United States: Washington

Firms

1
Perkins Coie LLP
2
Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
3
Bracewell LLP
Lane Powell PC
Stokes Lawrence PS
Bracewell LLP
Bracewell’s IP practice is run from both New York and Washington by the versatile Erin Hennessy, who splits her time between the two states. Offering tailored solutions to branding issues, she has a particular flair for guiding media and technology companies through the minefields of the trademark market. She spearheads the protection and enforcement of HTC’s brands in North America – a brief which has involved supporting her client’s launch of its first international multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. “Hennessy is really smart, helpful and friendly. She can rapidly spot issues and provides excellent advice – she is one of the best out there.”
Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
Boutique Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness has firmly established itself in the Evergreen State, with its sophisticated patent practice matched by a “very strong, well-known trademark group”. The high-tech sector is a happy hunting ground for the branding team, which keeps Nintendo’s concerns at bay with regard to global clearance and the protection of its hardware and software from imitators in the Western Hemisphere. Captaining the group is Everett Fruehling, whose stint as a former examining attorney of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives him a refined perspective on prosecution. “He doesn’t practise defensively, but rather tries to walk in the client’s shoes and proactively offers practical advice.” He is supported by Jerald Nagae, who has chalked up over 30 years of patent and trademark experience, granting him a 360-degree view of intellectual property. Melissa Nowak, who was elected to the partnership in 2016, also devotes herself to both disciplines; her biology background makes her a real draw for biotechnology companies. “She is incredibly conscientious, hardworking and knowledgeable. Both her scientific and legal expertise are extremely helpful.” “Davis Wright Tremaine is one of the best for trademark work locally. It is an excellent firm and you can’t begrudge its gold ranking.” The outfit is a haven for brand owners from practically any industry, since its “unquestionably excellent trademark group” has seen and done it all. The “tenacious” Cindy Caditz is one of the key Seattle representatives. “She is highly experienced in both prosecution and enforcement, and possesses a broad perspective on intellectual property.” “Although she represents clients’ interests vigorously, she takes a pragmatic approach to avoiding litigation and will get right down to the heart of the issue, without wasting time on getting results that she knows aren’t possible.” Her “prompt and commercially focused advice” has been a boon for Snak-King, which she continues to defend against Grupo Bimbo in a multifaceted suit involving trademark, trade dress and patent infringement. She is aided in this endeavour by Stuart Dunwoody, “one of the finest IP litigators in the business”. He is a “cerebral and zealous advocate with a great personality to boot”. “Among the nicest and most professional lawyers out there, he’s both a wonderful attorney and person.”
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
The responsiveness of Dorsey & Whitney’s vast international network of practitioners is a fundamental strength of the firm. Its trademark professionals can draw effectively on the firm’s extensive platform to achieve results for brand owners on short notice in all corners of the world. In its Seattle hub, Michael Keyes is the first port of call. He is “primarily a litigator, but also a fantastic all-around lawyer”. A recent addition to the team, Keyes has been quick to attract acclaim: “He’s a great addition to the firm. His general IP knowledge and thorough litigation experience are both very impressive.”
Lane Powell PC
Lane Powell plays host to an incredibly diverse branding ensemble with abundant know-how on all aspects of trademark law. No industry escapes the reach of the team’s expertise, although it shines with particular lustre in the pharmaceutical world, thanks to the presence of the “amazing and well-regarded” Frances Jagla. Specialising in behind-the-scenes branding work for new pharmaceutical products, “she is a superb trademark attorney with a wealth of experience and a great work ethic, which makes her a joy to work with”. Paul Swanson holds things down on the contentious front; he is “an excellent trademark litigator” whose practice is grounded in the agribusiness domain. “He does an excellent job of seamlessly communicating the issues and options for a client, has a terrific understanding of federal law and is a go-to for trademark disputes.”
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
Graham & Dunn’s 2015 merger with Miller Nash has significantly bolstered its resources. The firm has now fully settled down from the transition, meaning that the boost in its firepower and IP capabilities comes with no loss of efficiency or responsiveness. Robert Cumbow anchors the trademark practice in the Emerald City. A lightning rod for praise, he is “always a powerhouse in this field – an excellent academic and writer who provides superb legal advice”. The phenomenal counsellor “can convey solutions in a succinct, cut-to-the-chase manner or in a way that gets really deep into the issue”.
Perkins Coie LLP
Headquartered in Washington, Perkins Coie is home to a “historically rock-solid trademark practice that is definitely gold-tier quality”. For years its “sophisticated and dynamic” practitioners have been the trusted partners of household-name brands – especially in the internet and software sectors. James Vana is the firm-wide chair of the trademark group. Many apparel and footwear corporations have recently benefited from his blend of astute counselling and dispute resolution nous. He also knows what it takes to get favourable outcomes in domain name spats and secure registration of non-traditional marks. Grace Han Stanton is another sage adviser, who helps both local rights holders and multinational blue-chips to navigate any obstacles on the market. “She is really smart, knows the law inside and out, and understands clients’ objectives. She is well regarded in this field, and for good reason.” Another headliner is the “very professional and timely” Patchen Haggerty, who handles Quora’s portfolio in over 50 countries: “She and the firm are a perfect fit – it’s a case of one plus one equals three.” For cyber issues, look no further than Lynne Graybeal. “Highly experienced and one of the community’s greats”, she smoothly resolves social media issues and domain name disputes. Chairing the trademark litigation practice is William Cheever Rava, who has prevailed in significant disputes for major brand owners in federal courts all over the United States. A pre-eminent boutique in the Seattle market, Seed Intellectual Property is best known for its distinguished patent work; however, a bench of impressive attorneys also tackle branding mandates with aplomb. Clearing, registering and enforcing marks for consumer goods companies are fortes for Kevin Costanza; thanks to his engineering background he is also a whizz at protecting designs. He sits in the driving seat and has masterminded the firm’s recent growth: new additions Marc Levy and Russell Pangborn have further enhanced its know-how and reputation. Levy is an “experienced and practical litigator with deep substantive expertise”; he recently achieved a critical summary judgment victory for Amazon in a heated spat in which a business claimed trademark infringement based on Amazon’s search engine results. Pangborn boasts “considerable knowledge in trademarks tied to technology law”: he “is one of the top internet and branding strategists in the country following his decade of experience at Microsoft”. One peer states: “I really respect him for both his in-house experience and keen business sense. It makes me nervous that he’s now out there as competition.” Completing the set is William Ferron, who has over 30 years in the game and “a great following of clients”. He focuses on high-level strategic protection, licensing and dispute resolution both in and out of the courtroom.
Stokes Lawrence PS
“Stokes Lawrence has an amazingly strong trademark practice. Although primarily focused on litigation, it is accomplished in non-contentious areas too – it is one of the most robust IP firms locally.” Its IP practitioners are cross-trained on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, and can take on any branding problem going with their diverse skill sets. The nationally acclaimed Leslie Ruiter can gain a strategic edge in any dispute. She leads the trademark practice alongside “fantastic litigator” Shannon Jost, whose varied practice also blends counselling and complex licensing transactions.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a veritable juggernaut for IP mandates from the technology and life sciences industries. The clients that flock to its door own some of the biggest brands in the world, but the firm is also a preferred choice for emerging companies. Aaron Hendelman heads the esteemed trademark and advertising practice, “supported by a deep bench of associate talent”, as well as partner John Slafsky, who operates out of Silicon Valley. Together they make for a crack team on the West Coast. A sage counsellor to prolific high-tech companies, Hendelman is a real force to be reckoned with around the deal negotiating table. “Extremely capable, bright and commercial”, he is “especially talented at placing a client’s US concerns in an international framework”.

Individuals

Cindy L Caditz - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Robert C Cumbow - Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
Stuart R Dunwoody - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Lynne E Graybeal - Perkins Coie LLP
Frances M Jagla - Lane Powell PC
Russell Pangborn - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
Grace Han Stanton - Perkins Coie LLP
Michael G Atkins - Atkins Intellectual Property PLLC
Kevin S Costanza - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
William O Ferron Jr - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
Everett E Fruehling - Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
Patchen M Haggerty - Perkins Coie LLP
Aaron Hendelman - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Erin S Hennessy - Bracewell LLP
Shannon M Jost - Stokes Lawrence PS
J Michael Keyes - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Marc Levy - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
Jerald E Nagae - Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
Mark Nielsen - Law Office of Mark J Nielsen
Melissa A Nowak - Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
William Cheever Rava - Perkins Coie LLP
Leslie C Ruiter - Stokes Lawrence PS
Nancy V Stephens - Foster Pepper PLLC
Paul D Swanson - Lane Powell PC
James L Vana - Perkins Coie LLP
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Issue 70