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Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star

Practice area:

Intellectual property

Doug (Chip) Rettew is frequently touted as one of the nation’s top trademark lawyers, having established himself as a litigator who knows how to efficiently and effectively try the cases that go the distance—before both judges and juries alike. 

Doug has first-chair jury and bench trial and appellate experience and has argued appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Fourth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits. He also litigates before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Doug has significant experience in obtaining (and defeating) temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, including those involving counterfeiting and ex parte seizures. He has testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property; was an adjunct professor at GW Law School; served as leader of the firm’s trademark, copyright, and advertising group; and is currently on the firm’s management and compensation committees. 

Doug was named “Litigator of the Year – DC Metro” at the 2023 Managing IP Americas awards. He has been recognized in World Trademark Review WTR 1000 as ”[o]ne of the best litigators in the country with an unbelievable success rate,” “a go-to litigation lead for world-famous consumer brands,” and “a bigwig in the IP arena” whose “shrewd litigation and trial skills are unmatched.” According to one client, “When it’s time to go into battle, we want him on our side.” 

Representative Experience: 

  • Represented Under Armour in a litigation against Armorina, Inc. over its unauthorized use of its ARMORINA name and mark for women’s athleisure apparel and accessories. After a four-day trial in the District of Maryland, a jury ruled in Under Armour’s favor on all counts, finding that Under Armour’s UNDER ARMOUR mark is famous and Armorina’s use of ARMORINA constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, and trademark dilution. 
  • After a full trial before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, obtained a ruling that the parties’ VAGISIL and VAGISAN marks conflict and that “VAGISIL is a famous mark that has attained substantial commercial strength.” Argued before the Fourth Circuit, who affirmed the ruling. 
  • Secured a victory on summary judgment for Dean Guitars and the Estate of Dimebag Darrell Abbott in a hotly-contested copyright infringement and unfair competition case of first impression, with multiple Lanham Act, invasion-of-privacy, and state-law claims. The case involved one of the world’s most popular heavy metal guitarists— Darrell Abbott of the band Pantera—and a lightning bolt graphic on his “Dean from Hell” guitar, which for decades has been an inseparable part of Abbott’s persona and likeness. Argued before the Eleventh Circuit, who affirmed the ruling. 

Updated Sep 2023