BREAKING: Archer Wins Historic U.S. Supreme Court Victory in Federal Trademark Suit Vindicating First Amendment Rights of ‘The Slants’
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Ronald D. Coleman

Ron Coleman has shaped the law relating to the use and abuse of intellectual property as a tool of competition. A leader in social media for lawyers, his blog about copyright, trademark and free speech, LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®, has since its inception in 2005 become one of the most influential publications in IP law.

Recent representations include:

  • vindicating the rights of review websites threatened with IP infringement claims to intimidate them into removing legally protected information or commentary;
  • coordinating the investigation of and legal response to fraudulent websites impersonating the website of a commercial client;
  • defending a national figure against IP claims arising out of her brief use of a famous photograph on Facebook; and
  • leading the appellate effort to overturn the PTO’s refusal to register trademarks that the PTO finds “may disparage” ethnic or racial constituencies. Ron has represented clients of every size in state and federal courts, bench and jury trials, the TTAB and in arbitrations and mediations throughout the country.

Author of the first article on Internet law in the ABA Journal (1995), Ron was co-author of the chapter on “Responses to Complaints” in Business and Commercial Litigation in the Federal Courts (ABA / West Group 1998). More recently, his chapter on the interplay of rights of publicity and trademark was included in In the Arena: A Sports Law Handbook.  Other publications include the Computer and Internet Law Journal, the NYSBA Journal and the NJ Law Journal. Ron has been a featured speaker and panelist at a host of legal and industry conferences around the United States.

Ron has represented clients of every size in state and federal courts, bench and jury trials, the TTAB and in arbitrations and mediations throughout the country. He has also been retained as an expert on trademark law and practice in professional liability litigation. A graduate of Princeton University, he received his JD from Northwestern University School of Law.

Representative Experience

  • In re Simon Shiao Tam, 808 F.3d 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2015)
  • Roca Labs, Inc. v. Consumer Op. Corp., 140 F. Supp. 3d 1311 (M.D. Fla. 2015)
  • Naffe v. Frey, 789 F.3d 1030 (9th Cir. 2015)
  • Ferguson v. Ferrante, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68416 (S.D.N.Y. May 27, 2015)
  • Kimberlin v. Nat’l Bloggers Club, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32528 (D. Md. Mar. 17, 2015)
  • Summit Transp. Corp. v. Hess Energy Mktg., LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23921 (D.N.J. Feb. 27, 2015)
  • Matter of Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC v. Pissed Consumer, 125 A.D.3d 508 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2015)
  • Amerigas Propane, L.P. v. Opinion Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84679 (E.D. Pa. June 19, 2012)
  • Boarding Sch. Review, LLC v. Delta Career Educ. Corp., 108 U.S.P.Q.2d 1785 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)
  • deVere Group GmbH v. Opinion Corp., 877 F. Supp. 2d 67 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)
  • Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil of Tartikov, Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Trust, 878 F. Supp. 2d 459 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)
  • Tropp v. Conair Corp., 845 F. Supp. 2d 485 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)
  • Ascentive, LLC v. Opinion Corp., 842 F. Supp. 2d 450 (E.D.N.Y. 2011)
  • Righthaven, LLC v. Hyatt, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93115 (D. Nev. Aug. 19, 2011)
  • Designer Skin, LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., 560 F. Supp. 2d 811 (D. Ariz. 2008)
  • S&L Vitamins, Inc. v. Australian Gold, Inc., 521 F. Supp. 2d 188 (E.D.N.Y. 2007)
  • Burch v. Nyarko, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43275 (S.D.N.Y. June 15, 2007)
  • Buying for the Home, LLC v. Humble Abode, LLC, 459 F. Supp. 2d 310 (D.N.J. 2006)
  • Dorsey v. Black Pearl Books, Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83093 (D.N.J. Nov. 14, 2006)
  • Lawson v. N.Y. Billiards Corp., 331 F. Supp. 2d 121 (E.D.N.Y. 2004)
  • Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Veit, 211 F. Supp 2d 567 (E.D. Pa. 2002)
  • Valley Nat’l Bank v. Lavecchia, 59 F. Supp. 2d 432 (D.N.J. 1999)
  • Lewis v. Am. Cyanamid Co., 155 N.J. 544 (N.J. 1998)

Professional And Community Involvement

Current Professional Organization Membership

  • International Trademark Association – Internet Committee
  • New York State Bar Association – Intellectual Property Committee
  • New Jersey State Bar Association Federal Bar Association
  • New York Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York – Legal History Committee
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Copyright Society of the USA

Awards And Recognition

  • Named a Global Intellectual Property Leader by World IP Review (2017)
  • Named “Top Attorney” in Internet Law, SJMagazine (2016)
  • Named one of the world’s leading national and international trademark practitioners by WTR 1000 (2016, 2017)
  • Designated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell as an associate attorney (2000 –)
  • National Bloggers Club “Friend to Bloggers” (Julie Laughridge) Award for Pro Bono Legal Defense of Bloggers (2015)
  • Named a “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property Litigation in New York City (2012 –)
  • Featured as a “Bergen Top Lawyer” by (201) Magazine in 2012
  • Avodas Hakodesh Award, Agudath Israel of America, 2009
  • LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® Blog named to the first ABA “Blawg 100” list of best law-related blogs (2007)
  • Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick-O-Type Award for Feature Writing, “A Lawyer and His Sabbath, Student Lawyer magazine (1987)


  • Article, “Fashion Dos: Acknowledging Social Media Evidence as Relevant to Proving Secondary MeaningThe Trademark Reporter, (July-August, 2016 Vol. 106 No. 4)
  • Blogger, Likelihood Of Confusion Blog ( (2005 – present)
  • Article, “Bloggers, Journalists, Reporting and Privilege,” 22 Bright Ideas 17 (Fall 2013); reprinted in 85 New York State Bar Assoc. Law Journal 18 (Nov. / Dec. 2013) and 31 Computer and Internet Lawyer (March 9, 2014)
  • Chapter, “How Trademark Protection Intersects with the Athlete’s Right of Publicity in In the Arena: A Sports Law Handbook (New York State Bar Association 2013)
  • Article, “Bully for Who?,” Intellectual Property Magazine 10 (January 4, 2011)
  • Article, “Trademark, Copyright, and the Internet: Time to Return Balance to Civil Litigation,” 11 Engage 69 (August 2010)
  • Article, “Hands off Blogs: Mandatory disclosure of payment to bloggers runs counter to free expression,” 187 New Jersey Law Journal 23 (January 26, 2007)
  • Article, “De Minimis Confusion on the Internet: Compounding the Error of Initial Interest,” Journal of Internet Law (October 2003)
  • Article (Primary Co-Author), “Online Auction Sites and Trademark Infringement Liability,” 58 Record of the Association of the Bar of New York City 236 (2003)
  • Article (Co-Author), “Hacker with a White Hat,” Mealey’s Cyber Tech Litigation (May 14, 2001)
  • Article, “New York’s Declaratory Judgment Insurance Trap,” (2001)
  • Principal Author, The ABA Legal Guide for Small Business (American Bar Association 2000)
  • Co-Author, “Responses to Complaints,” Chapter in Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (ABA Section of Litigation | West Group, 1st Ed., 2000)
  • Article, “Depositions and Wrongful Profits in Infringement Cases: Cornering Your Prey with Rule 30(b)(6),” (2002)
  • Article, “Prudential Standing: Who is ‘any person’ under the Lanham Act?,” (1998)
  • Article, “Court Nixes Fees for Fact Witness,” 20 New Jersey Law Journal 22 (1997)
  • Article, “New York’s Choice of Law Doctrine in Coverage Cases is Moving Inexorably Toward the Site-Specific Approach,” 11 Mealey’s Litigation Report 1 (January 28, 1997)
  • Principal Author, The ABA Legal Guide to Consumer Law (American Bar Association 1997)


  • Panelist, “Trademark Disparagement and the First Amendment,” The McCarthy Institute and Microsoft Corporation Symposium: Trademark Law and Its Challenges 2017 (February 2017)
  • Panelist, “Litigating a Brand: The Dual Perspective of In-House and Outside Counsel,” 2017 Federal Bar Association Fashion Law Seminar (February 2017)
  • Presenter, “Section 2(a): Trademark’s Law of Unforeseen Consequences,” 26th All Ohio Annual Institute on Intellectual Property, Cincinnati Bar Association (September 2016)
  • Presenter, “On the (Un)Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act,” 2016 Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Meeting, North Carolina Bar Association (March 18, 2016)
  • Presenter, “Registering Offense: Disparaging Trademarks, The First Amendment, and In Re Simon Shiao Tam,” Los Angeles Copyright Society (March 14, 2016)
  • Presenter, “Mastering Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act: Strategies for Overcoming Deceptiveness, False Suggestion, Scandalous, and Disparaging Refusals,” Advanced Trademark Law Seminar, Minnesota CLE (February 16, 2016)
  • Presenter, “Deposing Rule 30(b)(6) Corporate Witnesses” – Strafford CLE Webinars (December 8, 2015)
  • Panelist, “Hate Speech, Threats, and Terror: In the News and On Your Site” – MLRC Forum, Media Law Resource Center (November 11, 2015)
  • Panelist, “Green Paper Roundtable on Statutory Damages in Copyright” – United States Copyright Office and Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University (June 25, 2014)
  • Panelist, “Hot Topics in Trademark Law” – Trademark Talk Symposium, New York City Bar Association (May 20, 2014)
  • Panelist, “Addressing the Efficacy of §2(a) of the Lanham Act” – Annual Federal Circuit Symposium, American University Washington College of Law, (April 11, 2014)
  • Speaker, “THE SLANTS Appeal: Examining Attorneys and Independent Research” – Cleveland Intellectual Property Association (March 10, 2014)
  • Panelist, “Trademarks, Goodwill and Free Speech” – Annual Meeting, American Intellectual Property Law Association (October 24, 2013)
  • Panelist, “Labeling Yourself: The Do’s and Don’ts of Fashion Law Advertising” – Fashion Law Institute of Fordham Law School (October 24, 2012)
  • Panelist, “Righthaven and Mass Copyright Infringement Campaigns” – Annual Meeting, Copyright Society of the USA (June 7, 2011)
  • Facilitator, “Policing Trademarks on the Internet and the Web 2.0” – Table Talk, International Trademark Association (January 14, 2010)
  • Panelist, “A Focus on Initial Interest Confusion: Post-Sale Confusion and Related Strategies” – Advanced Trademark Law Seminar, Minnesota CLE (March 4, 2010)
  • Panelist, “Keying Up Keywords: The Role of Intellectual Property in Keyword Searching” – Global IP Positioning Strategies Panel, American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 11, 2010)
  • Presenter, “Legal Aspects of Blogging,” (2008)
  • Moderator of rabbinic panel, “Jew law issues in legal practice” – Halacha Conference, Agudath Israel of America (June 3, 2007)
  • Panelist, “Faith Under Democracy: What have religious believers gained? What have they lost?” 1 Geo. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 249 (Summer, 2003)
  • Panelist, “Advanced Trademark Law” – Association of the Bar of the City of New York (March 1, 2006)
  • Facilitator, “Issues in Trademark Dilution” – International Trademark Association – Table Talk (2004)
  • Panelist, “Electronic Data Management and Discovery Issues: Where is the Tipping Point?” – Electronic Discovery Seminar, Delaware Bar Association (2003)
  • Panelist, “Managing Risks and Costs of Acquiring IT Solutions” – Annual Business Law Institute, New Jersey State Bar Association (2003)
  • Panelist, “Attacking Counterfeiting in the 21st Century” – New York Intellectual Property Association (2002)
  • Panelist, “Protecting Intellectual Property Rights Where Wireless is Ubiquitous” – Annual Wireless Conference, The Conference Board (2001)
  • Panelist, “Trademark Rights vs. Free Speech” – Annual Trademarks in Cyberspace Program, International Trademark Association (October 16, 2000)



Ronald D. Coleman on NPR Podcast

Archer Attorneys Appeared Before the Supreme Court of the United States

Ronald D. Coleman to Speak at the McCarthy Institute Trademark Symposium 2017