Intellectual Property / Advertising Injury




Secrest Wardle’s Intellectual Property Practice Group prosecutes and defends copyright, trademark, trade dress, service mark, and advertising injury actions (including defamation, false advertising, and comparative advertising) in federal and state courts and arbitrates domain name disputes.  Significant copyright and trademark cases defended include:


Defendant was sued in a copyright infringement case claiming $40 million in damages for infringement of business plans, procedures, manuals, and operating materials.  A motion for summary judgment was filed which argued that the documents were first published under the copyright statute that required a copyright designation to be affixed and were, therefore, in the public domain and not protected by the Act.  While awaiting the court’s decision, the case was settled for an extremely favorable figure.

The Firm defended a copyright action seeking injunctive relief and damages for the infringement of a collection of cartoon drawings that were accompanied by humorous tag lines.  Our experts established through historical presentation that there are a limited number of basic designs that can be used in minimalist drawings to depict various human emotions.  The court agreed that one cannot copyright an idea as opposed to artistic expression and granted our motion for summary judgment.

The Firm has defended numerous copyright cases in which our clients allegedly infringed upon copyrighted architectural drawings in the construction of residential and commercial homes.

Secrest Wardle defended claims of copyright infringement which involved reproducing audio-visual training materials that were distributed over a network computer system.  The case was ultimately resolved for a very reasonable settlement.


The Firm defended a multi-million dollar trademark and dilution claim brought by a major automobile manufacturer against an after-market supplier.  Although an injunction had been issued before we were retained, we succeeded in dramatically reducing the sanctions and attorney fees assessed.

The Intellectual Property Practice Group’s attorneys defended a top 25 OEM supplier in claims involving trademark infringement, as well as copyright infringement, brought by the OEM supplier’s advertising agency.  After conducting strategic discovery, a confidential, favorable settlement was obtained for the defendant.

The Firm has handled numerous trademark and copyright claims brought by contractors against competitors seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief. 


The Intellectual Property Practice Group’s attorneys secure copyright registrations protecting writings, original works of art, music and other works of authorship.  We also provide advice to our clients concerning the selection of trademarks and service marks, as well as prosecute trademark registrations. 

Trade Secrets 

Our protection of trade secrets includes defending cases of misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information, violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, breach of confidentiality agreements, as well as drafting employee agreements and policies and procedures that protect confidential information. 

Our attorneys are active participants in intellectual property associations, including: 

  • ABA Section of Intellectual Property Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Computer Law Association
  • Cyber Law Association
  • Michigan State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section
  • Oakland County Bar Association Intellectual Property Law


Group Chair
  Truex, Bruce A.
Senior Partner

Group Vice Chair
  Randazzo, Anthony A.
Executive Partner

Group Members
Consolo, Matthew J.

Washburn, Kevin M.

Recent Publications
Buffaloes on bottles is a common occurrence, not a trade dress infringement
Fair Use 11/08/2017

Anthony Randazzo Name 2013 Up & Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
Press Release 11/12/2013

Secrest Wardle's 2011 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
Press Release 09/26/2011

Protect Yourself - How Important Are Trade Secrets To You? by Bruce A. Truex
Insights 05/01/2008

Michigan Does Not Recognize A Common Law Trademark Dilution Claim
Fair Use 11/08/2006

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015


Alternative Dispute Resolution

Amusement and Leisure


Commercial and Business Law


Drug and Medical Device


Environmental and Toxic Tort

Family Law

General Negligence

Governmental Litigation

Insurance Coverage

Intellectual Property / Advertising Injury

Malpractice / Professional Liability

Motor Vehicle Litigation


Premises Liability

Product Liability

Property, Fire and Casualty

Real Estate

Trucking/Commercial Vehicle Litigation



2600 Troy Center Drive
P.O Box 5025
Troy, MI 48007-5025
Phone: (248) 851-9500
Fax:(248) 538-1223


6639 Centurion Drive
Suite 100
Lansing, MI 48917
Phone: (517) 886-1224
Fax:(517) 886-9284

Grand Rapids

2025 East Beltline S. E.
Suite 600
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 285-0143
Fax:(616) 285-0145

Secrest Wardle

© 2018 Secrest Wardle