Photo of Steven McMahon Zeller

Steven McMahon Zeller Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1996

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan


Northwestern University, J.D.

  • Dean's List
  • Law Review, Note & Comment Editor

Iowa State University, B.S.M.E.

  • Dean's List
  • Pi Tau Sigma

Steve Zeller is an experienced, registered patent attorney and a member in Dykema’s Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation practice areas. Mr. Zeller focuses on patent, trademark and trade secret litigation, as well as strategic patent counseling, procurement and portfolio management for domestic and international companies.

Mr. Zeller has successfully litigated patent and trade secret cases regarding a wide variety of technologies, including internet commerce, in-vehicle infotainment systems, MEMS microphones, optical media, medical devices, edible oils, online training software, power meters, compact florescent lights and electronic ballasts. He has also represented both plaintiffs and defendants in trademark and unfair competition matters. Mr. Zeller litigates at various district courts across the United States, including in California, Illinois, Michigan and Texas.

Mr. Zeller also leverages his engineering background to secure both domestic and international IP protection for technology-oriented companies and entrepreneurs. He practices in a wide range of technology fields, such as speakers and microphones, MEMS devices, fuel injectors, ceramic capacitors, internet commerce software, medical guide wires, cable conduit, compact fluorescent lights and bicycle brakes and derailleurs.

Mr. Zeller's patent practice focuses on:

  • Preparing, filing and prosecuting domestic and foreign patent applications.
  • Patent reexaminations.
  • Developing IP portfolios, audits and protection strategies.
  • Counseling clients and providing legal opinions on third-party IP, including non-infringement, invalidity, and freedom-to-operate opinions. 
  • Performing IP due diligence for corporate mergers and acquisitions. 

Mr. Zeller frequently speaks about IP law to audiences of in-house counsel, executives and students. He also is active in the Firm’s pro bono program, representing individuals in various litigation matters, including remedying mortgage fraud and redressing employment discrimination.

  • Cargill, Inc. v. Canbra Foods, Ltd., 476 F.3d 1359 (Fed. Cir. 2007) and No. CV03-1209-MO, 2005 WL 3478178 (D. Or. Dec. 20, 2005)
  • Affymax, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc., 420 F.Supp.2d 876 (N.D. Ill. 2006)
  • PAMI-LEMB I Inc. v. EMB-NHC, L.L.C., 857 A.2d 998 (Del. Ch. 2004)

Patent and Trade Secret Cases:

  • Berry v. Ford, No. 5:11-cv-10569 (E. D. Mich.) (granting client's motion for summary judgment on claims for inventorship and unjust enrichment)
  • Coretech Int’l, Inc. v. Core Systems Int’l, LLC, No. 11-3152 (E.D. Pa.) (trade secrets)
  • Groupon v. MobGob, No. 10-cv-07456 (N.D. Ill.) (patent)
  • Lastar v. Liberty Wire & Cable, No. 10-cv-00127 (S.D. Ohio) (patent)
  • FurstPerson v. Iscopia Software, No. 09-cv-01814 (N.D. Ill.) (trade secrets)
  • Taiyo Yuden, Ltd. v. Prodisc Tech., Inc., et al., No. 07-07075 (C.D. Cal.) (patent)
  • Taiyo Yuden, Ltd. v. Ritek, Inc., et al., No. 07-07607 (C.D. Cal.) (patent)
  • Square D Company v. E.I. Electronics, No. 06-cv-05079 (N.D. Ill.) (patent)
  • Nilssen, et al. v. Osram Sylvania, Inc., et al., No. 2006-1550 (Fed. Cir.), No. 01 C 3585 (N.D. Ill.) (patent)
  • Affymax, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc., No. 1:04-cv-06216 (N.D. Ill.) (patent)
  • White Water Investments, Inc. v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., No. 04-81178 (S.D. Fla.) (patent)
  • Cargill, Inc. v. Canbra Foods, Ltd.,No. CV03-1209-MO (D. Or.) (patent)
  • Holtkotter International, Inc. v. Emess Design Group LLC, et al., No. 03-3536 (D. Minn.) (patent)
  • National Education Training Group, Inc. v. Skillsoft Corp., No. 00 C 4551 (N.D. Ill.) (patent)
  • Xaloy, Inc. v. Inductametals Corp., No. 00-057 (W.D. Va.) (patent)
  • National Education Training Group, Inc. v. Skillsoft Corp., et al., No. 99 L 1034 (Cir.Ct. of Cook Cnty, Ill.) (trade secrets)

Trademark and Unfair Competition Cases Lanham Act:

  • Homewatch Int’l, Inc. v. Peter Rubens, et al., No. 11-cv-01627 (D. Col.)
  • Infinium Capital Management Inc. v. Infinium Group, Inc., No. 10-cv-03105 (N.D. Ill.)
  • Gail Green Licensing & Design Ltd., et al. v. Accord, Inc., No. 05 C 5303 (N.D. Ill.)
  • Native American Arts, Inc. v. Ashton-Drake Galleries, Ltd., et al., No. 04 C 1414 (N.D. Ill.)
  • The Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company v. Paradise Creations, Inc., No. 04 C 1696 (N.D. Ill.)
  • The Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company v. Wilmington Products USA, Inc., No. 04 C 3083 (N.D. Ill.)
  • Gemmy Industries Corporation, v. Chrisha Creations, Ltd., et al., No. 03-2527 (S.D. NY);
  • Aladdin Knowledge Systems, Ltd., et al. v. Aladdin Systems, Inc., et al., No. 03 C 8330 (N.D. Ill.)
  • Caterpillar, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co., et al., No. 03-1334 (C.D. Ill.)
  • Gardendance, Inc., et al., v. Alsto’s Inc., et al., No. 02-00754 (M.D. NC);
  • The Republic Of Tea, Inc. v DesignPac, Inc., et al., No. 01 C 8273 (N.D. Ill.)

Memberships & Involvement

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association, Patent Law, Patent Litigation and Professional Program Committees, Member
  • American Bar Association, Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections, Member
  • Intellectual Property Committee of the ABA's Litigation Section, Member
  • Litigation Committee, Intellectual Property Owners Association, Member

Community/Civic Activities

  • Housing Forward, Board of Directors (2021-2024)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Patent Law, 2021. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Recognized in Illinois Super Lawyers® for IP Litigation, 2015-2018

Recognized in Managing Intellectual Property magazine as a 2015 IP Star for Patent Litigation