Ross Q. Panko

Ross is a trademark and copyright partner who advises on and litigates matters in the food and beverage, consumer products, and fashion industries, and has particular expertise in the protection, enforcement, and defense of non-traditional trademarks.
Ross Panko, Partner at Arent Fox

Client Work

Ross is both a trusted advisor and an accomplished litigator.  He regularly counsels multinational companies on strategies for protecting and enforcing their trademarks and copyrights in the United States and around the world.  This includes providing guidance on the clearance and prosecution of trademarks and trade dress, negotiating licenses and other IP contracts, and counseling clients on the use and enforcement of trademarks and copyrighted content on social media and other online platforms.  

Ross is also an experienced trademark and copyright litigator, and represents clients in high-stakes litigation in federal and state courts, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and other venues.  He has particular expertise in the enforcement and defense of non-traditional trademarks.  For example, Ross has successfully litigated cases involving the color magenta, a dog treat shaped like a toothbrush, the letter “P,” and even a piece of candy dressed up like a cowboy.  On the copyright side, Ross has successfully represented clients in disputes over apparel designs, photographs, printed publications, and computer source code, among many others.  

Ross recently served as an expert witness on copyright law, transactions, and litigation in an arbitration in the charter school industry.

Previous Work

Ross served as an intern for the Honorable Paul L. Friedman of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Professional Activities

Ross is a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), and currently serves on the Publications Committee (Ideas & Innovations Subcommittee). Ross is also a member of Marques (the European Association of Trademark Owners), and currently serves on the Anti-Counterfeiting & Parallel Trade Committee. 

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Ross is recognized as one of the leading trademark and copyright lawyers in the United States by The Legal 500 (2020, 2021, 2023, and 2024).

Ross writes and speaks extensively on trademark and copyright law trends and news.  His articles and commentaries include:

  • “One-year hangover: Counsel still scratching heads in Jack Daniel’s aftermath,” Managing IP (June 2024)
  • “Jack Daniel’s hangover and AI-wars: US trademark and copyright trends for 2024,” Managing IP, January 2024
  • “Why one letter could help Moderna avoid TM rejection,” Managing IP, August 2023
  • Jack Daniel’s SCOTUS hearing leaves counsel swaying,” Managing IP, March 2023
  • “Three in 23: TM and copyright lawyers eye busy year at SCOTUS” Managing IP, January 2023
  • “TTAB timelines frustrate counsel despite workarounds,” Managing IP, December 2022
  • “Federal Circuit sets high abandonment bar in Barclays: counsel,” Managing IP, June 2022
  • “Three TTAB trends shaping board this year,” Managing IP, March 2022
  • Half-Baked: D.C. Circuit Rejects Attempt to Extend Territorial Reach of Copyright Act and Lanham Act to U.K.,” 32 Intell. Prop. & Tech. Law Journal 19; 2020
  • “Misuse of Copyright Misuse Doctrine,” Landslide (American Bar Association); July/August 2012 (Volume 4, Number 6)
  • “American Airlines Sues Yahoo! for Use of Trademarks in Keyword Advertising Program,” World Trademark Report; November 2008
  • “Guitar Shape Trademark Not Infringed by Competitor’s Similar Design,” World Trademark Report; October 2005

Ross’s presentations include:

  • “Overview of TTAB Practice and Procedure,” September 2022 (Webinar)
  • “Overview of Copyright Law and Risk Management in Investment Advisory Publications,” September 2022 (Webinar)
  • “Copyright Considerations in Equity Research,” January 2021 (Webinar)
  • “Negotiating Effective Contracts: Developing Best Practices for Effectively Negotiating IP Contracts,” January 2017 (Webinar)
  • “The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Trademark Provisions: What They Mean for IE Canada Members Doing Business in the U.S.,” January 2016 (Webinar)
  • “Copyright in the Classroom,” February 2011 (Washington, DC)
  • “Use of Parody in Advertising: Trademark and Right of Publicity Issues,” November 2008 (New York, NY)
  • “Traditional and Non-Traditional Forms of Counterfeiting,” April 2006 (Washington, DC)
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • District of Columbia Bar
    • Maryland Bar
    • US District Court, District of Maryland
    • US District Court, District of Colorado
    • US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
    • US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
    • US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
    • US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
    • US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Education
    University of Maryland School of Law, JD, Order of the Coif, 2004
    Hamline University, BA, cum laude, 1997