As Global Head of McDermott’s Trademark Prosecution and Controversy Practice, Christina (Tina) L. Martini focuses her practice on domestic and international trademark and copyright law, as well as domain name, Internet, social media, advertising, unfair competition and entertainment law. Tina has extensive experience in counseling, prosecution, enforcement, due diligence and licensing matters. She successfully assists clients in protecting their intellectual property rights through litigation and other means, including the courts and uniform dispute resolution procedures.
Tina’s experience reaches across a wide variety of business sectors, including the pharmaceutical/life sciences sector, food and beverage industry, housewares, apparel, energy, agriculture, consulting, restaurant, franchising, advertising, real estate and financial services.
Tina advises clients in the areas of brand development and management. She works closely with clients from the beginning stages of product development and provides strategic advice in searching and filing for brand names domestically and internationally. She creates global filing strategies to maximize clients’ protection of their valuable brands in a streamlined, cost-effective way, and manages the global registration, maintenance, enforcement, licensing and disposition of those rights.
Tina also advises clients regarding website domain name, social media and online advertising strategy and enforcement. She creates and implements intellectual property policies and process plans which are specifically tailored to meet clients’ legal and business needs.
In addition, Tina has extensive experience in negotiating and drafting a wide variety of agreements which address various intellectual property rights. She has also been instrumental in numerous litigation successes in federal and state courts, and in domain name proceedings before various administrative organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization.
In addition to her trademark group leadership role, Tina also sits on the firm’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee and Gender Diversity Committee. She also previously served as the firm’s Co-National Hiring Partner.
Prior to joining the Firm, Tina was a partner at an AmLaw 100 global firm where she practiced for nearly 25 years. She held a number of key leadership roles, including serving as the firm’s National Hiring Partner-Associate Recruiting, sitting on the firm’s Executive and Policy Committees, serving as chair of the Chicago Intellectual Property Practice and serving on its Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, among other roles.
Thought Leadership, Press and Community
Tina is the co-host of the WGN Radio show Legal Face-Off, one of the nation’s premier legal programs. She is also the host and producer of the weekly legal podcast Paradigm Shift, where she explores the business context, which drives both the legal profession and business landscape. Tina is a frequent speaker and author on a myriad of topics impacting both the legal and business landscapes. For nearly 10 years, Tina is also a regular columnist for the Chicago Lawyer magazine which features her column “Inside Out” which explores the business of law from the in-house and private practice perspectives.
Tina is a multimedia journalist, legal commentator and podcast host and has contributed to many media outlets, including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, WGN Radio, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Corporate Counsel magazine, Law360, National Law Journal, Inside Counsel magazine, Little PINK Book, Chicago Lawyer magazine, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and World Trademark Review. Tina frequently speaks on myriad topics, including business of law issues and trends impacting both the legal and business landscapes.
Tina has received numerous accolades during her professional career. In 2022, Tina was recognized with the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. In 2021, Tina was named the “Trademark Lawyer of the Year – Americas” as part of Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards and was additionally named a “Top Woman Lawyer in Leadership” by the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
Tina was also named among Crain’s Chicago Business 2020 Notable Women in Law, a prestigious honor that recognizes women in the Chicago community who not only serve as role models in their workplace, but also have contributed to their communities through personal and philanthropic activities. In 2017, Crain’s Chicago Business named Tina as one of Chicago’s Most Influential Minority Lawyers and in 2018 as one of Chicago’s Notable Minority Lawyers.
Since 2017, Tina has been honored by Acritas Stars, which is a source of highly recommended lawyers that is a result of a survey of more than 3,000 senior in-house counsel globally. Core attributes that were repeatedly expressed as distinguishing features for Acritas Stars lawyers include: being experts in their field; responsive; pragmatic; adept at building rapport with clients; approachable; and business-minded.
In 2017, Tina was one of four recipients of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Women of Achievement Award. Presented each year by the Greater Chicago / Upper Midwest Regional Chapter of the ADL, the award recognizes women who are outstanding in their respective fields and embody the spirit and philosophy of ADL through efforts to improve communication and understanding among Chicago’s diverse, racial, religious and ethnic communities. Past recipients include Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to former President Barack Obama; Lynn Martin, former US Secretary of Labor; Andrea Zopp, former CEO and president of the Chicago Urban League; and many other general counsel and executives of Fortune 100 companies and leading professional services firms.
For many years, Tina has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, based on peer and client reviews and surveys. In addition, she has been selected as one of America’s leading intellectual property lawyers by Chambers & Partners, a respected English research firm. Chambers & Partners has stated that Tina is “well regarded” and ”focuses on international trademark and copyright law, with a respected track record relating to the internet and entertainment law.” Clients have praised her in Chambers USA for her background in industrial engineering, which gives her the “extraordinary ability to produce appropriate analysis for any situation and offer outstanding solutions to the client’s varied and complex legal needs.” She “provides excellent client service,” is “a joy to work with,” is “skilled, intelligent and business-savvy,” has “tremendous enthusiasm, passion, diligence and attention to detail,” and “ensures that she is providing what a client needs.” Clients have also said: “She is exceptional. Serious, strategic and highly intelligent. She is sensitive to our business needs and very commercially minded.” The directory has further noted that she “assesses risk not just from a textbook legal perspective, but also in a way that can be communicated to business leaders.” She is also recognized for her “strategic vision,” being “very good at giving advice from a 10,000 foot macro level.” Clients also say Tina has “excellent client service skills and is devoted to ensuring that all needs and objectives are satisfied,” and she has been praised for her “exceptional sense of responsibility to her clients.” “One source said: ‘If I had a trademark prosecution issue I would hire her in a second.'” She has also been repeatedly recommended by The Legal 500 United States.
From 2011 to 2023, Tina has been named in World Trademark Review 1000 (WTR), a guide to the world’s leading trademark practitioners. The publication notes that she plays a significant role in developing and implementing brand strategies for clients in both global and local markets, and in protecting clients’ trademark rights in the event of infringement. WTR states that “she has been pulling the strings in a number of sophisticated enforcement and pre-litigation mandates,” and she has “an exceptional mind and sense for portfolio management and can juggle huge workloads – her strategic thinking distinguishes her from others. A juggernaut in the trademark market, [she] is thoughtful, intelligent, client-oriented and an inspiration.” WTR has also stated that she “has broad sector knowledge and a concomitantly varied clientele; advertising, unfair competition and internet-related matters are her strong suit and, by all accounts, she performs excellently.” One client states “Christina is one of the best IP lawyers you could hope to work with – her business acumen is outstanding. She always keeps an eye on budgets and is very cost-conscious and up front on fees.” WTR also states that she “shine[s] across a range of mandates. Martini’s science background serves her well on pharmaceutical and food briefs – as does her familiarity with food and drug regulations. Having been seconded to Fortune 100 companies, Monsanto and Kraft, she can put herself in her clients’ shoes and anticipate their aims, whether she is thinking through the next steps of portfolio development or launching a complaint against a competitor. She is a great practitioner whose reputation precedes her.” Clients and peers “profess themselves proud to collaborate with her” and state that “[h]er trademark and copyright practice is all the more impressive given her in-depth knowledge of domain name, Internet, social media, advertising and competition matters.” Tina is also described as “strong, respected and well-known” and “dependably quick, logical and thoughtful.” WTR also comments that “[she] continues to make a great impression. She compliments her excellent service and deep legal knowledge with invaluable insight gained through her past in-house experience.” World Trademark Review further notes that she is “highly skilled and articulate. She is a trademark expert in all areas, and her quality of work is of an exceedingly high level. In addition, the erudite practitioner is great on a personal level- she is both trustworthy and easy-going.” She is an “outstanding lawyer” and “highly effective brand strategist,” who “delivers unparalleled assistance. Her strategic skill is second to none.”
In 2014, Managing Intellectual Property, a leading global news and analysis publication, included Tina in its list of “IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP.” Since 2019, the publication has included Tina on its list of “IP Stars.” Practitioners are chosen for these recognitions who are deemed “the best of the best in their field” following extensive client case research and over 1,000 peer interviews and surveys conducted by the publication’s editorial team.
Tina is one of only 165 lawyers named to the 2010 BTI Client Service All-Star Team for Law Firms, which recognizes lawyers who “top the charts in client service excellence” and “have packaged proactive outreach, counseling and a healthy dose of practicality with their deep understanding of their clients’ business.” Lawyers appear on the list only if they are named by clients in an unprompted manner through BTI’s research. The rankings are driven solely by feedback received directly from corporate counsel from large and Fortune 1000 companies.
Since 2013, Tina has been named a Fellow of The American Bar Foundation, which is an organization dedicated to advancing justice through research on the law, its processes and its impact on society. Tina has also been designated an Illinois Super Lawyer, as the result of research projects conducted jointly by Law & Politics and Chicago magazines. She is the recipient of Lawyer Monthly magazine’s “Women in Law Award,” and has also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Chicago’s Best Lawyers, Chicago Tribune’s Best Lawyers in Illinois, Euromoney’s Trade Mark Expert Guide, Guide to the World’s Leading Trademark Law Practitioners and Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law, Corporate LiveWire’s Best in Trademark Law Services and M&A Awards, Legal Leader’s Chicago’s Top Rated Lawyers and by American Registry in its list of America’s Most-Honored Professionals and Top Attorneys in Illinois.
In 2013, the Law Bulletin Publishing Company named Tina as one of only 17 lawyers to receive the “Women in Law: Women Making an Impact” award. As the Law Bulletin notes, clients and colleagues say Tina “is one of the best lawyers” they have worked with, and that she “is clearly dedicated to her client’s best interests.” They also say that she is “extremely bright,” does a “fabulous job for her clients” and has “extraordinary energy, enthusiasm and insight.”
In 2013, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin featured Tina in the profile “A Seat at the Table,” where she discussed her various leadership roles and career.
In 2013, Chicago Lawyer magazine featured Tina in its “Checking in on the ‘Next Generation of Law Firm Leaders.'” This article was a follow up to the magazine’s 2009 cover story about Tina as one of a small group of “leaders of the future” who “go above and beyond practicing law because they care about what their firm looks like today and will look like in the future.” In the 2013 update, Tina reflects on the developments in her career over the past several years, along with the changes in the industry and how previous predictions about the future of law compare to how things are today.
In 2010, the Law Bulletin Publishing Company, publisher of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer magazine, named Tina one of “40 Illinois Attorneys under Forty to Watch.” As the Law Bulletin notes, clients, colleagues and peers consider her an “extremely talented,” “outstanding” and “profoundly committed” professional who “has very sharp analytical skills, great intuition and ability to work in the gray areas” and “has a very practical wisdom, something you might expect to see in someone who has practiced law for over 30 years.”
- American Bar Association, Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, 2022
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Top Women Lawyers in Leadership, 2021
- Thomson Reuters, Stand-out Lawyer – independently rated lawyers, 2023
- Euromoney’s Women in Business Law, Trademark Lawyer of the Year – Americas, 2021
- Crain’s Chicago Business, Notable Women in Law, 2020
- Leading Lawyers Magazine, Leading Lawyer in Illinois for Copyright & Trademark Law and Computer & Technology Law, 2021
- Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Expert Guide, 2020-2021
- World Trademark Review Global Leaders, 2020-2023
- Managing Intellectual Property, “IP Stars,” 2019-2021
- Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago’s Notable Minority Lawyers, 2018
- Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago’s Most Influential Minority Lawyers, 2017
- Acritas Stars, 2017-2021
- Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Women of Achievement Award, 2017
- AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, numerous years
- Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer, Intellectual Property, numerous years
- The Legal 500 United States, 2020-2022
- World Trademark Review 1000, Leading Trademark Practitioner, 2011-2023
- Lawyer Monthly, “Women in Law Award,” numerous years
- Managing Intellectual Property, “IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP,” 2014
- BTI Client Service All-Star Team for Law Firms, 2010
- Illinois Super Lawyer, 2006, 2011-2020, 2022
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2023
- Chicago’s Best Lawyers
- Chicago Tribune, Best Lawyers in Illinois
- Euromoney’s Trade Mark Expert Guide
- Corporate LiveWire, Best in Trademark Law Services and M&A Awards
- Legal Leaders’ Chicago’s Top Rated Lawyers
- American Registry, America’s Most Honored Professionals and Top Attorneys in Illinois
Tina is committed to making a positive difference in the careers and lives of others. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Better Government Association and the University of Illinois Campus Alumni Advisory Board. She has also served as a board member of the Chicago Committee – Advancing Minority Attorneys/Transforming the Legal Profession and is on the Executive Board of Directors and Co-Founder of Hispanic Majority, an organization committed to supporting the next generation of Latino leadership. She is a member of the Chicago Committee on Women’s Initiatives in Law. Her extensive pro bono work has included co-chairing the International Trademark Association’s Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition for the Midwest region.
- The American Bar Foundation, member
- American Bar Association, member
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, member
- Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, member
- Chicago Bar Association, member
- Illinois State Bar Association, member
- International Trademark Association, member
- Better Government Association, Board of Directors, 2012 to 2017
- Chicago Committee – Advancing Minority Attorneys/Transforming the Legal Profession, Board of Directors, 2008 to 2015
- Hispanic Majority, Co-Founder and Executive Board of Directors
- University of Illinois Campus Alumni Advisory Board, 2011 to 2017
- Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, Board of Managers, 2008 to 2010
- Chicago Committee on Women’s Initiatives in Law, member
- Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Moot Court Competition Planning Committee, Midwest Region, 2005 to 2007, co-chair
- Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Moot Court Competition Planning Committee, Midwest Region, 2002 to 2017, member
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, mentor
- Northwestern University School of Law Alumni Advisor Program, alumni advisor
Northwestern University School of Law, JD, 1994
University of Illinois, BS, Industrial Engineering, 1991
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois