United States: Texas

Firms

  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Pirkey Barber PLLC 
  • Richard Law Group
  • Baker Botts LLP
  • Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Thompson & Knight LLP
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Fibbe Lightner LLP
  • Hitchcock Evert LLP
  • Sidley Austin LLP
  • Vinson & Elkins LLP

Baker Botts LLP

Baker Botts is home to one of the finest trademark practices in Texas. “Its sophisticated team is packed with experienced practitioners” who ably serve a glittering roster of A-list clients, ranging from local enterprises to global powerhouses. The widely admired Paul Reilly captains the squad: “He is extremely hardworking and conscientious. He’s a truly top-notch lawyer but also knows how to delegate effectively to his colleagues, which means you get great results really efficiently.” One peer enthuses: “For big-ticket litigation, Reilly and his team would be the obvious choice. He knows the law remarkably well and brings a depth of expertise to trademark litigation that few others in Texas – or even the United States – have. Also, having previously worked in New York, he has had exposure to a great variety of industries and has gained a wide breadth of experience.” Elizabeth Rucki is another esteemed professional: “She is highly regarded in this field and has a diverse skillset, including a talent for enforcing trademark rights.” Together, Rucki and Reilly have recently secured a string of crucial victories for Haggar Clothing at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). “They are both excellent attorneys who respond to requests quickly and thoughtfully.”

Baker McKenzie

“The extensive international practice at Baker McKenzie makes it a top choice for problems that stretch beyond US borders”, it has “a solid base here locally, but also has great contacts around the globe”. The Dallas arm recently saw the departure of Justin Welch, who left to go in-house; but this was mitigated by the arrival of Dyan House – “both a first-rate attorney and person, she has been a great addition to the firm”. “Practical and highly detail-oriented”, her practice principally revolves around astute prosecution and shrewd counselling, but she is also a deft hand in TTAB matters. Lisa Meyerhoff takes command in Houston. She dispenses judicious advice with verve but can also take infringers to task in the courtroom when necessary. Delivering more than just legal guidance, she never fails to table a plethora of business-minded options and solutions.

Fibbe Lightner LLP

Two-partner boutique Fibbe Lightner receives thunderous applause from clients: “It has enormous legal horsepower and is a go-to partner for portfolio management and for handling oppositions in Europe and other foreign jurisdictions. Reagan Fibbe and Robin Lightner-Maisashvili bring years of experience from big law backgrounds and the quality of their work is many orders of magnitude higher than their invoices reflect. It is an excellent choice for both sole proprietorships and multinational companies.” Another happy customer avers, “they are hands-on, resourceful, smart and tenacious”. Fibbe “has a vast bandwidth of experience across different territories, so can handle complicated cross-border matters very efficiently”. According to one peer, “she is awesome – an extremely personable lawyer who is thorough and precise in her work”. Lightner-Maisashvili is also lauded by her contemporaries: “An outstanding strategic thinker, she looks at the big picture and knows how to manage disputes cost-effectively.”

Haynes and Boone LLP

“Haynes and Boone does exemplary work and has a stunning client base that echoes the depth of its expertise. It consistently demonstrates – through its work, writing and speaking – that it is an authority in this space and can operate at the highest level of brand management.” One impressed international associate states: “Its team is approachable, knowledgeable and flexible in how it operates. Offering more reasonable rates than other firms in major cities on the East and West Coasts, its lawyers are all nice to deal with as well.” “It has a vigorous branding group in Dallas in the form of Purvi Patel Albers, Jeffrey Becker and David Bell, all of whom are leaders in the trademark community.” The “dynamic and client-focused” Patel is renowned both locally and further afield. “She is fantastic – always at the forefront of the latest issues and highly reliable, she loves her work and should be the first person to see when you have a problem.” As one leading brand owner enthuses: “She is, by far, my absolute favourite counsel – and I don’t say that lightly.” Becker “is an excellent attorney both on the litigation and transactional fronts; he is extremely experienced, reasonable and smart”. “He is a cornerstone of the firm, and his all-round practice makes him an effective consultant.” Becker, along with Bell, serves as primary counsel for AT&T; alongside a variety of other responsibilities and tasks, the pair dexterously handle a tremendous volume of clearance searches for the telecoms titan. “Bell’s work capacity is remarkable, and he always delivers top-quality advice and outcomes.” His varied talents have been put to good use over the last year in a number of momentous disputes and transactions; he also excels at navigating rights holders through the minefield of social media. Providing priceless support to the Dallas triumvirate is William Nash, a leading light of the trademark market in San Antonio. Of late, much of his time has been spent catering to the global ambitions of Nerium Biotechnology, a rapidly growing business that has been filing and enforcing its rights in dozens of countries around the world.

Hitchcock Evert LLP

Hitchcock Evert houses a vibrant trademark practice which adopts a holistic perspective on brands. The compact boutique punches well above its weight and assiduously serves a number of Fortune 500 companies with matters across the IP spectrum. Founding partner Elisabeth Evert fronts the ensemble and is “a stand out-practitioner”. Consummate on both sides of the contentious and non-contentious divide, the “business-savvy” doyenne has a sixth sense for issues that will arise down the road. “She is a rock star not just because of her robust practice, but also for her role in tirelessly bringing the wider legal community together. She is both an outstanding lawyer and person.”

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

The “highly regarded” IP department of full-service outfit Norton Rose Fulbright resolutely delivers in all facets of trademark law. A vast global footprint enables the set to dispatch multi-jurisdictional complications with ease, while its corporate practice can step in to help seal vital deals. It recently assisted G-III Apparel Group in its purchase of Donna Karan International from LMVH in a transaction valued at $650 million; Linda Merritt gave invaluable support in this endeavour on the IP side, which included providing strategic advice and assisting in due diligence. She also represents G-III Apparel Group in its wider branding objectives, in everything from the management of its marks to their enforcement. Merritt is stationed in the Dallas office, while over in the Austin unit, the team is fronted by Alicia Morris Groos and Michael Scott Metteauer. “Groos always does a tremendous job across the full spectrum of trademark prosecution, licensing, enforcement and litigation. She is a great pleasure to work with and responds around the clock, which is hugely helpful for fast-moving businesses.” A masterful portfolio caretaker, Metteaur fully exploits his granular knowledge to nip problems in the bud. He is a first port of call for any international mandate.

Pirkey Barber PLLC 

An “outstanding” and “highly venerated firm with a who’s who list of clients”, Pirkey Barber is brimming with “sophisticated and capable attorneys”. Even its younger associates are singled out for their excellence by peers: “Erik Combs is an even-keeled professional who is responsive, practical and reasonable”, while “Alexandra Bistline and Travis Wimberly are two up-and-coming stars, who really impress with both their conduct and substantive knowledge”. The firm has been the talk of the town lately with a slew of new hires: Tara Vold and Paul Williamson (both of whom are ranked in the DC Metro Area) join the set in Northern Virginia, while the “exceedingly bright” Anna Kuhn is “an excellent addition to the team in Texas”. With an Ivy League education and experience as former in-house counsel for Dell, “Kuhn really knows how to cut to the chase and excels at understanding risk tolerances – she is a pragmatic and superb attorney”. Name partners Louis Pirkey and William Barber form the foundation on which the practice is built. Pirkey is “certainly one of the best in the nation for trademark prosecution” and also “clearly among the top ranks for litigation”. “He knows the law extremely well and is a very persuasive advocate; his non-aggressive style makes him a pleasure to deal with.” Barber also has “an exceptional reputation”; “honest and ethical”, he is “tremendously experienced and has excellent judgment. He can look at a problem from all angles and come back with a creative solution”. “Their expertise has flowed down the ranks, which has helped cement the firm’s reputation.” General Mills recently called on the talents of Barber and Christopher Kindel, who have been assisting with the complicated prosecution of the famous yellow colour of the Cheerios cereal box. “Kindel has an amazing range of knowledge and relates well to business clients; he appreciates their concerns and needs and can translate complex matters into a language they can understand.” “Personable and really well-rounded, he sees the big picture and can provide expert advice on topics that intertwine themselves into one legal issue.” Managing partner Steve Meleen successfully protected Viacom International’s rights in a fictional restaurant after he achieved a summary judgment victory that prevented IJR Capital Investments from using the mark KRUSTY KRAB for its proposed restaurant. “Meleen knows how to enforce rights in a strategic, practical manner and instils confidence when handling complex litigations; he always provides sound, thoughtful advice and is a pleasant person to be around, too.” Jered Matthysse and Wendy Larson add critical support on the contentious front. The former is “really hardworking and constantly climbing through the ranks as a result – he has a really bright future ahead of him”. “Larson does fantastic work both in terms of her practice and in IP committees.” “They both impress with their business acumen and ability to crystallise trademark arguments into soundbites that everybody can understand.” While he offers perceptive counsel across the board, the main thrust of Shannon Vale’s practice is in getting vital deals locked down. The “incredibly smart” lawyer has helped SXSW to safely establish its place in the market over the last two decades, and in 2016 provided assistance in its negotiation with the White House for a trademark licensing agreement. Another sagacious adviser, Christopher Graff draws widespread acclaim from patrons, with one stating: “He deeply appreciates our culture and can break down complicated IP issues in an easily comprehensible way. His response time is so exemplary that all our other outside counsel pale in comparison.” “He constantly has a total grasp of the situation and is able to make incisive and strategic suggestions, always with the client’s best commercial interests at heart. He and his team’s understanding of foreign jurisdictions is a genuinely rare quality and speaks volumes about their expertise, experience and high standards.” Making her debut in the WTR 1000 this year is Sherri Eastley, “an extremely clever attorney who might fly under the radar only because of the depth of talent at the firm”. She has a gift for overcoming perplexing prosecution matters and knows how to keep clients satisfied. A fountain of knowledge, luminary Rodney Caldwell rounds off the set. “He is an excellent litigator and somebody you can call for assistance without hesitation.”

Richard Law Group

Richard Law Group is a paragon of brilliance when it comes to brand management; its modest size belies the incredible firepower and talent that it harbours. The nationally acclaimed Molly Buck Richard “eats, breathes and sleeps trademarks, and clients love her”. “A staple of the market”, she is “a leading lawyer in Texas and one of the top practitioners in the country for trademark work; she knows how to provide effective counsel and is excellent at enforcing brand rights as well”. “Her trademark litigation skills are just so sharp.” Fellow partner Jim Struthers also receives emphatic praise: “He is a phenomenal attorney who has the ability to instantly hone in on key issues. You can call him for advice and his gut reaction will virtually always be spot on; he is prompt and efficient, and his clients really appreciate his refreshing approach.” “Exceptionally knowledgeable and amazing at clearing marks, his quality of work is stunning.” “He operates at the cutting edge of technology and is always thinking about new software and hardware and how to best protect them.”

Sidley Austin LLP

Dallas is a stronghold for Sidley Austin’s robust trademark group. Its lawyers are quick to recognise potential problems and possess a real depth of experience; they are especially sought after for their discerning guidance in the technology field. Working in tandem with the firm’s esteemed corporate group, they frequently provide safe passage for the completion of multimillion-dollar deals. Julia Chester in particular has a masterful grasp on IP transactions. Engaging Customs in foreign countries to block the import and export of infringing goods is another of her specialties, and to top it off she is a domain name expert.

Thompson & Knight LLP

Efficiency and pinpoint accuracy are the hallmarks of Thompson & Knight’s trademark practice. Although the firm has historically been known for its litigation prowess, its branding team’s top priority is to keep rights holders out of the courtroom. “From monitoring to defending marks, it always does an outstanding and flawless job.” IP squad leader Max Ciccarelli offers “excellent counsel. He is patient, understanding and passionate; in any challenging IP matter, you can be confident that he will do whatever it takes to ensure you are in the best position”. One fellow professional approves: “He’s a strong lawyer with a broad knowledge base that serves as a sound legal foundation for his business advice. Thanks to his airtight analyses issues get resolved quickly and amicably.”

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins has turned trademark prosecution into a fine art. Exhaustive preparation and consideration goes into every application, but not at the expense of speed. Its crack IP litigation team can also step in to make short work of any disputes that may arise. The firm’s branding practice revolves around the efforts of “zealous counsellor” Scott Brown, whose well-reasoned guidance and strategic nous ensures that trademark owners avoid trouble. With no industry beyond his grasp, “he can break down complex issues and identify simple solutions”.

Other recommended experts

The redoubtable Margaret Boulware deftly handles the brand portfolios of Fortune 500 behemoths. Running her own boutique – Boulware & Valoir – she garners plaudits for the profound depth of her trademark experience. Fleckman McGlynn is home to the versatile John Cain, a prosecution master and litigation virtuoso, and a silver-tongued negotiator of transactions to boot. Edward Cavazos oversees the Austin wing of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. His work product, both in dispute resolution and long-term strategy, is “fantastic”. “John Cone really understands the law and is a superb litigator; he knows how to present facts in a simple way that gets right to the heart of the matter.” In addition to being “a solid lawyer with a great demeanour”, “he possesses an interesting and useful international perspective that gives him a unique edge”. He is based at Ferguson Braswell & Fraser. Formerly at Pirkey Barber, Alison D Frey now flies the flag for Dickinson Wright. With a particular flair for non-contentious mandates, “she efficiently balances the needs and objectives of your branding strategy with associated costs. She is a strong communicator and is able to offer business guidance with her legal advice”. Richard Groos brings his unique portfolio management skills to bear for King & Spalding. Systematic and precise, he offers perspicacious counsel to a host of clients, including Home Depot, which he advises on everything from registrations to global enforcement and domain name disputes. Working out of her eponymous shop, Elizabeth King exploits over two decades of trademark know-how to brilliant effect. As a former examining attorney of the US Patent and Trademark Office, she knows how to prepare adamantine applications. At FisherBroyles is Deborah Lively, the previous head of Thompson & Knight’s trademark department. Her meticulous attention to detail and judicious insight make for a potent combination in all aspects of prosecution and transactional matters. She also has a talent for protecting brands on social media. “Dwayne Mason goes much farther than simply filing your trademarks – he will learn about your business environment and couple it with an up-to-date knowledge of IP law.” The Greenberg Traurig highflyer “provides exceptional value with his strategies that are aligned with corporate goals.” A recurring name in the field, William Raman possesses a fine-grained appreciation for all things trademark-related. Widely esteemed for both his counselling and litigation acuity, his fastidious approach to brand protection means that he leaves no stone unturned. Holding the fort in Dallas for Fish & Richardson is Russell Rippamonti. His technical background as an engineer is a particular boon for IP owners in the petroleum industry, and he is “a really solid option for the management of both trademarks and patents”. Operating out of Hoover Slovacek is Paul Van Slyke, a big name in this field with even bigger clients. He is an enforcement maven who has countless years of courtroom and TTAB experience under his belt.

Individuals

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

Luminaries

  • Rodney K Caldwell - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Paul C Van Slyke - Hoover Slovacek LLP