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West Point grad and former Army officer was Venable attorney before becoming IP counsel and then global trademark and brand counsel at leading mobile and handheld device maker; he will continue to represent Sony Ericsson, among a range of other IP client work



WASHINGTON, DC (July 21, 2011) – Adding another prominent member to its intellectual property practice, Venable LLP announced that Justin E. Pierce, former Head of Trademarks and Brand Protection for Sony Ericsson, has joined the firm as an IP partner in Washington, DC. It is a homecoming as Mr. Pierce was a Venable attorney before moving to Sony Ericsson in 2006.

Mr. Pierce will continue to focus on a range of intellectual property matters, including litigation, licensing, design rights, branding, anti-counterfeiting, domain name and cyber-squatting, as well as data privacy matters. Reflecting his global responsibilities at Sony Ericsson, he will also advise clients in cross-border trade and customs cases. Mr. Pierce will work with a cross-section of Venable clients, including companies in media, computing and advertising, in addition to telecommunications.

Mr. Pierce will also continue to represent Sony Ericsson, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of mobile phones and multimedia devices; the company is owned jointly by Japan’s Sony Corp. and Sweden’s Ericsson. Mr. Pierce managed the company’s global design, trademark and copyright portfolio – Sony Ericsson holds over 2,000 trademarks worldwide for mobile devices and services.

Among his many responsibilities, Mr. Pierce developed both the company’s brand IP acquisition and licensing programs and models to analyze and measure the value of its brands. He structured and negotiated numerous mobile, software, data privacy, licensing and technology agreements, while managing the company’s brand IP-related litigation worldwide. He also led a government relations initiative in key international markets to enhance brand protection efforts, leading to a 50% reduction in bad-faith and pirate trademark applications relating to Sony Ericsson brands within a two year period.

During his tenure at Sony Ericsson, Mr. Pierce’s department was repeatedly singled out for top-tier rankings by World Trademark Review (WTR), including recent selection as the Media & Telecommunications Team of the Year, and as a finalist for Asia-Pacific Team of the Year in 2008. Mr. Pierce also made the WTR 2011 shortlist for In-House Counsel of the Year Award.

“We’re thrilled to have Justin back with us at Venable,” said Andrew Price, a Washington-based partner in the firm’s Trademark, Copyright and Licensing practice group. “He managed an extensive range of critical IP responsibilities for one of the world’s leading mobile telecom brands. Having had the good fortune to work with Justin on a regular basis for five years while he was at Sony Ericsson, I can vouch for his foresight in the IP field, especially the need for in-house legal departments to work hand-in-hand with a company’s marketing and branding operations. Justin has a tremendous skill set that extends beyond trademarks and brand protection to many other facets of intellectual property. Our group and entire Technology Division are significantly enhanced with Justin's return to the firm."

Mr. Pierce said, “Once I was established at Sony Ericsson, I didn’t hesitate to recommend that the company partner with Venable, for the skill of its lawyers and for the value they bring to clients. The firm I left in 2006 still has the same culture of smart, top-flight work combined with value; and I’m glad that Venable and Sony Ericsson will continue to work together. I look forward to bringing new clients aboard and further expanding Venable’s IP, trademark and brand protection practice.”

Mr. Pierce is not just an intellectual property attorney, he is also an inventor. He has three pending patent applications, submitted during his tenure at Sony Ericsson, relating to various areas of technology. Mr. Pierce has spoken and written on a number of intellectual property, global branding and trademark issues.

Mr. Pierce began at Venable in 2000 within the IP litigation group of the firm's technology division, where he handled a wide spectrum of intellectual property issues, including litigating cases in federal courts and the International Trade Commission.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, and was honorably discharged as a Captain. Following his Army career, Mr. Pierce graduated from George Washington University Law School in 2000.

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Note: An American Lawyer top 100 law firm, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. The firm consistently ranks among the top 20 trademark firms in the country and over the past five years, has filed more than 7,000 U.S. and foreign trademarks. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, DC and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.