Our History

The firm was founded in 1969 by Peter Weiss, Heinz Dawid, Alvin Fross and Ron Lehrman, who had been colleagues for more than a decade at what was then the leading international trademark firm. Originally called Weiss, Dawid, Fross & Lehrman, the firm quickly acquired a clientele of prominent U.S. and foreign trademark owners and established itself as a leading firm in the field, with unmatched experience and sophistication in international practice and a rapidly growing U.S. practice.

The original partners were joined by their former colleagues Michael Davis, who enlarged our copyright practice with a focus on international copyright issues, and Stephen Bigger, who developed a clientele in the entertainment industry.

Our growing success and reputation prompted established lawyers in the field to join the firm. Leading litigators, including Allan Zelnick and Richard Lehv, built up the firm's U.S. federal court litigation practice. Roger Zissu and Carol Simkin further expanded our U.S. copyright and litigation practices. Marie Driscoll brought her counseling and litigation expertise and a pharmaceutical clientele to the firm.

The presence of so many outstanding lawyers under one roof enabled the firm to attract other talented lawyers, including David Ehrlich, Susan Douglass and Lawrence Apolzon, who expanded our counseling, USPTO and TTAB practices, and Barbara Solomon who focuses on rights of publicity issues in addition to U.S. litigation.

Janet Hoffman, a former professor of Slavic languages, was well-positioned to develop a network of local associates and to counsel clients in the newly-independent countries of Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 1990's. Peter Silverman arrived from PepsiCo and brought the perspective of in-house counsel and a special experience in licensing and protecting well-known brands globally.

During the 1990's the firm more than doubled in size. We continued to attract young talent, including Mark Engelmann, who brought a diverse clientele and broad expertise in all areas of trademark and copyright practice, and Nadine Jacobson, whose early experience working abroad and close relationships with officials at WIPO and OHIM enable her to provide an insider's perspective when advising clients on complex global trademark, copyright and design patent matters, as well as transactional issues.

Andrew Fredbeck joined our U.S. trademark and copyright counseling practice, advising foreign companies on the intricate rules and procedures of USPTO practice. Allison Strickland's work as chair of the Trademark Law Committee and membership on the Board of the American Intellectual Property Law Association has afforded her the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of developments relating to the acquisition of trademark rights through the registration process at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Craig Mende focuses on trademark and copyright litigation and oversees our anti-counterfeiting enforcement efforts. John Margiotta litigates trademark and copyright cases and UDRP proceedings, and also heads up our new media litigation practice.

In 2005, Carlos Cucurella and Lydia Gobena became members of the firm. Both Carlos and Lydia are foreign-trained attorneys who focus on international trademark and copyright matters for clients in the cosmetics, hotel and resort, luxury goods, financial services and entertainment industries.

In 2007, David Donahue and James Weinberger became members of the firm. Both David and James focus on trademark and copyright litigation, as well as UDRP proceedings.

The high professional standards and fierce commitment to achieving results for clients that built the firm and its reputation continue to guide and drive us.