Kara E. F. Cenar

Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
200 West Madison Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, IL 60606

Tel: 312.345.5018

Email: kcenar@greensfelder.com
Web: www.greensfelder.com

Kara Cenar takes lead trial and litigation roles in important and complex intellectual property matters for domestic and international companies of all sizes, as well as individuals. She handles the enforcement of intellectual property rights and the defense of alleged violations of the intellectual property rights of others. In her over 30 years as a trial lawyer, Kara has focused entirely on IP cases. Her experience includes jury and bench trials, preliminary injunction hearings, hearings on emergency temporary restraining orders, seizure and impoundment orders and Section 337 claims before the International Trade Commission. She formulates litigation strategy for pre-trial litigation, discovery and pre-trial motions and leads the trial strategies.

In 2019, Kara successfully led a multimillion-dollar copyright infringement jury trial to verdict and obtained a $20.7 million judgment involving some of the gaming industry’s top casino slot games (artwork and graphics for video reel casino slot machine games), including social, mobile, online and CD/DVD casino game distribution (Sprite Sheets and Swf files). In other years, Kara also has successfully defended other high-profile multimillion-dollar copyright matters involving prominent hit musical works (musical composition, musical compilation and sampling claims), and digital music, leading to defense summary judgments. Kara’s copyright infringement work further includes literary works (books and educational materials), sculptural arts for well-known plush toys, software, CAD and digital technical and engineering drawings, and casino slot games (artwork and graphics, game features, math and software).

In 2019, Kara successfully led a jury trial to verdict and a $1.7 million judgment for statutory damages involving 696 violations for 1202(a) claims of providing and distributing false Copyright Management Information (CMI), and 1202(b)(1) claims involving removal and alteration of Copyright Management Information (CMI), 1202(b)(2) claims involving distributing CMI when CMI has been removed, and 1202(b)(3) claims involving distributing and performing works and copies of works when CMI has been removed. Kara has also led litigation DMCA matters involving CAD and digital technical and engineering drawings.

The protection of trade secrets is a vital intellectual property tool for every company. Kara has been involved in complex trade secret cases, including:

  • Trade secret technology for stators and manufacturing processes for stators in the hybrid automotive industry.
  • Trade secret chemical formulas for flavors and fragrances for the food industry.
  • Trade secret chemical formulas for defoamers for the paint industry.
  • Trade secret customer lists for the tool industry.
  • Trade secret pricing and customer information for the propane industry.

Kara has handled major, complex jury and bench trials, ITC proceedings and litigation involving patents covering medical and surgical devices, medical simulation devices, dental instruments, Internet, computer and software technology, telecommunications, cellphone technology, gift and debit card technology, automotive parts and replacement parts, and electronic and mechanical devices.

In the area of design patent infringement litigation, Kara has been involved in litigation and ITC proceedings concerning the automotive after-market parts, consumer products and power tool industries.

Kara has vast experience in the enforcement and defense of trademarks and trade dress. Her experience has been in a variety of industries and includes representation of famous and distinguished brands.

Kara combines decades of counseling, trial and litigation experience with practical business applications to assist clients in matters involving technology, patents, design patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trade dress and trademarks. Kara’s practice also involves counseling and assisting individuals and businesses with intellectual property rights, business issues, and litigation including international businesses in this industry seeking to do business in the United States.

She helps businesses identify the intellectual property that needs protection and assists with matters including:

  • Trademark clearance opinions and searches.
  • Counseling and monitoring to confirm that intellectual property rights are used properly and effectively.
  • Negotiating and drafting licenses, agreements and transactions related to the rights obtained, domestically and internationally.
  • Creating enforcement programs and procedures that promote effective use of the intellectual property and policing against improper use of the intellectual property rights by others.
  • Providing opinions and establishing policies and procedures for individuals and companies to avoid conflict with the intellectual property rights of others.
  • Pursue or defend IP-based litigation claims and defenses (patent, trademark, copyright, DMCA and trade secrets) as well as business and contract-based litigation claims for this industry.
  • Intellectual Property Institute, founding charter member, 2013-present
  • Chicago Women in Intellectual Property (ChiWIP, founding member, 2015-present
  • Litigation Counsel of America, senior fellow, 2007-present
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2019-present
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2005-2006
  • National Association of Women Business Owners, National Board of Directors, June 2009-May 2011
  • National Association of Women Business Owners, Chicago Chapter President, 2005-2006; president-elect, 2004-2005; Advisory Board, 2003-2007; Board of Directors, 2003-2007; special advisor to the president, 2007-2008
Founded in 1895, our law firm of approximately 150 attorneys in St. Louis, Chicago and Belleville, IL focuses on comprehensively addressing the legal needs of business organizations, whether private or public, in all sizes and industries. Our attorneys bring practice skills and experience to support business operations across the full range of legal needs.

To protect and affirm our clients’ legal rights, we provide business litigation services, ranging from general commercial litigation to complex tort, product liability and medical malpractice defense.

Just as our clients focus on building the best team, we also concentrate on recruiting and retaining lawyers with the broad base of legal and other professional skills required to meet our clients’ business objectives. We work as partners in spirit with our clients, and measure our success by the degree to which we surpass client satisfaction.

In every endeavor, we are known for our ability to understand, innovate and solve in ways that earn long-term relationships and new opportunities. We welcome the invitation to explore how we may help you.

At Greensfelder, our clients’ satisfaction defines our success. Clients are the ones signing on the dotted line and must be comfortable with the advice and solutions we present to them. To ensure satisfaction, we focus our efforts on providing timely, precise and practical advice and solutions. We know that the legal advice we provide to our clients must promote their business objectives. Greensfelder’s business objective is to provide each client with advice and solutions that deliver complete satisfaction.

Intellectual property is often the one thing that stands between a business and its competition. It is an asset that is part of every business. Greensfelder’s team of IP attorneys stands with you as you use these assets to set yourself apart and to directly impact your bottom line.

Our clients value their intellectual property. Working with a range of industries, our lawyers understand how intellectual property can and should work for business, and we provide established businesses and start-ups with the protection and enforcement assistance necessary to fully leverage their intellectual property assets.

Like many other business assets, IP works best when it is carefully and actively managed. Our attorneys skillfully manage your IP portfolio proactively by procuring the appropriate patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret rights and protections and by assisting your business with various licensing efforts and other transactions, acquisition and sale of IP and technology rights throughout the business life cycle. We regularly assist our clients with initial and periodic intellectual property audits. Further, when litigation or other enforcement actions are merited or arise, we’re there to guide you through the process. We handle trial, litigation, TTAB proceedings, mediation, post-grant proceedings including IPRs and reexaminations, arbitration and appeal of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret rights.

Our lawyers will assist you in creating and maintaining an active IP management plan. From IP audits, to surveys, to maintenance programs, your intellectual property will benefit from a portfolio and asset management protocol, enabling you and your team to monitor your valuable properties, weigh the costs and benefits of continued protection of your IP estates, and assess and maintain the value of your IP.

Our team members come from Global 100 law firms, IP boutique law firms, and large in-house corporate law departments. These backgrounds allow us to continually redefine best practices in how we deliver legal services to our clients.