With regret, I report the passing of leading patent attorney Mark T. Banner. Mark was generous and helpful to me in my first few years of practice in Chicago. He was also an occasional Patently-O contributor.
Mark T. Banner, a Partner in the law firm of Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., died in Tucson, Arizona, Sunday, December 30, at age 57. At the time of his death he was with his wife of thirty two years, Kathie German, and surrounded by those he loved and who loved him.
Mark was a leader in the field of intellectual property law, specializing in jury trials of technologically complex cases for both plaintiffs and defendants across the country. He was an avid user of the latest technology in an effort to improve cost-effective trial presentations. Mark lectured frequently on patent law, trade secrets, and other intellectual property matters, as well as how to conduct patent trials. He served as a faculty member of the first National Institute of Trial Advocacy program specifically geared to patent litigation trial skills. He was also an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School and the Georgetown Law Center, teaching courses on patent law advocacy and enhanced use of technology in the trial of complex cases. Mark served as Chair of the American Bar Section of Intellectual Property Law, and was a bar course administrator for the Master Class on Appellate Advocacy, taught by the Hon. Paul R. Michel, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. For his work in intellectual property law, Mark was listed in Euromoney's "Guide to the World's Leading Patent Law Experts" and featured in The Best Lawyers in America, the Leading American Attorneys, The International Who's Who of Patent Lawyers and the Illinois Super Lawyers.
Mark received a B.A. degree from Purdue University and went on to receive his law degree from the John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review and graduated with high honors.
Those in the intellectual property law field know well Mark’s rich legacy of accomplishments and recognitions for those accomplishments. He spoke and published widely on the patent law and its importance to encouraging creativity and promoting the general welfare of our country. Those who knew him loved him for his wit, his integrity, his determination, his passion for life and his commitment to teaching.
In addition to his wife, Mark is survived by his two sisters – Peggy (Mrs. James) Dau of Bartlesville, and Pamela (Mrs. Robert) Banner Krupka of Los Angeles, two brothers Donald J. (Helen) of Pueblo (Colo.),Brian E. (Cathleen) of Washington, DC., his step-mother Jean Banner of Tucson, and his step sisters Nancy (Mrs. Robert) Phipps of Nashville, Helen (Mrs. George) Smith of Atlanta, and Louise ( Mrs. Robert) Whitaker of Franklin (Tenn.).
A memorial service will be held in Chicago in January 2008.
The family requests that memorials be made to the Donald W. Banner and Mark T. Banner Scholarship Fund at the John Marshall Law School (315 South Plymouth Court, Chicago IL 60604).