About Michael R. Justus

A company's brand is its most important asset, and Michael Justus helps his clients create and protect their brands. A litigator and counselor with broad experience in both IP and advertising law, Mike brings a marketing-savvy approach to the legal protection and enforcement of his clients' core identities. From counseling on global trademark clearance and protection strategies to filing legal challenges against competitors' misleading ad campaigns, Mike offers a full range of support to his clients and their brands.

Creative legal strategy informed by business reality

Mike understands that he is there to help clients solve business problems, that there is no one‑size‑fits-all approach to achieving a client's business objectives, and that legal strategy and business goals must be viewed together. Similarly, he sees that IP and advertising legal issues often converge and must be dealt with in tandem and in ways that an IP-only or advertising-only specialist may not see. And his understanding of the many facets of branding (from trademarks and logos to packaging and color schemes to the tone and claims used in messaging) allows him to collaborate with clients to solve problems in unique ways.

In his trademark practice, Mike handles enforcement and litigation matters in and out of court. He has handled lawsuits before federal courts around the country and numerous proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Mike also collaborates with local counsel around the world to formulate global enforcement and litigation strategies. His experience includes managing comprehensive trademark enforcement programs for several famous brands in the insurance, fashion, construction and electrical equipment, and aerospace and defense industries. Mike regularly negotiates creative settlements to end or avoid disputes, including through mediation, and he has prepared numerous coexistence, consent, license, assignment and other agreements. He also guides clients through the entire trademark clearance and registration process using customized, cost-effective global protection strategies, from initial selection and clearance of new marks to obtaining US and foreign registrations.

In his advertising practice, Mike handles disputes and advises clients on compliance issues under the Lanham Act, FTC regulations and guidance, NAD precedent, state consumer protection laws, and other laws, regulations and standards. For example, Mike has handled NAD and other disputes involving "Made in USA" claims, "compare to" product labels, social media, online consumer reviews, and a wide variety of performance and comparative claims. He has served as lead advertising counsel for clients in the clothing and health care industries.

Mike is active in the International Trademark Association, currently serving as subcommittee co-chair of the Leadership Development Committee. He regularly speaks and publishes articles regarding trademark and advertising.

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Practice Focus

  • Global trademark enforcement and litigation
  • Global trademark clearance and registration
  • Advertising counseling and disputes under the Lanham Act, FTC regulations and guidance, NAD precedent, and state consumer protection laws
  • Copyright registration and disputes
  • Negotiating coexistence, consent, license, assignment and other IP agreements

Representative Experience

  • Litigation and disputes
  • Represented insurance company in appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with extensive motion practice. Favorable cybersquatting and trademark infringement verdict was affirmed in favor of client.
  • Represented construction and mining equipment company in trademark opposition. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found that client's mark was famous among the general consuming public.
  • Represented consumer products companies in several NAD challenges with favorable results.
  • Represent real estate company in investigation by the FTC.
  • Represented kitchenware company in design patent lawsuit in Washington federal court. Obtained dismissal on summary judgment for client.
  • Represented consumer products company in trademark infringement lawsuit in Florida federal court. Resulted in favorable settlement for client.
  • Represented aerospace company in trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit in New York federal court. Obtained favorable settlement for client.
  • Represented sporting goods company in trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit in California federal court. Resulted in favorable settlement for client.
  • Represented consumer electronics company in trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit in Texas federal court. Obtained favorable settlement for client.
  • Represented insurance company in trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit in Connecticut federal court. Resulted in favorable settlement for client.
  • Counseling
  • Lead advertising review and compliance counsel for major health care company.
  • Global trademark counsel for large US-based companies in the paint and coatings, aerospace, and defense industries.
  • US trademark counsel for major European fashion brands.
  • Advertising counsel for large companies in the food, medical products and clothing industries.

Presentations and Events