Hari Santhanam is a partner in the intellectual property group in Kirkland’s Chicago office. His practice covers the range of intellectual property matters, including copyright and trademark matters and with a focus on patent litigation, leveraging his strong technical background in the biological, chemical, and electrical arts.

Hari is a trial lawyer with extensive experience managing all aspects of patent litigation from the pre-filing stage though fact and expert discovery, summary judgment, and trial. Hari also has substantial experience in appellate matters from the filing of a notice of appeal to briefing and arguing the appeal and (if necessary) preparing a successful petition for a writ of certiorari.

Outside of litigation, Hari advises clients on intellectual property matters, including freedom to operate, portfolio development and management, and corporate transactions. He is also a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and has handled numerous patent reexaminations, inter partes reviews, and other post-grant proceedings.

Hari further maintains an active pro bono practice that includes criminal and immigration appeals. In Abdraman v. Lynch, Hari obtained asylum relief for a Chadian national who fled to the United States after his family members were arrested and disappeared by government forces. Hari successfully argued the asylum appeal before the Seventh Circuit, and the immigration court ultimately granted asylum on remand. Hari was also lead counsel in Turner v. United States, a criminal appeal before the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court addressing a defendant’s right under the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause to cross-examine a forensic analyst whose findings and conclusions were introduced at trial through a surrogate expert.


Thought Leadership


Presenter, World Intellectual Property Forum, New Delhi, India (2018)

Panelist, 13th Annual Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property Symposium Panel Discussion: Medical Technology (2018)

Moderator, Intellectual Property Owners Association, Patent Damages Conference, Long-Term Trends and Continuing Evolution of Apportionment (2017)

Guest Lecturer, Criminal Procedure, DePaul University School of Law (2011, 2012)

Presenter, Local Patent Rules, 17th Annual Technology & Law Seminar (2010)

Memberships & Affiliations

Adjunct faculty, Introduction to Trial Advocacy, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (2014–present)

Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO)

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)

Federal Circuit Bar Association


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2008, Illinois
  • Registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Supreme Court of Illinois


  • English
  • Tamil
  • Spanish


  • Northwestern Pritzker School of LawJ.D.2008

    Member, National Moot Court Team

    Finalist and Best Brief, Julius H. Minor Moot Court Competition, 2007

  • Northwestern UniversityM.S., Biomedical Engineering2005
  • Northwestern UniversityB.S., Biomedical Engineeringcum laude2005