Christopher V. Carani

Christopher V. Carani

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Intellectual Property Attorney in Chicago, IL

McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.
 | 500 W. Madison Street, 34th Floor
Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-775-8000
Fax: 312-775-8100
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020
Selected to Rising Stars: 2008 - 2013
Licensed Since: 1999
Practice Areas:
  • Intellectual Property (50%),
  • Intellectual Property Litigation (50%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Italian
Attorney Profile

Christopher V. Carani, Esq. is a partner and shareholder at the intellectual property law firm of McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd. based in Chicago. He practices in all areas of intellectual property law with particular emphasis on design law.

Chris represents some of the world’s most design centric companies to create valuable design right portfolios, including the top filer of U.S. design patents. He has procured thousands of strategic design rights, both in the U.S and in over 70 countries around the world. He counsels a wide range of clients (big and small) on design protection and enforcement issues and is often called upon to render infringement, validity and design-around opinions. In 2015, IAM Magazine included Chris in its IAM Patent 1000 referring to him as one of the U.S.’s “pre-eminent design law experts.” In the 2016, IAM Magazine noted that he “is one of the nation’s top design patent specialists.”

Chris has extensive experience litigating design patent cases, including representations before U.S. district courts, the Federal Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court and the ITC. In the landmark design patent case Egyptian Goddess v. Swisa, Chris authored amicus briefs on behalf of the AIPLA at both the petition and en banc stages, taking positions which were ultimately adopted by the Federal Circuit and thereby reshaping U.S. design patent jurisprudence. In Calmar, Inc. v. Arminak & Assoc., Chris authored a brief on behalf of the Industrial Design Society of America in support of a petition for writ of certiori to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Chris is currently the chair of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) Design Rights Committee. He is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Design Rights Committee, and also the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) Committee on Industrial Designs.  Chris is currently serving a 3-year appointment to the Board of Directors for the U.S. chapter of AIPPI.

Chris is on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching Intellectual Property Law & Policy, a course which covers patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret law. Chris also is on faculty at Chicago-Kent College of Law teaching a course on Design Law. 

Prior to joining McAndrews, Chris served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Chris was conferred his Juris Doctorate from The Law School at The University of Chicago.  He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Marquette University.

Chris is a registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the USPTO. He is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and other U.S. District Courts. Chris has received numerous awards and accolades, including IAM Patent 1000 (2015-17), Super Lawyers (2007-2017) and Leading Lawyers Network (2013-17).

He has published and lectured extensively on the topic of design law. He is the editor of the book entitled “Design Rights: Functionality and Scope of Protection,” which was published in September 2017 by leading publisher Wolters Kluwer N.V. 

Chris has lectured on design rights at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (Washington D.C.), the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, Switzerland), the Korean Patent Office (Daejeon, Korea), the Chinese Patent Office (Beijing, China) and the European Union’s Office of Harmonization of the Internal Markets (Alicante, Spain). 

He is a frequent contributor to CNN and Bloomberg TV on intellectual property law issues, and often is called upon to provide comment to other media outlets, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS TV, CNBC TV, BBC, Reuters, InformationWeek, Fast Company, ComputerWorld, PCWorld, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Fortune, and FoxBusiness TV. Away from the law, Chris is a studied jazz musician playing upright bass on the Chicago jazz circuit.


About Christopher Carani

Admitted: 1999, Illinois

Professional Webpage:


  • Leading Lawyers (Intellectual Property Law) (Illinois, 2013-16)
  • Chicago Law Bulletin's 2010 40 Under 40 award, Illinois "40 Under 40", Law Bulletin, 2010
  • American Inn of Court, Outstanding Program Award (2011), Night at the Museum of Designs, Co-Chair
  • Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Patent 1000 - The World's Leading Patent      Practitioners (Individual - Intellectual Property Litigation) (2015, 2016)
  •  Chick Evans Scholarship issued by the Western Golf Association (4-year full-ride scholarship)

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Registered to practice before United States Patent & Trademark Office

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (Chair of Design Rights Committee, 2015-present) (Member of Board of Directors for AIPPI-US, 2014-present); Chair of AIPPI’s 2016 Resolution on the regarding the Requirements for Design Protection, with a focus on Functionality American Bar Association, Chairperson of Committee on Design Rights (2010-2013), liaison to World Intellectual Property Office Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (2010-present); American Intellectual Property Law Association, (Chair Committee on Industrial Design, 2006-10, Vice-Chair, 2004-2006); Advisory Design Council for The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (2010-present)

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Design Patents Take Center Stage, Landslide Magazine, Feature Article, American Bar Association, Volume 5, Number 3 (January-February 2013)
  • Apple verdict: Set to stifle or spur innovation?,, OpEd, September 2012
  • Design Rights: Functionality and Scope of Protection, Wolters Kluwer N.V., 2017
  • Design Patent Functionality: A Sensible Solution, Landslide Magazine, Feature Article, American Bar Association, Volume 7, Number 2, November-December 2014
  • Designs: A Global Guide 2017, World Trademark Review, co-authored with Dunstan H. Barnes, PhD, January 2017
  • The New "Extra-Ordinary" Observer Test for Design Patent Infringement-On a Crash Course With the Supreme Court's Precedent in Gorham v. White, 8 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 354 (May 2009).  View File.

Educational Background:

  • University of Chicago, J.D.; Marquette University, B.S. Engineering

Industry Groups

  • AIPLA (Chair - 2006-10 Industrial Design Committee)
  • AIPPI (Chair Of Designs Committee 2015-present)
  • AIPPI-US (2014-16 Board Member)
  • INTA (Design Law Committee Member)
  • IPO (Active Member)
  • Justinian Society Of Lawyers (1999-2011)
  • Northwestern University School Of Law (Adjunct Professor Of Intellectual Property Law 2015-Present)
  • Richard Linn American Inn Of Court (Barrister Member)
  • U.S.); ABA (2011-13 Chair - Design Law Committee)
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Office Location for Christopher V. Carani

500 W. Madison Street
34th Floor
Chicago, IL 60661

Christopher V. Carani:

Last Updated: 12/4/2018

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