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Douglas A. Rettew
+1 202 408 4161
doug.rettew@finnegan.com

901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4413

+1 202 408 4000
Fax +1 202 408 4400

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey

Education

  • George Washington University, National Law Center
    J.D., 1995
  • University of Michigan
    B.A., Political Science, 1992

Douglas A. Rettew

Partner

Douglas Rettew leads the firm's trademark and copyright group. He focuses his practice on trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition litigation and disputes. Mr. Rettew litigates cases involving a broad range of issues, including traditional trademarks, trade dress, design patents, false advertising, product disparagement, unfair competition, and domain names. Clients include Under Armour, Bridgestone, the NFL Players Association, Capital One, Subaru, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), and PNC Bank. Mr. Rettew is involved in trademark and copyright prosecution and licensing.

Mr. Rettew has first-chair jury and bench trial and appellate experience and has argued appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Fourth, and Eighth Circuits. He also litigates oppositions, cancellations, and ex parte appeals before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Mr. Rettew has significant experience in obtaining (and defeating) temporary restraining orders (TROs) and preliminary injunctions, including those involving counterfeiting and ex parte seizures.

Mr. Rettew is frequently recognized as one of the nation's top trademark lawyers. Touting the group's "brilliant courtroom reputation," one source said the following about Mr. Rettew: "At the helm is eminent group chair Douglas Rettew: 'His combination of deep legal knowledge and excellent contentious skills engenders a strategic and resourceful approach. He is an exceptional team player whose representation could not be better.'" Another source claimed that his "expertise and service level set the standard that I use to assess all other counsel (on a global basis)" and that he "provides succinct, insightful and strategic advice in a timely manner. His communication and negotiation skills are stellar." Chambers USA notes that Mr. Rettew is "considered a 'standout' for his counsel on trademark, false advertising, and right of publicity issues. He is a go-to litigation lead for world-famous consumer brands."

Highlights

  • Nuance v. ABBYY (N.D. Cal.). Prevailed in jury trial and obtained verdict that the plaintiff's asserted family of software packaging designs was unprotectable.
  • Bridgestone v. Federal (Fed. Cir.). Obtained decision reversing the TTAB and holding that the mark MILANZA conflicts with Bridgestone's POTENZA and TURANZA tire marks.
  • Gateway, Inc. v. Companion Products (D.S.D., 8th Cir.). After a full trial, obtained a decision that Gateway's cow-spots trademark is strong and famous, and that the defendant's black-and-white spotted plush novelty computer monitor wraps infringed Gateway's trade dress rights. Obtained affirmance on appeal before the Eighth Circuit.
  • Andrew Luck v. Leaf Trading Cards (Tex. St. Ct.). Represented NFL first-round draft pick Andrew Luck in a case involving publicity rights in "rookie" football trading cards, which was resolved favorably.
  • Rawlings v. Under Armour (D. Wash.). Defeated demand for a preliminary injunction on a design patent claim that would have prohibited Under Armour's sale of its new batting helmet line for two years.
  • Chef'n v. Trudeau (D. Wash). Defeated demand for preliminary injunction and obtained victory on summary judgment that Trudeau's silicon steamer did not infringe Chef'n's design patent.
  • Nichia v. Seoul Semiconductor (C.D. Cal.). Obtained victory on summary judgment that Seoul Semiconductor's press statements regarding a design patent litigation did not constitute false advertising.
  • Capital One Financial Corp. v. Capital Financial, Inc. (M.D. Fla.). Obtained a preliminary injunction for Capital One against use of certain marks and names in the solicitation and marketing of limited-merchandise credit cards.
  • Games Workshop v. Brian Beale (W.D. Mo.). Obtained an ex parte seizure order and a TRO against the sale of counterfeit gaming miniatures, sold on eBay. Obtained sanctions and summary judgment on liability and an award of attorneys' fees and costs.
  • Involved in nine lawsuits over counterfeit and gray-market prescription human-growth hormones, resulting in nine ex parte TROs and five ex parte seizure orders, leading to the seizure of 20,000 packages of counterfeit products.  
  • In re the American Fertility Society (Fed. Cir.). Obtained decision reversing the TTAB's refusal to register the mark THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE on genericness grounds. 

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as a leader in the field of Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secret law in Chambers USA, which described him as "a 'standout' for his counsel on trademark, false advertising and right of publicity issues," and "a go-to litigation lead for world-famous consumer brands," 2015, 2016.
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. as one of the leading lawyers in trademark litigation, 2016; for trademark litigation, 2007-2016; trademark prosecution and non-contentious work, 2015; and copyright litigation, 2015.
  • Ranked in World Trademark Review 1000 among top trademark lawyers for contentious work in the United States, 2014-2016; and in D.C. for contentious and non-contentious work, 2012-2016.
  • Recognized as an "IP Star" in Washington, D.C. by Managing Intellectual Property, 2016.
  • Recognized by International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology's Client Choice Awards for excellent client service in the area of Trademarks, 2013, 2016.
  • Ranked among top U.S. trademark lawyers in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Trademark Law Practitioners since 2016.
  • Recognized by World IP Review as a WIPR Leader for trademarks in the United States, 2016.
  • Recognized as a Washington, D.C. "Super Lawyer" in Intellectual Property Litigation, Super Lawyers published in Thomson Reuters, 2016.
  • Recognized as a leading lawyer by International Who's Who of Trademark Lawyers, 2009-2016.

Professional Activities

  • International Trademark Association (member, Publication Committee, 2014-2015) 
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association

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