Jeffery Makeever
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Jeffery J. Makeever is a shareholder and chair of Reinhart’s Intellectual Property Practice, as well as the managing partner of the firm’s Rockford office. Over the past two decades, he has developed a practice serving a wide range of corporate clients and research universities involved with a variety of industries such as food and ingredients, aerospace, consumer products and components, industrial equipment, medical research and equipment, and consumer software.

Jeff’s clientele includes multinational corporations and research universities headquartered in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. He frequently functions as a trusted advisor to senior management and to clients’ in-house counsel – providing legal advice related to forward planning and the training of engineering and marketing personnel. Clients appreciate Jeff’s significant experience as a design and research engineer in the aerospace industry as this practical experience combined with his legal knowledge offers him a unique perspective and in-depth understanding of his client’s needs, challenges, and ultimate goals. His practical experience naturally aligns him with his clients as he has walked in their shoes and understands how crucial it is to expedite a patent process to allow engineers to focus on their products – not legal matters.

In addition to his professional practice, Jeff is an experienced and enthusiastic presenter who addresses business and technical audiences on a variety of intellectual property topics of practical importance. His recent audiences have included the International Television Association, the Illinois Small Business Administration, and the Society for Technical Communication. Jeff’s intellectual curiosity with electrical engineering combined with his personable disposition allows him to connect with even larger audiences on a global scale. More specifically, Jeff is an Amateur Radio license operator who has successfully passed the FCC’s “Amateur Extra” examination – the highest level of license held by only 15% of Ham operators, and he can be reached at call sign AC9KX.

Jeff primarily serves the following industries:

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Establishing a Corporate Patent Culture: Training and Education
  • Intellectual Property Audits
  • Patent Prosecution – Protecting Inventions
  • Patent Searches – Patentability, Right-to-Use and Validity
  • Trademark Portfolio Management and Prosecution
  • International
  • Ex Parte and Inter Partes Reexamination Counseling and Prosecution
  • Patents and Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Food and Beverage Law


J.D., magna cum laude, John Marshall Law School
B.S.E.E., with honors, Ohio Northern University

Bar Admissions

North Carolina

Court Admissions

Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

  • Helping a Midwest corporation utilize its intellectual property to survive a threat of being replaced on a long-term, lucrative contract, thereby avoiding layoffs and a significant economic impact not only to the client, but also to the local community
  • Maximizing his clients’ bottom line profits by securing U.S. rights and preserving international rights on new products without delaying marketing and product release
  • Using his several years of engineering design experience, Jeff frequently works closely with engineering design personnel to understand the patent landscape of others and to help the engineers preempt costly design changes after product release, which could otherwise result from infringement of existing intellectual property


  • Inducted into National Conference of Bar Presidents as an Individual Fellow (2015)
  • Corporate International Magazine’s “International IP Attorney of the Year in Illinois” (2015)
  • Named one of Rockford’s “Twenty People You Should Know” (2013)
  • Leading Lawyers Network recognition as a Top Intellectual Property Lawyer (2009)
  • Irish America Magazine member of its “Irish Legal 100” (2009)


  • Winnebago County Bar Association (former President, Board of Directors)
  • Winnebago County Bar Foundation (former President, Board of Directors)
  • American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Law’s Special Committee on Nanotechnologies)
  • Mid-States Federation (Judge Advocate)
  • Discovery Center Museum (former President, Board of Directors), which was voted the fourth-best children’s museum in the country
  • Riverfront Museum Park (former President, Board of Governors)
  • Cosmopolitan International, Rockford chapter, a civic service organization whose main charity is diabetes research
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine (advisory board for its Masters in Medical Biotechnology Degree Program)
  • Forest Hills Country Club (President, Board of Directors)
  • The Montessori Learning Path (former member, Board of Directors)
  • Amateur Radio license operator. Has passed the FCC’s “Amateur Extra” examination, the highest level of license held by only 15% of Ham operators. Call sign is AC9KX.
  • Admitted to practice in Illinois, North Carolina and Wisconsin, as well as before the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois
  • Registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Registered to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court