United States: Washington


  • Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP 
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Bracewell LLP
  • Lane Powell PC
  • Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
  • Stokes Lawrence PS

Bracewell LLP

Because of its nuanced understanding of the commercial needs of clients and the industry landscapes on which they operate, Bracewell fills the trusted adviser role in exemplary fashion. Seattle and New York-based Erin Hennessy previously served as an in-house chief trademark counsel and therefore has an innate understanding of the challenges and pressures faced by those she now represents; she works assiduously to lighten burdens and “consistently finds creative, cost-saving solutions”. Clients and foreign associates adore Hennessy: “She is an incredibly skilful professional with vast experience; she gives clear advice and is very precise.” “She is passionate about intellectual property, has a keen business sense and is super dedicated to her clients.”

Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC

Stalwart Seattle IP boutique Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness has honed its trademark service over nearly nine decades; unsurprisingly, then, it delivers crisp results on every trademark filing, courtroom battle, enforcement matter and transactional negotiation. The collective experience of Everett Fruehling, Jerald Nagae and Melissa Nowak is of huge comfort to in-house counsel, whether they have a particularly complex problem on their hands or just a lot of day-to-day matters to see clear. Fruehling captains the side and is a fount of insight and analysis on all aspects of prosecution practice. In 40 years, Nagae has just about seen and done it all in the IP space. He manages global IP portfolios with finesse for industry leaders such as International Paper Company, which he represents together with Fruehling. Preparation and prosecution form the mainstay of Nowak’s practice, although she also shows creative flair and a deft touch in negotiations. Showcasing their versatility across the IP spectrum, all three unite to give a tip-top service to JBT Corporation on both patent and trademark portfolio management.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Working with Davis Wright Tremaine’s IP team is like working with a top IP boutique – you get highly specialised advice and an efficient, focused service. However, as it operates within a well-built national general practice, the group does a better job than most single-practice firms in terms of aligning its advice with the business needs of its clients. The Seattle contingent is deep, with each member highly proficient in the brands space, but judging by market feedback, three of the best are Matthew Moersfelder, Cindy Caditz and Stuart Dunwoody. A brand protection connoisseur, Moersfelder “distils down complex issues so they become easy to understand which is great if you’re reporting to business executives and marketing managers. He has a calm and reassuring demeanour and issues clear opinions and practical advice – he doesn’t charge much for it either!” He and Caditz secure ironclad protection jointly for several clients, including Alaska Airlines, Univar (a Fortune 500 chemical distribution company) and Trident Seafoods. A foreign associate comments: “Cindy provides prompt and commercially focused advice and is someone you can turn to in confidence if you have a particularly difficult case in the United States.” A local peer says she is “a ruthless negotiator who also happens to a delightful human being”. Dunwoody is an elite litigator of trademark, trade dress, false advertising and copyright disputes. “He’s a gentleman and a fine lawyer who shoots straight. For those reasons you’re happy to see him on the other side; then again, you know you’re going to be put to the test.” He has been busy in the TTAB lately with Full Sail Brewing Company, a craft beer trendsetter in the Pacific Northwest.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Dorsey & Whitney has been making smart changes in the patent and trademark theatres of late; with respect to the former, it has seriously augmented its Salt Lake City presence with some marquee hires out of Holland & Hart; on the soft IP side, in Seattle, it promoted trademark, copyright and false advertising trial lawyer Michael Keyes to the position of office head – a move which signals its commitment to trademark practice in the Pacific Northwest. “Mike is absolutely awesome and it’s good to see that get recognised by his firm. He comes at things from interesting angles and has a great business and marketing head on his shoulders.”

Lane Powell PC

“In terms of the breadth of its expertise in trademarks, Lane Powell is impressive.” The ensemble makes use of all available tools to give life and commercial impetus to trademark portfolios, to extract value from intangible assets and to enforce clients’ rights against infringers. Efficiency and transparency are additional selling points; “Work is allocated to the individual with the most fitting expertise and at the appropriate cost level – the firm’s billings are clear and timely, too.” Excellent sector knowledge serves to further distinguish the group. Take Frances Jagla, for example; “Uniquely experienced in pharmaceutical trademarks, she gets terrific results under pressure for significant players in the sector.” Then there’s Paul Swanson, who knows all about the business of brands in the food industry. “Paul is an authority on trademark law in relation to the protection, licensing and marketing of novel plant varieties and, more broadly, in agribusiness. His method is grounded in early and thorough research leading up to the presentation of his advice, which equips the client to engage in a practical discussion of options and likely outcomes. His plans anticipate twists and turns, and he stays resolutely focused on achieving an optimal result. He is unfailingly responsive and leans on his colleagues for additional expertise or fresh perspectives, which is good to see.”

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn makes its debut in the WTR 1000 for 2019. The well-established regional commercial firm has a growing trademark practice with many discerning brand owners counting on it for support on prosecution, TTAB proceedings, enforcement strategies and licensing. In response to increased demand, it has bolstered the team by recruiting IP all-rounder Julianne Henley in Seattle in December 2017. Robert Cumbow has certainly benefited from the additional support, enabling him to maintain and even improve his incredible responsiveness. The perennial gold-tier occupant is “highly experienced in prosecution and enforcement” across all industry sectors.

Perkins Coie LLP

“An excellent full-service outfit with an outstanding IP department which interacts well with a great regulatory group”, Seattle and national powerhouse Perkins Coie can be all things to all brand owners. The team in Seattle accounts for a substantial percentage of the 30,000 filings and registrations the firm manages across the world; James Vana and crew get through huge volumes of work at a rate of knots while never letting quality slip below the standard of excellent. Vana, who leads the trademark, copyright, media and brand protection group, “has a broad and profound knowledge of intellectual property, which he combines with a practical and down-to-earth approach”. The senior members of his group include Patchen Haggerty, Grace Han Stanton and Lynne Graybeal, all of whom are cited as “very fine trademark practitioners”. A strategic counsellor par excellence, Haggerty manages global portfolios deftly and adds value with her expertise on internet enforcement. Stanton, a former chair of the section, delivers pitch-perfect advice whether the recipient is a start-up or titan of industry. Graybeal has worked with brands for over 30 years and is highly knowledgeable on many topics including non-traditional marks, domain names and social media. She co-chairs the arts, entertainment and sports group. When infringement problems loom large, the person to call is trial lawyer William Cheever Rava; he routinely takes the lead on important IP battles in the technology and interactive entertainment sectors.

Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP 

One of, if not the top IP boutique in the region, Seed IP provides gold-standard guidance encompassing every phase of the trademark lifecycle. The ensemble is praised to the rafters for its internet and domain name expertise, the leading exponent of which is Russell C Pangborn. “He’s one of the real stalwarts of the trademark bar – he engages in a lot of hard thinking about trademark issues in a way that all stakeholders in the market benefit from.” “Whip-smart as well as a great guy who is easy to get along with”, Marc C Levy anchors a sterling litigation and enforcement practice. He is an authority on trademark matters that intersect with competition and advertising law. Kevin S Costanza is the embodiment of versatility; he is a vital member of the trademark, mechanical patent prosecution and IP enforcement and litigation groups. He’s a brilliant managing partner because he has an intimate knowledge of so many of the firm’s activities.

Stokes Lawrence PS

Washington business firm Stokes Lawrence has a “compact but amazingly strong trademark team”. Shannon Jost makes the ensemble a go-to for anything hotly contentious – “she is, without a doubt, one of the best trademark litigators in Seattle”. Leslie Vander Griend is also no stranger to litigation. The breadth of her expertise proves crucial to many of the results she gets; in one recent case for Advanced Hair Restoration, she relied on copyright law as well as the Washington Consumer Protection Act to stop a website from posting false images and testimonials. Both practitioners bring much else to the table besides litigation chops; Jost deploys her persuasive skills around the deal negotiation table, while Vander Griend showcases expertise on UDRP proceedings; it helps to make the Stokes Lawrence practice very well rounded.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

“The IP professionals at Wilson Sonsini are not just excellent lawyers, they are excellent business people. That means they get right to the nub of the issues and give to-the-point commercial advice while keeping in mind the costs to the client; they do what it takes – never more and certainly never less.” Taking the reins of the trademark, copyright and advertising practice in Seattle is celebrated expert Aaron Hendelman. He does cutting-edge work for Lyft, salesforce.com, LinkedIn and many more, and his efforts are highly appreciated. “Aaron has a magic touch and an incredible capacity to digest large amounts of complex information quickly. He truly lives his cases. There isn’t a lawyer in America more sensitive to their clients’ needs and concerns than Aaron; he’s never servile, just straightforward and natural.”

Other recommended experts

Unflinching in the limelight of high-stakes litigation, Michael Atkins is also a prosecution wizard. He runs Atkins Intellectual Property – a good place to go for a tailored service. Mark Nielsen runs his own self-titled firm. He is well known in the Pacific Northwest for his rich comprehension of black-letter trademark law and provision of straightforward, practical advice. Nancy Stephens helms the trademark and copyright practice at Foster Pepper. She has accumulated infinite wisdom on brand strategy, having lived and breathed trademarks for nearly three decades, during which time she has served as in-house counsel and in private practice. Wright Law founder Zachary Wright makes his debut in the WTR 1000 this year thanks to the endorsement of his “high-quality licensing and trademark transactions practice”. He represents “excellent value for money” for those looking to cut deals.


  • Cindy L Caditz - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Robert C Cumbow - Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
  • Stuart R Dunwoody - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Lynne E Graybeal - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Frances M Jagla - Lane Powell PC
  • Russell C Pangborn - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP 
  • Grace Han Stanton - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Michael G Atkins - Atkins Intellectual Property PLLC
  • Kevin S Costanza - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP 
  • Everett E Fruehling - Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Patchen M Haggerty - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Aaron Hendelman - Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Erin S Hennessy - Bracewell LLP
  • Shannon M Jost - Stokes Lawrence PS
  • J Michael Keyes - Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Marc C Levy - Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP 
  • Matthew Moersfelder - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Jerald E Nagae - Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • Mark Nielsen - Law Office of Mark J Nielsen
  • Melissa A Nowak - Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC
  • William Cheever Rava - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Nancy V Stephens - Foster Pepper PLLC
  • Paul D Swanson - Lane Powell PC
  • James L Vana - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Zachary A Wright - Wright Law PLLC