United States: Texas

Firms

Baker Botts LLP

Baker Botts recently renamed its trademark group as the branding, advertising and copyright practice, which is a fitting move given the 360-degree nature and sophistication of the brand-related services it provides. In fine fettle, its Dallas lawyers continue to flawlessly coordinate global portfolios, major IP transactions and commercially crucial litigations for prestigious patrons. Paul Reilly and Elizabeth Rucki command great respect as “client-focused, pragmatic lawyers and team players who give back to the Dallas community” and both showcase impressive range and versatility. Reilly is an experienced advocate and makes Baker Botts “the best of the big Texas firms for trademark litigation”, he also maintains an extensive clearance, prosecution, rebranding and licensing practice. Rucki manages portfolios deftly and puts in assured performances in TTAB proceedings as well as in litigation. A senior associate who makes her fourth straight appearance in the WTR 1000 this year, Rucki is undoubtedly one of the brightest lights of the next generation; the leadership she now demonstrates is testament to the exceptional quality training and mentoring that Baker Botts provides to its up-and-coming lawyers. Another Dallas lawyer to keep on the radar is Tyler Beas, a responsive and thorough litigator and counsellor.

Baker McKenzie 

With unmatched global reach and technological proficiency, Baker McKenzie offers around-the-clock brand protection and enforcement support to multinationals with vast portfolios. Its team in Dallas, comprised of highly responsive partner Dyan House and experienced and technically accomplished associate Denis Shamo, has been playing an increasingly significant role with several of the firm’s top clients on prosecution and enforcement matters. Quick and effective at liaising with colleagues in China, for example, House and Shamo do not lose time when it comes to solving difficult trademark problems. House never provides advice in a vacuum, is sensitive to her clients’ tolerance for risk and always keeps their business goals front of mind. “Dyan doesn’t build a watch when you only need to know the time – she doesn’t engage in unnecessary work, which is a rare trait in a lawyer at a large firm. She sets out the issues simply and clearly and works hard, fast and cost-effectively to get you the outcome you need.”

Fibbe Lightner LLP

Some of the most discerning and sophisticated rights holders turn to Fibbe Lightner, a uniquely positioned two-partner Houston boutique that dispenses a high-grade, hands-on and personalised service. “Consummate brand lawyers with an ocean of practical approaches, Reagan Fibbe and Robin Lightner Maisashvili thrive in critical problem-solving situations – when you’ve got a head scratcher, expedite a call or email to them for guidance.” They considerably lighten the load of in-house counsel and alleviate any brand-related concerns the C-suite may have. Excellent long-range strategic and international thinkers, they build value into the portfolios they manage while being responsive, timely and fair on pricing. To give a taster of their current activities, they serve as primary prosecution counsel to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre; as Europe, Middle East and Africa prosecution and enforcement counsel to Phillips 66; as global prosecution and clearance manager for CenterPoint Energy; as strategic adviser to Nabors Industries; and as US registration and strategy counsel to Hiscox. They are absolutely on top of their game.

Haynes and Boone, LLP

A collaborative culture enables Haynes and Boone to fully capitalise on its deep national IP bench to provide a seamless and comprehensive trademark service to industry leaders. Its offering is an enhanced one thanks to its lawyers’ extensive knowledge of advertising, marketing and labelling law; no matter what clients bring up, the outfit swiftly gets the right subject matter expert on the case. Testament to the quality of the team, Purvi Patel Albers, Jeffrey Becker and David Bell all feature in the WTR 1000 gold tier. Board of directors member Patel Albers has a passion for trademark law and brands and brings energy, enthusiasm and commitment to every engagement; the global prosecution and enforcement ace has the dexterity to resolve long-running and seemingly intractable disputes. As a trademark maestro and registered patent attorney Becker is ideally placed to counsel clients on overarching IP strategy. A leader for TTAB proceedings, he handles a mountain of work for Halliburton Energy Services, AT&T and many others without ever dropping the ball. “Jeff is uniquely responsive, incredibly thorough and gives well-reasoned advice.” Bell sets the tone of excellence and serves as chair of the group and is a noted authority on social media matters. A mainstay of the firm’s patent and trademark litigation practice, William Nash is the lawyer to call on when major infringement issues loom; he is an excellent prosecutor too, given his nuanced knowledge of what makes trademark rights enforceable.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

“Norton Rose Fulbright is an extremely reliable firm and provides a wonderful service alongside top-quality trademark work. In terms of furthering your business objectives through intellectual property, it is an excellent organisation to partner with.” The international outfit’s US brands practice is superb; an experienced team of lawyers coupled with a well-drilled paralegal squad covers the waterfront for global brands looking to protect, enforce and monetise their rights. Austin partners Michael Scott Metteauer and Alicia Morris Groos, who are both elevated to the gold tier this year, come in for vociferous praise: “Michael provides highly strategic trademark counsel on contentious and non-contentious matters. Leveraging his global experience, he gives clear guidance on the most complex and nuanced trademark issues. He is a brilliant investigator and extremely creative when it comes to enforcement. He takes time to learn about your company and industry and is also a great mentor of his team.” “Alicia can be counted on to do a fantastic job. She is one of the most responsive people you could hope to work with and hugely generous with her time – she’s essentially there as a resource 24/7, which is a massive help given how fast business moves now. She enables you to make the best commercial decisions.” Deepening the Texas bench, Linda Merritt leads the way in Dallas. An authority on the Madrid Protocol and international trademark protection, as well as on domain names and IP transactions, she is a Swiss army knife of a trademark lawyer who cuts to the heart of any issue.

Pirkey Barber PLLC 

“One of the most stacked trademark outfits in the United States” is the verdict on Pirkey Barber. “The depth and variety of experience provided by each attorney there is unparalleled – and the client service is incredibly personal too.” Deserving of special mention are some of the set’s inspiring future leaders, including Steven Espenshade, Jered Matthysse, Anna Kuhn, Travis Wimberly and Alex Bistline. On prosecution and transactions matters, “methodical and detail-oriented” Espenshade supplies “clear, prompt advice and provides solutions, not more problems” in support of famous brands such as 7-Eleven and top-ranked foreign associates. He is a cogent choice for opinion work. Focusing primarily on litigation, Matthysse is “achieving remarkable things in the practice already”, demonstrating a “fine-grained understanding of complex legal issues and a great sense of strategy”. “He secures desired outcomes quickly and efficiently, so you don’t waste time and resources fighting things.” “Anna Kuhn is by far one of the sharpest lawyers out there and an in-house lawyer’s dream. She has experience in-house and so provides exceptionally practical and commercial advice on protection, policing and enforcement that you can immediately forward internally.” She was promoted to partner in January 2019 alongside Wimberly, a forceful but courteous litigator who “crafts highly effective arguments and delivers them skilfully orally and in writing”. Bistline’s star is ascending rapidly and although she is a relatively junior member of the team she is taking on important roles in consequential cases. “She demonstrates superb trial skills alongside exceptional proficiency in trademark law.” Pirkey Barber has 14 recommended individuals in the WTR 1000 this year, so the depth of its bench is undoubtable. It is prime time right now for Christopher Graff, Sherri Eastley, Christopher Kindel, Wendy Larson and Steve Meleen, all of whom bring something special to the table. When it comes to the development and execution of innovative filing strategies Graff leads the way; his brands expertise is extremely refined and is underpinned by unassailable trademark, advertising and competition law knowledge. “Sherri is great at communicating with business executives and board members. She understands the criticality of intellectual property in creative organisations and comes up with excellent and cost-effective strategic ideas.” “Very well-rounded in the practice, Chris can advise on multifaceted matters and is great at seeing the big picture. He’s personable, easy to work with and delivers practical advice within budget.” He and internet-related trademark litigation supremo Larson have taken on the mantle of leadership recently, forming a firm management committee also with Matthysse. “Steve Meleen is a go to for gut checks and answers to the questions that CEO’s throw at in-house counsel. Ridiculously smart, he has exceptional litigation judgement and provides sound, thoughtful advice in every situation.” As one client enthuses: “There is nobody I would trust more to handle a complex infringement case.” All these tremendous practitioners take their cue from veterans Louis Pirkey, Shannon Vale and William Barber, none of whom need any introduction. “Lou simply has unbeatable knowledge and experience and is a brilliant litigator and mediator.” Vale is as business savvy as they come and an authority on global trademark protection and IP transactions. Barber is a top trial lawyer.

Richard Law Group

Richard Law Group may be a compact boutique but it handles a prodigious volume of trademark work for a long list of high-end brand owners. The set’s experience directing trademark traffic internationally, providing commercially relevant advice at flexible and reasonable rates and giving a personalised service gives it its edge. Reflecting on his experience, one client remarks: “We’re absolutely on a roll with the team – it packs a punch for sure. The firm is unbelievably responsive and efficient and has an outstanding record of success.” Star lawyer Molly Buck Richard offers “pragmatic, real-world advice that helps you move your business forward”. The same can be said for former in-house counsel Jim Struthers, who is a seasoned and excellent strategist particularly when representing technology companies. New to the WTR 1000 this year, David Diamond is making his mark in the practice as a bright problem solver and superb writer.

Thompson & Knight LLP

Thompson & Knight is wholeheartedly recommended for its proficiency in contentious and non-contentious trademark work. On top of all the latest developments in law and the business of brands, the side’s Dallas-based specialists supply commercially savvy advice. Putting this on display in litigation contexts, the team acts aggressively and creatively and gets cases trial-ready fast, ratcheting up the pressure on opponents so that disputes get resolved quickly and extra-judicially. For companies who want to draw lines in the sand and put a stop to those encroaching on their brands, Max Ciccarelli is an excellent option. A motivational leader of the IP group, Ciccarelli is an expert on trademark, copyright, patent and unfair competition law – versatility he shares with fellow partner Herbert Hammond, a veteran litigator and seasoned alternative dispute resolution pro. It is also worth highlighting some of the talent they are bringing up around them; associate Craig Carpenter is cultivating a great reputation for his understanding of social media issues.

Other recommended experts

Scott Brown is the lynchpin of Vinson & Elkins’s trademark practice and has been for nearly two decades. He has an excellent track record in court and at the TTAB and an intuitive feel for how USPTO examiners think, which leads to successful trademark registration. John Cain and William Raman are the experienced backbone of Fleckman & McGlynn’s IP group. Prominent in the international trademark community through their involvement with INTA and the activities of their impressive global practices, their take on complex trademark issues is an authoritative one. Pillsbury’s trademark practice is turning heads and meets with expanding coverage in the WTR 1000 California chapter this year. Flying the flag for this dynamic firm in Texas is Austin-based Edward Cavazos, one of the best lawyers regionally for IP transactions. A “business-smart trademark practitioner and leader in the Dallas legal community”, Elisabeth Evert holds the reins at Hitchcock Evert. “She doesn’t just turn the prosecution handle but gives superbly strategic counsel.” Dickinson Wright is a commercial outfit that takes intellectual property seriously; investing in talent and new docketing systems, it has been garnering greater national recognition of late. Alison D Frey is burnishing the firm’s reputation through her fine international portfolio and enforcement work. Easy to communicate with and clear and concise, she has excellent rapport with her clients. For deep food and beverage and retail sector knowledge, look to King & Spalding’s Richard Groos. A repository of trust over a number of decades for The Home Depot and many other illustrious brands, he works wonders to shore up protection, close gaps in trademark coverage and resolve tricky disputes. Deborah Lively of FisherBroyles is an expert when it comes to sweepstakes, internet law and policy, e-commerce and trademarks. Houstonian litigator and portfolio manager Dwayne Mason takes charge of Greenberg Traurig’s Texas IP litigation practice. He handles a tonne of prosecution instructions too and whips portfolios into eminently enforceable shape. In December 2018 Seyfarth Shaw significantly expanded its IP litigation capability in Texas, hiring Lisa H Meyerhoff from Baker McKenzie. Experienced in trial work as well as mediation and arbitration, Meyerhoff is equipped for any dispute. “John Patton understands what large brands are looking for and he delivers with direct, detailed and well-rounded advice.” He runs his own eponymously titled firm. Russell Rippamonti operates out of Fish’s Dallas office and makes a major contribution to the leading national IP ensemble’s patent and trademark practices. Locally based global sports entertainment company TopGolf thrives under his protection. Paul Van Slyke of Hoover Slovacek applies wisdom born of decades of IP experience to solve difficult and contentious trademark problems. Litigation, mediation and arbitration see him at his best.

Individuals

  • Purvi Patel Albers - Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • William G Barber - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Jeffrey M Becker - Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • David Bell - Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Alicia Morris Groos - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Michael Scott Metteauer - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Louis T Pirkey - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Paul Reilly - Baker Botts LLP
  • Molly Buck Richard - Richard Law Group
  • Jim Struthers - Richard Law Group
  • Shannon T Vale - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Max Ciccarelli - Thompson & Knight LLP
  • Elisabeth A Evert - Hitchcock Evert LLP
  • Reagan Fibbe - Fibbe Lightner LLP
  • Christopher L Graff - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Richard J Groos - King & Spalding LLP
  • Dyan House - Baker McKenzie
  • Christopher M Kindel - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Anna Kuhn - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Robin Lightner Maisashvili - Fibbe Lightner LLP
  • Steve Meleen - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Linda M Merritt - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Lisa H Meyerhoff - Seyfarth Shaw LLP 
  • William D Raman - Fleckman & McGlynn PLLC
  • Elizabeth K Rucki - Baker Botts LLP
  • Alexandra Bistline - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • W Scott Brown - Vinson & Elkins LLP
  • John C Cain - Fleckman & McGlynn PLLC
  • Edward A Cavazos - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • David Diamond - Richard Law Group
  • Sherri L Eastley - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Steven M Espenshade - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Alison D Frey - Dickinson Wright 
  • Herbert J Hammond - Thompson & Knight LLP
  • Wendy Larson - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Deborah Lively - FisherBroyles LLP
  • Dwayne Mason - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Jered Matthysse - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • William B Nash - Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • John W Patton - Patton Law Group
  • Russell N Rippamonti - Fish & Richardson
  • Travis Wimberly - Pirkey Barber PLLC

Luminaries

  • Paul C Van Slyke - Hoover Slovacek LLP