Michael provides strategic counsel on the availability and adoption of trademarks as well as the management and enforcement of trademark portfolios in the United States and abroad.
He also represents clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and various U.S. district courts.
Keenly adept at managing and enforcing domestic and international intellectual property rights, Michael is a go-to resource on trademarks, copyrights and other IP-related issues for clients in the telecommunications, computer software and technology, entertainment and sports, pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage, publishing, scientific research and apparel industries.
Michael Leonard is “nothing short of excellent in all branding issues” and “his level service and speed of response are phenomenal.”
~ World Trademark Review, 2017 client
In addition, Michael routinely advises on Internet and domain name disputes and handles IP transactions involving trademark and copyright licenses, due diligence and portfolio audits. He also counsels clients in U.S. and foreign copyright matters, U.S. customs enforcement, branding, false advertising, right of publicity and labeling issues.
Michael has been recognized for eight consecutive years in the World Trademark Review 1000 (a guide to the world's leading trademark practitioners) as having "a cross-cultural attitude and can easily jump into somebody else’s mindset and way of thinking"; having "exceptional multi-jurisdictional knowledge" (2012); as "a committed adviser to an international set of rights holders which value his sophisticated global outlook" (2013); as a "skilled and internationally minded" IP attorney (2014); and his "European experience and expertise are a boon when working on international matters and are complimented by an encyclopedic knowledge of US Law" (2015).
- Manages global trademark portfolios and enforcement actions on behalf of multiple entities operating in a variety of industries including life sciences, health care, technology, fashion, cosmetics and entertainment
- Prevailed in trademark opposition proceeding preventing registration of confusingly similar mark on behalf of clothing manufacturer before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board
- Prevailed on appeal before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board on behalf of a French wine and spirits company. The Board reversed the final refusal of the trademark Examining Attorney's decision, holding that the client’s mark was not geographically descriptive
- Filed, litigated and settled trademark infringement action for health-related technology company against individual using client’s mark as a domain name in connection with closely related services
- Advised in brand selection, undertook clearance of proposed names and facilitated global trademark registration process for radiopharmaceutical company until acquisition by leading U.S.-based pharmaceutical company for over $300 million
- Prevailed in trademark opposition proceeding preventing registration of confusingly similar mark on behalf of European-based cosmetics company before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
- Led intellectual property due diligence team on behalf of private equity and publicly owned companies in the sale and acquisition of various companies and assets
- Reviewed and revised intellectual property-related provisions of agreements and managed trademark portfolio for National Hockey League team
- Supervised worldwide due diligence review, negotiated acquisition of intellectual property assets out of bankruptcy and facilitated global clearance and registration of multiple trademarks on behalf of U.S.-based toy and gaming company
- Represented gaming company in successfully obtaining confusingly similar domain name from former distributor via UDRP proceeding before National Arbitration Forum
- Member of litigation team in high-profile trademark infringement matter for major clothing designer from preliminary judgment through trial
- Successfully defended trademark infringement claims brought by one brewery against another based on common law trademark claims
- Asserted trademark infringement claims against online marketing entities resulting in settlement prohibiting future use of client’s trademarks and intellectual property
Before Fox Rothschild
Prior to joining Fox, Michael served as chair of the trademark and copyright group at an intellectual property law firm boutique in Philadelphia. He has been both a practicing attorney and a law clerk at a variety of other law firms in both the United States and abroad, including in Germany, Hungary, Virginia, Washington, DC and Oklahoma.
Beyond Fox Rothschild
Michael serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property where he teaches the Institute’s U.S. Trademark Law and Practice course.
Honors & Awards
- Named in a list of “IP Stars” by Managing Intellectual Property (2016-2021)
- Recognized in the 2011-2021 editions of the World Trademark Review 1000 (a guide to the World's leading trademark practitioners)