Who We Were


Albert Kegan

Albert I. Kegan, the first child of a first child, was born in Crookston MN May 17, 1908, earned his AB from the University of North Dakota 1930--with elections to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, his MS in Chemistry from Northwestern University 1932, and his JD from Northwestern University 1940, attending the University of Chicago Law School 1937-38.

His teaching positions included physics and chemistry teaching assistant at UND 1928-30; graduate assistant and teaching fellow in chemistry at Northwestern 1930-33; chemist with the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration 1934-37; Instructor at Armour Institute (now Illinois Institute of Technology) 1935-39, Graduate Lecturer and Professor of food, technology and engineering at IIT 1949-1950; Special Lecturer at YMCA College, Chicago, 1943; Visiting Professorial Lecturer of Law, University of Minnesota 1948; Lecturer on Patents and Copyrights at Northwestern School of Law 1945-50; and Professorial Lecturer at Northwestern 1950-62. He authored one of the first patent law case books, Patent Law Cases and Materials, 1945.

He married January 1939, and he and Esther Kegan in 1940 established Kegan & Kegan, focusing on intellectual property and scientific causes. A few of his notable cases include: Taylor Instrument Co. v Fawley-Brost Company, 139 F2d 98, 56 USPQ 213 (7th Cir. 1943), cert. denied, 321 US 785 (1944) (Copyright, trademark are not to monopolize consumable paper charts in patented machines; "Of course, little is required to confuse a person who is desirous of being confused"); US v 265 Packages of Willard's Tablets (8398, 7th Cir, 1943); and US v Johnson (8724, 7th Cir, 1945) (dental plate by mail).

Albert Kegan died February 5, 1963 of multiple myeloma bone cancer.

Some of Albert Kegan’s Inventions:  Click Here


Albert & Esther Kegan

Albert and Esther Kegan founded Kegan & Kegan, predecessor to Kegan & Kegan, Ltd, in 1940, focusing on scientific matters and intellectual property.


Esther Kegan

In 1936 when Esther Kegan graduated from Northwestern University Law School, she was embarking on a remarkable law career that spanned 50 years.

In 1940, she sponsored the admission to the bar of her husband, Albert Kegan, and they formed Kegan & Kegan, focusing on intellectual property, food and drug, and scientific causes.

It was in these fields that Esther Kegan earned an international reputation as a highly-principled practitioner and an early pioneer in Illinois law. She was active in the Illinois, Chicago and American Bar associations. She was an early member, and in some cases a founding member, of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, and the United States Trademark Association, now the International Trademark Association.

She was a frequent contributor to legal journals on issues of trademark law, sometimes co-authoring with her husband and, in later years, with her son Daniel Kegan.

At a time when few women were admitted to practice law, she had to overcome significant discrimination, but she did so by taking the high road. Her greatest weapon to combat discrimination was to excel in her practice, and this she did throughout her career. And by so doing, she encouraged many others—especially women—to enter the legal profession.

Esther Kegan was posthumously presented with the 2002 Laureates of The Academy of Illinois Lawyers.