Brand and Content Protection

From concept to market, we work across borders to protect your most valuable brands and intellectual property. Venable's Brand and Content Protection team has years of experience battling counterfeiting, piracy, and product diversion on a global scale. We use an innovative and proactive approach in working with our clients to develop effective brand protection programs that prevent or reduce the negative impact counterfeiting and IP theft has on your business. 

We help you identify and remedy the gaps in your IP portfolio and business operations that make you vulnerable to those seeking to steal your IP and trade on your goodwill. Venable coordinates and manages the filing and registration of copyrights, design patents, trademarks, and customs recordals where necessary, for successful IP enforcement actions. We have helped brand owners recover substantial damages through enforcement actions and litigation aimed at high-value counterfeiters, and have facilitated the seizure and destruction of numerous counterfeit products.

Whether you seek to implement a global brand protection program or just to pursue counterfeiters in a particular market, we design programs that are custom-tailored to meet your business objectives and address local nuances wherever you operate. We work seamlessly with a proven network of IP enforcement professionals around the world. Furthermore, we leverage our years of experience and breadth of global contacts to work efficiently with local government officials, and various international and regional IP enforcement and policy associations, to better protect our clients' valuable brands and IP rights.

Venable has a long history of working with regulatory and law enforcement agencies to address counterfeiting issues. Our team has well-established relationships with agencies such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Our attorneys have also created and/or worked with industry-wide anti-counterfeiting groups, such as the Art Copyright Coalition, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), the International Trademark Association (INTA), the Electronic Retailer's Association (ERA), and other groups.

Venable's Brand and Content Protection Team has been recognized as a national first-tier practice for trademarks and brand protection in U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms." The firm also ranks in the top 20 law firms in terms of applications filed and registrations issued, based on annual rankings issued in 2007-2015, by Trademark Insider/World Trademark Review, and among the top 10 law firms by Intellectual Property Today in 2015. Venable's trademark practice is recognized in the World Trademark Review 1000 – The World's Leading Trademark Professionals among the top groups in the United States – DC Metro area. Partners Justin Pierce and Marcella Ballard authored the U.S. chapter in the Anti-counterfeiting 2012 – A Global Guide, published by the World Trademark Review magazine. Venable is one of the few law firms that is not only an active member of the IACC, but also an active participant within the INTA. A number of Venable attorneys serve in key committee roles, relevant to the anti-counterfeiting and brand protection, in the INTA (Anti-counterfeiting Committee) and the IACC (China, Customs and Internet Task Forces).

Practice Focus

Brand protection programs, including:

  • Strategy development
  • Online brand monitoring
  • Customs and law enforcement training

Ending and prosecuting counterfeiting activity, including:

  • Pursuing civil and criminal remedies
  • Counterfeit product tracking and seizures
  • Pursuing emergency and permanent injunctions
  • Securing monetary judgments
  • Litigation


  • Venable provides comprehensive, global anti-counterfeiting and brand protection programs for a wide range of clients in a variety of industries, including apparel, art, consumer electronics, consumer products, cosmetics, entertainment and media, footwear, luxury goods, mobile devices, nutraceuticals, tobacco, and toys
  • Venable manages the global anti-counterfeiting strategy for Playboy and its wide variety of licensed products. This representation includes coordination and oversight of all IP enforcement efforts by foreign counsel
  • Venable manages Sony Mobile's global trademark portfolio and online brand protection program, and provides support and strategic advice to the company's internal anti-counterfeiting and brand protection functions
  • Venable serves as the global trademark and brand protection counsel for a major multinational technology company. Venable works with this company to manage its global trademark portfolio, develop and enhance the company brand protection strategy and IP enforcement program, and coordinate brand protection efforts with foreign counsel around the world
  • Venable, and its local counsel, devised a novel approach based on unregistered trademark and design rights to successfully obtain an injunction against a major international distributor of counterfeit and knockoff footwear based in Germany, on behalf of its client, an international footwear company. This action disrupted the counterfeiter's ability to continue (1) importing knockoffs into the European market and (2) supplying counterfeit or knockoff inventory for a number of websites directed toward U.S. consumers
  • Venable designed and implemented a brand protection program for Euro-Pro Operating, LLC, a leader in cleaning solutions and small household appliances, including online brand monitoring, U.S. and international customs enforcement and training, and trade show monitoring that resulted in a significant reduction of the availability of counterfeits online within six months of program inception
  • Venable works with U.S. companies in the toy industry to prevent competitive "knockoff" products from entering the market through use of Customs and IP enforcement programs
  • Venable worked with a major cosmetics company to develop a more comprehensive global brand protection strategy, advise it on the use and implementation of metrics to measure the return on investment and impact of brand protection activities, and enhance the effectiveness of its online brand protection efforts, as well as government and industry collaboration efforts
  • Venable stopped Asian and European counterfeits of the world's top-selling dance sneaker – without the need for major litigation – through strategic use of trade dress protection obtained on an expedited basis, and our relationships with key customs agencies in Asia, Europe, and the United States
  • Venable served as the general counsel for the Art Copyright Coalition. In this capacity, we ensured coalition members' copyrights were registered, identified violations of copyrights, and worked with Joint Enforcement Teams to enforce these rights against counterfeiters


  • Chambers USA, Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets, Washington, DC, 2011 – 2012; 2016 – 2023
  • World Trademark Review
    • WTR 1000, Prosecution and Strategy, DC Metro Area, 2012 – 2023
    • WTR 1000, Enforcement and Litigation, DC Metro Area, 2012 – 2023
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms: Technology Law Firm of the Year, 2017, 2022
  • Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2021 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)