Trademark, Copyright, and Advertising

Trademark, Copyright, and Advertising


Owners of industry-leading brands look to Schiff Hardin to manage and protect their trademarks and copyrights. We partner with our clients to develop, protect, and enforce trademark, copyright, and design rights assets. We also assist clients with advertising, branding, and dispute resolution.

Our team’s knowledge and experience results in lean staffing and fair, competitive pricing. Whether the client is an entrepreneur, private business, public company, celebrity, or nonprofit institution, our lawyers leverage their insight to deliver creative and efficient results.

Trademark and Trademark Litigation

We manage domestic and worldwide brand portfolios for our clients, providing creative and cost-effective solutions in all phases of brand development, clearance, and registration. The team utilizes its experience in trademark transactions and litigation to help clients build strong brands and strategically position themselves in the market.

Our attorneys routinely handle transactions involving key brands, working from the diligence phase to negotiation of asset purchase and other agreements. The trademark team also handles complex licensing matters for many of our brand-owner clients and for clients who license trademarks. Our work includes overseeing brand licensing programs and negotiating domestic and international licensing agreements.

Schiff has an enviable track record of preventing and resolving brand disputes through negotiated settlements and coexistence agreements, without litigation. But where litigation is required, our team vigorously pursues and defends cases in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and both domestic and foreign courts.

Trademark counseling and litigation matters have involved a wide range of well-known marks for clients such as Kraft, Warner Bros., and Newell Brands. We have solved trademark challenges for some of the best-known names in the fashion and jewelry industries, and have protected the rights of celebrity clients like sports superstar Michael Jordan in trademark and publicity rights matters.


Our experience covers a cross-section of areas that includes architectural works, fine art, motion pictures, television, music, publishing, software, fashion, accessories, consumer products, and online content. Clients benefit from our practical and cost-effective counseling on a wide range of copyright issues relating to websites, social media, open source licensing, user-generated content, content distribution, and international enforcement. We handle both copyright transactions and dispute resolution.

We offer copyright services across the spectrum of client needs, including registration, advising on parody and fair use issues, handling due diligence in transactions, and counseling on the creation and protection of copyrighted works. We also counsel on the procurement of copyrighted works and negotiate licenses and other agreements to exploit the rights of such works. Our copyright team also has an extensive technology licensing practice that involves the negotiation and review of agreements including proprietary and open source software programs, online content, and web services. Experienced with complex royalty and licensing structures, we excel at working with clients to negotiate and implement licensing terms that fit each client’s individual needs and objectives.

Advertising Law

Schiff attorneys prioritize advertising review to give quick and reliable answers. Our clearance advice weighs potential practical risks against our clients’ business needs. In addition to providing practical advice on ad content and “fine print,” we help clients obtain rights to third-party content. We have experience obtaining copyright permissions as well as working with third-party content developers to acquire content for clients’ use. Our lawyers provide regular input on advertising and promotions relating to consumer goods, foodservice, manufacturing, online retail, and other fields. In addition, our experience includes counseling on laws and regulations related to print, broadcast, and digital advertising and marketing.

We work with clients to negotiate favorable sponsorship and endorsement deals that balance the demands of agents and talent with the client’s expectations. We are comfortable with all aspects of a deal — including venue arrangements, merchandising, and dealing with advertising and public relations agencies.