John C Nishi

John C. Nishi

Member and Trademarks and Copyrights Practice Group Co-Chair

Education & Credentials


Yale University

B.A., Philosophy, 1977
  • cum laude

University of Southern California

Master of Music, Clarinet Performance, 1980
  • Sole Recipient, Outstanding Graduate Award

University of Chicago

J.D., 1993
  • Associate Articles Editor, University of Chicago Legal Forum

Bar Admission

  • Michigan2006
  • California1995
  • Illinois1993 (Inactive)


  • 2020 WTR 1000 – World’s Leading Trademark Attorneys, Michigan - Gold Band
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Intellectual Property
  • Chambers USA, Intellectual Property

Representative Clients

  • Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • Google Inc.
  • Vivus, Inc.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Prominent Assignments

Domestic and foreign trademarks, including trademark prosecution, portfolio management, and availability counseling.

Copyright, advertising, unfair competition, consumer protection, and Internet law counseling.

Licensing of trademarks, copyrights and publicity rights.

Counseling on intellectual property aspects of transactions.

Litigation of trademark, copyright, unfair competition and Internet law matters.

Developed an innovative brand ownership and licensing structure for a leading global consumer electronics company.

Directed the worldwide trademark clearance and filing program for a $100 million brand launch.

Negotiated trademark aspects of a $117.5 million purchase from bankruptcy of the assets of an internationally known athletic shoe company.

Supervised the acquisition by a leading toy company of a portfolio of classic computer game trademarks and developed strategies to minimize the vulnerability of the acquired rights.

Professional Involvement

  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
    • Related Rights Committee - Right of Publicity/Persona Subcommittee (2014-2015 term)
    • Non-Traditional Marks Committee (2012-2013 term)
  • Committee Chair, INTA Emerging Issues Committee (2010-2011 term) (Vice-Chair for 2008-2009 term)
  • Subcommittee Chair, INTA Emerging Issues Committee, Fair Use and Other Boundaries Subcommittee, 2006-2007 (Subcommittee Member, 2004-2005)
  • Member, INTA Special Committee for the Internet, 1999-2000
  • INTA Editorial Board for the Trademark Reporter, 1996-1999
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