A former chief patent counsel to a Fortune 500 communications company with deep first chair trial experience, Tom Pasternak focuses his practice on patent, trademark, and trade secret litigation, licensing, and prosecution. Tom protects and defends his clients’ intellectual property rights in district courts across the United States, the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), and the Federal Circuit and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. He serves clients in the e-commerce, communications, biopharma, and consumer products sectors.

A registered patent lawyer with a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the United States Naval Academy, Tom has broad technology experience and has written and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications covering electrical engineering, chemical products, and medical devices. Tom has extensive experience enforcing and interpreting noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements and protecting trade secrets. He is adept at handling swift-moving injunction proceedings and minimizing their impact on his client’s business.

Tom also pursues and defends misappropriation of trade secret actions in federal court, including ex parte applications for orders providing for the seizure of property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secrets. To help clients avoid such litigation, Tom routinely conducts trade secret audits and designs internal programs that include confidentiality agreements that protect employers, business partners, and potential buyers and sellers of proprietary technology.


  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Patent Law (2019 – present)

  • Honoree, Illinois Super Lawyers, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Patent Law (2013-2019, 2021 – present)

  • Honoree, IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, Patent Litigation – Illinois (2015)

All Service Areas


  • University of Michigan Law School (1991)
  • United States Naval Academy (1982)

    B.S., Mechanical Engineering


  • State - Illinois
  • Federal - United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Federal - U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • Federal - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Notable Matters

  • Patent Infringement Litigation: Represented international distributors of bamboo products in patent infringement action involving American, European, and Chinese entities. The case involved multiple state law business tort claims.
  • Trademark, Copyright, and Trade Dress Infringement Litigation: Represented a U.S. consumer products manufacturer defending complex trade dress infringement action involving French press coffee pots.
  • Trade Secret Misappropriation Litigation: Representing a national manufacturing company and ten individual company employees in Defend Trade Secrets Act litigation with multiple business torts. Engaging in extensive discovery and summary judgment briefing leading up to a multi-week trial.

Speeches and Publications

  • Panelist, “The Trade Secret Audit: An Important Tool to Consider to Protect Your Client’s Intellectual Property,” Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago Annual Trade Secrets Summit, April 4, 2024.

Professional Affiliations

  • Federal Circuit Bar Association


  • Eastern District of Texas Bar Association


  • PTAB Bar Association