Dean Niro

Founding Partner

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Dean Niro is an accomplished litigator in complex patent, trademark and trade secret cases. Dean enjoys working on the full spectrum of challenging intellectual property matters. He also practices in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including post grant review and inter partes review proceedings instituted by the America Invents Act.

Dean has extensive trial experience as lead counsel. For example, Dean served as lead attorney in several cases for Stanley Black & Decker involving electric power tools, including a multi-patent case involving over 10 patents and 50 different products. In another case, he successfully obtained an injunction against radio charger products owned by Bosch. Most recently, Dean was lead counsel for the patentee in a jury trial that resulted in a verdict of $2.0 million against a foreign manufacturing company.

Dean has worked with his father and mentor, Ray Niro, on several trials, most notably, a $57 million trade secret verdict against a snowmobile manufacturer. Dean has conducted trials, arbitrations and Markman hearings. He has argued appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He always looks forward to the next challenge. Dean has handled cases in many technologies, such as mechanical devices, engine components, power tools, e-commerce, SMS messaging, silicon chip design, smart phones, satellite imaging and video gaming. He was instrumental in securing the color blue trademark for Nylok Corporation, as well as the yellow and black color trademark for DeWalt® products. He has handled extensive patent prosecution for Cornelius, a leading supplier of beverage supply equipment, and for other Fortune 500 companies. In a unique dimension for his career, Dean served as an expert witness on United States patent law in an international arbitration.

Dean also is a formidable negotiator having negotiated over 100 agreements for his clients. Dean negotiated patent settlements for Kwikset with two of its main competitors who agreed to cease making a re-keyable lock product after a protracted litigation. He also coordinated a $20 million licensing campaign involving an inventor located in Japan.

Dean graduated from the University of Colorado in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and obtained his law degree from DePaul University College of Law in 1991. Dean is married with 5 children. In his spare time, he is actively involved in the sport of rugby, both as a coach and player. Dean also enjoys skiing.

Dean has been named a SuperLawyer. He has served as an adjunct professor and taught a course in intellectual property at the DePaul University College of Law for over 10 years. Dean lectured on intellectual property at the DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Dean is the author of an article, entitled “Protecting Characters Through Copyright Law: Paving A New Road Upon Which Literary, Graphic And Motion Picture Characters Can All Travel,” published in the DePaul Law Review.

Vitale, Vickrey, Niro, Solon & Gasey LLP