Michael C. Sanko, Associate


Michael Sanko's practice focuses on utility patent prosecution involving mechanical, electrical, and software-related inventions and design patent prosecution. He advises clients on domestic and international patent portfolio procurement and management strategy, including Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications and design registrations under the Hague System.

Michael has experience in the prosecution of utility and design patent applications in a wide range of industry sectors, in particular the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, consumer goods, gaming, software, and consumer electronics sectors.

Michael also advises clients on the enforcement of and the defenses to granted patent rights, including post-grant proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He assists clients with patent infringement analyses and provides clients with freedom-to-operate and patent invalidity opinions.

During law school, Michael worked with entrepreneurs as part of a legal clinic for small businesses. He assisted clients with a wide breadth of both intellectual property and corporate law matters, including business formation, sales agreements, design patent procurement strategy, state and federal trademark registrations, and copyright registration.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Michael worked at an international automobile manufacturer, where he designed dynamic plastic injection molds that facilitated the mass production of large components of new model automobiles and researched advanced additive manufacturing technologies. During his undergraduate studies, he worked at an aerospace systems manufacturer, where he provided technical assistance to the engineering design and manufacturing of wheel and braking systems for commercial and military aircraft.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2020)
    • Intellectual Property Law Society, member
    • Chicago Intellectual Property Colloquium, fellow
    • Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, lead articles editor
    • Business Law Clinic, student clinician
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (M.S. in Law, with honors, 2017)
    • Focus: Intellectual Property Law
    • High Tech Law Society, executive board member
    • International Team Project: U.S. & German Approaches to Autonomous Vehicle Development
  • University of Dayton (B.S., 2014)
    • Major: Mechanical Engineering
    • American Society of Mechanical Engineering, member

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, member
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association, member
  • Chicago Bar Association, member

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America® "Ones to Watch," Intellectual Property Law, 2023
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