Linda J. Zirkelbach

Zirkelbach Linda

Linda Zirkelbach has extensive experience representing prominent media companies and brand owners, best-selling authors, book and software publishers, scholarly journals, and nonprofits in intellectual property matters. Linda focuses on leading copyright and trademark enforcement actions for major companies, publishing law, strategic copyright counselling and clearance work, digital rights and complex Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) issues, and trademark strategy and disputes. She regularly counsels clients on complex copyright and trademark issues; litigates copyright and trademark actions; negotiates and drafts copyright and trademark license agreements and a wide variety of publishing industry agreements; and clears publications and productions prior to release.

Linda's primary areas of focus stem from her experience holding senior in-house counsel roles in the music and publishing industries. She leverages her insight into the business needs of an organization to provide strategic, practical, and clear advice to her clients. Her clients laud her ability to quickly analyze their issues, take on their problems as her own, give clear and practical strategic recommendations for the most effective and efficient way to resolve their key matters, advocate tirelessly for their needs, and maintain her sense of humor through it all.

After beginning her career as a Venable associate, Linda served as vice president, legal affairs, for the Recording Industry Association of America, where she was actively involved in extensive high-profile copyright litigation for the major U.S. record companies and worked on some of the precedential copyright decisions of the era. Linda later became vice president and general counsel of a leading publishing and media company, handling intellectual property issues and a broad spectrum of corporate, commercial, and strategic business matters and serving on the company's executive committee. She returned to Venable in 2014 and has maintained a busy practice.

Linda has advised clients in a range of industries, including music, book and magazine publishing, entertainment, software, digital media, alcoholic beverage and restaurant services, trade associations and nonprofits, both K-12 and higher education, and consumer goods. She represents their interests before federal courts across the country, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and the U.S. Copyright Office.


Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel running various national copyright enforcement efforts on behalf of a variety of prominent content owners
  • Manages strategic national trademark enforcement efforts for multiple famous nonprofits/charitable organizations, a well-known retailer, and a nationwide fitness center chain
  • Lead counsel on numerous copyright and trademark litigations in federal court for well-known plaintiffs
  • Represented multiple best-selling authors, including several prominent federal politicians, in the negotiation and finalization of book publishing deals and other related publishing industry agreements
  • Represented numerous publishing companies in a wide array of publishing industry deals and overall counsel related to their IP portfolio
  • Represented multiple scholarly journals on a variety of agreements related to their publication of academic articles
  • Successfully defended a motion for temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by a customer against a software company seeking to terminate the customer for breach of software licensing agreement, then negotiated and finalized a multi-million-dollar settlement
  • Managed high-profile copyright litigation on behalf of the leading U.S. record companies, resulting in numerous precedent-setting court decisions
  • Served on the legal team responsible for the recording industry's 9-0 victory, alongside the movie industry, before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Grokster case
  • Represented a well-known magazine/media company in copyright infringement litigation against a web host involving Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and safe harbor issues
  • Negotiated a complex development and licensing agreement on behalf of a client opposite organization behind a major, internationally known television show and media/merchandising company




  • J.D. cum laude American University, Washington College of Law 1999
    • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law
  • B.A. University of Michigan 1995

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Trustee, Copyright Society of the USA, 2020 – 2023
  • Member, International Trademark Association
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, Intellectual Property Law Section, District of Columbia Bar
  • Member, Intellectual Property Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Women's Bar Association
  • Former board member and general counsel, Women in Technology


Linda has been recognized for her considerable skill in advising on a wide range of sophisticated copyright and trademark matters. Clients state that she "is passionate about her work and an excellent practitioner," she "actively engages on all matter[s] and ensures optimum results" and that her "interactions, dedication, and capacity to truly know and advocate for the client are exemplary" (Chambers USA, Client Reviews).

  • Chambers USA, Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets, Washington, DC, 2019 – 2024
  • Business Today, Top 10 Influential IP Lawyers in DC, 2023
  • Legal 500, Trademarks: Non-Contentious, 2015