Marcella Ballard

Marcella Ballard

Marci Ballard is a co-chair of Venable’s Intellectual Property (IP) Litigation – Advertising, Brand, and Copyright Group. Marci is a seasoned first-chair Lanham Act and copyright litigator who represents clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and in bench and jury trials. Marci also represents clients in arbitration hearings throughout the United States and in the UK. Several well-known global brands rely on her sophisticated litigation skills and sage counsel in global trademark and copyright matters and brand management functions.

Marci also manages global IP portfolios and counsels clients on brand protection, trademark, copyright, trade secret, privacy rights, anti-counterfeiting, licensing, unfair competition, contracts, and business tort claims. Her clients span a wide range of industries, including fashion, media, consumer products, entertainment, financial services, insurance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and information technology. This broad industry exposure enhances her effectiveness in meeting her clients’ needs, regardless of their industry or business focus.

Marci is a veteran at prosecuting and defending motions for emergency injunctive relief. She is highly skilled in defining, managing, and implementing IP enforcement strategies for contentious matters—both offense and defense—and has served as lead counsel in anti-counterfeiting actions around the country, where she has obtained ex parte seizure and temporary restraining order (TRO) relief. Her experience includes managing the simultaneous seizure of counterfeited goods across 11 locations in a single day—an effort that involved coordinating with a large group of law enforcement officers, customs officials, and federal marshals. Her experience also includes developing and employing effective strategies for combating counterfeiting on global ecommerce platforms and obtaining injunctive relief against repeat offenders.

Previously, Marci served as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County, New York, where she tried more than 15 jury trials to conclusion and had a near-perfect record of obtaining convictions for the state. She earned her undergraduate degree on a full athletic scholarship to the Ohio State University (OSU), where she was an All-American scholar-athlete, amassing 14 Big Ten swimming titles, and was inducted into the OSU Athletic Hall of Fame.


Government Experience

  • Assistant district attorney, Bronx County, New York

Representative Matters

Lanham Act and Copyright Litigation

  • Represented a global software manufacturer in a licensing dispute with its South American distributor, in a bench trial on an expedited schedule, prevailing at the trial court level and through confirmation of the award on appeal
  • Represented the owner of intellectual property rights to various children’s books and characters, in a copyright, trade dress, and unfair competition action against an infringer who was selling goods through the Internet and franchise stores
  • Represented a global film studio in an action brought by its licensees over the rights to licensed goods from a major motion picture and resolved the case through mediation
  • Represented a luxury retailer in a class action under California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act
  • Represented an international furniture company in a trade dress infringement matter in the Southern District of New York, related to a popular line of furniture by an acclaimed designer. The case was settled, and the settlement permanently enjoined the defendants from manufacturing and distributing knockoff products

IP Portfolio Management

  • Represents a global multimedia and product licensing company in protecting its trademark portfolio of more than 8,000 marks, including enforcement and brand protection functions
  • Represents Roland Foods, a global gourmet and specialty foods supplier with more than 1,500 products, in defining and protecting its trademark portfolio
  • Represents Altar'd State, a fashion and lifestyle accessories retailer with more than 100 stores in 30 states, in defining and protecting its trademark portfolio
  • Represents Sunless, the global leader in sunless tanning supplies and equipment, in defining and protecting its trademark portfolio

Counseling and Brand Protection

  • Counseling dozens of clients in obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing their trademarks in the United States and around the globe
  • Represents a Fortune 200 consumer products company in managing its global brand protection function
  • Represents a U.S. consumer products company in anti-counterfeiting matters, including obtaining ex parte seizure order(s) in multiple district courts, enabling execution of these seizure orders on the infringer’s facilities
  • Advises consumer products and media industry clients on Internet, social media, domain name enforcement, and takedown proceedings in multiple forums




  • J.D. University of California, Hastings College of the Law 1988
  • B.A. The Ohio State University 1985

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Washington

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


  • World Trademark Review, WTR 1000, Enforcement and Litigation, 2022 – 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Copyright Law, 2023 – 2024
  • Legal 500
    • Intellectual Property – Patents: Litigation (full coverage), 2024
    • Media, Technology, and Telecoms – Advertising and Marketing: Litigation, 2024