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Spark IP Law is a boutique intellectual property firm with an international practice that is dedicated to working with inventors and entrepreneurs to protect and monetize ideas, inventions, and creative expression in the United States as well as around the world.

We have expertise in patent and trademark preparation and prosecution; litigation; and in providing opinions. With a strong network of U.S. and foreign intellectual property professionals, investors and consultants, we provide advice and action to develop an intellectual property strategy, including how to pursue protection and how to strengthen and monetize an intellectual property portfolio.

Our approach is personal. Our advice, proposals and fee structures are tailored to each client because we recognize all inventors and early stage companies have unique business models and needs.

© Photo credit: Nancy Goldenberg

Katherine J. Kim, Principal

Ms. Kim is the founder of Spark IP, and is a registered Patent Attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Ms. Kim also holds an M.S. in Chemistry and is a current part-time Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry.  In the legal field, Ms. Kim's experience includes extensive litigation work and drafting opinions of counsel concerning Hatch-Waxman patent infringement cases; the preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications with a focus in the mechanical, medical device, biotech, and chemical arts; and the negotiation of IP license agreements.  Ms. Kim also regularly counsels clients on noninfringement and invalidity of patents, patentability of inventions, and the strategic development of IP portfolios.  

In addition to her work with Spark IP, Ms. Kim is an adjunct professor of General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry at DePaul University and the City Colleges of Chicago. Ms. Kim is also the author of seven scientific papers and journal publications, and has significant prior R&D experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.  Spark IP and Ms. Kim look forward to working with you and your university technology transfer office, your pharmaceutical, chemical, polymer, or other start-up company.


Federico Simone, Patent Attorney

Mr. Federico Simone is a registered Patent Attorney with the U.S. patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Simone also holds a M.S. in Biology and has extensive prior research experience. In the legal field, Mr. Simone’s experience includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications with a focus in the biotech, biochemical, pharmaceutical composition, biomedical device, monoclonal antibody, stem cell, vaccine, small molecule and enzyme, nanotechnology, chemical, consumer product, fuel cell and mechanical arts.

His background is in biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics, and molecular biology, and his experience includes extensive research of the pharmacological mechanisms underlying mechanisms of pharmacological resistance in tumor cells and of chromosomal translocations in leukemia.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Simone worked as a research associate in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and as a research associate at the Referral Center for Oncology (CRO) in Aviano, Italy. Mr. Simone is also the author of eleven scientific papers on leukemia molecular biology, genetics analysis of ovarian cancer, and mechanisms of multidrug resistance in cancer cells.


Judy X. Li, Patent Attorney

Ms. Li is a third year law student at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law where she was awarded the Extraordinary Achievement Scholarship and is on the Dean's Honor List.  Ms. Li holds a M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition from The Ohio State University (OSU) and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Fudan University in China. Ms. Li has published one paper during law school and with her work at OSU, she published four peer-reviewed articles and presented four papers at conferences.

As a law clerk at Spark IP, Ms. Li concentrates her practice in intellectual property related matters, including IP portfolio management, patent and trademark prosecution and due diligence. She has also prepared and written opinions of counsel directed to patent infringement and invalidity.  Ms. Li is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has been invaluable when working with clients that have international patent and trademark applications in China, working with foreign counsel in China and also the patent and trademark office in China (SIPO). 

Her background is in biological sciences and food science, and her experience includes working in the fields of food chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmaceuticals, food processing equipment, molecular biology, antibiotics, DNA/protein sequencing, genetic engineering, medical devices, and diagnostic products.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Li worked as a research associate in a microbiology lab. During law school, Ms. Li served as an extern for the Honorable Charles P. Kocoras, Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Also during law school, she completed an externship at K&L Gates where she worked on patent and trademark prosecution matters. She has worked for Spark IP Law as a law clerk since 2009. Ms. Li will sit for the Illinois state bar exam in the summer of 2013. 


Michael Widzinski, Patent Agent

Mr. Widzinski is a registered patent agent and a third-year law student at the John Marshall Law School. Mr. Widzinski holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University, an M.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an M.S. in Intellectual Property from the John Marshall Law School.

Prior to law school, Mr. Widzinski worked for eight years as a scientist developing new formulations from the lab benchtop to commercial launch at Pfizer, Abbott Labs, and Abbvie. His scientific experience includes materials science, drug delivery, and numerous manufacturing technologies (e.g. spray drying, extrusion, granulation, compaction, coating, blending, packaging, milling, drying, and others). Mr. Widzinski has one publication in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, “A Brief Literature Review of Nanosuspensions to a Final Drug Product”.

While working as a scientist, Mr. Widzinski worked with in-house counsel and project teams to identify potential inventions and develop patents to protect the commercial product. Mr. Widzinski also advised on how competitors designed around patents, evaluated IP for due diligence and licensing, and finding “white space” for developing and patenting new technologies.

Prior to joining Spark IP Law, Mr. Widzinski interned at an IP Boutique law firm and at CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange). Mr. Widzinski has worked on a wide variety of patent and trademark issues, which have included technologies in financial services, medical devices, polymers, formulations, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and the software and chemical arts.


Soe Tha, Law Clerk

Mr. Tha is a second year law student at The John Marshall Law School. He holds a M.S. in Chemistry from Western Illinois University where he received the Dr. Norbert Goeckner Scholarship in recognition of superior achievement in chemistry and was awarded for outstanding research as part of the Research Experiences for Studies and Science Educators funded by the National Cancer Institute. During his graduate career, Mr. Tha served as a research assistant to Dr. Lisa Wen, focusing on pharmacological and enzymatic studies of protease enzymes that promote metastases in tumors and has presented his research at the national meeting for the American Chemical Society. He also obtained a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he was selected by Deputy Director Dr. Isaac Cann of the Energy Biosciences Institute to perform undergraduate research focusing on biocatalysis and conversion of plant cell wall polysaccharides to biofuels as part of BP®’s alternative-fuel research program. Prior to law school, Mr. Tha worked in quality control at Procter & Gamble.

Mr. Tha is fluent in Burmese and has been working towards introducing new equipment and resources to the classrooms and laboratories throughout the major universities in Burma (Myanmar). Mr. Tha is a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and the American Chemical Society. He will sit for the Patent Bar in the summer of 2015 and for the Illinois State Bar in the summer of 2016.


Patty Mason , Administrative Assistant

Ms. Mason joined Spark IP in May, 2014 as administrative assistant to Ms. Kim. Ms. Mason brings her experience as a legal secretary in Phoenix and San Diego law firms for over 12 years, as well as managing a healthcare office in San Diego for 16 years.

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