Baker & Hostetler LLP
Serving as the nerve centre of the firm’s IP practice, Baker & Hostetler’s Cleveland office handles complex national and international instructions with poise. Seasoned professional Deborah Wilcox
heads the company-wide trademark group. “Boasting a fine-grained understanding of IP matters, she is also a brilliant relationship lawyer.” The elite litigator has niche expertise in internet law and excels in the enforcement of online rights. Another key figure is Christina Moser
, who makes her debut in the WTR 1000
this year following effusive praise; nimble in dispute resolution, she has a penchant for cases involving non-traditional trademarks. “Christina is extremely talented – she is passionate and aggressive, thinks outside the box and comes up with inventive solutions to problems. She looks at the minutiae and sees the significant details.” With Wilcox, Moser dispenses strategic advice on prosecution and litigation to Fortune 500 company Sherwin-Williams. The firm’s bureau in Cincinnati is also a hotbed of soft IP expertise: veteran of 20 years John Mueller
captains the local side, handling domestic and cross-border portfolios with finesse – especially for prestigious consumer goods brands.
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
A major force across the Midwest – where it has an expansive network of offices – Barnes & Thornburg has one of the most celebrated IP offerings in the Buckeye state. Its compact team in Columbus provides a flexible, personalised service, while having the wherewithal to execute confidently on the weightiest mandates. Helming the local squad, the “excellent” Brian Downey
resolves trademark and domain name disputes with great skill. “He writes clearly and gives practical, business-focused advice.” Downey’s commercial nous comes in handy when shepherding IP-rich transactions to a close, which is another of his fortes. He achieved success lately for Stenhouse Publishing, making Scholastic withdraw a trademark application that his client opposed. Another of his recent highlights was the sealing of worldwide licensing agreements for Sundek.
Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP
Intellectual property is a major focus for elite corporate law firm Calfee Halter & Griswold, whose trademark specialists work hand in hand with colleagues from other departments, ensuring that each mandate is analysed from all perspectives. “A leading firm in the state”, with bureaux in Ohio’s three largest cities, it is also a founding member of Lex Mundi and shines brightly in international mandates. IP commercialisation is one of the team’s strong suits; percipient prosecution advice and assured representation in administrative and judicial disputes are also on offer. Underpinning the practice is trademark all-rounder Raymond Rundelli
, who is sought after for both his sure-footed management of portfolios and transactions and his cogent advocacy in the courtroom. The other pillar of the practice, Georgia Yanchar
has a flair for all facets of intellectual property, excelling in filing and opposition briefs.
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
National general service player Dinsmore & Shohl operates a cutting-edge IP practice in Ohio: its six dedicated partners – divided between outlets in Cincinnati and Dayton – combine traditional trademark services with broader brand development counselling. Widely lauded for its assistance in the registration of non-conventional marks, it also packs a punch in domain name disputes, anti-counterfeiting and litigation. Leading the practice, soft IP and advertising maven Karen Gaunt
crafts tailor-made strategies to deal with the most difficult brand rights challenges. Gaunt is the go-to practitioner in tricky situations for Proctor & Gamble and she also deals with licensing and enforcement for USA Baseball. More focused on prosecution matters, Lynda Roesch
has the experience to deal with any problem that may arise.
Dreitler True LLC
Dreitler True tackles infringers with alacrity: “superb in litigation”, it is also a gladiator in the fight against fakes, cooperating seamlessly with customs and police authorities. The agile boutique draws on its name partners’ vast reservoirs of experience and they can be trusted to solve even the most perplexing branding conundrums. “Accomplished and knowledgeable” Jones Day veteran Joseph Dreitler
knows how to settle a dispute amicably, but argues persuasively in court when required; the business-savvy Mary True
likewise takes a highly strategic approach and offers invaluable guidance at all stages of a brand’s development.
Frost Brown Todd LLC
Having established and developed a wide-reaching network with offices in eight states, Frost Brown Todd has its origins in Ohio, where its IP practice is headquartered. The close-knit team in Columbus cooperates effortlessly, providing joined-up counsel on prosecution and litigation matters. “The best lawyer in town”, trademark chief Samantha Quimby
epitomises the firm’s practical, business-oriented approach: “Excellent across the board, she gives clear and straightforward advice. She identifies what needs to be done and then works towards it with great determination.” Especially popular with prestigious sports brands, Quimby is the long-serving trademark counsel for Minor League Baseball and she recently assisted it in the acquisition of the HOMETOWN COLLECTION mark by convincing the court to overturn a US Patent and Trademark Office refusal. Another recent highlight saw her persuading Speedo to cease using her client Sundek’s rainbow mark design on its swimming shorts. She is also the trusted caretaker of EW Scripps’s expansive media portfolio, shaping prosecution strategy and lately overseeing a complex IP-rich transaction.
A force to be reckoned with globally, Jones Day adopts a bird’s-eye view on IP questions and has the clout to dispatch the most challenging mandates. Its squad in Cleveland – where both the firm and its trademark practice were established – provides a complete branding service to state-based mega-clients, such as Wendy’s and Proctor & Gamble, as well as multinational patrons. Serving up flawless prosecution, its local team comes into its own when must-win disputes arise: its cultivated trial lawyers are called in on cases that their rivals would lose. One star performer is Meredith Wilkes
, co-leader of the firm-wide practice. “Highly skilled and utterly trustworthy, she is not only a top-notch lawyer but a wonderful person.” Wilkes excels in hard-fought cases and is currently defending McCain Foods against infringement allegations from JR Simplot Company; she is also preparing for trial on behalf of Bearing Technologies in its spat with O’Reilly Automotive Stores. Fellow “top litigator” Timothy Fraelich
distinguishes himself before the courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine cuts an impressive figure on Ohio’s trademark landscape – and has done for decades. Outposts in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton ensure a smooth interface with patrons right across the state. Its IP team is particularly well regarded for its brilliant client service – “they are flexible and attentive, interacting well in person and answering emails quickly”. Among its seasoned campaigners, Louis Ebling
stands out. “He outclasses others when it comes to demanding prosecution briefs, and knows how to acquire rights abroad as well as in the United States.” His colleague Roger Bora
debuts in the WTR 1000
this year following glowing reviews. “Highly skilled, he is also great to collaborate with and is always on top of things,” enthuses one foreign associate.
Wood Herron & Evans LLP
Dedicated IP firm Wood Herron & Evans has been dishing up stellar IP advice from its Cincinnati base for 145 years. Since its acquisition of a publishing and media practice in 2010, the firm has gone from strength to strength in the soft IP field: a fine-tuned understanding of advertising, media and contract law ensures holistic counselling and the adroit handling of multifaceted cases. Undisputed expert Kenneth Germain
is a resolute enforcer of trademark rights; the skilled courtroom operator also provides expert testimony in high-stakes suits. Client favourite Kathryn Smith
has intimate knowledge of the brands she works with, forging custom-fit strategies to protect each of them. She has a knack for bringing infringers to book, and is a go-to lawyer for domain name disputes. The newly featured Lori Krafte
is an “excellent all-round trademark lawyer with impressive know-how in advertising matters”.