Who is the Best Trademark Attorney in NYC?

Nick Potts,

Intellectual property is a crucial asset for many types of businesses.

Due to the technological expansion of commerce, protecting the value of trademarks, designs, copyrights, and patents has become exceedingly complex. Because of this, top companies turn to top attorneys for support.

Having worked with many trademark attorneys over the years, the best ones have a few things in common:

  1. Vision - to see how a company can leverage trademark protections to gain greater control over commercial transactions (in ways the competitors may not have thought to do so).
  2. Experience - in handling multiple intellectual property issues—from application to litigation, and false advertising to domain disputes.
  3. Commitment - to creating win-win partnerships that provide the utmost value for all parties.

Who is the Best Trademark Attorney in NYC?

In this article, we'll highlight some of the firms that collectively share these characteristics.

Many of them are currently ranked as 2017’s "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.

All included in our list, have consistently received high acclaim from both clients and peers. If you are looking for your next trademark attorney, the following firms are a great place to start:

1. Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.

Did you know that a registered trademark can theoretically be anything detectable by a consumer’s five senses? According to their company blog, the starting chime of an Apple Macbook, the provocative shape of a Gibson Les Paul, and the flowery musk of a Verizon store are all trademarked.

Cowan Liebowitz & Latman is a leading intellectual property law and litigation firm. They are recognized for their work in corporate and commercial law, information technology, customs, international cargo & regulatory compliance, and a number of other disciplines. The firm employs attorneys and professional staff who speak Spanish, Italian, Russian, Hindi, Hebrew, Mandarin, and other languages.

Want to obtain a better grasp of the law? Cowan Liebowitz & Latman offers a variety of industry-focused seminars and Web videos for both clients and peers. The firm also provides clients with a protected web portal for tracking their trademark applications, registrations, and deadlines.

What makes them a good choice?

In Their Own Words:

Because of our accumulated knowledge and experience in defining this changing area of the law, we approach problems from an advanced starting point. We do not have to learn at the client's expense. Today, our Intellectual Property practice group is a valued resource to clients ranging from multinational companies to start-up entities.

Honors Received:

  • WTR 1000, The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals 2016, listed CLL in the silver tier of NYC firms for Trademark Enforcement and Litigation and Trademark Prosecution and Strategy.
  • Nine attorneys on the 2017 The Best Lawyers in America list.
  • Succeeded in declaring Major League Baseball's WORLD SERIES a "famous mark."

Past Clients:

  • BARCLAYS BANK PLC
  • DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES
  • J. CREW GROUP, INC.

2. Bracewell LLP

Bracewell is a leading law and government relations firm serving the oil & gas, financial services, technology and public finance industries, both in the U.S. and abroad. Despite the firm's large size—more than 470 practicing attorneys around the globe—Bracewell is known for its personal touch.

Founded by attorneys J. S. Bracewell and his two sons, the original Houston-based firm, called Bracewell & Tunks, was created out of a partnership with Bert H.Tunks in 1945. Their original company culture of integrity, professionalism and familial values still exists today.

A couple interesting facts about Bracewell:

1. Rudolph W. Giuliani joined Bracewell LLP as a name partner in 2005.

2. The firm has a long tradition of public service; dozens of partners have both held elected office and appointed government positions at local, state, and federal levels.

In Their Own Words:

Honors:

  • Recognized by Globe Business Publishing World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals 2017.
  • Earned rankings in 23 national and 71 metropolitan categories of the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms rankings.
  • Represented Venoco, LLC in a Chapter 11 reorganization that was selected as Energy Deal of the Year (Over $100 Million to $500 Million) by The M&A Advisor as part of the 11th Annual Turnaround Awards

3. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP boasts an experienced team of 80 lawyers. The previous career experience of many associates includes working as in-house counsel for the likes of Amazon, Boeing, Charter Communications, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Micron, Microsoft, Pokémon, Random House, and Simon & Schuster.

The firm provides comprehensive advice concerning all aspects of trademark law, with extensive experience in intellectual property for all forms of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, product development, licensing, and distribution agreements.

One thing that makes Davis Wright Tremaine especially unique?

They provide offices in the technology hubs of the Bay Area, Seattle, New York, and Washington D.C. As such, the firm has led IP cases for some of the world's leading technology, media, and consumer product companies. Hundreds of in-house counsel and members of corporate management attend the firm's annual “Digital Download” conferences in both New York and Los Angeles.

In Their Own Words:

We understand the responsibilities and pressures that confront in-house counsel, as well as the needs of the clients they serve. As a consequence, we routinely achieve national top tier rankings for our intellectual property, copyright, and trademark practices from the U.S. News and Best Lawyers annual law firm surveys.

Honors:

  • Named 2016 Law Firm of The Year in the categories of"Communications" and "Litigation – First Amendment" by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.
  • Received a top ranking for their Media & Entertainment Litigation practice in Chambers USA.

Client Roster:

  • MOTOROLA
  • LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
  • MICROSOFT

Check-out the firm's past client success stories.

4. W.R. Samuels Law PLLC

"The most interesting grudge match in professional soccer this season isn't between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, but rather the intellectual property lawyers representing Barcelona and footwear giant Adidas."

That was taken from W.R. Samuels Law's most recent blog post. The firm's blog stands as an accessible resource for in-house counsel, offering a mixture of plainly explained regulations and intriguing case examples, such as Nike vs. Adidas.

When it comes to intellectual property, W.R. Samuels Law really knows its stuff. As an exclusive IP firm, W.R. Samuels Law PLLC understands IP is more than simply securing patents, copyrights, or trademarks—it's about allowing companies to grow into the greater visions they have for themselves. The firm is dedicated to ensuring small companies, in industries across the board, have access to reasonably priced intellectual property protection. Because of this, the firm offers capped fee structures when appropriate.

Despite its small size, the firm has significant experience assisting clients around the world in securing, enforcing, and merging intellectual property rights. Over the years, they have garnered a large network of legal, business, and entrepreneurial contacts—all of which benefit their clients.

In Their Own Words:

W.R. Samuels Law is more than an IP law firm. The firm is a strategic IP consulting law firm that partners with clients to ensure that existing IP protections are both adequate and flexible enough to ensure broad and deep protection. At the heart of the W.R. Samuels Law strategic consulting IP approach are individualization, blueprints, pragmatic planning, and a commitment to accessibility.

Honors:

  • Principal William R. Samuels was named a Metro Rising Star four times by Super Lawyers New York
  • The Top 40 Under 40 list in 2014
  • Co-chair of the NYSBA Trademark Committee

5. Fish & Richardson P.C.

Fish & Richardson P.C. is known for litigating on behalf of technology pioneers - from the Wright brothers to modern innovators in life sciences, electronics, and medical devices. The firm's trial skills are enriched by their broad and deep technical patent expertise – an expertise that sets us apart from general practice firms.

Fun Fact: The firm has an established international presence that could be advantageous to companies looking to secure intellectual property rights in the European Union. In addition to their U.S. based offices (including NYC), the firm is situated in Munich, Germany—home to the EU patent office.

Fish & Richardson boasts an impressive network of relationships with local counsel in several foreign countries and are able to provide comprehensive trademark services just about anywhere. The team is particularly adept at managing fast-paced cases, be that a preliminary injunction or “rocket docket” matter where time is of the essence. The firm also claims to be value-conscious, charging based on their innovative eFISHentTM systems.

In Their Own Words:

Fish stands out among firms for its rare combination of trial experience and subject matter expertise. Many firms have trademark, copyright, and media practitioners, but very few have a national team of trial lawyers who practice in these areas exclusively. This uncommon combination of skills and depth of experience allows Fish to handle your contentious matters more efficiently and to deliver more consistent results.

Client Roster:

  • ADOBE SYSTEMS INC.
  • MARK CUBAN COMPANIES
  • L-3 COMMUNICATIONS

Check-out the firm's client success stories HERE.

Honors:

  • IP Litigation Department of the Year finalist by The American Lawyer 2016
  • Ranked 4 times on the National Law Journal’s (NLJ) “Appellate Hot List”

6. Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto

Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto prides itself on rewarding attorneys based on merit instead of the status quo seniority appointments. From its inception, the firm has been involved in several cases which have greatly impacted intellectual property law.

Over the past few decades, the firm has increasingly expanded into new areas of intellectual property law. Like many on our list, Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto’s trademark practice grew in response to the prevalence of our growing global economy. Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto was a pioneer in processing new media patent applications on behalf of Internet business methods before the official birth of e-commerce.

Today the firm manages multiple worldwide trademark portfolios; develops branding strategies to meet client goals; and coordinates trademark opposition, cancellation and enforcement disputes on a global basis.

Fun Facts:

  1. Fitzgerald delivered the patent position on which Canon Inc. grew its infamous photocopier business.
  2. The firm helped a client obtain one of the largest monetary awards ever granted in the history of patent litigation— $442 million plus $100 million in prejudgment interest in litigation over prescription drug Plavix.

In Their Own Words:

As our firm has grown, as the law has evolved, and as society has changed since 1971, Fitzpatrick’s focus on our clients has remained constant. We are thankful that many of our client relationships stretch across decades, and that several date back to our formation more than 40 years ago.

Honors:

  • World's Leading Patent Firm IAM Patent 1000, 2016, 2015
  • Midsize Hot List The National Law Journal, 2016, 2015
  • Best USA IP Firm: Patent Litigation Leaders League, 2016

Client Roster:

  • IBM
  • HONEYWELL
  • AMERICAN EXPRESS

7. Foley & Lardner LLP

Foley & Lardner prioritizes employee development (both personal and professional) and premium client experiences—above all else. The firm prides itself on paying more than lip service to the ubiquitous term "client service."

While this is undoubtedly something every business claims to strive for, no matter the industry, Foley & Lardner takes this initiative very seriously. Which is why the firm has conducted hundreds of client interviews over the past several years. Gathering a wide range of data, the firm has been able to formulate new tools and processes that better serve clients. Factors like project budgets, cost predictability, and overall responsiveness have all been fine-tuned based on research.

Placing an emphasis on people and relationships, Foley & Lardner has retained remarkable longevity—the firm is nearly 170 years old. By providing a passionate and balanced work environment, the firm has created a happy team who seems to love what they do.

In Their Own Words:

With offices throughout the United States and across the globe, Foley combines powerful national resources with a local focus to deliver seamless — and award- winning — business and legal insight. Our exceptional client service, value, and innovation are continually recognized by our clients and the legal industry.

Honors:

  • One of the top 10 best-branded law firms and a "Best of the Best" client service strategist in the BTI Brand Elite 2015: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms survey
  • One of the top 20 law firm brands in the United States—Acritas US Law Firm 2016 Brand Index
  • Recognized on the BTI Client Service A-Team, a client service survey of Fortune 1000 corporate counsel, for 13 consecutive years.

Client Roster:

  • EMERGENT CAPITAL INC.
  • CITIGROUP
  • AVAGO TECHNOLOGIES

8. Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz is a team of 75 lawyers, representing a diverse group of clients. The firm services everyone from Fortune 500 companies to startups, to charitable organizations and working individuals. But Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz has carved a special niche for itself in the entertainment industry, working with a variety of performers, fashion models, and celebrities.

Perhaps due to their familiarity with those in the public eye, the firm has appeared as a source for a variety of broadcast journalistic outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio.

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz’s attorneys have also published articles in the Journal of Internet Law, World eBusiness Law Report, The Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Journal and Advertising Age.

In Their Own Words:

We have handled many of the seminal intellectual property transactions and litigations in the publishing, marketing, licensing, and new technology fields. Our clients often own or seek intellectual property rights, and our special expertise in the global intellectual property arena helps them succeed.

Honors:

  • Law360's list of "The 100 Firms With The Most IP Partners"
  • 39 Frankfurt attorneys named "Super Lawyers" for 2016

9. Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu is the largest firm in the world exclusively specializing in trademark law. Since its inception, the firm has dedicated itself to helping clients protect intellectual property assets in industries across the board.

As such, Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu judiciously chooses lawyers who not only have a keen interest in IP law, but who are also creative thinkers and problem-solvers. Founded in 1969, the firm quickly garnered an impressive clientele of prominent trademark owners—both in the U.S. and abroad.

By the 1990s, the firm more than doubled in size, bringing on an array of attorneys with diverse skill-sets. Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu is especially poised to handle IP matters abroad, as several team members have both worked and trained overseas. They routinely leverage this knowledge toward the international analysis of complex IP issues.

In Their Own Words:

Our litigation attorneys have an extensive published track record of U.S. federal court trial and appeal successes enforcing and defending our client's IP assets, many of which are key precedents in our field. This combination of counseling and litigation strengths, focused exclusively on IP assets in the U.S. and throughout the world, has proven to be a winning strategy for both our firm and our clients.

Honors:

  • Ranked “gold tier” by the World’s Leading Trademark Professionals
  • Sixteen attorneys made the "Rising Stars" list — 2016 New York Metro Super Lawyers®
  • Ranked Tier 1 in U.S. and New York by The Best Lawyers in America© 23rd Edition

Client Roster:

  • DC COMICS
  • BANANA REPUBLIC
  • TIFFANYS

Check-out the firm's client success stories HERE.

10. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Katten Muchin Rosenman is a full-service firm with more than 600 attorneys in locations around the globe. The firm assists clients in a variety of industries from the United States, to London, to Shanghai.

Founded in 1974, Katten Muchin Rosenman began as the collaborative effort of 24 attorneys in Chicago. As a new firm, both staff and partners worked together to mold the practice into something more innovative than those left behind. They credit much of their success to this entrepreneurial attitude; its attorneys are ever-evolving to meet the changing needs of clients around the world.

Fun Fact: The firm has a team of experienced attorneys who are permanently based in Shanghai, making them an ideal choice for those seeking Chinese trademark advice and protection. It is also noteworthy that the firm is specially equipped to advise clients in claims involving social media, cyber torts, computer fraud, keyword advertising, pricing and the First Amendment. The firm also has expertise in developing online brand promotion and protection.

In Their Own Words:

Our Intellectual Property team partners with clients to develop global strategies and programs to safeguard and maximize the value of their intellectual property, and to audit their intellectual property assets, including domestic and international licensing and transfers of technology, to ensure that these assets are correctly identified and properly protected.

Honors:

  • Forty-eight attorneys named to the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers® list
  • Twenty-two practices and 50 attorneys ranked among the nation's best in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Eighteen practices and 70 attorneys included in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 United State

What Makes a Great Trademark Attorney?

Over the past decade, we have seen a tremendous expansion of commerce in all industries. There is no doubt about it—technology is changing the way we do business.

Protecting your company's intellectual property is now more important than ever before. While good trademark attorneys understand the law, Great trademark attorneys understand your vision. And they will partner with you to turn that vision into a reality.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the advisory process, many trademark lawyers struggle to meet client expectations. It's not unusual for business owners and brand managers to have passionate opinions about what constitutes the perfect brand name - and these opinions aren't always conducive to good business.

However, a great trademark attorney can successfully dissuade clients from using ill-advised descriptive marks, without dampening creativity.

A great tool for this?

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Know a firm that should be on this list? Please tell us in the comments below.

 

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By Nick Potts

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