Four-member Howrey IP Group Lands at Pillsbury’s California

Los Angeles—A four-member IP litigation team led by Los Angeles partner Bobby A. Ghajar joins Pillsbury’s Los Angeles and Silicon Valley offices. Formerly with Howrey, Ghajar’s team focuses on trademark and copyright law. Ghajar is a trial attorney who has handled dozens of high-stakes litigation and appellate matters in cases involving trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement, false advertising and right of publicity claims.

His clients include some of the most recognized brands in the world, ranging from industry leaders to emerging growth companies. Ghajar provides creative and result-oriented counseling – ranging from clearance and prosecution, to brand guidelines and enforcement in nearly 200 jurisdictions worldwide. Ghajar couples his litigation practice with his experience in all practices before the USPTO, and he has argued successfully before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In the past year, he successfully obtained two appellate victories for his clients before the Federal and Ninth Circuits.

“Pillsbury has a commitment to building a global market-leading intellectual property practice. The addition of Bobby Ghajar fully aligns with that commitment. Bobby is an elite IP practitioner, and brings to Pillsbury vast experience and a tremendous and compatible client following. We are confident that Bobby and his team will enhance our ability to serve our clients in a more powerful way,” said Jim Rishwain, Pillsbury’s Firm Chair.

Ghajar’s work extends beyond US borders, as he brings to clients unique experience and expertise in international trademark matters. He has managed litigations in dozens of countries, filed hundreds of trademark applications for his clients, and settled numerous multi-jurisdictional disputes. He also frequently speaks and publishes in the areas of intellectual property. Ghajar’s Internet practice involves IP enforcement in virtual worlds and social media, counseling on secondary liability, and domain name reclamation. Given that experience, he will also be part of Pillsbury’s multidisciplinary Social Media, Entertainment and Technology group, which was recently named one of three best in the U.S. for Video Game Law by Interactive Age.

“Branding issues, whether related to trademark, copyright, trade dress or false advertising claims, have become increasingly high-stakes matters,” said partner Jack Barufka, head of Pillsbury’s Firmwide IP practice. “With the economy still in flux and more and more brands competing on the global stage the ante has risen considerably, which is why we are so focused on developing a trademark and copyright team to mirror the breadth and depth of our patent litigation, counseling and prosecution team. The addition of Bobby Ghajar and his three associates enhances our capabilities in the trademark and copyright areas, expanding upon the great successes Pillsbury’s Richard Kirkpatrick and Cydney Tune in San Francisco, Mark Litvack in Los Angeles, Sean Kane in New York, and Rafi Azim-Khan in London have achieved to date. We are thrilled to have Bobby’s team join this distinguished list.”

Two IP associates, Kelly Craven and Marcus Peterson, join Ghajar in Pillsbury’s Los Angeles office, while senior IP associate James Cady will work out of Pillsbury’s Silicon Valley office in Palo Alto to help support Internet, Clean tech, and Emerging Growth & Technology clients in that region. Though Los Angeles will be his primary base, Ghajar will spend a significant amount of time in Silicon Valley, where many of his team’s clients are located.

Called a “very strong advocate with great business acumen,” by Legal 500 where he has been ranked as a leading trademark litigation and trademark non-contentious attorney since 2009, Ghajar is also listed in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Trademark Law Practitioners.

With more than 85 IP practitioners firmwide, Pillsbury advises clients on developing successful and comprehensive strategies to protect, manage, assert, defend and leverage their IP assets. The IP team spans a number of offices and countries, with team members in Northern Virginia, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, DC, New York, San Diego, Sacramento, Tokyo, and London. Domestically, Pillsbury has advocated for clients in 62 of the 95 US District Courts, as well as before the ITC in Section 337 cases, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Pillsbury’s IP lawyers have a wide range of advanced scientific and technical degrees in areas including electrical and mechanical engineering, chemistry, biology, physics and a number of other technical disciplines.