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Over a century ago Springfield, Mass.’s McCormick, Paulding & Huber was one of the first law firms in the country to specialize in intellectual property law. In fact, when the firm’s current managing partner, Kevin Grogan, looks over the numerous volumes of old patents and trademarks worked on by the firm’s founding patent attorneys, he is astounded. “When you flip through the pages it takes your breath away,” Grogan said. “You see all of these famous names.” Grogan said he has come across patent, trademark and copyright documents dating back as early as the 1800s, and has run his fingers over such names as Smith & Wesson, Richard Gatling, Milton Bradley, the Dodge Brothers, Charles Kaman and the Springfield Armory. And ironically, an older trademark registration the firm uses for its local advertising recently caught the eye of June Cook — the niece of the Indian motorcycle founder George Hendee. The advertisement includes a copy of the first trademark registration, dating back 100 years, for the Indian motorcycle. After eyeing the advertisement in a local newspaper, Cook, who has collected a great deal of memorabilia about her uncle’s legendary accomplishments in Springfield, contacted MP& H to obtain a copy of the original trademark registration. The law firm served as trademark counsel to Hendee, who originally called his invention the “motocycle,” at the turn of the last century. Members of the firm presented Cook with several copies of the two-page original registration as well as an attractive framed set of the documents during a ceremony on May 23. Grogan said working in the area of patent law was rewarding, in that the lawyers got to research and learn from not only the historical documents, but also were able to be on the cutting edge of new technologies. The firm, which has offices in both Springfield and Hartford, Conn., was recently named by Intellectual Property Today as one of the top trademark firms in the United States. According to Intellectual Property Today, the 23-lawyer McCormick, Paulding & Huber ranked higher than many major law firms in Boston and New York. Grogan said locally the firm’s expertise in patent, trademark and copyright work began with its inception in Western Massachusetts as Chapin & Company in the 1880s. During that time attorney Henry A. Chapin dedicated his practice to the sole but “controversial purpose of handling patents and trademarks.” Over the years the firm introduced new partners and name changes such as Chapin & Neal and Chapin, Neal & Dempsey among others. In 1995 the Springfield firm merged with the Hartford firm of McCormick, Paulding & Huber, another prominent IP law firm founded by the late Jay Teller, the chief patent attorney for Colt Firearms during World War II, and Roger McCormick, an attorney and bomber pilot. According to the firm’s history, some of the early patents authored by the firm provided significant assistance in the establishment of major corporations, such as the Gerber Scientific Instruments, which in 1951 obtained a patent through the firm for an “Instrument for Measuring Interpolating and the Like.” Attorneys at the firm said the field has changed rapidly from the days of writing patents and trademark registrations for early automobile carburetors and one-piston engines, to producing such legal documents for companies like Aetna in a booming business and software marketplace. Grogan said when he started as an IP lawyer almost 20 years ago there were roughly three million patents in circulation — a number that has exploded to around seven million today.

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