Gregory J. Leighton


Greg is the leader of NGE’s data privacy and information governance practice.  Greg is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US and CIPP/E) and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. These certifications endorse his understanding of the laws, regulations and standards of privacy and his capacity for managing privacy on an organizational scale. He has a comprehensive understanding of  privacy and data laws, regulations, and requirements in the U.S. and around the world and regularly counsels clients on domestic and international privacy issues, including privacy policies, data processing requirements, and cross-border data flows.

He counsels clients on how to build efficient and effective information governance programs. He offers sage advice regarding the development of information governance policies, information security policies, data maps, privacy policies, and data breach response plans. He is deeply experienced in methods to manage his clients’ data and maximize its value while minimizing the associated risks and costs. He helps his clients to be best positioned for the eventuality of a cyberattack, including the protection of vital data.

Greg’s expansive practice also encompasses traditional intellectual property law. He is a registered patent attorney whose practice involves both patent prosecution and the protection and enforcement of various forms of intellectual property. He works with clients to resolve controversies regarding intellectual property rights across a wide array of technology areas ranging from chemical and life sciences to digital communications and e-commerce. He has successfully represented clients in patent, trademark, and copyright disputes before federal courts, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the United States International Trade Commission. Many of these cases have turned on issues at the forefront of how laws are adapted to govern technology, including a ground-breaking decision in the Seventh Circuit regarding the type of copyright liability that can be attached to hyperlinks.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Greg had significant lab and commercial experience as a chemical engineer. During his studies at Northwestern University, Greg participated in substantial lab research that included the design and experimental testing of chemical processing systems comprising a wide array of reactions and process components. During and after his undergraduate studies, Greg gained significant experience putting his research knowledge to commercial use with Kraft Foods, where he advanced innovative product and process designs from pilot-plant scale through to large-scale commercialization.

Greg is a board member of the Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), an organization focused on using technology in innovative ways to increase access to justice by streamlining the delivery of free and pro bono legal services to the poor and providing easy-to-understand legal information and assistance to the public.

  • Novozymes A/S and Novozymes North America v. CTE Global (NDIL) – obtained ruling of no contempt on behalf of defendant enzyme importer in contempt proceedings involving patents directed to amino acid sequences of thermostable glucoamylase.
  • Search America, Inc v. TransUnion Intelligence LLC (PTAB) – represented TransUnion Intelligence in two Covered Business Method Review proceedings concerning patents for health care financing software.
  • In re Certain Products Containing Sintered Rare Earth Magnets (ITC) – three days before trial, we forced the complainant to withdraw all infringement allegations against our client Beats Electronics in this investigation involving sintered rare earth magnets.
  • Tri-Star Electronics, LLC v. Preci-Dip SA (C.D. Cal.) – won a decisive claim construction ruling leading to a stipulation of non-infringement in favor of our client in a case involving military-grade electrical components.
  • PPS Data, LLC v. The SSI Group, Inc. (D. Utah) – forced a favorable settlement for our client on the eve of the Markman hearing in patent case involving health care billing software.
  • TuitionFund, LLC v. edo Interactive (M.D. Tenn.) – obtained a favorable settlement for our client in patent case regarding customer rebate program technology.
  • Abridge Technology v. Metro PCS Communications, Inc. et al. (E.D. Tex.) – obtained favorable settlement for client against non-practicing entity in patent case involving gift card technology.
  • American Hospital Association v. The SSI Group, Inc. (S.D. Ala.) – obtained a favorable settlement for our client in copyright case involving hospital billing codes.
  • Flava Works, Inc. v. Gunter et al. (N.D. Ill.) – won decisive victory in Seventh Circuit regarding copyright liability for hyperlink posting.
  • The Nielsen Company (US), LLC v. Truck Ads, LLC (N.D. Ill.) – obtained favorable settlement for client on eve of trial in copyright case involving media market maps.
  • Umami Burger Licensing USA, LLC v. Umami Mia Pizzeria, LLC (W.D. Tex.) – obtained favorable settlement for plaintiff in trademark dispute regarding casual restaurants.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • International Trade Commission
  • Federal Trial Bar