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Keith Medansky

Keith Medansky

Co-chair, Chicago Intellectual Property Practice
DLA's greatest strength is Keith Medansky, one of the very finest trademark attorneys in America

Keith Medansky has over 30 years of experience in all facets of trademark, advertising and copyright law. Keith protects intellectual property portfolios for all kinds of businesses, from small start-up companies to large multinationals. He has broad experience in complex IP issues relating to licensing, tax holding companies, M&A and bankruptcy. With a focus on anti-counterfeiting and piracy matters, Keith has built and managed global brand protection programs for some of the world’s largest businesses. He has also successfully litigated trademark and copyright lawsuits in the US and abroad. Keith represents hospitality, leisure, technology, sports, fitness, apparel, education, food, franchise, real estate, and consumer companies. He is routinely called upon to assist clients in their most complex and important matters and looked to as a trusted advisor and thought leader in the areas of trademarks, copyrights and advertising law.

Keith has broad experience in assisting clients in addressing complex intellectual property issues relating to licensing, intellectual property holding companies and arising out of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and bankruptcy.

Keith also handles litigation matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and various federal and state courts. He litigates on behalf of computer component companies in connection with counterfeiting matters and the protection and enforcement of copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights in software and other products. Keith obtained one of the first trial decisions under the Dilution Revision Act.

Bar admissionsIllinois
CourtsSupreme Court of the United StatesUnited States Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Tenth CircuitUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Central District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Southern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the District of ArizonaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin


Representative cases include:

  • Nike, Inc. v. Nikepal: Successfully represented Nike at trial in one of the first trial decisions under the Trademark Dilution Revision Act. The case involved the famous NIKE mark and a rare appeal of a Trademark Office opposition decision to a district court and claims seeking injunctive relief
  • Contessa Foods v. Lockpur: Successfully defended copyright and trade dress infringement dispute invalidating the plaintiff's copyright and dismissing plaintiff's other claims on summary judgment. Also represented our client on appeal and in resisting the plaintiff's petition for certiorari
  • MB Financial Bank v. MB Real Estate: Successfully defended preliminary injunction in trademark infringement case
  • Chattanooga Mfg. v. Nike, Inc. and Michael Jordan: Obtained summary judgment defending Nike, Inc. who was sued for trademark infringement and unfair competition by a blouse manufacturer who had obtained a federally registered trademark for and claimed exclusive rights to the name JORDAN. Keith also represented Nike in the successful appeal before the Seventh Circuit
  • Microsoft Corp. v. Logical Choice Computers: Obtained $1.54 million judgment against defendant in a computer software counterfeiting case. Keith has also successfully handled dozens of other software counterfeiting cases on behalf of Microsoft
  • J.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1987
    magna cum laude
  • B.A., Northwestern University 1984


Chambers USA

  • Band 1, Illinois Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2024)
  • Band 2, Illinois Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2021-2023)
  • Band 3, Illinois Intellectual Property (2014-2020)
  • Band 4, Illinois Intellectual Property (2012)
    Chambers USA comments, "Keith Medansky has expertise in handling copyrights and trademark portfolio management, as well as related disputes and transactional matters." Clients say, "Keith has deep experience with complex trademark issues and can explain them in a way that helps the in-house lawyers balance the competing risks and benefits." "He provides real-world, practical advice for in-house counsel."

The Legal 500 United States

  • Leading Lawyer, Trademarks: Non-Contentious (including Prosecution, Portfolio Management and Licensing) (2023-2024)
  • Recommended, Trademarks: Non-Contentious (including Prosecution, Portfolio Management and Licensing) (2023)
  • Recommended, Intellectual Property Trademarks: Non-Contentious (including Prosecution, Portfolio Management and Licensing) (2014-2020, 2022)
Additional Awards
  • Commended in the WTR 1000: The World's Leading Trademark Professionals (2019)
  • Recognized in the inaugural edition of the World Trademark Review 1000, a guide to the world's leading trademark practitioners (2022)
    World Trademark Review has said Keith "is the perfect combination of commercial lawyer and IP litigator. His instincts and judgment are impeccable" (2011). The publication describes Keith as "[e]xtremely versatile," who "fills the role of trusted adviser perfectly, while setting himself apart as a leading expert in the fields of IP transactions and anti-counterfeiting," noting that he "partners closely with clients to know them culturally and commercially get to the root of their problems, which he resolves in a budget-conscious fashion without ever failing to deliver on rock-solid IP protections." 
  • Named in The Best Lawyers in America® for Intellectual Property Law
  • Recognized in Euromoney Institutional Investor Expert Guides for Trademarks
  • Named by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine as a national "IP Star"
  • Listed as a Leading Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law by the Leading Lawyers Network and designated an Illinois Super Lawyer, as the result of research projects conducted jointly by Law & Politics and Chicago magazines
  • Recognized as one of the world's leading trademark practitioners in Who's Who Legal USA: Trademarks, Who's Who Legal Illinois: Trademarks and the Guide to the World's Leading Trade Mark Law Practitioners
  • In Acritas Stars Stand-Out Talent Survey, Keith was described by a client as "one of the most amazing client relationship partners that I've ever worked with… Keith will make it happen. He is just constantly helping his clients, he's amazing." (2019)


  • Speaker, “Dot ASIA Sunrise - Overview, Strategies & Best Practices,” International Trademark Association
  • Speaker, “Software Licenses in Bankruptcy Proceedings,” Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Speaker, “Recent Trends in Trademark Infringement and Dilution Litigation Law,” Seminars International presentation
  • Speaker, “Recent Trends in Trademark Litigation,” Law Seminars International and the Intellectual Property Association of Chicago
  • Speaker, “Intellectual Property Issues in Real Estate,” International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (AECRE), New Orleans
  • Panelist, “Alternative Dispute Resolution in Intellectual Property Cases,” Central American Secretariat for Harmonization of Laws Intellectual Property Program, sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Panelist, “Prosecuting and Defending Trademark Dilution Claims,” Seminar for Advanced Trademark Practitioners, International Trademark Association, New York City
  • Speaker, “Trademark Licensing.” Seminar for Advanced Trademark Practitioners, International Trademark Association, San Francisco
  • Presenter, “Exploring E-Legal Issues with a Legal Eagle,” Association for High Technology Distribution Annual Meeting, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Speaker, “Fair Use and Copyright Issues in Education,” Chicago Public Schools Principal's Association program
  • Speaker, “Piracy on the High (C)'s: Software Piracy and Counterfeiting,” Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division presentation, Chicago
  • Speaker,” Nuts and Bolts of Filing a Copyright Infringement Complaint,” Chicago Bar Association presentation, Chicago
  • Speaker, “Software Piracy and the Internal Auditor,” Institute of Internal Auditors, Dearborn, Michigan
  • Presenter, “Software Piracy ... It's No Laughing Matter,” Chief Information Officers meeting, Des Moines, Iowa

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Lawyer’s for the Creative Arts, Board of Directors
  • International Trademark Association, Internet Committee
  • American Bar Association
  • Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago