Irwin C. Alter

Irwin C. Alter

Registered patent attorney Irwin Alter founded Alter and Weiss, the predecessor firm of Alter And Preece, and has practiced intellectual property law for over forty-five years.  Mr. Alter has been retained as an expert witness in patent and trademark infringement cases, and has argued intellectual property cases throughout the country in several jurisdictions, including the Second, Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

Mr. Alter has drafted or assisted in the drafting and filing of hundreds of patent and trademark applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. His work in connection with the Patent Office includes patent office appeals, interferences, oppositions, and cancellation proceedings. He has also been involved in registering trademarks and patents for US Customs purposes, used in connection with enforcing Customs seizures and blocks of goods coming into the United States from other countries.

Mr. Alter was nominated and named by his peers as a 2004-2005 Leading Illinois Lawyers by Leading Lawyers Network.

Select Notable Cases

In 2004, Mr. Alter was one of the lead counsels for Freedman Seating in Case No. CV02505347 in the US District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, and obtained a motion for summary judgment against American Seating for patent validity and infringement of a Freedman Seating patent pertaining to a commercially successful stowaway bus seat.

Mr. Alter was lead counsel in a case involving a declaratory judgment against Blue Cross Blue Shield in the US District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, where he gained a dismissal of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s claim against Washington National Insurance Company for violation of the Lanham Act.

Mr. Alter represented FDI, Inc. as one of the leading counsels in a case involving W.R. Grace Company, and obtained a verdict of non-infringement and invalidity of a patent that W.R. Grace tried to enforce. The patent covered a wire dish mag wheel design that was recognized as a leading design of such a wheel. The case was dismissed based upon fraud in the procurement of the patent and resulted in an attorney’s fees award against W.R. Grace. This case was argued in the US District Court in the Central District of California. The case was appealed and Rehearing En Banc was denied and Cert. was denied.


J.D., University of Illinois and DePaul University (1958)

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois (1955)


U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits

U.S. District Court

Trial Bar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois