The fields in which trademark practitioners operate in California are as varied as one would expect from one of the world's largest and most diverse economies. The Golden State's entertainment and wine-making industries have long been famed internationally; and now retailers, clothes manufacturers, consumer goods producers and other brands with a global reach are also seeking to protect and enforce their trademark rights in this key consumer market. In the IT hub of Silicon Valley, companies in areas such as software engineering, smartphones, e-business and social media are continually expanding their brand portfolios worldwide; these and other sectors of high-tech development drive much of the trademark-related work in the jurisdiction. Although in recent years many IP boutiques have been acquired by larger general practice firms, the ongoing economic uncertainty has led many brand owners to seek cost-effective counsel from smaller, trademark-focused outfits – these boutiques coexist alongside foreign full-service firms in the rankings table.
Formerly at Howrey, “seasoned trademark attorney” Rob Phillips joined Reed Smith’s IP team in March 2011. He specialises in trademark and trade dress litigation as part of a broad contentious IP practice. One longstanding client is the Coca-Cola Company, which he has represented in several recent federal court actions; he also receives instructions from companies in the IT, mechanical engineering and hospitality industries, among others. Perry Viscounty chairs Latham & Watkins’ global IP litigation department, conducting trademark litigation on behalf of several globally recognised corporations from various sectors; he is held in high esteem as “an accomplished professional and an impressive advocate for his clients”. Steven Weinberg of Holmes Weinberg, PC manages trademark litigation and licensing, and also advises on domain names, digital rights and transactional issues; he is highly respected by commentators. “Superb lawyer” Andy Coombs at J Andrews Coombs is renowned as “an anti-counterfeiting expert”. The focal point of his practice is plaintiff-side litigation for several major brand holders; he further assists clients in developing effective enforcement and anti-counterfeiting programmes. At Loeb & Loeb LLP, David Grace undertakes trademark prosecution and transactional activities, as well as trademark litigation and domain name disputes. Clients enthuse that his “dexterous ability to handle complex and sensitive negotiations is invaluable”.