• University of Illinois, B.S. physics (1981) cum laude
  • University of Wisconsin, M.S. physics (1983)
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D. (1990)


  • Illinois
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Professional Experience

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
    Patent Examiner, October 1985–May 1990 
  • University of Illinois
    Lab Assistant, Physics Department, January 1981–May 1981 
  • Loyola University Law School
    Adjunct Professor, Fall Semesters of 2011–2013 
  • University of Wisconsin
    Teaching Assistant, Physics Department, August 1981–May 1985

John Freeman

Senior Counsel

“As a dedicated advocate for my clients before the USPTO, I take an aggressive approach to achieve the broadest patent protection possible.”

John Freeman is a former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent examiner who focuses his practice on patent preparation and prosecution, counseling, licensing, and opinion work, particularly in the electro-mechanical arts. Clients regularly come to John for opinions regarding patentability and patent validity, as well as potential infringement liability for new products.

John has more than 30 years of experience preparing and prosecuting both domestic and international patents. He supervises Crowell’s International Patent Department and is the go-to person for questions pertaining to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system to be established in Europe in 2023.

With both undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics, John’s technical background gives him a strong foundation for understanding his clients’ innovations. He helps clients think ahead by identifying aspects of their inventions they might not have thought to patent, giving them even more protection for valuable, market-leading innovations.

Known as a problem solver around the firm, John has developed a reputation for getting patents in cases that have stalled or run up against roadblocks at the USPTO. He often represents solo inventors who have good ideas but lack the experience needed to draft an effective patent application that will give adequate protection to a commercially viable product. John’s clients include large international corporations and midsized companies. With such a diverse client base, he has developed a broad familiarity with many industries and technologies. As a patent examiner, John was responsible for reviewing applications involving the X-ray arts, and he has handled a significant amount of work in that area. He has also prepared and prosecuted patents for measuring devices that use diffraction principles, laser systems used in eye surgery, other medical equipment, and business processes.


  • Leading Lawyers Network: Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer, 2004–2012, 2014–2016

Representative Matters

  • Prepared and prosecuted patent applications regarding machinery used for packaging individual cheese slices.
  • Prosecuted patent applications regarding meat products designed to be refrigerated and later cooked.
  • Prosecuted patent applications regarding the packaging of liquids, such as wine, for consumer consumption.
  • Took over the case of a solo inventor of technology involved in laser vision correction that had stalled with the USPTO examiner for technical reasons. After working out the issues, secured a broad patent for the inventor of this next-generation technology.
  • Achieved broad patent protection for technology with the potential to become an industry standard for cone beam CT imaging.
  • Secured a broad patent for an innovative device that administers eye drops in the form of mist that does not trigger the blinking reflex and results in more medication being delivered to the surface of the eye.


  • "Wyeth v. Kappos: The United States Patent Office is Forced to Change Course," Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society's Practice Groups (September 2010). Author: John Freeman

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