Monika Malek is an associate in Vedder Price’s Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property (IP) group. She maintains a broad practice spanning trademark, copyright and patent litigation, prosecution (writing and filing a patent), enforcement (monitoring for potential infringement or enforcing an owner’s rights) and portfolio management (advising on business strategies associated with a patent). Prior to joining Vedder Price, she was an associate at a boutique law firm where she worked closely with clients on litigation and transactional matters involving a wide range of IP issues. She earned her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. While in law school, she was awarded Loyola’s Laura Terlizzi Scholarship, given to a female student intending to practice intellectual property law, and three CALI Awards for the highest grade in Copyright, IP Advocacy, and IP Colloquium. She also researched issues related to drug patents in domestic and international contexts as a research assistant to Professor Ho. Continue reading →
During my junior year of undergrad, I was ecstatic when I received an offer to join the Legal Department of Fox Entertainment Group (now, 20th Century Studios) as a Content Protection Intern. The idea of working on a major studio lot was more than exciting to someone who had grown up an hour away from Hollywood. Continue reading →
Before attending law school, I worked as an interior designer in Chicago for about three years. When I started my career, I was excited to be a part of a creative industry to push the limits of design and wow the world with innovation!
As a first generation American, daughter of immigrants, my family’s three options for my future were “doctor, lawyer, or engineer”. There was no flexibility, nor was there any other option for me besides going to grad school.
Since my mom has been a constant source of inspiration, it was long assumed that I would follow in her footsteps, she was my hero. Nightly dinner table conversations of the complex surgeries she was part of left me in awe.
I ended up being pre-med for two years, shadowed an endless number of surgeons, and really thought medicine was what I wanted to pursue. At the time though, I had no idea what was ahead for me in law (cue IP).
When asked why I chose to study intellectual property (IP), my most common answer is because of my unconventional wisdom.
Although this is true, it’s also a reference to my alma mater’s catch phrase, “Unconventional Wisdom.” Its true definition was a catch-all for not only describing the quirkiness of our university, but also how people used their unique experiences to solve problems and reach conclusions.
Every kid in the world at some point in their lives has probably dreamt of inventing something or creating a brand–and making millions off their creative genius. I know I have. While I regret to inform you that I am neither a millionaire nor the next Steve Jobs (yet!), I’ve dabbled in many areas of intellectual property, which ultimately led me down the path to IP law. Continue reading →
“You’ll never know until you try” is one of my favorite quotes. My interests in college spanned multiple subjects, including Economics, English, and Political Science. I worked in business development and sales prior to beginning my legal career at Loyola this past fall. Although I am still exploring, IP is high on my list of legal practice areas because it connects to my prior experience working with startups. Here’s how I got involved:
I’ve been interested in IP from an early age. Growing up, my mother’s best friend worked in Entertainment Law in Hollywood. I didn’t understand her job until years later, but she was working in IP.
At the time, her job simply seemed glamorous. She represented ‘the stars.’ I was intrigued by the idea of making money as a lawyer working with celebrities. I have loved music since I began playing the violin at four years old and I vividly remember my first concert at the age of six. Music has been a part of my entire life. Once I learned about IP and its relation to music, I couldn’t help but think of a better way to enjoy a career in law.
I am pictured on the left, playing at one of my first violin recitals. Photo attributed to Ron Field.
“They have law for patents?” I asked my friend. He was telling me about his new job as a legal assistant in a patent law firm. Little did I know, patent law would play a significant role in the start of my legal career.
How did that happen, despite knowing nothing about patents? Let me explain. Continue reading →