Kelly IP

WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise.

Gold - Firms: enforcement and litigation

Gold - Firms: prosecution and strategy

Rights holders line up to sing the praises of Kelly IP, an elite boutique that makes it its mission to provide a flexible, agile and cost-effective service without comprising on quality. A collaborative approach proves crucial in this regard – the practitioners here share work freely without stressing about compensation formulas, so clients get the best available skills for their unique assignments. Setting the tone in this regard are founding partners David Kelly, Rob Litowitz, Linda McLeod, Lynn Jordan and Stephanie Bald, who collectively dispense a full-bodied brands service. Kelly is hailed as a cutting-edge strategist who is “prudent and sagacious in his counsel” and a top litigator “who is never rattled and always stays calm”. Brilliant advocate Litowitz has an “excellent ability to lay out clear paths forward and gives concise opinions that afford clients a 360-degree view of their issues, thereby enabling easy decision making”. “He thinks forward and navigates complex matters with skill.” McLeod has the distinction of being a leading and highly decorated TTAB and appellate lawyer; she also plays a key role in the firm as a mentor. Cited as a “leading authority in the entertainment and media field”, Jordan is “unbeatable for her combination of expertise, commerciality, pragmatism, pricing, and rapid turnaround”. “Stephanie Bald has a creative mind that she applies very effectively to novel and complex legal issues. At the same time, she is very conscious of business and budgeting realities, and always keeps these in mind.” The firm has a new face in the WTR 1000 this year in Jason Joyal, a partner who is “deeply knowledgeable about TTAB precedents” and a tremendous brief writer. It is hard to choose from among the team’s recent highlights, as they all have something special about them, but the work being done for Fortune 500 fintech company Fidelity National Information Services stands out for its breadth and scope: here, Kelly, Jordan and Joyal have been handling the company’s growing global portfolio, aggressively enforcing its marks at the TTAB and handling dozens of oppositions internationally. Different configurations of team members undertake similarly wide-ranging roles for a host of famous names, Harley-Davidson, Expedia and Disney among them.

Gold - Firms

IP (Washington DC) Mr David M Kelly Ms Linda K McLeod Mr David M Kelly Ms Stephanie Bald

Firm Profile

Kelly IP is an innovative boutique law firm focused on all aspects of trademark, trade dress, copyright, design, domain name and unfair competition law. The founding partners of Kelly IP – Dave Kelly, Rob Litowitz, Linda McLeod, Lynn Jordan and Stephanie Bald – are all recognised leaders in the trademark field and are known for their creative, practical responsive and cost-effective advice. They believe that brand owners deserve lawyers who are as passionate as they are about nurturing and protecting brands and creative works. The partners brought this vision to fruition by opening Kelly IP in May 2013. They leveraged their 110 combined years of ‘Big Law’ IP experience – including leading hundreds of civil litigations and thousands of oppositions and cancellations; sending thousands of demand letters; filing hundreds of Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy complaints; clearing thousands of marks; and filing, prosecuting and maintaining tens of thousands of trademark applications and registrations – and created a firm with a collaborative, team-oriented approach.

Kelly IP immediately established an international reputation by scoring significant litigation victories in trademark cases before courts and the TTAB, counselling on cutting-edge issues for many of the world’s most famous brands and being recognised as a leading firm in various areas, including civil and TTAB litigation, online enforcement, portfolio management and trademark clearance and counselling in the entertainment industry. Kelly IP has been consistently recognised as a top firm for both contentious and non-contentious trademark work, including the following awards and accolades:

  • WTR 1000 – Gold Tier recognition as one of the top six US trademark firms in the country (2018-2020), and one of the top three firms in the Washington DC area for both trademark litigation and prosecution (2015-2020);
  • IP Stars – nationally ranked as one of only three to five Tier 1 US firms for both trademark litigation (2017-2020) and trademark prosecution (2018-2020);
  • The Legal 500 – named to Tier 1 of US firms for both “trademark litigation” and “trademarks non-contentious” (2020), and ranked among the top 10-15 US firms for both trademark categories for 2015-2020;
  • Managing Intellectual Property – national award for the top US firm for non-contentious trademark work for both 2017 and 2018;
  • Law 360 – recognised as one of the top 10 boutique law firms in the country with “established brands on par with the biggest firms”, and commenting that “[t]he [Kelly IP] founders’ reputations as big players at a big firm allowed the new boutique to become an instant power”.

Indeed, Kelly IP is one of three law firms in the country to be named in the elite top tier of trademark law firms by IP Stars, The Legal 500 and WTR 1000. The client feedback from these publications is consistent with these rankings and sums up Kelly IP:

  • “despite coming into existence just a few years ago, Kelly IP has already cemented its position as one of the pre-eminent names in the trademark world”;
  • “established brand on par with the biggest firms”;
  • “a very bright, result-orientated ensemble [that] is hailed as knowledgeable, practical and commercial”;
  • “an amazing firm that does impeccable work at a fraction of the cost that you would expect given its quality”;
  • “the place to go for big-ticket disputes”;
  • “a top-shelf trademark counselling and litigation practice”;
  • “[Kelly IP’s] high-quality work inspires confidence time after time”;
  • “every single one of its lawyers is really incredible”;
  • “what makes its group of all-stars super-competitive is that you receive a world-class service at a significantly reduced rate – you get so much for your money”;
  • “it is fantastic at clearing marks and is especially adept in the entertainment sphere”;
  • “excels in prosecution, clearance and opposition proceedings for high-profile clients”;
  • [Kelly IP’s] “truly outstanding” attorneys are “the finest in the world”; and
  • [The Kelly IP] “team [has]… a combined track record so extensive that they have seen almost every conceivable type of issue and can advise their clients accordingly.”

All of Kelly IP’s partners have similarly received numerous individual recognitions and honours from these same organisations. Now in its seventh year, Kelly IP continues evolving to meet the demands of the changing IP landscape disrupted by new technologies. Most of all, Kelly IP remains true to its founding principle of partnering with clients to provide exceptional work and value.

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