Trademark Litigation

Venable attorneys are skilled in all phases of trademark litigation, including applications for emergency injunctive relief (temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and seizures), declaratory judgment proceedings, trials, and appeals. We litigate cases in courts throughout the United States and assist with cases in tribunals around the world.

Our team includes seasoned trial lawyers with the technical knowledge needed to handle complex cases, and the business knowledge required to understand what these cases mean to the client. We litigate every kind of dispute in this field – from trademark, service mark, and trade dress infringement to cyberpiracy, trade secrets, and unfair competition – in all cases, bringing both experience and creativity to bear.

This extensive experience in trademark litigation includes hundreds of proceedings in Federal Court and before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. We represent both small local and large national companies.

Our litigators gain support from the extensive knowledge and experience of our trademark prosecution group, recognized as one of the top ten prosecution practices in the country.

When Technology Pushes IP to the Edge, We are Prepared

Venable's trademark litigation team is involved in cutting-edge issues of intellectual property, such as social networking, domain name disputes, and keyword advertising. 

In the realm of e-commerce, Venable is equally ahead of the curve. We have successfully litigated more than 50 domain name disputes through the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and a number of successful court cases under the Anti-Cybersquatter Consumer Protection Act. Several of our attorneys are engaged in litigation involving keyword advertising and litigation involving social media sites.

A trademark is not simply a word or symbol – it is the embodiment of a company's reputation, brand, and business. Whether initiating trademark litigation or defending against a lawsuit, we protect our client's best interests.

Industry Focus

  • Biotech
  • Chemical
  • Computer software and hardware
  • Consumer products
  • Direct response marketing
  • Electrical
  • Financial services
  • Food and beverage
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Toys and games
  • VoIP and wireless
  • Water purification

Trademark Focus

  • Advertising
  • Cyberpiracy/domain names
  • Direct response
  • Electronic retailing
  • Infringement
  • Internet marketing
  • License disputes
  • Litigation
  • Trade dress
  • Unfair competition


  • In one of the most important trademark cases in the past decade, Venable won a unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Wal-Mart v. Samara Brothers. The decision reversed a jury verdict against Wal-Mart and established an important new principle of law – that in order to gain trademark protection for a product design, a manufacturer must prove that the look of a product automatically identifies its creator. The bright-line decision removed barriers to competition that were created by the prior unsettled state of the law in this area
  • In 2008, Venable filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeal on behalf of client, Coty, Inc. in support of Tiffany's petition to the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark trademark case, Tiffany v. eBay. The case dealt with the extent to which online marketplaces have a duty to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. The case questioned whether merely responding to a Notice and takedown request is adequate
  • Venable successfully defended a Maryland guitar manufacturer from a leading electric guitar manufacturer's effort to use trademark law to prevent our client from introducing a new line of electric guitars. Through the suit, the opponent sought to block competition to its principal brand. An appellate court ruled in favor of our client and against the opponent, freeing our client to resume the sale and production of its product. The U.S. Supreme Court left that ruling undisturbed
  • Venable represented a $6 billion hedge fund in obtaining a permanent injunction and statutory damages in a trademark infringement case. The hedge fund, with an impeccable reputation, was being impersonated by fraudsters engaged in a Ponzi scheme and hiding their identity. In early 2012, at a full hearing with witnesses, Venable obtained a temporary restraining order and order for expedited discovery through third parties to further track down the identity of the defendants, causing the offending website to be shut down immediately. The discovery with third-party service providers caused some of them to cut off support for all of defendant's other activities, thus causing the defendants to contact Venable and agree to cease the infringement, but they refused to enter into a consent injunction. Further information obtained through this process led to the entry of a preliminary injunction and later to a permanent injunction, transfer of the domain name, statutory damages entered against a number of defendant aliases, and an order admonishing third parties not to assist defendants
  • Venable represented a local sandwich shop sued by a national chain for trade dress infringement. Venable lawyers helped defeat the plaintiff's attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction in federal court in the District of Columbia, ultimately leading to an agreed settlement
  • Venable attorneys defended a major construction company and a related company that specializes in the financing of public-private partnerships for construction projects in an action for trademark infringement. Prior to any trial, Venable successfully obtained judgment in favor of our client, having persuaded the court that there was no likelihood of confusion under the traditional confusion analysis or any theory of reverse confusion
  • Venable attorneys represented a national leading provider of consumer and corporate identity risk management services in a trademark infringement action that involved both direct trademark infringement and infringement by the defendant's affiliates. Venable successfully negotiated a unique and beneficial settlement for our client
  • Venable attorneys represented an international mobile communications company in a matter where, shortly after its launch, an aggressive multi-million-dollar advertising campaign was threatened by a legacy trademark owner. Venable quickly attacked the owner's factual and legal bases for the challenge and resolved the matter efficiently and effectively


  • World Trademark Review
    • WTR 1000, Prosecution and Strategy, DC Metro Area, 2012 – 2023
    • WTR 1000, Enforcement and Litigation, DC Metro Area, 2012 – 2023
  • Chambers USA, Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets, Washington, DC, 2012 – 2024
  • U.S. News–Best Lawyers, Law Firm of the Year, Technology Law, 2017, 2022