J. Michael Keyes is a “go to” intellectual property trial attorney with vast litigation experience in cases involving trademarks, copyrights, and false advertising. He has tried many cases in federal courts across the country and has been lead counsel on several matters before the Ninth Circuit and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. Mike also has extensive experience in litigating disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board as well as the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.
Recently, Mike and his team obtained a final judgment and permanent injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of Rovio Entertainment, Ltd., the creator of Angry Birds®. The Court entered findings that the Angry Birds® trademark was “widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States” and that the Defendants’ use of the mark “Angry Clubs” on golf-related merchandise was likely to cause confusion and dilution in the marketplace.
Mike previously served as trial counsel in Chicago federal court for Kraft Foods in a highly-publicized false advertising trial that was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and also covered by the likes of The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. He was also trial counsel for Abercrombie & Fitch in a high-profile case in California federal court brought by Levi Strauss & Co. involving claims of unfair competition, trademark infringement, and dilution. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Abercrombie & Fitch on all claims. The case was profiled in the Daily Journal—California’s largest legal publication—as one of the Top 10 “Defense Wins” in California that year.
Mike’s intellectual property clients have included the likes of Hall of Fame Major League Slugger George Brett, Amazon.com, Foot Locker, Beats Electronics, LLC (Beats by Dr. Dre), Helly Hansen, the North Face, Nestle, the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Novatel Wireless, Esprit, Quest Diagnostics, Red Lion Hotels, Cervecería Modelo (the manufacturer of Corona beer), Robert Bosch, LLC, and Carma Labs (makers of Carmex lip balm).
In addition to Mike’s national litigation and trial practice, he is an award-winning author and proven thought leader on cutting-edge IP issues. In 2017, Mike received the prestigious JD Supra Readers’ Choice Award for his recognized writings on the subject of trademark law. The American Bar Association also just published Copyright Litigation Strategies, an 830 page treatise that Mike co-edited and contributed to as an author. Mike was also selected to the IPLaw360 editorial advisory board for 2017.
Mike is the co-creator and the co-editor of Dorsey’s critically-acclaimed IP Blog, TheTMCA.com, which focuses on legal developments in the world of TradeMarks, Copyrights, and Advertising. He is frequently called upon by members of the media for his insights and perspective on important IP issues of the day. He has recently been quoted by the likes of The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, The National Law Journal, and the New York Business Journal.
Finally, Mike is the co-host of the weekly podcast, This Week in Law, where he and his guests discuss a wide variety of issues, including the intersection of law and technology.
Education & Admissions
Gonzaga University School of Law (J.D., 1998), magna cum laude; Best Oralist, National Moot Court Competition, Regional Finals 1997; Associate Editor Law Review 1997-1998
Columbia Law School (LL.M., 1999), Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
Loyola University, New Orleans (B.M., 1993), Piano Performance; Graduate Piano Student; Tbilisi State Conservatoire; Former Soviet Republic of Georgia, 1993-1994
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
- Washington Supreme Court, Honorable Chief Justice Gerry L. Alexander, 1999-2000
- Red Lion Hotels v. Khan et al, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 2017 (Rice, J.). Obtained preliminary injunction against defendants’ infringing use of Red Lion trademarks at hotel properties located in Denver and Ft. Collins.
Abercrombie & Fitch v. Carter’s, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 2017. Representing Abercrombie & Fitch in trademark and copyright infringement litigation involving the iconic and famous A&F moose logo and design.
- InternMatch, Inc. v. Nxtbigthing, LLC, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2016 (Tigar, J.). Represented plaintiff in obtaining summary judgment on infringement and trademark cancellation claims. Also established defendants willfully destroyed electronic evidence resulting in sanctions and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Foot Locker v. Vizant, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2015 (Gardephe, J.). Currently representing Foot Locker in case involving claims of copyright and trademark infringement.
- Leading Edge Novelty, Inc. v. Amazon.com, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2014. Represented Amazon.com against claims of alleged trademark infringement and false advertising.
- Turcios v. Carma Laboratories, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 2014 (Bernal, J.). Successfully opposed certification of class in a class action suit brought against manufacturer of Carmex® lip balm for alleged false advertising in violation of California’s unfair competition laws.
- Burnett v. Robert Bosch, LLC, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2014 (Covington, J). Defended Robert Bosch against class action suit involving advertisement of Platinum Series spark plugs.
- Beats Electronics, LLC v. Yamaha, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 2013 (Carney, J.). Represented Beats in case involving claims of trade dress and design patent infringement.
- Rovio Entertainment, Ltd. v. Angry Clubs, LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2013 (Cooke, J.). Obtained Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction against Defendants’ infringing and diluting use of “Angry Clubs” on golf clubs and related merchandise.
- San Miguel v. Ramar Foods, International, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 2012 (Klausner, J). Obtained summary judgment on Ramar’s trademark infringement claim over San Miguel’s use of the trademark “Magnolia.”
- Cervecería Modelo v. Winery Exchange, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2012. Represented Cervecería Modelo in trade dress infringement claim involving the famous Corona® trade dress. Case settled after Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction were filed.
- Sara Lee Corp. v. Kraft Global Foods, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2011. Represented Kraft Foods in highly-publicized trial involving claims of false advertising of hot dog products.
- OpinionLab v. LodSys, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2011. Action for declaratory relief of non-infringement and invalidity of LodSys Patents. Case settled.
- Kashless v. Local Offer Network, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 2011. Defended Chicago-based company against claims of patent infringement. Plaintiff stipulated to dismissal of claims.
- Del Monte Fresh Produce v. Webvention, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, 2011. Initiated suit for Declaratory Judgment of Non-Infringement of the ‘294 Patent. Case settled.
- Del Monte Fresh Produce v. Tsigaris, et al, U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2011 (Illston, J). Action for trademark infringement and unfair competition resulted in final judgment and permanent injunction against Defendant’s continued use of infringing name and trademark.
- Wall Mountain v. Edwards, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2010 (Trumbull, J). Obtained Summary Judgment on claims of willful trademark and copyright infringement for Defendant’s copying and selling DVDs on eBay. Obtained permanent injunction and $50,000 statutory damages award under the Copyright Act.
- Sand Hill Advisors v. Sand Hill Advisors, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2010 (Armstrong, J.). Successfully obtained Summary Judgment against Plaintiff on its claims of willful trademark infringement involving Defendant’s use of the name “Sand Hill Advisors.”
- Helly Hansen v. Ecolab USA, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 2010. Declaratory Judgment Action filed on behalf of Helly Hansen involving its high end clothing product “Ekolab.” Case resulted in parties entering into co-existence agreement permitting Helly Hansen’s continued use of Ekolab.
- Quest Diagnostics, Inc. v. The Dark Report, U.S. District Court for New Jersey, 2009. Lawsuit involved claims of false advertising and unfair competition involving medical products and services. Resolution involved corrective advertising being issued by Defendants.
- Levi Strauss & Co. v. Abercrombie & Fitch, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2008 (jury trial). Defended Abercrombie & Fitch against claims of trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition. Jury trial resulted in unanimous defense verdict for Abercrombie & Fitch on all counts. Levi Strauss appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and on remand voluntarily dismissed its remaining dilution claim with prejudice.
- Levi Strauss & Co. v. Esprit U.S. Distribution, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2008 (Illston, J.). Defended against claims of trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition. Case settled.
- Brett Bros. Sports International, Inc. v. Easton-Bell Sports, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 2007. Represented Brett Bros. in federal litigation involving claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act over the Defendants' use of the trademark “Stealth” on baseball bats and related equipment. Defendants settled all claims pursuant to confidential agreement one month after lawsuit was filed.
- Farmers Insurance Group v. Guerrero, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 2006. Defended creator of a Farmers Insurance Internet “gripe site” against claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition. Plaintiff dismissed all claims after Defendant’s motion for summary judgment was filed.
- Arctic Circle Enterprises v. Alaska Juneau Mining Company, U.S. District Court of Alaska, 2006. Case settled after mediation.
- Sentinel Healthcare Systems v. A+ Computer Solutions, Ada County District Court, Boise, Idaho, 2006. Represented medical services company in dispute regarding copyright ownership of computer software program. Case resolved through settlement on mutually-agreeable terms.
- Central Mfg. Co. v. George Brett, 2005 WL 2445898, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Coar, J.). Successfully Defended George Brett and Brett Bros. Sports International, Inc. in federal trademark infringement and unfair competition action. The District Court entered summary judgment in favor of Brett, cancelled Plaintiff's federal trademark registration, and ordered Plaintiff to pay attorney's fees and costs. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed. Central Mfg., Inc. v. Brett, 492 F.3d 876, 882 (7th Cir. 2007).
- Community ISP v. Wholesale ISP, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington 2004 (McDonald, J.). Represented Plaintiff in copyright infringement action involving infringement of web- based software program. Case resolved through settlement.
- Lavasoft v. Gotts, U.S. District Court of Oregon, 2005 (Brown, J.). Defended claim for alleged trademark infringement, dilution, and cybersquatting involving alleged damages in excess of seven figures. Plaintiff agreed to settle all claims soon after it was unsuccessful in prevailing on its dispositive motion.
- Golf Ideas v. Zuzelo, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 2002. Represented Defendant in alleged claim of copyright infringement of database.
- P.E. Systems, LLC v. CPI Corp., 289 P.3d 638 (2012). Washington Supreme Court unanimously reversed Court of Appeals’ decision involving commercial contract dispute between the parties.
- Salton Sea Ventures v. First American, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, 2011 (Gonzalez, C.J.). Defeated Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction under California unfair competition and related statutes. Court held imposing state excise tax on First American's fuel distribution business would "constitute a restriction on the Yakama's transportation of fuel into California and violates the Yakama's rights under the Treaty of 1855." See Salton Sea Venture, Inc. v. Ramsey, 2011 WL 4945072, 7 (S.D.Cal.2011). Plaintiff dismissed case thereafter.
- Yakama Indian Nation v. Gregoire, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 2008. Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of Yakama Indian Nation restraining the enforcement of RCW 82.24 against the Yakama Tribe and the Yakama Commerce Association.
- Ramsey v. Gregoire, Yakama Nation Tribal Court, 2008. Obtained permanent injunction precluding enforcement of compact agreement without compact being approved by general council of the Yakama Indian Nation.
- Rodriguez v. McCain Foods, USA, Inc., 2005 WL 3132483, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Whaley, J.) (bench trial). Co–tried and defended an employment discrimination case on behalf of McCain Foods. A bench trial before the Hon. Robert Whaley resulted in judgment being entered in favor of McCain on all of Plaintiff’s claims.
- Palouse School District v. PBI, Inc., Whitman County Superior Court, Colfax, Washington, 2005. Successfully represented Palouse School District in obtaining judgment against building contractor for breach of contract. Judgment included a damages award in excess of $300,000 plus an award of attorney’s fees and costs.
- P.E. Systems v. CPI Corp., Spokane County Superior Court, Spokane, Washington, 2010. Obtained dismissal of Complaint with prejudice on behalf of publicly-traded company, CPI Corp., for claims that it allegedly breached a written contract and breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Pro Bono Appellate
- Wheeler v. Townsend, 2004 WL 1238867, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Appointed as counsel for inmate pursuant to federal pro bono program. Successfully argued for reversal of summary judgment entered by trial court against inmate on his federal civil rights claims against Director of the Idaho Department of Corrections and other officials. Reversed and remanded.
- Durrell v. Cook, 2003 WL 21782653, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Appointed as counsel for inmate pursuant to federal pro bono program. U.S. District Court of Oregon entered summary judgment in favor of Oregon Dept. of Corrections on inmate’s claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Successfully argued there were issues of fact as to whether officials acted with deliberate indifference to inmate’s safety. Reversed and remanded.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Events & Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, Law Seminars International, “Consumer Protection: The Challenge of Achieving Regulation Compliance and Meeting Customer Expectations,” December 1, 2017
- Presenter, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Books Webinar Series: "Copyright Litigation Strategies: From Soup to Nuts," September 19, 2017
- Presenter, 43rd Annual ICLE Intellectual Property Law Institute on Mackinac Island, MI, July 2017
- Presenter, International Trademark Association Meeting, "#TalkingIP: Optimizing Publishing Opportunities and Digital Platforms - INTA and Beyond," May 21, 2017
- Presenter, IP Section of the King County Bar Association, “From Pom-Poms to Rockstars: The Latest and Greatest Copyright Hits,” May 2017
- Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Spring Conference, “Copyright at a Gallop,” April 2017
- Moderator, Copyright Society of the USA CLE, “Other People’s Footage: Copyright and Fair Use,” February 2017
- Presenter, International Trademark Association Annual Meeting, "Monetary Remedies in Trademark Cases," May 2016
- Presenter, Washington State Bar Association IP Institute, “Copyright Case Law, the Year in Review,” March 2016
- Panelist, American Bar Association sponsored webinar, “Designing Effective Consumer Surveys in Trademark Infringement and False Advertising Disputes,” November 2015
- Co-Presenter with Dorsey & Whitney partner Sandy Edelman, Practicing Law Institute, “Designing Effective Consumer Surveys in Trademark Infringement and False Advertising Disputes,” July 2015
- Panelist, American Bar Association Technology Symposium, “One Problem: Reconciling Advice of Employment, Intellectual Property, and Other Counsel,” March 2015
- Presenter, Washington State Bar Association IP Institute, “Design and Use of Consumer Surveys in Lanham Act Cases—Recent Developments,” March 2014
- Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, “Fundamentals of Copyright Law in the Data Era,” July 2013
- Presenter, American Intellectual Property Law Association 2013 Spring Meeting, “Use of Non-Patent Literature During Patent Examination—Fair or Infringing?”, May 2013
- Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, “Understanding Copyright in the Data Era,” July 2012
- Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, University of Chicago, “Copyright Enforcement in the Data Era,” June 2012
- Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Spring Conference, “Trollings, Take Downs, and Transfers: An Audiovisual Odyssey Through The World of Copyright,” March 2012
- Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, “Understanding Copyright in the Data Era,” July 2011
- Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, “Copyright Litigation,” July 2010
- Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “Of Courts and Copyists: The Year in Review,” April 2010
- Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “The Year in Copyright,” April 2009
- Presenter, American Intellectual Property Law Association, "Recoveries in IP Litigation: Hotspots and Trends in Copyright, Trademark, and Patent Damages,” Webinar, April 2009
- CLE Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Institute, Washington State Bar Association, featuring U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Chief Judge, The Hon. Alex Kozinski, October 2008
- Presenter, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “An Audiovisual Tour Through The Year in Copyright,” April 2008
- Panelist, American Intellectual Property Law Association 2008 Mid-Winter Institute, “A Survey of Licensing Strategies One Year After MedImmune,” January 2008
- Presenter, Washington State Bar Association Corporate Counsel Institute, “Trademark Law For General Counsel,” October 2007
- Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “Copyright in the Courts: Issues of First Impression,” April 2007
- CLE Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Institute, Washington State Bar Association, March 2007
- Presenter, “Copyright Law For The IP Attorney,” Idaho State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, November 2006
- CLE Chair, “Intellectual Property Developments: Litigation, Machination & Reformation,” Washington State Bar Association, September 2006
- Presenter, “Spyware Resolution Debate,” ABA Intellectual Property Annual Meeting, 2006
- Presenter, “Copyright & The World of Music,” Washington State Music Teachers Association Leadership Conference, 2005
- Presenter, “Top Ten Trademark Tips,” Coeur d’ Alene Chamber of Commerce, 2005
- Co-Presenter, “Protecting Your Artistic Creations in the Digital Age,” 2005
- Co-Presenter, “Pitfalls for the Unwary: Recognition, Protection & Enforcement of IP Rights,” Emerald Education Group, 2004
- Presenter, “Copyright Law & The World of Advertising,” Great Falls Advertising Federation, 2004
Industries & Practices
- Commercial Litigation
- Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
- Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
- Indian & Alaska Native
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Trademark, Copyright, Advertising & Brand Management
Professional & Civic
- Trustee of the King County Bar Foundation, 2018-present
- Member, Law360 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board, 2017
- Co-Chair, ABA Copyright Litigation Committee, 2006-2008
- Washington State Bar Association IP Section, Chair, 2006; Chair-elect, 2005; Secretary-Treasurer, 2004
- Co-founder, Spokane County Bar Association IP Section, 2003
- Coach of National Appellate Advocacy Competition Team, Gonzaga University School of Law
- Adjunct Professor of Law, “Internet and the Law,” “Trademark Law,” and “Legal Research & Writing,” Gonzaga University School of Law
- Member, Copyright Society of the USA
- Member, Supreme Court Historical Society
- Guest Lecturer, University of Washington School of Law
- Volunteer supervising attorney, University of Washington Entrepreneurial Law Clinic
- Volunteer Pianist, Sacred Heart Parish
- Past Board Member, Holy Names Music Center
- Named Top Author in JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards 2017
- Recognized as an “IP Star” in 2016-2017 by Managing Intellectual Property Handbook
- Recognized as a Leading Practitioner in World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, 2017-2018
- Listed in Washington Super Lawyers, 2014-2017
- Listed in Best Lawyers® in America, 2013-2018
- Listed as a “Rising Star” by Washington Super Lawyers, 2006-2008, 2011