John Beard is a shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Washington D.C. office and is the head of the Firm’s U.S. and international trademark practice. He has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of trademark and other intellectual property(IP) law. He is also a graduate electrical engineer and has been a registered patent attorney his whole career. John has broad experience in related copyright, licensing, litigation, and agreement work, and in franchise, trade secret, domain name, social media and other disciplines of intellectual property law. This broad IP background and experience allows John to counsel each client on a whole spectrum of IP and related legal issues. By understanding the client’s business, John is able to identify and help secure, as needed, cost effective and valuable IP protection, all to better support the client’s current and future business goals.
John has been responsible for major naming projects including trademark clearance and registration of new company names for several prominent multi-billion dollar corporations. He has had substantial experience in a wide range of industries including banking, insurance, advertising and public relations, human resources, international publishing, certification programs, computers and telecommunications, medical products, the hospitality industry, including major hotels and restaurants, pleasure boats and yachts, and national sports tournaments.
John also has extensive experience with due diligence studies, transactional work and registering and managing large U.S. and foreign trademark portfolios, coordinating with a worldwide network of foreign associates. He has filed and successfully prosecuted many patent applications and well over 1,000 federal trademark applications. He also has substantial experience with administering major trademark and copyright licensing and enforcement programs, and with famous mark and other proceedings filed at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. John has been involved in strategy, acquisition and enforcement for long-standing clients regarding social media and domain names, including registering major marks in the Trademark Clearing House, and monitoring roll-out of new gTLDs.
John was a charter and repeat member of the INTA Nonprofit Organizations Committee. John is currently on the INTA Pro Bono Committee, and has represented non-profit organizations on a wide range of trademark matters.
Prior to joining Butzel Long, John Beard led the trademark practice at the Washington DC office of an IP boutique. Prior to that, John led Faegre & Benson’s global trademark prosecution and counseling practice in Minnesota. John has also been a senior vice president and a former chair of the trademark practice at Merchant & Gould. Before moving to Minneapolis he was an intellectual property partner at the firm of Michael, Best & Friedrich and was a shareholder and group head of the IP practice at Godfrey & Kahn in Milwaukee.
John and his wife Fran enjoy spending time with their grown children in Washington, D.C. John is an avid biker. His favorite ride is the 40 mile round trip from Capitol Hill to Old Town and along the Potomac River to Mount Vernon.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, J.D.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.S.E.E. with Honors
International Trademark Association
Licensing Executives Society
American Bar Association
American Intellectual Property Law Association