Robert W. Zelnick - McDermott Will & Emery


Robert W. Zelnick is a nationally recognized intellectual property (IP) lawyer with an established record of success. Although he is also a registered patent attorney, for more than two decades Robert has focused his practice on trademark, unfair competition and false advertising matters, where he counsels clients on complex IP issues and serves as lead counsel for major clients in federal trial and appellate courts. According to client feedback in World Trademark Review, as the former head of the Firm’s Global Trademark Practice Group for 10 years, he has “an absolutely superb track record in the courtroom.” Clients also single him out for his “particular thoroughness in his research, his answers to our questions, and the depth of the options he provides us with.” In 2017, Robert was named to The Legal 500’s inaugural Hall of Fame, which recognized fewer than 500 US lawyers across all fields of practice. Robert also serves as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, teaching “Advanced Trademark Law.”

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  • Represents many leading beverage brands (both alcohol beverage and non-alcohol beverage brands) in trademark, copyright and related intellectual property matters, including as lead counsel for craft brewery North Coast Brewing Company in right-of-publicity and trademark litigation against the Estate of Thelonious Monk
  • Represents various sports teams and entertainment venues in trademark and copyright enforcement matters, including San Diego Gulls, Anaheim Ducks, Honda Center, ocV!be, Irvine Ice and Worldwide Scholastic eSports Foundation
  • Served as lead counsel for Ian Schrager and Ian Schrager Company in trademark litigation against New York Shakespeare Festival, in relation to hotel branding
  • Represented world’s first talent media company Elite World Group in intellectual property enforcement matters

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  • The Best Lawyers in America, Trademark Law, 2023 to 2024
  • Chambers USA 2016
  • The Legal 500 US 2007 to present, Leading Lawyer; inaugural member of The Legal 500 “Hall of Fame”
  • International Who’s Who of Trademark Lawyers 2001 to present, Law Business Research

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  • Children’s Law Center, Benefit Committee
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)


George Washington University Law School, JD, with honors, 1990
Lafayette College, AB, Biology, with honors, 1987

District of Columbia

Courts / Agencies
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

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