Patents, Trolls, and the Steam Engine

The Lounge at Iwan Ries
Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 5:30-8:30pm

Mike McMurry will talk to the Cigar Society about patents: what they are, what they're good for, and how they can be misused. His story will emphasize the history of patent law: from the Venetian Patent Statute of 1450, through James Watt's groundbreaking patent of his steam engine in 1796, up to the patent struggles of the current day involving business processes, pharmaceuticals, and software.

Mr. McMurry has been an intellectual property lawyer in the Chicago area for more than forty years. Before that, he was a computer scientist and patent agent for Burroughs Corporation, after serving as Lt. Commander in the the United States Navy. He has a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois (1964), an MBA from the University of Iowa (1969), and a JD from the University of Detroit School of Law (1974). Mr. McMurry is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, the Copyright Society of the USA, the Computer Law Association, the Licensing Executive Society, and the Cigar Society of Chicago.

About the Cigar Society of Chicago

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the city clubs of Chicago is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits.  The Cigar Society of Chicago embraces this tradition and extends it with its Informal Smokers, University Series lectures, and Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.  To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the secretary at