Look at the Five-Year Impact of the America Invents Act,” D CEO (March 2017)
- “Rogue One: A Fake Goods Story,” Asia IP (January 25, 2017)
- “A Look Back at the Top AIA-Related Decisions of 2016,” Law360 (January 6, 2017)