United States: Ohio

Firms

  • Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Jones Day
  • Thompson Hine LLP
  • Wood Herron & Evans LLP

Baker & Hostetler LLP

For corporate counsel at industry-leading companies, BakerHostetler’s highly developed IP offering is a godsend. Rich in trademark and copyright expertise, the large nationwide group can field all brand-related instructions and, in so doing, bring about desirable results. The fulcrum around which the practice turns is Cleveland-based Deborah Wilcox, who has been with the firm for over 33 years and now serves as national trademarks team leader. She understands clients’ priorities and is brilliant at brainstorming ways to harness brands and intellectual property to serve commercial ends, which is why corporate decision makers love having her on side. Wilcox enjoys a tremendous reputation among peers, as plentiful spontaneously offered feedback attests: “As well as being an extremely dedicated and bright lawyer, Deborah is a people person who works things out in a reasonable and business-friendly way. She is at the top of her game.” Anchoring the practice in Cincinnati, John Mueller is someone to whom clients and colleagues can delegate any IP task with complete confidence. Both lawyers have a thick address book of trusted IP contacts worldwide; Wilcox capitalises on this in handling Nordson Corporation’s international IP portfolio, as does Mueller on behalf of Technical Rubber.

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 

Diverse and well balanced in terms of senior-level and up-and-coming talent, the trademark group at Dinsmore is carefully constructed. So too is the infrastructure on which it depends: the team uses advanced management and docketing systems to ensure a seamless, cost-effective service for marquee clients such as Procter & Gamble. The key relationship partner for P&G, Karen Gaunt brings exceptional leadership to the Dinsmore trademark team. The gold-ranked lawyer “communicates guidance to businesspeople in a format they can easily digest and translate into action”, and “handles matters with the utmost skill and practicality”. “Her bills are reasonable, which reflects well on her efficient staffing and strategies.” Alongside Gaunt in gold, James A Dimitrijevs likewise comes in for high praise: “Jim is vastly experienced and has a nuanced knowledge of protecting and enforcing IP assets in parts of the world with complicated regulations or an increased infringement or counterfeiting risk. Country by country, he knows the best approaches and coordinates well with international counsel, whom he carefully vets to ensure you receive the most sophisticated lawyering at competitive rates. He is an incredibly valuable partner.” There’s impressive depth to the practice, which helps it to process nearly 40,000 active trademark matters worldwide; playing a key role on many of these is partner Grant Monachino, a savvy portfolio manager who doesn’t shy away from contentious action. He links up with Dimitrijevs to provide one global retailer with an end-to-end brand protection, enforcement and transactional service. Cincinnati-based of counsel Lynda Roesch has practised at the cutting edge of trademark law for over three decades; the former INTA general counsel and board member has a particularly percipient take on litigation tactics. Among the firm’s future leaders, April L Besl is making her mark as an expert on the brand impact of emerging technologies. She plays the role of outside general counsel perfectly.

Frost Brown Todd LLC

Frost Brown Todd’s trademark specialists don’t give cookie-cutter responses, but instead provide tailor-made guidance that directly addresses the unique legal and business issues that clients face. This approach has been instilled in the group by Columbus lawyer Samantha Quimby, who does a wonderful job as practice leader in ensuring close collaboration within a group spread across multiple offices and states, including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. “Sam has such an amazing depth of knowledge that she can often resolve even complex issues by placing a quick phone call – she doesn’t need to engage in hours upon hours of research. She excels at distilling complex legal concepts into easily understood, practical advice and she understands how business decisions are made. She is tenacious and can accurately forecast the likely result of an aggressive trademark enforcement position.” Living up to the high standards set by Quimby, WTR 1000 debutant Matthew Delaney is a Cincinnati partner with a nuanced understanding of the technology and branding issues faced by small to medium-sized enterprises and emerging companies.

Jones Day

Configured to serve the total global brand needs of some of the world’s best-known companies, Jones Day’s trademark and unfair competition practice is a special one. The firm is an elite performer when it comes to high-exposure trademark, trade dress, trade secret and false advertising disputes; and with seasoned advocates such as Meredith Wilkes ready to deploy, it is easy to see why. Wilkes inspires confidence with her handling of competitor cases – she is currently representing McCain Foods against JR Simplot in a matter concerning the shape of a twisted French fry product – and has a pristine track record at trial. The co-leader of the global trademark group also maintains a vibrant prosecution and counselling practice, in the course of which she astutely draws on the firm’s global resources and talent pool. In representing ICANN, for example, she works with Jones Day lawyers in Houston, Paris, Munich and Tokyo; while in acting for The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, she connects with partners and counsel in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Staying locally in Cleveland, abundant talent surrounds Wilkes, including Timothy Fraelich, Carrie Kiedrowski and Angela Gott, all of whom are well-rounded brand counsellors with impressive contentious credentials. Fraehlich stands out for his ability to tease out solutions to the most challenging problems of famous companies. Kiedrowski is in her element protecting and enforcing rights in the digital domain, and is at the forefront of the firm’s Wikimedia Foundation global trademark counsel relationship. Gott serves as sword and shield for clients and is hailed as an “organised, smart, practical and efficient go-getter with an incredible work ethic”.

Thompson Hine LLP

Venerable Cleveland-founded corporate firm Thompson Hine understands intellectual property in its commercial context. Its specialists put their shoulder to the wheel to create business value for clients through the proficient protection, enforcement and monetisation of their brands, patents and other intangible rights. The ensemble has an ace up its sleeve in Roger Bora, whose expertise and quality are applauded by the market: “Practical and proactive, Roger gets straight to the point in his advice. He offers multiple paths forward, but will always recommend one of the options along with concise arguments for so choosing. He brings a lot of energy to the table and has a positive attitude, as well as being exceptionally responsive, strategic and business minded. He understands his clients’ appetite for risk.” His practice centres on prosecution, thanks to his keen understanding of the trademark examiner mindset – he knows instinctively what will prove persuasive. Another asset to the team is Louis Ebling, an accomplished lawyer who keeps his finger on the pulse of global trademark developments.

Wood Herron & Evans LLP

Building long-term relationships with brand owners of all stripes is the raison d’être of well-established Cincinnati boutique Wood Herron & Evans. Much credit for this goes to the personalised nature of its services, with strategies and approaches for trademark protection custom fitted for each client. Kathryn Smith is an engine of the firm’s branding and content group and an adroit portfolio manager domestically and internationally; so too Theodore Remaklus, who runs a busy litigation practice alongside prosecution operations. Two of the most experienced hands on deck are Lori Krafte and Kenneth Germain. Krafte’s counsel has a holistic quality, being informed by encyclopaedic knowledge of trademark, advertising, domain name and privacy law. Germain has spent nearly five decades in the game and brings wisdom and a cool head to the courtroom in his capacity as a frequently retained expert witness.

Other recommended experts

One of Taft Stettinius & Hollister’s polished IP trial lawyers, Philip Bautista has litigated extensively in the United States and coordinated cases in numerous other regions of the world, resulting in a cosmopolitan outlook and an extensive tactical playbook. Susan Clady of Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff makes her first appearance in the WTR 1000 for 2021, having been recommended as an “intelligent, experienced and efficient professional with a good book of trademark business”. Portfolio management is central to her practice, though she is also a savvy enforcer. Much admired as a “super-smart, practical and experienced” professional, Colleen Flynn Goss of Fay Sharpe brings an eye for detail, deep trademark know-how and fine-tuned commercial instincts to portfolio management assignments. Endorsed by top-ranked foreign firms as an “extremely responsive lawyer who is easy to communicate with” and who “focuses on pragmatic solutions”, Michael Hurst of Keating Muething & Klekamp joins the WTR 1000 this year. The former in-house counsel at Caterpillar is an ace on all aspects of brand management and licensing. Columbus-based Ice Miller partner Earl LeVere is a seasoned litigator in the IP and technology space. Called on for representation when companies face off against direct competitors, he sorts out problems swiftly and decisively. Michael Marrero sets the standard in trademark practice at Ulmer & Berne. The versatile lawyer runs a broad commercial practice alongside intellectual property, which translates into insightful business-focused guidance on brand matters. He manages large global portfolios for GOJO Industries, Cotton Council International, Medpace and TSC Apparel. “Raymond Rundelli is a go-to for trademark searches, opinions and registrations. Always available to give quick advice, he works in a timely fashion and is an experienced and articulate lawyer.” His recent work at Calfee Halter & Griswold has been heavy on TTAB proceedings, which he handles with poise.

Individuals

  • James A Dimitrijevs - Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 
  • Karen Gaunt - Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 
  • Samantha M Quimby - Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Deborah A Wilcox - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Meredith M Wilkes - Jones Day
  • Roger Bora - Thompson Hine LLP
  • Louis K Ebling - Thompson Hine LLP
  • Timothy P Fraelich - Jones Day
  • Colleen Flynn Goss - Fay Sharpe LLP 
  • Carrie L Kiedrowski - Jones Day
  • Lori E Krafte - Wood Herron & Evans LLP
  • Thomas Earl LeVere - Ice Miller LLP
  • Michael A Marrero - Ulmer & Berne LLP
  • Grant Monachino - Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 
  • John M Mueller - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Theodore R Remaklus - Wood Herron & Evans LLP
  • Lynda E Roesch - Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
  • Raymond Rundelli - Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP
  • Kathryn E Smith - Wood Herron & Evans LLP
  • Philip R Bautista - Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • April L Besl - Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 
  • Susan E Clady - Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP
  • Matthew D Delaney - Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Angela R Gott - Jones Day
  • J Michael Hurst - Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL

Luminaries

  • Kenneth B Germain - Wood Herron & Evans LLP