Trademark and Copyright


The typical Williams & Connolly LLP approach to litigation – an aggressive discovery and motions practice, careful selection and use of experts and a constant focus on preparing a case for trial – are highly effective in legal conflicts involving trademarks, trade dress, false advertising and unfair competition.

The firm’s representation in trademark and unfair competition matters ranges from expedited preliminary injunction proceedings through trial and appeal.  The firm has represented clients in a wide variety of industries, including motion pictures, television, radio, telecommunications, consumer goods, industrial products, real estate, hotels, financial services and e-commerce.

In addition to prosecuting and defending contested claims, Williams & Connolly attorneys provide counseling on trademark and trade dress issues, including advice on clearance of proposed trademarks.  They also prosecute trademark registration applications, and represent clients before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Williams & Connolly also has extensive experience litigating and advising clients about claims of false or deceptive advertising, including consumer fraud class actions, claims asserted by government enforcement agencies and Lanham Act claims between business competitors.  The firm's lawyers have litigated numerous false advertising claims in fields such as motion pictures, consumer goods, software, books, standardized test preparation and rental car services.

  • FLIR Systems v. Fluke Corp. – Obtained a $4.1 million verdict on trademark infringement and false advertising counterclaims against competing maker of thermal imaging cameras.
  • Vermont v. R.J. Reynolds – Defended a tobacco company in five-week bench trial of false advertising action.  The court ruled that most of the contested advertising claims were not false or misleading.
  • Six Continents Hotels v. Holiday Inn Independent – In bench trial, successfully defended independent hotel company’s ownership of “Holiday Inn” trademark within Myrtle Beach, South Carolina against challenge by national chain.
  • E-Cards v. King - Obtained a $4 million plaintiff's verdict involving similar domain names used by two e-commerce businesses.
  • ITT Corp. and Xylem Inc. v. Xylem Group – Trademark and trade name infringement case growing out of the naming of a newly independent public company.
  • AOL v. NameMedia – Represented media company trademark owners in anti-cybersquatting and infringement action involving thousands of domain names.
  • Verizon Wireless v. Nextel – Represented Nextel in trademark infringement and false advertising case.
  • Clear Channel Communications v. Infinity Radio – Represented CBS Radio in a case against one of its principal competitors.
  • Maljack Productions v. MPAA - A claim concerning the certification marks used to rate motion pictures.


Williams & Connolly's copyright practice is broad and deep, and includes both litigation and counseling. Over the years, Williams & Connolly lawyers have handled everything from representing copyright holders in anti-piracy suits against various Napster-like services to litigating copyright issues involving the re-transmission of broadcast television over cable systems and to other countries by satellite. The firm has also handled numerous claims of infringement of photographs and writings in periodicals, and ideas and scripts for motion pictures.

Many of the hallmarks of Williams & Connolly's commercial litigation experience transfer smoothly to legal conflicts involving copyright litigation: a comprehensive discovery and motions practice, careful selection and use of experts, and a constant focus on preparing the case for trial.

The firm's copyright counseling includes pre-publication review of periodical publications and pre-production review of television shows and motion pictures. Williams & Connolly's lawyers also advise and negotiate matters allocating copyright ownership to the many authors, athletes, former government officials and television personalities the firm represents.

The Wall Street Journal and The American Lawyer Report on CoStar Group’s Copyright, CFAA and Unfair Competition Case

The Wall Street Journal and The American Lawyer Report on CoStar Group’s Copyright, CFAA and Unfair Competition Case

The Wall Street Journal and The American Lawyer discuss developments in CoStar Group, Inc.’s Copyright, CFAA and Unfair Competition case against CoStar-competitor Xceligent Inc. following Xceligent’s bankruptcy filing.

The Uses of Prior Conduct in Copyright Cases

Nick Boyle and Richard Olderman are the co-authors of “The Uses of Prior Conduct in Copyright Cases,” published in the September 2017 issue of The Intellectual Property Strategist.

back to top