William Cory Spence

William Cory Spence

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney in Chicago, IL

 | 515 North State Street, Suite 1801
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312-404-8882
Fax: 312-635-2299
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2008 - 2010, 2013
Licensed Since: 2002
Practice Areas:
  • Intellectual Property Litigation (60%),
  • Business Litigation (30%),
  • Intellectual Property (10%)
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

As a trial lawyer and founding partner of SpencePC, Cory Spence assists both individual and business clients to obtain their best possible outcome in contentious legal matters. His extensive experience includes litigation, arbitration, and mediation involving a wide-range of intellectual property and complex commercial disputes.

Mr. Spence is a registered patent attorney and published author and frequent speaker on patent monetization and other intellectual property issues. He has been repeatedly recognized in IAM Strategy 300 as one of the world’s leading IP Strategists and in IAM Patent 1000 as one of the world’s leading patent professionals. He maintains an AV Preeminent® rating from Martingale-Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. He has also been repeatedly mentioned in editions of the Legal 500 U.S for Trade Secrets and as a “Super Lawyer,” and an “Illinois Rising Star“ in the area of intellectual property.

Mr. Spence is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering and Physics. He subsequently served in the U.S. Air Force as 2LT, MSC, prior to obtaining his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.  Prior to forming SpencePC, he spent twelve years practicing law with Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, Illinois (and in Tokyo, Japan, as secondee to the Japanese law firm of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu).

About William Spence

Admitted: 2002, Illinois

Professional Webpage: https://www.spencepc.com/attorney/william-c-spence/


  • Mr. Spence maintains an AV Preeminent® rating from Martingale-Hubbell®. The Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® rating is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability.
  • The IAM Patent 1000 is unique in being a one-stop resource that focuses exclusively on naming best-in-class patent prosecution, licensing and litigation practitioners on a global basis, as well as expert witnesses in the United States. For five months, a dedicated research team working out of the offices in London and Hong Kong conducted detailed interviews with thousands of private practice lawyers and attorneys based in dozens of countries, as well as the users of their services, in order to identify the practitioners and practices that are considered to excel at providing patent-related legal services. In the United States, IAM also asked interviewees to name the expert witnesses they turn to when they need world-class input on both damages and technical issues. All those listed in the IAM Patent 1000 are included because IAM received substantial positive feedback about them from multiple sources.  , IAM Patent 1000, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM)
  • He has been repeatedly recognized in editions of the Legal 500 U.S for Trade Secrets.
  • Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) publishes annual listings of the world¹s leading IP strategists. Published annually since 2009, the IAM Strategy 300 has established itself as the leading source of information for IP owners seeking professionals who offer world-class advice on the creation and roll-out of strategies designed to maximise the value of intellectual property.  This guide is largely used by technology transfer professionals and chief IP officers, in-house counsel and other senior executives working in IP-owning operating companies., IAM Strategy 300, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM)
  • During his career, he has also been repeatedly been recognized as a "Super Lawyer," and an "Illinois Rising Star," in the area of intellectual property.

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Since 2001, Cory has been registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Life Sciences Sector Executive Committee; Licensing Executives Society USA, 2011-2013.
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association, 2010-Present. 
  • Tokyo IP American Inn of Court, 2013-2014.
  • Vice-Chair, Young Member Congress - Licensing Executives Society International, 2010-2011.
  • American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Division, 2002-Present.
  • Richard Linn American Inn of Court , 2011-Present. 
  • Fellow, United States-Japan Leadership Program, 2007-Present.

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Former Board Member, Alliance for the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan Federation), 2003-2005.
  • Board Member, Ada S. McKinley Foundation, 2008-2012

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • “Patent Litigation...What Does a Biopharma Licensing Executive Need to Know and Why Should They Care?,” LES Spring Meeting; New York, NY; May 5, 2011
  • "Controlling Costs with New E-discovery Models," Kirkland & Ellis LLP Technology & Law Seminar, Chicago, IL, May, 2012
  • William Cory Spence and Gitte Lykke Pedersen, Scraping electronic data from websites,  Copyright World, at 18, Sept., 2009
  • "Key Legal Issues in Licensing," LES Technology Transfer Seminar, Boston, MA, October 12, 2006
  • Moderator, "Antitrust Issues in Patent & Technology Licensing," Attorney Panel at the LES Annual Meeting, Seoul, Korea, April 10, 2006.
  • “Recent Case-Law on Damages for Patent Infringement, including possible limitations for Non-Practicing Entities,” LES Scandinavia Annual Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; Sept. 6, 2010
  • "Overview of U.S. Patent Laws," The International Comparative Legal Guide to Patents (2nd ed.), Global Legal Group, 2012
  • "Document Discovery in Patent Litigation," Supplement for Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook (3rd. ed.), Chapter 13, 2011
  • “Document Discovery in Patent Litigation,”Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook (4th. ed.), Chapter 13, 2015
  • "Preserving Privilege in IP Transactions," LES USA Life Sciences Sector Executive Committee, April, 2012
  • "US Patent Litigation Update," International Patent Litigation 2011 (sponsored by IBC Legal); London, England, December, 2011
  • "Recent Developments in U.S. Patent Litigation," Tokyo, Japan, July, 2011
  • "Document Discovery in Patent Litigation," Supplement for Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook (3rd. ed.), Chapter 13, 2012
  • Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada) Webinar - "Protecting the deal: preserving the attorney-client privilege in IP transactions," February 13, 2013
  • “Patent Law for Engineers,” SAE Automotive Headquarters, Detroit, MI, May 20, 2013
  • “Overview of U.S. Patent Laws,” The International Comparative Legal Guide to Patents (2nd ed.), Global Legal Group, 2015
  • “Document Discovery in Patent Litigation,” 2017 Supplement for Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook (4th ed.), Chapter 15, 2017
  • “Overview of U.S. Patent Laws,” The International Comparative Legal Guide to:  Patents 2017 (7th ed.), Global Legal Group, 2016
  • “Document Discovery in Patent Litigation,” 2016 Supplement for Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook (4th ed.), Chapter 15, 2016
  • “Fitbit alleges Patent Infringement in Growing Market for Fitness Tracking Devices,” IP Watchdog, January 6, 2016
  • “Clean Energy Patent Market May Offer Significant Financial Gains,” IP Watchdog, March 9, 2016
  • “How Drone Disabling Patents Change Everything,” IP Watchdog, April 6, 2016
  • “Oculus Rift Patents that Change the Virtual Reality Landscape,” IP Watchdog, May 31, 2016
  • “Automakers Lead Silicon Valley in Self-Driving Car Development,” IP Watchdog, July 11, 2016
  • “FTC Report on PAEs Could Have an Outsized Effect on U.S. Patent Reform Debate,” IP Watchdog, August 16, 2016
  • “FTC Report Recommendations Largely Legislative in Scope in New Patent Assertion Entity Report,” IP Watchdog, October 27, 2016


  • Mr. Spence secured a favorable trial verdict for a client who was a plaintiff in the Northern District of IL., 2019
  • Mr. Spence secured favorable settlements on behalf of patent plaintiffs in the semiconductor and wireless industries., 2019
  • Mr. Spence secured favorable settlements on behalf of a patent plaintiff in the semiconductor industry., 2018
  • Mr. Spence secured summary judgment for a client who was plaintiff in state court litigation involving breach of contract.  The client accused defendant of violating the contract by hiring away its team members in violation of a "no-pirating" provision.  Subsequent to the liability ruling, SpencePC represented the client in a damages trial.  The parties are awaiting a determination on damages., 2017
  • Mr. Spence scored a trial victory in state court for a client accused of trade secret misappropriation, breach of a confidentiality agreement, and other state law claims, including conspiracy and tortious interference. After a two-and-a-half week trial, the jury returned a verdict in the client's favor on all counts, finding that the disputed items failed to qualify as trade secrets or confidential information, or were not acquired by the client. Shortly thereafter, the client also obtained a favorable settlement in related litigation against the same plaintiff involving patent infringement allegations., 2010
  • Mr. Spence led a trial team that reached a favorable settlement for a client who was a defendant in state litigation against a plaintiff and former employee.  After an unsuccessful mediation, SpencePC took over the case from prior counsel.  The case settled shortly after SpencePC initiated related litigation in federal court against a defendant related to the plaintiff., 2017
  • Mr. Spence led a trial team that reached a favorable settlement result for a client who was plaintiff against a defendant who was a large, muti-national software company.  SpencePC directly represented the client-plaintiff in the US patent litigation and indirectly coordinated the related foreign patent litigation in India and Russia., 2016
  • Mr. Spence led a trial team to secure an arbitration award for a client accused of trade secret misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract, and related unfair competition claims. The litigation team took and defended 21 depositions during the two months that the expedited schedule provided for discovery. During the six-day arbitration, the parties called twenty-three witnesses to testify. After the trial, the arbitrator found that the client did not misappropriate any of the alleged trade secrets or breach any contracts and issued an order granting all of the client's requests for declaratory judgment., 2012

Representative Clients:

  • Katana Silicon Technologies v Various (2018-Present); Nordic Interactive Technologies v Various (2018-Present) Patent Litigation; 360Heroes, Inc. v. GoPro, Inc. (2017-Present) Patent Litigation; Ocean Tomo, LLC v. Patent Ratings LLC, et al. (2016-Present) Complex Commercial Litigation; Umbanet, Inc. v. Epsilon Data Mgmt., LLC (2016-18) Patent Litigation; Human Sciences HC Limited v. FedEx Corp. (2016-2017) Patent litigation; Ocean Tomo, LLC v. Hilco Trading LLC, et al. (2016) Trade Secret & Unfair Competition Litigation; Fatigue Fracture Technology, LLC v. Navistar, Inc. (2016-Present) Patent Litigation; Adaptive Avenue Associates, Inc. v. Sally Beauty Supply LLC (2016-2017) Patent Litigation; treX Property AB v. various (2015-Present) Patent Litigation; Reshare Commerce, LLC (2015-2016) Patent Counselling; Talsk Research, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (2016) Patent Litigation; Talsk Research, Inc. v. Evernote Corp. (2016-Present) Patent Litigation; Alpha Group v. Cunningham (2015-2017) Commercial Litigation; Pollard Banknote Limited Partnership v. Loveland Machines Inc., et al. (2012-Present) Trade secret and breach of contract litigation involving technologies, processes, and equipment to manufacture instant-win scratch tickets; Auriga Polymers Inc., et al. v. M&G USA Corporation, et al. (2011-Present) Patent litigation concerning U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,943,216, entitled "Method to Make Single-Layer PET Bottles with High Barrier and Improved Clarity,' and 7,879,930, entitled "Colored Oxygen Scavenging Polymers."; M&G USA Corporation, et al. v. Auriga Polymers Inc., et al. (2011-Present)Patent litigation concerning U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,438,960, entitled "Article Comprising Light Absorbent Composition to Mask Visual Haze and Related Methods," 8,052,917, entitled "Process to Make an Article Comprising Light Absorbent Composition to Mask Visual Haze and Related Methods," and RE42,925, which is a reissue of 6,346,307, entitled "Polyester Resin Blends with High-Level Gas Barrier Properties."; WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems, LLC v.  Mac-Gray Corporation (2010-Present)Arbitration involving trade secret, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and related unfair competition claims; Howmedica Osteonics Corp. et al v. Zimmer Inc., et al. (2011-2012) Patent litigation concerning U.S. Pat. No. 6,475,243, entitled "Acetabular Cup Assembly with Selected Bearing."; Eastman Chemical Company v. AlphaPet, Inc., et al. (2009-2012)Trade secret, breach of contract, and patent litigation concerning U.S. Patent Nos. 6,906,164 (entitled "Polyester Process Using a Pipe Reactor"), 7,358,322 (entitled "High IV Melt Phase Polyester Polymer Catalyzed with Antimony Containing Compounds"), and 7,459, 113 (entitled "Process of Making a Container from Polyester Polymer Particles Having a Small Surface to Center Intrinsic-Viscosity Gradient"); INEOS Bio USA LLC, et al. v. Coskata, Inc., et al. (2010-2012)Trade secret, breach of contract, inducement, and tortious interference litigation involving biotechnology processes for manufacturing ethanol. 

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Notre Dame Monogram Club, 1997 to Present.

Educational Background:

  • University of Houston Law Center (J.D., 2002) cum laude
  • University of Notre Dame (B.S., Biophysics (Physics in Medicine), B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1996)

Industry Groups

  • Automotive
  • Chemical
  • Consumer Goods
  • E-Commerce
  • Electrical
  • Energy
  • Gaming
  • Life Sciences
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Office Location for William Cory Spence

515 North State Street
Suite 1801
Chicago, IL 60654

William Cory Spence:

Last Updated: 6/15/2020

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