Photograph of James R. Sobieraj


  • University of Michigan, B.S. Electrical Engineering (1979) magna cum laude
  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D. (1982)


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Experience

  • IBM Corporation, Burlington, VT
    Engineering intern, 1979 and 1980

James R. Sobieraj

Phone: +1 312.321.4226
455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive
Suite 3600
Chicago, IL 60611

Jim Sobieraj believes his litigation success for clients derives from being able to manage two apparently contradictory traits, the ability to both listen and lead. With more than 35 years of experience in more than 100 IP litigations and 20 IPRs, Jim excels at developing and executing on strategies that never lose focus of achieving his clients’ legal and business objectives.

Jim served as lead counsel in litigations involving the infringement, validity and ownership of patent rights, license agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, fraud, antitrust, and other commercial litigation. His experience includes bench and jury trials, temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, Markman hearings, appeals, IPRs, arbitrations and mediations. He has represented companies in a variety of technologies, including in analog and digital electronics, telecommunications, software, medical devices, hydraulics, automotive components, and various consumer goods.

Jim does not take the trust that clients place in their outside counsel lightly. As both a legal and business advisor, seeing the full picture helps him align success for clients both in and out of the courtroom. For example, in a critical arbitration for a client, Jim was not only able to secure a $25 million judgment for his client, but he also used the rubric of the case to develop a plan for minimizing future litigation over similar claims, which included changing contracts and procedures for protecting the client’s most valuable trade secrets.

Through his active counseling practice, Jim advises clients on strategies for building, maintaining, enforcing, defending and commercializing patent portfolios. He works with clients in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and has developed a large global network of highly-regarded IP professionals.

Jim received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and received a B.S. in electrical engineering (magna cum laude) from the University of Michigan. He was an engineering intern at IBM Corporation prior to entering law school. Before joining Crowell & Moring, Jim served as president of Brinks Gilson & Lione from 2012 through 2017. During his tenure, the firm opened a new office in China.