Christopher Lay

I work primarily in dispute resolution, which has included patent, trademark, and copyright infringement cases as well as a number of Section 1983 civil rights cases.

I strive to provide clear and objective advice to clients, explain options, and obtain the best possible results. Every case is different and requires its own strategy, but I always put my clients first and do what I can to help them win.

Before my work as an attorney I was a professional musician for 25 years. I playing trombone with orchestras, studio groups and famous artists. My background in music has given me a particular passion and appreciation for the importance of creative ownership.

I also enjoy the litigation side of the practice of law because it’s challenging. In each case, we have an opponent who wants us to lose our client’s case. It’s my job to anticipate their moves and work to counter their courses of action. I take a proactive approach in my work so that my clients have the best chance at a successful outcome.

Recently, along with my colleagues at IpHorgan, I successfully defended an opposition against a European client whose trademark application was challenged in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). Although the other side was well funded and uninterested in any form of settlement, we obtained a precedential ruling from the Board that adopted our arguments and rejected those of the USOC. The ruling has been cited as one of the ten most influential trademark cases of 2021.

In my spare time I like to travel with my wife and son exploring states in the U.S. like Arizona and South Dakota, as well as overseas cities like London, Paris, and Rome. When not defending intellectual property, I’m taking in a variety of creative works myself from six-volume masterpieces by Winston Churchill to Fargo on AMC. I also still perform and compose music regularly.

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Areas of Focus

  • Patent, trademark and copyright infringement
  • Dispute resolution


  • B.M., DePaul University
  • J.D., cum laude, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (Certificate in Trial Advocacy)


  • State of Illinois Bar
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including trial bar)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

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