Now based in Chicago, John McGuirk came to BOLD IP from a unique and diverse background. Most recently, he spent over ten years as a litigator in a boutique firm specializing in Pharmaceutical patents. There, John labored to get generic pharmaceutical drugs on the market. In that role, he prepared scores of scientific reports for experts based on cutting-edge scientific literature in chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology. He also took and defended dozens of expert depositions. He brings to the firm a keen sense of when a patent is vulnerable to attack – and how inventors can avoid that. As an example, he played a key role in allowing a generic version of a patented best-selling anti-histamine drug to come to market by exploiting a minor difference between the two drugs. He also worked on cases involving generic versions of drugs for breast cancer and heart disease.
Before he became a patent attorney, John handled insurance coverage questions regarding environmental torts, where his firm, Lloyd’s of London’s preferred counsel in America, defended dozens of policyholder claims for environmental cleanup. One of these cases involved coverage claims from not only the City of Tucson, but from over 2,000 individual plaintiffs. Prior to that, John worked at a large firm in San Francisco where he handled general commercial litigation and antitrust cases.
John has two other passions – astrochemistry and aviation. His interest in science goes way back to his teen years, when he built telescopes for astrophotography and worked in the darkroom to bring out the images. He was President of the local Astronomical Society. When it came time for college, John completed an interdisciplinary program in geology, chemistry and astronomy, earning a B.S. from Michigan State University. He continued the same interdisciplinary route and earned an M.S. in Geochemistry at Michigan State. In 1982, John entered Boston College Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude.
In 1994, the allure of cosmochemistry again came calling and John entered a Ph.D. program in Isotope Geochemistry at the University of Chicago, with a Graduate Fellowship to perform lab work at Argonne National Laboratory. After passing his written and oral exams, John began his thesis project - the measurement of oxygen isotope ratios in organic chemicals found in meteorites. To accomplish this, John had to solve the problem of dissolving the meteorite matrix in non-aqueous solvents, leaving the organic material as a residue, and then converting the oxygen-containing compounds by fluorination into molecular oxygen. Unfortunately, John was unable to complete his research due to the birth of his twins – a son James and a daughter Maggie – who are now the light of his life.
After college, John joined the Air Force, where he was a distinguished graduate in his pilot training class. In his stint as a pilot, John amassed over 2500 hours as Pilot in Command of tactical aircraft, some of it in the infamous F-4 Phantom.
These days John is dedicated to helping inventors secure strong protection for their inventions and, if necessary, defending those rights in Court. But he hasn’t forgotten his pilot days – just ask him – if you have a lot of time on your hands!