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Sean Goodwin

Sean Goodwin

Call/Email for Free Consultation - I help Entrepreneurs, Businesses and Families
  • Intellectual Property, Business Law, Estate Planning
  • Illinois
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I am a licensed patent attorney with the USPTO. If you have an idea for an invention and want to start a company based on that idea, I can help get your idea off the ground.

I help entrepreneurs start a business, register their intellectual property (i.e., patents, trademarks, copyrights), draft/negotiate any commercial contract agreements (e.g., employment, lease, distributor, services, licenses, assignments, website terms/privacy, etc.). I also have experience with marketing/advertising review for products and services (e.g., website review for legal liability). Specifically, I help healthcare companies with FDA and FTC regulatory review of foods, beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics, drugs, and medical devices. If you need help with the language on your product labels/packaging, I can help.

If you are an established business, I can be your outside general counsel.

Please learn more about me at

Practice Areas
Intellectual Property
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Formation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions
Estate Planning
Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
  • Free Consultation
    30 Minute Confidential Phone/Video Call
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Flexible payment plans available. Hourly Rate Prorated (6 minute increments / 0.1 hours). Venmo, QuickPay, Zelle Accepted.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Supreme Court of Illinois
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Of Counsel
Lexern Law Group
- Current
Counsel business owners, licensed professionals, and their families concerning a broad range of business and estate planning matters, including business organizations, business sales and acquisitions, business succession planning, and estate planning.
Managing Attorney
Goodwin Legal Services
- Current
Entrepreneurial Legal Services · Business formation (LLC, Corporation, Partnership) and Operating Agreements. · Counseling, procurement, and maintenance of Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights. · Protect and enforce intellectual property using Cease & Desist Letters, ICANN Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, and App Store dispute resolution procedures. · Drafting/Negotiation of Contractual Agreements (e.g., licenses, assignments, leases, employment, independent contractor, privacy policies, non-disclosure, confidentiality, terms of use, podcast release, testimonials, copyright work-for-hire, etc.). · FDA/FTC Regulatory Compliance of foods, beverages, dietary supplements, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. · Liability review of marketing/advertising of goods services.
Washington University School of Law
LL.M. (2012) | Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Activities: Student Council of LL.M. Class
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University of Illinois Chicago School of Law
J.D. (2008) | Certificate in Intellectual Property Law
Honors: Dean's List
Activities: Brehon Law Society
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Loyola University Chicago
B.S. (2000) | Chemistry, Emphasizing Biochemistry
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Speaking Engagements
Trademark Law Basics and Recent Supreme Court Updates, Union League Club of Chicago
ULC Chicago Lawyer's Group
Presentation on Trademark Law basics for non-legal guests, focusing on alcohol-related trademarks, trends in the industry, and the impact of the recent Supreme Court Case "Jack Daniel's Properties v. VIP Products" in which trademark parody law was clarified. In essence, trademarks are a source designator and trademark parodies of famous marks may not be used for commercial purposes.
Patent Attorney
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Websites & Blogs
Sean Goodwin Legal Services
Legal Answers
6 Questions Answered
Q. Can I use the name "M.A.S.H" for a short story when "M*A*S*H" is trademarked?
A: The short answer is "most likely, yes."

The M*A*S*H trademark is limited to "a comedy television series."

The writers of that TV series will have a copyright for those TV scripts. So, you may not make a derivative story about any of the characters from that TV show without infringing those copyrights.

On the other hand, copyright law only extends to the original expression in that work and not to the underlying idea, methods, or systems described or explained. Furthermore, words and short phrases, such as names, titles, and slogans, cannot be copyrighted because they contain an insufficient amount of authorship.

Therefore, if you only use the name "M.A.S.H" as the title for a short story, and do not write about the characters from the original TV series in some sort of derivative work or tribute, then you should be fine. ... Read More
Q. Person doing artwork for cover I designed for my book is claiming ownership
A: Under U.S. law, an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium receives an automatic copyright.

You own a copyright to your original sketches. You do not own your friend's artwork (at least the original components that she added) because you did not agree via contract with a work-for-hire clause that transfers the ownership of any product to you. You state she created a derivative work of your sketches with your approval. To be copyrightable, a derivate work must incorporate some or all of a preexisting work and add new original copyrightable authorship to that work. The derivative work right is often referred to as the adaptation right.

Based on the fact pattern you presented, you gave her the adaptation right and did not expressly limit her use of that adaptation via written contract. A competent copyright attorney would need to read all of the emails in question to see if an agreement was reached and if there were any limitations within the agreement. ... Read More
Q. What can I do about a company branding my unique name on their product and it is causing very bad problems for me?
A: Under trademark law, no one can register a trademark with a person's surname (i.e., last name). Companies can still use a name as a trademark/brand and simply not apply for federal or state trademark registration. If a first name is unique, then it might fall under the trademark category "arbitrary" or "fanciful." These are high on the list of a trademark's spectrum of distinctiveness protection. "Fanciful" is a made-up word or phrase with no dictionary definition, such as Exxon, and has the highest protection. "Arbitrary" is a word or phrase that has a dictionary definition that is used in the wrong context, such as Apple computers, and has the second-highest level of protection.

Credit bureaus do not adhere to trademark law, and that is a separate issue. Contact each one that you have an issue with and follow the procedures they require to confirm your identity.
... Read More
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Contact & Map
Sean Goodwin Legal Services
922 Davis Street
Evanston, IL 60201
Telephone: (312) 588-6762
Monday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: Closed (Today)
Sunday: Closed
Notice: Open by Appointment Only. All work is performed remotely.
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