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Jeffery Makeever’s deep engineering background shapes his relentlessly practical approach to ensuring companies and innovators are free to focus on moving their businesses forward. He’s a shareholder and chair of Reinhart’s Intellectual Property Practice and is the managing partner of the firm’s Rockford office.

Jeff understands that patents are an essential tool to help clients achieve their ultimate goals. He strategizes about their product offering, how it develops over time and what they ultimately hope to accomplish. He collaborates to leverage all the tools at hand, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and more, to achieve their greatest possibilities. Jeff’s personable nature and inquisitive mind drive him to invest deeply in his clients “off the clock.” He regularly attends internal meetings as an observer, listening and learning to better understand where he can provide additional valuable input.

Jeff counsels a wide variety of clientele, including multinational corporations and research universities headquartered in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. He frequently travels internationally to meet with clients, build long-term relationships and immerse himself in their operations. Industries include outdoor products (camping, scuba diving, recreational watercraft, and fishing), appliances, consumer products, logistics companies, transportation, manufacturing, aerospace and cutting-edge green energy technology such as wind turbines and electric vehicles. He primarily serves clients in competitive analysis, establishing corporate patent culture, intellectual property audits, patent prosecutions and searches, trademark portfolio management and prosecution, patent counseling and prosecution, and patent/intellectual property litigation. Jeff is also a member of the firm’s Artificial Intelligence Team, where he advises clients on the technical and regulatory requirements, challenges and opportunities of AI technology as it relates to patents.

Before becoming a lawyer, Jeff worked as a systems and research engineer in the aerospace industry for more than a decade. This practical experience, combined with his legal knowledge, makes him uniquely equipped to anticipate challenges and seize opportunities for his clients.

Jeff is an enthusiastic presenter to variety of technical and businesses audiences, such as the International Television Association, the Illinois Small Business Administration and the Society for Technical Communication. He currently focuses considerable time providing mentorship and support to younger attorneys in the firm.

Jeff’s natural curiosity is also revealed in his plethora of interests beyond his practice. He is an Amateur Radio licensed operator who has successfully passed the FCC’s “Amateur Extra” examination – the highest level of license held by only 15 percent of Ham operators, and he can be reached at call sign AC9KX. He enjoys bird and big game hunting, and he’s an avid racing fan who travels extensively to attend racing events.


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

Bar Admissions

Illinois | North Carolina | Wisconsin

Court Admissions

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


  • Helped 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.
  • Maximized 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 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.

Honors & Affiliations


  • 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-present)
  • 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)
  • Family Peace Center
  • Cosmopolitan International, Rockford chapter, Mid-States Federation (former Judge Advocate)
  • Discovery Center Museum (former President, Board of Directors), voted the fourth-best children’s museum in the country
  • Riverfront Museum Park (former President, Board of Governors)
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine (advisory board for its Masters in Medical Biotechnology Degree Program)
  • Forest Hills Country Club (former President, Board of Directors)
  • The Montessori Learning Path (former member, Board of Directors)
  • American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Call sign is AC9KX.

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