United States: California

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Cooley LLP
  • Fenwick & West LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Irell & Manella LLP
  • Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Fish & Richardson PC
  • Hanson Bridgett LLP
  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • O’Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Winston & Strawn LLP 

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • Fenwick & West LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Cooley LLP
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP
  • Cobalt LLP
  • Fish & Richardson PC
  • Hanson Bridgett LLP
  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Winston & Strawn LLP 

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer recently joined forces, and the combined outfit now boasts a bustling branding team that “provides excellent assistance and top-notch strategic advice when it concerns both trademark portfolios and marketing campaigns”. “It covers the full range of trademark and copyright services and it empowers you to increase the value of your IP assets and to avoid the pitfalls of infringement.” The “magnificent” Rhonda Trotter is the firm’s go-to in California: “A valued business partner, strategic thinker and trusted adviser, she is extremely professional and creative.” With her “extensive IP litigation experience”, she “does an amazing job of handling the most complex issues”.

Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP

“A top choice for IP matters”, Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman is a formidable contender in the trademark and patent markets. It is most famed for its adroit performances in the non-contentious sphere, and has won fans principally because of its rigorous quality control and emphasis on client service. Trademark group leader Lori Boatright takes “a tough but pragmatic approach. As a former examining attorney of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), she has a solid foundation of knowledge and can offer a deeper level of insight”. Boatright excels at drafting bulletproof applications and her eagle eye for potential hazards ensures that infringements are stamped out before problems become exacerbated.

Cobalt LLP

Cobalt makes its sophomore appearance in the WTR 1000 this year. “Despite being a relatively small firm, it has a number of very knowledgeable practitioners who handle a huge amount of high-calibre work for leading national clients.” Tsan Abrahamson is another magnet for praise: “Calm, intelligent and grounded, she is a superb attorney. Just by looking at her work product or from hearing her speak, you will realise straight away that she really knows what she’s doing.” Abrahamson has a special flair for internet and advertising matters, the latter of which is also Nate Garhart’s claim to fame. With his complete understanding of broader marketing concerns, he keeps branding risks to a minimum while never failing to promptly capitalise on opportunities.

Cooley LLP

“Cooley has a rich history in California and is one of the original trademark forces here; it continues to be a perennial favourite.” The renowned firm “manages a substantial number of portfolios”, but is also well known for its “stellar enforcement capabilities” – “the quality of its lawyering is first rate”. Its reputation in the contentious realm was augmented in 2016 by the addition of the “smart and tenacious” Bobby Ghajar. “An excellent, results-driven tactician, he has been a real shot in the arm for the firm’s litigation practice. He is gracious, insightful, tough and an energetic multi-tasker; those who have come up against him instantly gain respect for him.” Hailed for his impressive trademark trial experience, he is “nimble, well spoken and appropriately aggressive”. John Crittenden is likewise lauded for his courtroom acumen: “He is an incredibly capable and very bright litigator.” “A terrific trademark lawyer with a broad, sophisticated practice, he deserves special recognition – he is widely respected across the nation and is a progressive thought leader.” One peer states: “Crittenden has a real depth of experience and his temperament makes him a great mediator and a reasonable opponent who is easy to work with.” He is also “conscious of spend and ensures that he gives value for every dollar”. Anne Peck specialises in clearance, prosecution and overall portfolio care. “She has been a key player in the branding field for so many years and has so much credibility.” “Thoughtful and straightforward, she is without question a fantastic practitioner.”

Fenwick & West LLP

At the zenith of the technology, life science and IP scenes, Fenwick & West is “a brilliant combination of deep expertise coupled with a practical, business-centric perspective. It knows that decisions are not made in a legal vacuum and injects value at every turn – its lawyers are all tremendous”. “It functions at a very high level, especially at the crossroads of intellectual property and the Internet, as it understands how infringers actually operate online.” A “clear gold-tiered firm for prosecution” that “gets stunning results for clients”, Fenwick & West also has “a vigorous litigation group that can strategically manoeuvre trademark owners out of tricky situations”. Jedediah Wakefield leads the contentious efforts. “A truly solid and professional litigator, he fully understands the substantive trademark issues, so can easily back up the claims that he makes.” One peer avers: “There is no posturing with him; he hones in on the important topics and it immediately becomes a thoughtful discussion.” He frequently works alongside the “responsive and creative” Eric Ball, who is “amicable and really experienced”. Ball similarly does “a superlative job” on contentious engagements. Andrew Bridges adds additional firepower in heavy-duty disputes: “A genuinely nice person and impressive practitioner, he runs an awfully sophisticated practice that focuses on in-depth analysis of cutting-edge topics.” “He is a force of nature in many ways; a zealous and passionate advocate, he immerses himself in high-level policy discussions in a way that distinguishes him from most other lawyers.” One client remarks: “Bridges is an international thought leader who thinks deeply about the nuances of IP legal developments; but importantly, he pairs that academic rigour with keen commercial instincts and knows his clients’ businesses as well as he does the law.” On the prosecution and counselling front, group chair Sally Abel takes charge. “An outstanding professional, she is detail oriented but always keeps the big picture and your goals in mind. As opposed to many lawyers who provide advice in terms of legal risk only, Abel incorporates real-world considerations so that you can make a well-informed decision. She also excels at managing foreign counsel for matters abroad.” “From clearance to disputes, she is phenomenal to work with and actually feels like a seamless extension of your team.” A first port of call for blue chips, Karen Webb joins the WTR 1000 gold band this year. “Pragmatic and innovative”, she offers “great insight and astute legal guidance in a holistic manner. Workloads are managed both proactively and judiciously by her, while problems are resolved expeditiously”. Completing the set is Connie Ellerbach, who is similarly applauded for her applied counsel: “Her practical, efficient advice helps you to decide when to be aggressive in your enforcement efforts and when doing so to expand your portfolio isn’t warranted by the costs and risks.”

Fish & Richardson PC

Top-brass trademark owners love being on the receiving end of Fish & Richardson’s percipient counsel. Although its dynamic Boston wing may make the most noise, the brand management group has a noticeable presence on the West Coast as well, thanks in no small part to Lisa Greenwald-Swire, who bats for the team from the Redwood City office. Her diverse practice spans prosecution, clearance, international disputes, Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy matters and much more. Possessing a 100% success rate at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), she is “a terrific help for IP needs. Available 24/7, her legal advice comes with a good common-sense spin”. One happy client comments: “Timeliness and professionalism are her distinguishing characteristics, and I feel lucky to have her as a partner – she does a wonderful job.”

Greenberg Traurig LLP

General practice Greenberg Traurig casts a long shadow over the US trademark market. Forward-looking advice with an international flavour is its hallmark, and with practitioners dotted across the country, help is always close at hand. Its West Coast offices are particular strongholds, especially given the presence of global brand management group chair Susan Heller. One patron states: “She and her colleagues are professional, responsive and thorough; while you know you’re not their only customer, they treat you as if you are. They always give practical advice, truly understand your business and tolerance for risk, and are willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements while never exceeding budgets.” Heller has “a big reputation behind her name. She’s rational, calm and incredibly clever; she gets to the key issues, provides the right advice and gets the job done”. Her specialty is managing titanic portfolios and ensuring that all involved parties are speaking with one voice; as a prime example, she recently coordinated the efforts of over 60 international law firms to help Alcoa in its monumental global rebrand. Joining the WTR 1000 listings this year is the “excellent” Ian Ballon, a well-known name in the internet and technology spaces. “A genuine pleasure to work with, he is mindful of long-term implications of actions, as well as cost constraints.” He “defends interests vigorously but with the utmost professionalism” and is “a straightforward and formidable adversary”. Jeff Joyner is also a stalwart guardian of intangible assets, but his holistic skill set regularly sees him on the prosecution and licensing fronts, too. Handling sophisticated litigation, closing multimillion-dollar deals and offering astute guidance is all in a day’s work for him – he is “a terrific IP lawyer and an even better business partner”. Candice Kim’s talents are also wide ranging; she is equally proficient on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. Of late, work for celebrities and trademark owners in the entertainment sphere has beenher bailiwick.

Hanson Bridgett LLP

In a fiercely competitive landscape, Hanson Bridgett has continued to thrive: 2017 marked the opening of its new Los Angeles office, as well as the addition of numerous names to its already impressive client list. Its 360-degree trademark practice can do it all – from handling sprawling global portfolios to rigorous enforcement – and is especially celebrated for its sterling client service. Raffi Zerounian is one of its leading lights: “He is an all-around rock star at enforcing rights. He might seem unassuming only because he’s such a nice person, but when you’re up against him you realise what a striking strategic mind he has, and that he already has the whole case mapped out; in spite of his relatively young age, he has a masterful grasp over litigation.” “Precise, hands-on and a real problem solver”, he stands out for “his ability to find non-typical methods to resolve a problem, such as creative terms of coexistence that address both sides’ concerns”. Skilled at the overlap between advertising and trademark matters, Susan O’Neill is likewise lauded for her lateral thinking and inventive ideas. “Creative, responsive, efficient and reliable”, she has a keen sense of which direction brand owners should be taking and the persistence needed to wear down infringers until the optimal results are achieved for her clients.

Haynes and Boone LLP

For a general practice, Haynes and Boone has an exceptionally deep bench of trademark practitioners. Its business-minded lawyers offer a boutique-style level of care and knowledge, and can deal with any matter thrown at them with finesse. Its nationally esteemed branding team is centred in Texas, but it also makes waves from its Washington DC and New York bureaux, as well as its key Orange County and Palo Alto units. Its local presence was bolstered in early 2016, when Jennifer Lantz returned to the firm after a spell at Hogan Lovells. Alive to business concerns, she can stitch together intricate trademark applications; however, she is also a fierce advocate who forges winning arguments on behalf of world-leading brand names. Her hybrid practice and mastery of the law mean that rights holders are always safeguarded from all angles. She has been busy of late handling a plethora of challenging overseas enforcement issues for Panda Restaurant Group, an endeavour to which Kenneth Parker has made a significant contribution. With a profound reservoir of IP litigation know-how backing him up, he brings a level head to heated disputes. His rich trial experience makes his arguments particularly cogent and allows him to deal with a trademark conflict at all levels.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

The branding squad at Hogan Lovells deploys the firm’s vast global resources and network to devastating effect, exhibiting a clear understanding of patrons’ business needs and assuredly shepherding rights holders through uncertain markets. The group’s fast-growing California presence is anchored by the “fantastic” James Cady, who “excels at worldwide clearance”. “Very intelligent, industrious and devoted to clients, he is the first person I would call in a conflict of interest,” says one impressed peer. Another enthuses: “His prosecution skills in particular are awesome – nobody can craft international strategy like him. He has accumulated an amazing wealth of technical knowledge, both from his time as in-house counsel at Red Bull and as a former examining attorney at the USPTO.”

Irell & Manella LLP

General practice Irell & Manella is a “top-quality” choice for perplexing IP quandaries. Its trademark attorneys can handle the thorniest spats without breaking a sweat, and can call on the firm’s phalanx of seasoned trial attorneys when reinforcements are needed. The “extremely experienced” Jane Shay Wald chairs the branding department; she is “a key player in this field and a real thought leader”. Her “level-headedness and ability to meld legal know-how with business savvy” put her a step above the rest. “It’s great when you have somebody as informed as Wald on the other side of a dispute, since you can then cut through all the nonsense to get a better result for both sides.”

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

When it comes to raw trademark expertise, few can match Kilpatrick Townsend. A significant portion of its 100-plus soft IP team resides here in the golden state, where the firm has a string of offices: “It is a major player locally and among the best for trademark services.” “It is now dealing with a greater volume of work than it ever has before – it is handling massive portfolios for big brand names – and has continued to expand quickly on the West Coast”; as a result, the firm ascends to the gold band locally this year. Dennis Wilson and Larry McFarland keep watch at the particularly lauded Los Angeles garrison. The former is “a very accomplished litigator”, while the latter “excels at building lasting relationships”. Together, they assist a host of top-dollar entertainment, media and content companies. “Wilson and McFarland are creative, big-picture thinkers who are committed to getting results and flexible on fee arrangements; they also adopt a positive attitude, where no project is too big or small for them.” Astute global portfolio manager Jennifer Arkowitz radiates in IP mandates that intersect with the entertainment sphere. “She can seamlessly adjust her practice to suit different needs, risk tolerances and scales of work, which is incredibly impressive. Especially strong at complex clearance and possessing a fantastic sense of practical risk, she looks at the world in which the trademark lives and can tell you about the potential cultural, economic or political concerns.” Another remarks: “She provides clear, well-reasoned advice and is particularly good at convincing potential infringers to change their use of a mark without costly litigation or TTAB actions.” Alongside her in the San Francisco branch are Anthony Malutta and Gregory Gilchrist. Malutta similarly specialises in assiduous portfolio maintenance, clearance and high-level strategy. He also skilfully co-leads the national soft IP squad. “He is clearly very bright and his colleagues love working with him, and this gets passed on to clients in the form of a better, more cohesive service.” “Gilchrist is the real deal – he handles enforcement work on behalf of global brands and is a fantastic litigator.” Aside from his robust contentious practice, he also provides fine-tuned counsel to rights holders looking to safeguard their assets. Joseph Petersen wins many plaudits for his courtroom performances: “He has handled a number of impressive and significant IP cases on the national stage and just from talking to him you can tell that he’s a terrific litigator – he has a brilliant career still ahead of him.” He splits his time between New York and Menlo Park, while Gwen Peterson holds down the fort at Walnut Creek. The crux of her practice revolves around IP transactions, but she also crafts decisive long-term strategies: “She is efficient, budget conscious, responsive and enjoyable to work with. She takes the time to learn about your business and then to adapt her advice so that it is useful to your specific needs.”

Knobbe Martens

Although celebrated for its esteemed patent department, the “fantastic” Knobbe Martens also houses a “knowledgeable, hands-on and highly impressive trademark group”. It is “top of mind for IP instructions in California” and has “a really solid prosecution and counselling practice”; but it can turn up the heat when necessary with its batch of “superb litigators”. One in-house lawyer states: “Its practitioners provide excellent trademark counsel – they are aware of legal intricacies, pragmatic about their advice and very hardworking.” The firm has expanded its national presence with the recent opening of a New York office; however, it also continues to gain ground locally, as reflected by the additions of Craig Summers and Stacey Halpern to the WTR 1000 rankings this year. The “gentlemanly and professional” Summers is “an outstanding litigator”. A “very seasoned and highly rated attorney”, Halpern is “conscientious, responsive and able to handle a diverse range of problems”. In addition to her trademark savvy, she cuts a dash on unfair competition matters as well. The same can be said of Jeffrey Van Hoosear, the assured captain of the ensemble. Branding woes in the fashion and sporting industries are his specialty, but there are few – if any – markets which his dynamic guidance cannot be applied to. The distinguishing feature of his practice is his uncompromising focus on customer service. “A terrific attorney who can quickly grasp tricky concepts”, Diane Reed is likewise a hit with brand owners. She is the main point of contact for Monster Energy and has been helping it with its expansion in China by tackling swathes of copycats. Reed has also been enforcing Monster Energy’s rights in other jurisdictions worldwide. This is a brief that has benefited from the contentious talents of Lynda Zadra-Symes, who is “a super-experienced IP litigator”, “extremely knowledgeable and fun to work with”. “She’s a tough opponent, but is simultaneously cordial and reasonable”, according to one of her contemporaries. Susan Natland is another polished advocate extolled for her sensible and judicious approach. After taking on the role of lead trademark counsel for Broadcom in its record $37 billion acquisition by Avago Technologies, Natland has been retained as the main branding point person for the combined entity, which is now one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world. The food and drink sector is Jonathan Hyman’s domain of expertise; he has lately been dispensing his sagacious guidance to the likes of Jelly Belly Candy Company and Bai Brands, a rapidly expanding worldwide beverage brand. “Well versed across a variety of areas, he knows how to summarise information efficiently and prepare high-quality documents. He is quick to respond and a pleasure to work with – client service is clearly a high priority for him.” Hyman also has “an excellent international network at his disposal”. Catherine Holland is praised for her “ability to think deeply about cutting-edge trademark topics”. One client avers: “Her practical advice takes into account both legal and business considerations, and she respects you as a client, letting you go as far as you need to before getting her involved. She is personal, easy to get along with and never arrogant – you can always learn a lot from talking to her.” Gregory Phillips completes the troupe; his sweeping practice and pithy advice are a boon to any trademark owner hoping to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkin’s ample international resources and dense web of attorneys make it a prime choice for global rights holders aiming to break into new jurisdictions or expand into unexplored markets. Its versatile lawyers are especially adept at enforcing IP rights, and regularly do so at the behest of brand leaders such as Apple. This is Jennifer Barry’s forte; she co-chairs the firm’s global IP litigation team with vim. Her multi-layered practice encompasses issues relating to trademarks, trade secrets, false advertising, e-commerce, domain names and more. These varied talents came in handy when Craigslist required her help in a mixed infringement, dilution and cybersquatting suit. Perry Viscounty played a pivotal role in this case, too. “He is an outstanding attorney who is available 24/7, delivers astounding results and always exceeds expectations. He has a total command over IP law and is a very quick study regarding the business realities of a particular industry. Viscounty also does a nice job of articulating the strengths and weaknesses of each case, the likely outcomes and the risk/reward profile.”

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Loeb & Loeb has traditionally been an entertainment-focused firm and its trademark unit continues to serve a raft of major players in this field; financial institutions are another focal point. However, what really distinguishes the set is how it positions itself in the wider media and technology space; it can marry data privacy, e-commerce, social media and advertising expertise to give rights holders fully integrated support. The “highly knowledgeable” David Grace is similarly all-inclusive in his practice: he can formulate precision-targeted international brand strategies just as well as he can juggle complex licensing arrangements and heavy-duty courtroom scuffles. “Clients really appreciate his personalised touch – he is both an excellent person and lawyer.”

McDermott Will & Emery

Full-service firm McDermott Will & Emery boasts a large, integrated crew of trademark attorneys that will give any competitor a run for its money. It is applauded for its “forthright, objective and practical advice” and is “an invaluable partner when it comes to both legal and commercial concerns”. It has strategically located outposts across the country, although California is one of its principal strongholds, with offices in both Los Angeles and Orange County. The former is home to “even-keeled, first-rate business counsellor” Jorge Arciniega. “He constantly provides pragmatic advice in a timely manner; he never goes overboard and his responsiveness is remarkable. In addition, he is very calm, so when tensions are high he has the ability to instil confidence, which allows everybody involved to think clearly in order to resolve the issue.” One peer avers: “He is the ideal practitioner, as he can accurately assess the reality of a situation to get a compromise that works for all sides.” Over in Orange Country, Lynne Boisineau takes charge. The refined portfolio manager is also a gifted performer in TTAB proceedings and before the courts; she is an expert on domain name problems to boot. “She and her colleagues are commercially minded and legally buttoned up, and can help you to identify cost-effective strategies for protecting your brand.”

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Among the largest law firms in the United States – and indeed the world – Morgan Lewis & Bockius places the emphasis squarely on quality; its trademark department in particular wins laurels for its comprehensive client service. Rochelle Alpert anchors its West Coast presence; but, as with all members of the team, she often works in close cooperation with her colleagues across the country. Taking advantage of the local tech scene, Alpert regularly dispenses judicious trademark guidance to sophisticated technology businesses; however, the astonishing breadth of her expertise allows her to tackle any problem from any industry – everything from rights of publicity and advertising to internet and e-commerce issues fall within her remit.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

“A high-quality firm that’s full of really talented and professional lawyers”, O’Melveny & Myers makes its debut in the WTR 1000 this year. “Especially strong in litigation”, it is “a prominent name in the complex area of secondary liability issues”; it also cuts a dash on transactional mandates. What separates its trademark practice from others is the breadth of its capabilities, as it works in tandem with the firm’s other departments – including its esteemed patent, technology and entertainment groups – as well as its phalanx of general litigators. Mark Miller is the first port of call for branding troubles. “Very precise and articulate, he takes the time to understand your viewpoint and how you wish to manage your IP assets. His advice is top-notch and he knows how to efficiently bring a matter to conclusion.” One client states: “He is extremely thorough, patient and experienced – the quality of his work is superb.”

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

“Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe possesses many first-class professionals, all of whom are easy to communicate with, and it adopts a direct problem-solving approach.” “It does a nice job of assigning experts from its other departments – for example, its trademark lawyers work well with the firm’s strong data privacy practice – and it is especially capable in litigation.” This is Annette Hurst’s metier; the accomplished trial lawyer has dispatched a slew of multifaceted trademark, copyright and patent suits with poise. Beth Goldman joins her in the San Francisco contingent; in contrast to Hurst, she specialises in nurturing the development of a mark near the beginning of its lifecycle and expanding its influence via carefully crafted licensing arrangements.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

International outfit Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman can confidently troubleshoot any trademark quandary. California is a key locale for its branding ensemble and a host of global portfolios are cared for here, including those of Raytheon, Nando’s and Cumulus Media; all of these fall within the ambit of Robert Burlingame, “an authority on trademark law and procedures”. He is hailed for his out-of-the-box thinking and ability to resolve disputes cleanly and efficiently; moreover, he is “a pleasure to work with”. Also recommended is fellow San Franciscan Richard Kirkpatrick; the “really talented and scholarly” attorney is “incredibly capable when it comes to trademark matters and clients are always happy with his service”. His soup-to-nuts practice helps businesses to create, develop, protect and maximise their brands. Bolstering the practice significantly, Vijay Toke recently joined the crew by way of Cobalt. “Always polite and courteous, he is one of the first names to jump to mind in this field.” Toke is also a prolific writer and has aggregated a wealth of enforcement and litigation know-how over the years.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith smoothly matches comprehensive IP knowledge with polished commercial sensibilities. In recent years, it has made a serious drive to expand its branding practice and has consequently brought a number of star practitioners on board, including heavy hitters Katherine Basile and Jason Garcia. “Both of them have been huge hires and have really raised the firm’s profile in the trademark world.” “They are responsive, able to work under extremely tight deadlines and really understand the differences between legal and business risks – they are simply the best.” “Very focused, cost effective and especially good at technology-related matters”, “Basile is amazingly well rounded thanks to her time spent in-house and her deep experience in prosecution, litigation and portfolio management”. She is “excellent at adapting her style to suit individual client needs and her long-range strategic vision is top-notch”. Garcia likewise understands what brand owners need, having served from the inside of Fortune 500 companies; in addition, “his experience as a USPTO examining attorney makes him an excellent sounding board for anything to do with US prosecution – he is the first and last person you should seek for advice”. “Gold-tier litigator” Robert Phillips “puts the firm’s trademark practice on the map”. “He is practical, personable and offers extremely helpful advice that enables your business to focus on its primary objectives.” One peer raves: “Phillips is a master strategist who is insanely dedicated to his clients and their causes. He can absorb a truckload of information and filter it down to the most salient points.”

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw has made trademark prosecution a fine art; using Lean Six Sigma principles, it delivers lightning-fast, cost-efficient results without sacrificing on quality. Its branding crew is no slouch when it comes to heated spats either; national trademark group chair Kenneth Wilton is a fierce defender of IP rights. A recurring face before the TTAB and federal courts, he is “a true veteran of this field”. In the past year, his skills have been put to use deflecting claims of false advertising and trade dress infringement against SharkNinja. “Both Wilton and Joan Kupersmith Larkin have extensive experience in trademark litigation and consistently perform at a very high level.” Larkin also “provides expert counsel in the entertainment sphere”; Toho is just one of her major media clients. Wolfgang Puck is another patron that has kept her busy – she has played an instrumental role in the rapid expansion of his venues and companies across multiple countries.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Impressive multi-industry capabilities, a broad base of intellectually acute lawyers and extensive international reach are just some of the reasons that make Sheppard Mullin an enticing option for rights holders. “It is one of the few general practices that really values intellectual property – it can generate litigation, handle major transactions and is always willing to try new business models to help out clients.” It is also renowned for its contentious prowess; Jill Pietrini “does a lot of the heavy lifting for the firm in Los Angeles” and is “one of the top litigators locally. In hotly contested disputes she will aggressively pursue her client’s interests, but never goes too far, which is a rare quality to have”. “She is incredibly smart and pragmatic, both on contentious and non-contentious matters, and understands the business principles that underlie her actions.” Carlo Van den Bosch is another courtroom virtuoso; his piercing insight and incisive judgement are a boon to those in the apparel industry. He is no stranger to precedent-setting cases, having achieved a milestone win for Hana Bank in 2015 at the Supreme Court over the issue of trademark tacking. Clothing companies also rely on Lisa Martens, who is additionally gifted at tackling branding problems across a plethora of different markets and areas; anti-counterfeiting, domain names, unfair competition and false advertising all fall under her purview.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati works at the bleeding edge of technology and has guided countless emerging companies and start-ups in Silicon Valley to worldwide success. “Its potent trademark group represents an impressive stable of brand owners”, including Dropbox and Spotify. Both online service titans are assuredly handled by the “really bright” John Slafsky. “He advocates well for clients, but not in a way that is overzealous or crosses the line – he does an exceptional job for clients and in a highly ethical manner.” “Excellent in both trademark and advertising matters, he has superb client skills”. “Among the many positives of working with Slafsky and his team is their depth of experience, timeliness and clarity of advice.” As testament to his capabilities, Slafsky recently achieved both summary judgment victory and attorneys’ fees on behalf of Dropbox in a highly publicised and long-running dispute.

Winston & Strawn LLP 

Winston & Strawn boasts an extensive network of offices scattered across myriad jurisdictions, but prides itself on its unified approach that draws out the full potential of its diverse individuals. The branding squad takes this ethos to heart and operates as a cohesive unit to swiftly nip problems in the bud. On the West Coast, the “exceptionally smart” Jennifer Golinveaux is a central pillar of support: “She runs a substantial integrated litigation and counselling practice and frequently tackles important soft IP issues.” “A phenomenal resource”, her “practical, business-savvy guidance” is especially effective in the internet and technology domains. Laura Franco is another tenacious litigator; she has had an especially busy year enforcing the rights of brand owners before the courts and the TTAB. However, she is also a dab hand in complicated prosecution and transactional mandates. For the latter, she works closely with Becky Troutman, whose dual corporate and IP background allows her to close the most advanced high-tech licensing deals with ease. Troutman also spends much of her time fostering the development of the firm’s younger associates.

Other recommended experts

Although adept on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious boundary, the “diligent and knowledgeable” Gail Abbas of Pranger Law PC is most renowned for her “strong prosecution practice”. “Clients are always pleased with the results she gets.” Carole Barrett’s clued-up counsel gets top marks from clients of all shapes and sizes. Operating out of her own law firm Barrett IP Law, she offers a nimble and flexible service that never fails to wow trademark owners. Baker & Hostetler is ably represented in California by Miriam Claire Beezy; she can handle sprawling international portfolios with poise, no doubt thanks in part to her prior stint in-house as chief trademark counsel of The Walt Disney Company. She also knows how to stitch intricate licensing deals together and enforce her clients’ brands against transgressors around the globe. Marcy Bergman adroitly leads the retail and consumer products group of Bryan Cave and excels at the nexus of soft IP concerns and the retail sector. Her extensive trial experience means that she will not back down in the face of adversity and can take even the trickiest infringers to task. Ian Boyd has “a fantastic reputation” as “an exceptional litigator who is fair and reasonable. He won’t take a scorched-earth approach but can really put the pressure on the other side when necessary”. “An excellent mentor, he provides practical and decisive advice.” One client avers: “Boyd is an outstanding attorney with great instincts and amazing customer service.” He joined Sideman & Bancroft in November 2017. Margret Caruso co-chairs Quinn Emanuel’s soft IP team; she has a flair for juggling the most sophisticated and advanced contentious matters. With a particular focus on the internet, technology and entertainment domains, she shines for her commercial, IP and appellate litigation experience. “A top-notch attorney for both prosecution and licensing mandates, Michelle Cooke is smart, thorough and a pleasure to deal with.” Working in tandem with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips’ entertainment group, she dispenses percipient guidance to leading brand names in that space. One client enthuses: “She is a fantastic professional and I feel fortunate being able to work with her, as she knows how to protect a brand and guide it through new markets.” Able to stop infringers and copycats in their tracks, Andy Coombs is a safe pair of hands for even the largest Fortune 500 brands. He was previously in-house at The Walt Disney Company, where he took charge of its IP enforcement strategies; today, he is based at J Andrew Coombs APC. Co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’s IP and technology practice, Daniel DeCarlo makes his entrance into the WTR 1000 rankings this year. “Not only does he have a firm grasp on the contours of the Lanham Act, but he is a seasoned trial veteran. A comforting presence, he is a passionate advocate who is not afraid to fight against whatever opponents throw at you; he provides reasoned, effective legal arguments, but also listens to all other stakeholders and moulds his strategy accordingly.” Domestic and international trademark prosecution is a specialty of DLA Piper’s Heather Dunn. “Clients clearly have a ton of respect for her guidance and how she carries herself. Her communication skills are very impressive.” Also at DLA Piper is Gina Durham, who chairs the California soft IP and media squad with verve. She is additionally a founding member of the social media practice and a go-to for online issues. However, the main crux of her practice is heavy-duty litigation. Mark Finkelstein of Jones Day is hailed for his courtroom acumen and intellectual acuity; he has accumulated a deep reservoir of experience in the federal courts – on trademark, copyright and patent cases – and is a first port of call for multifaceted disputes. Covington & Burling is graced by the presence of Simon Frankel, who evinces exceptional confidence and wisdom in multi-jurisdictional fights. “He is a terrific lawyer who has worked on really interesting cases for massive rights holders; both his skills and clientele are superb.” Scott Gerien heads the IP department at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty; his cradle-to-grave service is particularly potent at the confluence of intellectual property and the alcoholic beverage sector. Seasoned trial attorney Valerie Goo recently made the move to Crowell & Moring from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; all forms of complex commercial and IP litigation are meat and drink to her. Kent Goss likewise boarded Crowell & Moring in the past year. He brandishes over three decades of IP know-how, which he exploits to spectacular effect in highly sophisticated trademark, copyright and patent spats. “Both Goss and Goo are excellent litigators who exhibit top-quality ethics and professionalism.” Wielding “a fantastic reputation in this field”, Peter Harvey set up his own shop, Harvey & Company, in 2017. The “wonderful attorney” is “among the finest counsellors you could find in California and the United States” and also “one of the best litigators around”. Thorough and incisive counsellor Anne Hiaring Hocking’s intimate understanding of the global nature of commerce – from distribution chains to extraterritorial liability – and deep familiarity with the multiple avenues of enforcement make her a perfect fit for clients whose marks are being infringed across borders. She is stationed at Donahue Fitzgerald. Venable’s Susan E Hollander scores top marks for her contentious nous: “She is extraordinarily bright and a real class act.” Formerly of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, Anthony Keats co-founded KeatsGatien in 2017. “His practice is immersed in the entertainment field, which makes him a go-to branding attorney in Los Angeles”; he is also “a nationally leading name for anti-counterfeiting problems”. At Fox Rothschild is Lori Kozak, who “does an excellent job in trademark matters”. As a former USPTO examining attorney, she has comprehensive knowledge of how marks are registered and protected, which complements her deft portfolio management skills. Irene Lee of Russ August & Kabat “excels at prosecution. She serves many large institutional clients and clearly has a firm grasp on the law – you can easily discuss sophisticated topics and the latest legal developments with her”. Enoch Liang heads both the Northern California office and IP litigation group of LTL Attorneys. “Incredibly sharp and a trusted adviser, he is especially strong in trademark disputes. He is also very well versed in matters involving China.” Sideman & Bancroft enjoys the presence of Kelly McCarthy, who “acts on behalf of many major clients”. The versatile branding maestro ably assists rights holders in everything from name selection to worldwide strategy and enforcement, and “deserves particular praise for her unique anti-counterfeiting practice”. “A leading light in the trademark world, Thomas McCarthy has a stellar reputation.” The Morrison & Foerster luminary authored the highly influential seven-volume treatise McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition. Splitting his time between Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s Las Vegas and Silicon Valley offices, Michael McCue is “an extremely effective trademark and trade dress litigator” who “has handled numerous high-profile disputes”. “For clearance, prosecution and enforcement, he adopts a keen, thoughtful and strategic approach. With a calm, confident demeanour, he is simultaneously assertive and amicable when dealing with opposing parties – a difficult balance to strike, but McCue does it brilliantly.” With a gift for tackling IP instructions that intersect with the Internet, Anne Naffziger of Leydig, Voit & Mayer comes heartily recommended by patrons. “Pleasant to deal with and responsive, she provides business-minded advice and can readily explain substantive issues.” Karin Pagnanelli is “a really fantastic, experienced litigator. She is extremely responsive and constantly up to date on local procedures and rules”. She co-leads the entertainment and IP litigation practice at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. Holly Pranger runs her own firm – Pranger Law PC – from where she dispenses wise counsel to businesses looking to defend and expand their brand image. “She possesses rare expertise in the online and advertising spaces, including in sweepstakes matters, and is excellent all-around.” Although best known for her patent litigation talents, Adrian Pruetz has achieved significant successes for rights holders across the IP spectrum. She is the IP practice head at Glaser Weil and can quickly wrap her head around even the trickiest topics and disputes. Paul Reidl’s résumé is replete with conspicuous achievements – among many other things, he has served as president of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and worked from within a billion-dollar company. He now operates out of his eponymous shop, where he offers the whole gamut of trademark services. Mike Rodenbaugh of Rodenbaugh Law is “a leading name in the domain name space” and a first port of call for all internet-related queries. As testament to this, he previously handled all facets of trademark, domain name and marketing issues for Yahoo! as its senior legal director. Lawrence Siskind is “an extremely sharp individual and a stunning writer”. “He is remarkably responsive and proactive, and a tremendous asset to trademark owners. Siskind is also a valued business partner who can help to identify and frame wider strategies and execution tactics.” He recently joined Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass. The main thrust of Susan Stabe’s practice is counselling and prosecution, but the Troutman Sanders professional also stays keenly involved on enforcement and litigation mandates. Her highly accessible, custom-tailored advice strikes a chord with brand owners across an array of industries. Currently on INTA’s alternative dispute resolution committee, Mark Steiner deploys his far-reaching experience to cure any branding headache; his client roster is equally rich, replete with emerging companies and Fortune 500s alike. He is quartered at Duane Morris. Rhema Law Group plays host to John Tran, a fan favourite of food establishments and rights holders in the Vietnamese-American community. “His wide expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters grants him the ability to understand and give astute, end-to-end advice on brand protection issues.” Erica Van Loon directs the trademark, copyright and media practice of Glaser Weil with a steady hand. She is a judicious counsellor with a heightened sense for risks and opportunities, but also doubles as a refined courtroom operator. Robert Weikert fronts Nixon Peabody’s trade secrets team and co-leads its commercial litigation group. He provides ample support in complex and high-stakes IP disputes. Out of Holmes Weinberg is Steven Marc Weinberg, the former editor in chief of INTA’s The Trademark Reporter. He is “an astounding lawyer whose zen-like, pragmatic approach gets great results for clients”. Davis Wright Tremaine’s Alonzo Wickers is “very creator friendly, practical and good at coming up with out-of-the-box solutions” – all qualities that make him a premier branding attorney for those in the entertainment, media and technology sectors. He has served numerous heavy-hitting names in these fields, and has lately been handling disputes for the likes of Electronic Arts and Beyoncé. Philip Zender captains the US trademark contingent of Squire Patton Boggs with alacrity. Keeping a close eye on a whole host of portfolios, he stands out from the pack for his artful prosecution and counselling.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Andrew P Bridges - Fenwick & West LLP
  • John W Crittenden - Cooley LLP
  • Bobby Ghajar - Cooley LLP
  • Peter Harvey - Harvey & Company
  • Robert N Phillips - Reed Smith LLP
  • Jedediah Wakefield - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Rochelle D Alpert - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Eric Ball - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Ian K Boyd - Siskind Boyd LLP
  • Andy Coombs - J Andrew Coombs APC
  • Simon J Frankel - Covington & Burling
  • Gregory S Gilchrist - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Jennifer A Golinveaux - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Valerie M Goo - Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Kent B Goss - Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Anthony M Keats - KeatsGatien LLP
  • Michael J McCue - Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
  • Larry W McFarland - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Susan M Natland - Knobbe Martens
  • Anne H Peck - Cooley LLP
  • Jill M Pietrini - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • John L Slafsky - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Rhonda R Trotter - Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Carlo F Van den Bosch - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Perry J Viscounty - Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Jane Shay Wald - Irell & Manella LLP
  • Karen Webb - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Steven Marc Weinberg - Holmes Weinberg PC
  • Dennis L Wilson - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Lynda J Zadra-Symes - Knobbe Martens
  • Raffi V Zerounian - Hanson Bridgett LLP
  • Ian C Ballon - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Jennifer Barry - Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Marcy J Bergman - Bryan Cave LLP
  • Margret Caruso - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Michelle A Cooke - Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
  • Daniel C DeCarlo - Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
  • Gina L Durham - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Mark Finkelstein - Jones Day
  • Laura Franco - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • David W Grace - Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Lisa Greenwald-Swire - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Stacey R Halpern - Knobbe Martens
  • Susan E Hollander - Venable LLP 
  • Annette L Hurst - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Jonathan A Hyman - Knobbe Martens
  • Jeff K Joyner - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Enoch Liang - LTL Attorneys LLP
  • Lisa M Martens - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Mark Miller - O’Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Karin Pagnanelli - Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
  • Kenneth G Parker - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Joseph E Petersen - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Adrian M Pruetz - Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP
  • Paul W Reidl - Law Offices of Paul W Reidl
  • Mike Rodenbaugh - Rodenbaugh Law
  • Craig S Summers - Knobbe Martens
  • Vijay K Toke - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • John D Tran - Rhema Law Group
  • Erica J Van Loon - Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP
  • Robert A Weikert - Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Kenneth L Wilton - Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Sally M Abel - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Jorge Arciniega - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Katherine M Basile - Reed Smith LLP
  • James R Cady - Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • David W Grace - Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Susan L Heller - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • John L Slafsky - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Karen Webb - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Jennifer D Arkowitz - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Carole F Barrett - Barrett IP Law
  • Lori N Boatright - Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP
  • Ian K Boyd - Sideman & Bancroft
  • Michelle A Cooke - Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
  • John W Crittenden - Cooley LLP
  • Connie L Ellerbach - Fenwick & West LLP
  • Jason Garcia - Reed Smith LLP
  • Beth M Goldman - Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Jennifer A Golinveaux - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Lisa Greenwald-Swire - Fish & Richardson PC
  • Anne Hiaring Hocking - Donahue Fitzgerald LLP
  • Anthony M Keats - KeatsGatien LLP
  • Richard L Kirkpatrick - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Joan Kupersmith Larkin - Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Anthony J Malutta - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Anne H Peck - Cooley LLP
  • Diane Reed - Knobbe Martens
  • Jeffrey Van Hoosear - Knobbe Martens
  • Jane Shay Wald - Irell & Manella LLP
  • Steven Marc Weinberg - Holmes Weinberg PC
  • Gail Abbas - Pranger Law PC
  • Tsan Abrahamson - Cobalt LLP
  • Rochelle D Alpert - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Miriam Claire Beezy - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Lynne MJ Boisineau - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Robert Burlingame - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Heather Dunn - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Laura Franco - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Nate Garhart - Cobalt LLP
  • J Scott Gerien - Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty
  • Bobby Ghajar - Cooley LLP
  • Catherine J Holland - Knobbe Martens
  • Jonathan A Hyman - Knobbe Martens
  • Candice E Kim - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Lori S Kozak - Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Jennifer Lantz - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Irene Y Lee - Russ August & Kabat
  • Kelly P McCarthy - Sideman & Bancroft LLP
  • Anne Naffziger - Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd
  • Susan G O'Neill - Hanson Bridgett LLP
  • R Gwen Peterson - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Gregory B Phillips - Knobbe Martens
  • Holly Pranger - Pranger Law PC
  • Lawrence J Siskind - Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass
  • Susan Stabe - Troutman Sanders LLP
  • Mark A Steiner - Duane Morris LLP
  • Becky L Troutman - Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Carlo F Van den Bosch - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Alonzo Wickers - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Philip R Zender - Squire Patton Boggs US LLP
  • Raffi V Zerounian - Hanson Bridgett LLP


  • J Thomas McCarthy - Morrison & Foerster LLP