John C. Ulin

John Ulin is a national leader in the intellectual property bar and a recognized trial lawyer, concentrating on copyright and trademark litigation. He has been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California and is a recipient of the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award. Mr. Ulin is a frequent speaker on copyright and trademark topics, including at leading law schools. He is the incoming Chair of the University of Southern California’s Intellectual Property Institute.

Mr. Ulin represents copyright clients in cutting edge disputes involving new technologies and valuable properties. His copyright clients include major television networks and movie studios, music companies, jeans wear and apparel designers, and toy companies, among others. He earned recognition for his role in litigation against television streaming services Aereo and FilmOn, which led to important victories, including at the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Ulin has litigated more than 200 trademark cases throughout the country and first-chaired numerous successful trials. His trademark clients include several of the world's leading brand owners. In addition to litigation, he counsels clients in creative strategies for trademark enforcement and counterfeit prevention.

Beyond his intellectual property practice, Mr. Ulin has won important victories for commercial clients in product liability and other business litigation. He also enjoys a rich pro bono practice and has been recognized for his work in voting rights, educational equity and protecting military veterans and the homeless.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining TroyGould, Mr. Ulin was a partner at Arnold & Porter from 2008-2020 and a shareholder at Heller Ehrman from 2005-2008. Prior to entering private practice, he served as judicial law clerk to the Hon. Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., US District Court for the Central District of California (1992-93); and the Hon. Ferdinand F. Fernandez, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1993-94).

Primary Areas of Practice

  • Copyright Litigation and Counseling
  • Trademark Litigation and Counseling
  • Consumer Protection and Advertising
  • Product Liability Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation

Community Leadership

  • University of Southern California Intellectual Property Institute (Executive Committee 2011-present; Vice Chair 2019-20; Chair 2021-22)
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society (Board of Directors 2019-20)
  • ACLU Foundation of Southern California (Board of Trustees 2011-present)
  • Camp Dudley (Board of Trustees 2003-07, 2017-present; Executive Committee 2004-07, 2019-present)
  • California Common Cause (Board of Directors 2002–12)
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (Board of Directors, 2004–2010)
  • Represented media and entertainment companies and sports leagues in litigation concerning unauthorized streaming of copyrighted television broadcasts over the Internet. WPIX v., US District Court for the Southern District of New York and US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; CBS v., US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented jeanswear designer in multiple lawsuits challenging use of copyrighted and trademarked stitching and design elements. Chrome Hearts LLC v. Sweet People Apparel, Inc., United States District Court for the Central District of California; RCRV, Inc. v. J.L.J., Inc., United States District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Represented tobacco company in over 150 federal trademark actions in more than 25 courts throughout the country against traffickers in counterfeit and contraband cigarettes. Served as lead counsel at trials in the US District Courts for the Western District of Texas and Eastern District of New York.
  • Represented music publishing company in litigation concerning unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted music videos on a user-generated content website. UMG v. DivX, US District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Represented software company (including serving as co-lead trial counsel) in litigation concerning an enterprise resource planning software program. Fortune Fashions Industries LLC v. Sunrise Technologies and Microsoft Corp., United States District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Served as lead trial counsel for toy manufacturer in trademark litigation concerning use of a trademark in the color yellow for water slide toys and continue in advising the client in connection with protection of the brand and enforcement of the judgment. SLB Toys USA, Inc. v. Wham-O, Inc.; Wham-O, Inc. v. Manley Toys, Ltd., US District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Represented pharmaceutical company in Lanham Act litigation against other companies marketing competing drugs that lacked FDA approval to sell. Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., US District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Advised media company about enforcement options against entity seeking to stream television network broadcasts over the Internet without authorization.
  • Developed anti-counterfeiting program for international manufacturer of industrial chemicals and water treatment systems.
  • Advised major sports leagues on enforcement options against websites that facilitate unauthorized streaming of live broadcasts of sporting events over the Internet.