Nicholas A. Gowen

Nicholas A. Gowen


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Nicholas Gowen represents companies and individuals in disputes including those involving intellectual property, trade secrets, unfair competition, employment matters, and other business litigation matters.  Mr. Gowen also counsels businesses on ways to avoid litigation and resolve disputes using alternative measures.  Mr. Gowen approaches litigation with an eye toward results; understanding that advancing his clients’ litigation strategies should fit within their overall business interests. 

Mr. Gowen is an educator who has taught for over 10 years as a Visiting Instructor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mr. Gowen is active in the community as a member of the Project H.O.O.D. Advisory Committee, which seeks to raise funds to build and maintain a multi-million dollar community and economic development center in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Englewood communities. Mr. Gowen has represented numerous pro bono litigants in a variety of civil and criminal matters, as well as providing voter protection services in state and federal elections.

Mr. Gowen is admitted to practice in Illinois, the  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including its Trial Bar, and the U.S. District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois and the Southern District of Indiana.

  • University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2003)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (B.A., with honors, 2000)
    Phi Beta Kappa
Affiliations and Recognition
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  • Visiting Instructor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2005-present)
  • Member of the Project H.O.O.D. Advisory Committee
  • Honored as one of Chicago's Top 40 under 40 Game Changers for 2012 by Ariel Investments and The Urban Business Roundtable
  • Recognized as an "Illinois Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine (2008 to 2015)
Publications and Presentations
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Social Media Do's and Don'ts: Without Guidelines, Employers Can Get Into Trouble in a Hurry
Chicago Lawyer Magazine (June 2015)
This article discusses guidelines for employers to follow when crafting social media policies that balance the business' interest in protecting its operations with its employees' rights to use social media to freely communicate regarding working conditions, as provided by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. [Link]

Getting the Best of Both Worlds: Third-Party Litigation Funding While Protecting Confidentiality
Chicago Lawyer Magazine (March 2015)
This article discusses ways that commercial litigation plaintiffs may protect the attorney-client privilege while benefitting from third-party litigation financing to fund litigation expenses. [Link]

Protecting Trade Secrets in the Cloud
National Law Review (October 2014)
This article addresses how businesses may avoid the inherent risks of storing valuable trade secrets in cloud-based computing platforms. [Download]

Recovering Damages for Trademark Infringement
101 Illinois Bar Journal 148 (March 2013)
This article addresses the ways trademark owners can obtain money damages for trademark infringement when the trademark owner suffers identifiable economic loss or if the infringer is unjustly enriched. [Download]

Crafting Workable Social Media Policies for Corporate Clients
National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Newsletter (Summer 2012)
This article provides guidance to help corporations create practical and effective social media policies.

Warning: Cloud Could Bring Storm
CPA Insider (February 27, 2012)
This article discusses how to avoid the risks of storing electronic data in cyberspace.

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Business Litigation

  • Represented international investment firm in action to recover several million dollars from industrial equipment leasing company for breach of asset purchase agreement.
  • Defended investors against claims brought by an investment fund alleging breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties and conversion.
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of North America’s largest manufacturer of industrial gas in dispute with distributor for breach of distribution agreement.
  • Recovered several million dollars on behalf of a computer software design company in breach of contract against a professional services provider.
  • Defended majority shareholder of an L.L.C. in a derivative action brought by minority shareholders who alleged breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties in connection with licensing the use of various trademarks.
  • Recovered millions of dollars on behalf of a nanotechnology company in securities claims against a large financial institution.
  • Recovered millions of dollars on behalf of a biopharmaceutical company in securities claims against a large financial institution.
  • Prosecuted false advertising and trade secret claims of behalf of technology company.
  • Represented telecommunications company in trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation against a competitor for poaching former key employees.

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Representing entertainer in copyright infringement dispute with music producer over use of vocal arrangements.
  • Represented a former executive in a trademark infringement action against the software company he founded.
  • Represented national franchisor in litigation against a former franchisee stemming from continued unauthorized use of trademarks.
  • Prosecuted copyright infringement actions on behalf of a global manufacturing company against third-party distributors.

Pro Bono

  • Representing defendants in the Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program.
  • Representing employment litigation plaintiffs in Title VII and Section 1981 actions. 
  • Providing voter protection services during federal and state elections.
  • Represented prisoners in civil rights litigation and appeals.