United States: North Carolina

Firms

  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • Enns & Archer LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
  • Trego, Hines & Ladenheim PLLC
  • Ward and Smith, PA

Alston & Bird LLP

Alston & Bird keeps its productive US and international trademark practices firing on all cylinders and is great to connect with on all aspects of worldwide brand protection and enforcement. The firm’s dedicated trademark and copyright group is comprised of down-to-earth, collaboratively minded lawyers who take personal pride in their work and go the extra mile to satisfy clients. Fitting this mould perfectly are Larry Jones and Michele Glessner from Charlotte. Seasoned enforcer and counsellor Jones is well known for his easy charm and wit, as well as profound trademark law expertise. He has the insight to give yes or no answers and is appreciated for his practical advice. A pathfinder on global prosecution and strategy, Glessner stays the course in challenging jurisdictions where it can feel like the trademark system is working against you. Linking up with Jones, she manages a 500-plus trademark portfolio for Invesco.

Enns & Archer LLP

Winston-Salem boutique Enns & Archer demonstrates its passion for brands in everything it does. Proficient at guiding rights holders through all phases of the trademark lifecycle – and in many other meaningful ways – it gives a personalised, quality-focused service that is also cost effective. Rodrick Enns and Julia Archer run the show, the former a veteran litigator and the latter an expert clearance and prosecution counsellor.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Kilpatrick Townsend has few peers in the United States – or internationally – when it comes to trademark practice; its large and specialised team manages 80,000-plus trademarks globally and, at any given time, can be found processing in the region of 20,000 applications and handling myriad disputes. It does this on behalf of an extremely varied client base that touches on all major industry sectors, while at the same time winning awards for diversity and inclusion and service. Its local leaders in North Carolina are Laura Miller and William Bryner who between them render fulsome trademark support. Miller understands how to build strong and distinctive brands from the ground up and is a clever IP value creator. Bryner takes charge in complex disputes which he litigates across the country and at the TTAB.

Moore & Van Allen PLLC

Moore & Van Allen (MVA) earns enhanced coverage in the WTR 1000 for 2021, seeing its number of recommended individuals in North Carolina increase from three to five – the most of any firm in the state. A deep bench is one of its key selling points, but there are plenty of others, not least its highly commercial approach to IP practice – the trademark specialists here truly understand the business of brands. Making their debuts in the rankings this year are Kathryn Bina and Kate Cole, who are anchors on the prosecution and enforcement sides respectively. Bina joined the firm in 2018 fresh from a stint at Coca-Cola, where she managed several incredibly valuable brands; she sees things from her clients’ perspective and understands their pressure points. Cole is “extremely customer focused and looks for – and accomplishes – business wins in trademark conflicts”. “She is a pleasure to deal with and her rates, and those of her associates, are quite reasonable, which is a significant plus.” She pairs effectively with Mark Wilson, who makes a return to the listings along with Arlene Hanks and Henry Ward. As a litigator, Wilson is aggressive when necessary, but always pragmatic; he finds many different ways to win. An excellent educator and mentor, Hanks manages the MVA trademark team with the same efficiency she brings to her brand protection and strategic counselling practice. Ward has a broad wingspan in intellectual property and is an expert on patents, trademarks and copyright, among other subjects; practice-wise, IP commercialisation is a forte. “Henry is an exceptional IP lawyer with global experience and connections. He provides sound tactical advice.”

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Recommended for its “consistently top-notch and timely work”, Parker Poe makes its sophomore appearance in the WTR 1000 this year. The well-resourced Southeastern commercial outfit protects trademarks and manages intangible assets with brio, at both a domestic and international level. The team doesn’t just robotically file trademarks or send instructions to foreign counsel, but applies a distinctly strategic approach to help enhance portfolio value. When disputes arise, the firm is well equipped, with 15 lawyers from its litigation group ready to deploy on contentious trademark assignments. The go-to in North Carolina is Christopher Thomas, a superb all-rounder who garners enthusiastic client reviews: “Chris resolves complex matters in the most responsive, pragmatic, efficient and creative way. He is a brilliant litigator with outstanding communication skills and a resolutely customer-focused approach.”

Tepper & Eyster PLLC

Brands-focused boutique Tepper & Eyster is something of a trademark legend in North Carolina, and is well known and respected both across the country and much further afield. Its high profile has a lot to do with Maury Tepper, a “uniquely practical and smart lawyer who can help you through the most difficult trademark challenges”. Hugely knowledgeable about pharmaceutical trademarks, the former GlaxoSmithKline director and trademark counsel is a prominent figure in various domestic and international IP associations and commands great respect. Kathryn Eyster is also highly prized as a rich source of trademark know-how; she operates across the contentious/non-contentious divide with impressive versatility.

Trego, Hines & Ladenheim PLLC

For Charlotte-based IP outfit Trego, Hines & Ladenheim, relationships aren’t merely transactional; the lawyers here make clients’ concerns their own and work beyond the brief to further their objectives and fuel their IP-driven commercial success. For patent services, Jonathan Hines and Brandon Trego are the people to call; while for anything trademark or copyright related, it is Matthew Ladenheim. The North Carolina State Bar board certified trademark specialist has all aspects of prosecution on lock and is an “effective litigator who knows when and how to resolve disputes out of court”.

Ward and Smith, PA

A sophisticated operator in the trademark space, Ward and Smith understands the business criticality of brands and has all the right talent on deck to protect, manage, enforce and monetise them. The team attracts instructions from many different sectors and has cultivated wide-ranging industry insight as a result; examples from the firm’s WTR 1000 submission include a craft brewery, medical device company Transenterix Surgical and luxury motor boat company Hatteras Yachts. For the latter two, Angela Doughty has leveraged her extensive international network to provide rights protection in many jurisdictions worldwide. A versatile and creative trademark lawyer, Doughty sees the big strategic and commercial picture and is great at sitting down with C-suite executives to map out action plans. In-house counsel appreciate her too, especially given the efficiency initiatives she designs and implements. She frequently collaborates with Joseph Schouten, the group’s top advocate and a “first-rate IP litigator in every sense”. Schouten is a perfect fit for high-exposure cases.

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson’s trademark, copyright and transactions group is nearly 30 strong and is supported by a litigation group with the same number of IP-focused advocates; it thus has the firepower to handle any brand-related assignment and the quality to bring about great results. The core trademark team is captained by Randel Springer, who does a wonderful job aligning IP and business strategies, using legal tech for efficient matter management and providing added value to clients in the form of training and education and informal forward-planning meetings. The prestigious names he acts for include Bank of America, whose global portfolio of over 1,000 marks he manages; and storied firearms manufacturer Remington Outdoor Company. Another trusted counsellor type is William (Evan) Fultz, “a timely and courteous lawyer who costs things accurately, delivers on time and gives consistently effective and efficient advice”. Heading the US IP litigation group, meanwhile, is John Morrow, who never takes his eye off the ball: “John is a total professional who always makes himself available no matter the time or day. From a technical perspective, his work is incredibly accurate, enabling him to give straightforward advice.”

Other recommended experts

Commercial firm Bell Davis & Pitt has an ace up its sleeve when it comes to trademarks in the form of Arthur DeBaugh, a highly experienced former chief IP counsel: “He’s extremely solid and he knows what in-house people think and want.” “Richard Matthews is easy to recommend for his detailed and thoughtful analysis on trademark matters and his prompt and timely responses. He provides clear, concise, practical and sound recommendations that are easy to digest.” The Williams Mullen lawyer’s long and varied client list includes Nike, for which he is co-counsel in a trademark infringement claim; and Syngenta, for which he handles a broad array of prosecution, counselling and litigation instructions. Flying the flag of Additon, Higgins & Pendleton, John Nipp is a proficient IP all-rounder with abundant litigation – including trial – experience. The managing partner of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Charlotte office, Benjamin Sidbury applies a litigator’s appreciation of risk when managing trademark portfolios – a task he undertakes for cleaning and hygiene company Diversey, personalised medicine innovator Fagron and Golding Farm Foods. The leader of his own self-titled firm, Jason Sneed is an assured litigator with a stellar track record of representing well-known brands. He contributes much to the US and international trademark discussion through extensive writing, speaking and association activities.

Individuals

  • William Bryner - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Arthur J DeBaugh - Bell Davis & Pitt PA
  • Rodrick J Enns - Enns & Archer LLP
  • Arlene D Hanks - Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Randel S Springer - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Maury M Tepper III - Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • Henry Ward - Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Julia C Archer - Enns & Archer LLP
  • Kathryn Bina - Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Kate Cole - Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Angela Doughty - Ward and Smith, PA
  • Kathryn M Eyster - Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • William S (Evan) Fultz - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Michele M Glessner - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Larry C Jones - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Matthew J Ladenheim - Trego, Hines & Ladenheim PLLC
  • Richard Matthews - Williams Mullen
  • Laura Miller - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • John F Morrow Jr - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • John Nipp - Additon Higgins & Pendleton
  • Joseph Schouten - Ward and Smith, PA
  • Benjamin F Sidbury - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Jason Sneed - SNEED PLLC
  • Christopher M Thomas - Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
  • Mark Wilson - Moore & Van Allen PLLC