United States: Washington

Firms

  • 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
  • Stokes Lawrence PS

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell efficiently handles high-volume trademark searching, clearance and prosecution tasks and much more, from providing sophisticated advice on internet and social media brand issues to litigating in district courts and representing clients before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under the stewardship of Erin Hennessy, the group has had a fruitful year taking clients and work away from prominent national competitors. By way of example, San Antonio Shoes recently jumped on board, sending the Bracewell practitioners a slew of prosecution, litigation and enforcement instructions. Hennessy’s high-level in-house experience – she previously served as assistant general counsel and chief trademark counsel for Time Warner – gives her a massive competitive advantage in the form of refined business acumen. “Erin is one of the leading experts in trademark law, particularly in the media and entertainment field. Knowledgeable, responsive, practical and thoughtful, she brings about creative, often cost-saving solutions.” She works out of offices in Seattle, where the trademark department’s paralegal and docketing teams are based, and in New York.

Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC

Foreign associates love working with Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness: “For clients who are very sensitive about pricing – and unfamiliar with the level of fees US firms often charge – COJK is brilliant because it charges very reasonable rates but also produces top quality work.” The esteemed Seattle boutique puts over a century of combined experience at the disposal of its clients, meaning no trademark conundrum goes unsolved. Key contacts Everett Fruehling, Jerald Nagae and Melissa Nowak frequently combine forces for patrons, such as Holland America Line and Nintendo, for whom they carry out a variety of worldwide search, clearance, prosecution and enforcement duties. Fruehling, who provides robust leadership to the trademark group, is a key contact for those in need of international percipience. Nagae captains the patent team but also has a faculty for trademarks. He has decades of experience and demonstrates a deft touch when it comes to new branding initiatives and global portfolio management. Rolling up her sleeves on myriad enforcement projects, Nowak has been incredibly busy lately. “Melissa is professional, proactive and very attentive to details. She’s also creative in helping clients resolve potential conflicts, either with third parties or in connection with responding to objections from the USPTO.”

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

There are always plenty of exciting developments at Davis Wright Tremaine’s Seattle office, including recruitment drives, partnership promotions and lots of meaty brand work. Respected by peers as a “tough competitor with an excellent trademark practice”, the firm has maintained an intimate feel for its IP group, even though it sits within a muscular full-service commercial set-up. A pivotal member of the full-blooded national IP litigation practice – the jewel in the firm’s IP crown – is Seattle denizen Stuart Dunwoody. “He has a stellar reputation in trademark law both locally and across the country. He develops the best strategies to protect your marks and advance your mission and goals, and is always professional and generous with his knowledge.” Another recipient of vocal praise is “incredible lawyer” Cindy Caditz, a savvy portfolio manager who also has a talent for maximising the commercial potential of her clients’ intellectual property. “Cindy blends a tremendous knowledge of trademark law with strong advocacy skills and a congenial personality; the mix works well in terms of progressing disputes to a good resolution. She isn’t someone who lets emotions cloud her decision making; she uses her skills to put clients in the best possible position and, showing the mark of a top practitioner, knows when to stand down, too.” Drawing on the support of freshly minted partner Matthew Moersfelder, Caditz has been busy protecting Alaska Airlines lately, especially since it introduced its first major brand change in a quarter-century in 2016; she also takes charge of the global protection and enforcement strategy for Univar, a Fortune 500 chemical distribution company.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Dorsey & Whitney’s advice on routine trademark matters is exceptional, but the set comes into its own when strategising about the development of a brand, taking into account unfair competition, advertising, domain name and social media considerations, among others. The firm maintains a bustling litigation practice and has a squad of proficient trial lawyers available for clients to call on. One of the best is Michael Keyes in Seattle, a first-chair trial lawyer with many notable successes on his résumé. Recently, he secured a significant sanctions award and summary judgment of non-infringement from the US District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of InternMatch against Nxtbigthing. This widely publicised case was one of the first written decisions concerning the new proportionality rule in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. “Mike takes quick, effective action to resolve disputes. He is a proactive and practical counsellor and always puts his client first – you can rely on him with certainty.” According to a peer: “He has been publishing a lot and really comes across as a thought leader. He is very engaged in the overall trademark conversation, and always has interesting insights to bring to it.”

Lane Powell PC

Pacific Northwest player Lane Powell has a long and proven track record protecting, enforcing and monetising brands, and has a refined and pragmatic way of approaching trademark matters. The newly created litigation and transaction teams ensure that clients receive bespoke advice, while each team works hand in hand with the other so that the guidance is always holistic. Although she is officially the chair of the IP corporate and transactional unit, Frances Jagla has a wide trademarks remit and counsels on everything from name development to enforcement. She has a flair for IP matters complicated by regulatory concerns and has specialist expertise approving trademarks for pharmaceutical products. Paul Swanson’s niche is the agribusiness sector; he knows more than virtually anybody else when it comes to brand identity suits involving fruits and vegetables. He recently handled a right of publicity and unfair competition claim on behalf of Jakov Dulcich & Sons concerning its Pretty Lady grape brand.

Perkins Coie LLP

Put simply, “Perkins Coie lawyers are practical counsellors who care about solving the business problems of their clients”. The firm runs “one of the best teams in the country for trademark prosecution” and is “a go-to for clients with large portfolios that need deep IP management infrastructure to effectively steward”. With James Vana occupying the chair of the firm-wide trademark, copyright, media and brand protection practice, the side’s renowned reputation is unsurprising. Vana has many international fans who appreciate his “broad base of IP knowledge combined with a down-to-earth approach” and his dexterity with non-traditional marks. Patchen Haggerty is another eminent strategist and portfolio manager who – like Vana – is sure-footed in administrative trademark proceedings. Coming from an enforcement background, she knows how to create rights that are impervious to any attack. Of late she has been representing a global software company alongside William Cheever Rava and Grace Han Stanton. “Extremely solid” IP litigator Rava is “always able to resolve a dispute and bring about a favourable agreement in the smoothest way possible”. As the former trademark group chair, Stanton remains an influential figure within the group. She regularly takes to the podium as a speaker on IP subjects and is regarded as an authority on all aspects of trademark and copyright protection and enforcement. Lynne Graybeal, who co-leads the arts, entertainment and sports industry group, also synthesises trademark and copyright expertise to great effect. She lives and breathes brands and has done so throughout her 30-year career. She is an ace on social media matters and non-traditional marks and has been a key contributor to International Trademark Association committees on both topics.

Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP 

Home to over 70 IP professionals, Seed IP is a regional leader when it comes to patents and trademarks. Regarding trademarks, 2017 has been a year of organic growth for the ensemble, with new clients coming through the door and the recruitment of a new associate. There are some real heavyweights on the soft IP side, including Russell C Pangborn of Intel and Microsoft fame. The former in-house mastermind has been doing great things since moving over to private practice and is recognised for his “practical and concise advice”. “Russ takes business needs into account and is able to turn projects around really quickly, which is helpful. He is a pleasure to work with.” As managing partner, Kevin S Costanza helped Pangborn to make a smooth transition into the team. Dividing his time between mechanical patent prosecution and trademark clearance and registration, Costanza is a cogent choice for those with diverse IP portfolios. For swift trademark enforcement, Marc C Levy is the man to call. He has “fine-milled expertise in trademark and advertising law” and is a “super well-respected litigator who doesn’t waste time posturing”.

Stokes Lawrence PS

Managing global portfolios is a breeze for Stokes Lawrence; it also makes light work of multifaceted trademark litigation. The commercial firm does a sterling job in the monetisation of IP assets, acting in close concert with leading technology and digital content companies looking to make deals. These and other clients make a beeline to Leslie Ruiter, who maintains one of the broadest IP practices in the Emerald City. In a digital economy, she adds particular value with her keen understanding of data. Shannon Jost has some of the sharpest negotiation skills around; she is an IP litigator and deal maker who possesses the subtle powers of persuasion in spades. Calculated in her approach, Jost never draws her clients into fights they should not be in.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati provides an A-to-Z IP service and supports companies at every stage of the brand lifecycle with top-notch strategic counselling and litigation skills. Aaron Hendelman oversees the firm’s diverse trademark, copyright and advertising practice in the Seattle office. Peers describe him as “very bright and knowledgeable” and “brilliant at both advertising and trademarks”, while also lauding his customer service skills. He acts for many cutting-edge technology companies, including a Seattle-based ‘unicorn’.

Other recommended experts

Michael Atkins caters to a diverse array of start-ups and large companies from his own boutique, Atkins Intellectual Property. Having laboured at the IP coalface for over 20 years, he is a compelling option for those in need of straightforward advice. “A dean of trademark law in Seattle, Robert Cumbow loves intellectual property and is extremely easy to work with.” The Miller Nash Graham & Dunn partner has “an amazing breadth and depth of prosecution knowledge”. “Mark Nielsen has an incredible legal mind and is trusted by some huge corporations. He challenges assumptions in a way that is refreshing.” The sole practitioner is “really on top of all the latest in trademark law”. Nancy Stephens leads the trademark and copyright practice at Foster Pepper. In-house experience means that she thinks like her clients and does not just focus on the immediate task at hand, but also sees the bigger commercial picture.

Individuals

  • 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 
  • 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
  • Leslie C Ruiter - Stokes Lawrence PS
  • Nancy V Stephens - Foster Pepper PLLC
  • Paul D Swanson - Lane Powell PC
  • James L Vana - Perkins Coie LLP