John Beard, Butzel Long Photo

John Beard is a Shareholder based in Butzel’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 Beard 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 cost-effective and valuable IP protection to support the client’s 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, educational institutions, human resources, international publishing, certification programs, computers and telecommunications, medical products, major hotels and restaurants, pleasure boats and yachts, national sports tournaments, and the cannabis industry.

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 worldwide trademark portfolios, social media and domain names, including court and UDRP proceedings.

John was a charter and repeat member of the INTA Nonprofit Organizations and Pro Bono Committees. John is currently on the INTA Brands For A Better Society Committee and has represented non-profit and for-profit organizations on a wide range of trademark matters.

Prior to joining Butzel, 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 and young granddaughter in Washington, D.C. John is an avid biker. One of his favorite rides is the 40 mile round trip from Capitol Hill to Mount Vernon.

Primary Practice Areas



University of Wisconsin, Madison, J.D.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.S.E.E.


  • International Trademark Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association

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