Biography

For more than 35 years, Nancy Rubner Frandsen has guided clients not only through the core areas of trademark and copyright strategic counseling and portfolio management but also through the more complex areas of the practice, including enforcement before the federal courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Nancy’s in-depth knowledge of her clients’ businesses, from individual entrepreneurs to major corporations, enables her to support and advance their unique objectives and goals and has made her their go-to trademark lawyer. 

Client Experience: 

  • Publishing companies
  • Newspapers
  • International food manufacturer and distributor
  • Promotional apparel and product distributors
  • Casinos and entertainment companies
  • Organic gardening products manufacturer
  • Leading independent organization producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law
  • Beverage companies
  • Software companies
  • Musical groups
  • Education companies
  • Furniture companies
  • Sporting goods manufacturer and distributor
  • Distributor of food service equipment and supplies

Representative Matters

  • Manages worldwide trademark portfolios for multiple clients, with attendant counseling related thereto.
  • Responsible for international enforcement of client trademarks through the use of cease and desist letters, domain name disputes, mediation, and litigation.
  • Defended a longtime client in trade dress litigation involving the shape of a food product. Successfully prevailed on a declaratory judgment action, affirmed on appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which led to the cancellation of an incontestable trademark registration of the opposing party.
  • Defended a family restaurant business against a trademark infringement claim from other family members. Successfully negotiated a settlement between the parties.
  • Represented a client in trademark litigation involving energy drinks against a vodka manufacturer. Defeated a motion to dismiss, which ultimately led to a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Represented a client in trademark litigation involving sports accessories, which ended in a successful settlement for the client. Prior to settlement, successfully moved to dismiss a declaratory judgment action filed by the infringing party, allowing the client to litigate in the client’s choice of forum.
  • Represented a longtime client in trade dress litigation involving playground equipment. Defeated two motions to dismiss, which ultimately led to a settlement in favor of the client.
  • Represented a well-known retailer in defense of copyright infringement. After our client prevailed on a motion for partial summary judgment on damages and costs and succeeded in requiring the plaintiff to post a bond, the district court dismissed the case, and all fees and costs were awarded to our client. The decision was later affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented a publisher in a copyright infringement claim. After our client prevailed on all liability issues at trial, the district court awarded the client statutory damages and attorney's fees.

Insights

My Greatest Strengths
  • Ability to connect with clients and colleagues
  • Provide value by ensuring that clients maximize opportunities and minimize risks
  • Training and mentoring young lawyers
I WANT YOU TO KNOW
  • I am an adjunct professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law, where I teach Trademarks and Unfair Competition.
  • I am the Philadelphia Chapter Founder and Leader of ChIPs, a national organization advancing women in tech, law and policy.
  • I am the co-author of What the General Practitioner Should Know About Trademarks and Copyrights (6th ed.), published by The American Law Institute.
  • I am the co-chair and course planner of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s annual IP Institute, a two-day seminar on the hottest topics in IP law.
  • I have been ranked by Chambers and Partners since 2006 as a leading Intellectual Property Law Attorney and am recognized by Legal 500, Best Lawyers of America, World Trademark Law Review, (WTR Global leaders and WTR  1000), World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), Managing Intellectual Property (IP Stars and Top 250 Women in IP), and Super Lawyers (Top 50 women in Pennsylvania).
  •  I have served as the National Trademark Team Leader of an AmLaw 100 firm.
WHAT MAKES ME UNIQUELY ME
  • I am a recent breast cancer survivor and proudly serve as a Board Member of breastcancer.org.
  • I am a rabid Philadelphia sports fan and the owner (with several other families) of an Eagles tailgate bus (1992 International school bus painted Eagles green, of course).
  • I love to travel, especially to visit our amazing kids (and grandkids) in Denver, Vermont and Copenhagen.

What Drives Me

  • Staying positive.

Focus

Practice Focus
  • Portfolio management
  • Trademark and copyright enforcement

News

News
  • Firm News, January 3, 2023
  • SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
  • USPTO Trademark Practices to Take Effect on Dec. 3, 2022: Everything that brand owners and trademark practitioners should know now, National MyLaw CLE (December 15, 2022)
  • Bad Faith in Trademark Registrations: Navigating Recent Changes in the U.S., EU, and China; Mitigating the Impact of Bad Faith Registrations on Good Faith Applications, Strafford national webinar (July 12, 2022)
  • Fraud in Trademark Applications and Registrations: Proving or Defeating Allegations—Navigating Differing Standards at the TTAB and in the Regional Circuits, Mitigating the Risk of Invalidation, Strafford national webinar (March 30, 2021)
  • ChIPs Philadelphia Chapter: Breast Cancer Awareness - Intellectual property issues involved in creating the extensive online resource and its related and ongoing programming for breastcancer.org, Philadelphia, PA (October 23, 2019)
  • Ethical Issues in Trademark Law, ABA IPL Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2018); Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Intellectual Property Law Institute, Philadelphia, PA (April 24, 2018)
  • What’s Your Brand? Life as In-House and Outside Trademark and Copyright Counsel,  The Legal Intelligencer In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, Philadelphia, PA (October 19, 2016),  American Association of Corporate Counsel Intellectual Property CLE Institute, Philadelphia, PA (January 26, 2017),  Pennsylvania Bar Institute Intellectual Property Law Institute, Philadelphia, PA (April 26, 2017)
  • All Clear? Practical Tips for Trademark Searches and Opinions, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (July 30, 2015)
  • Surf’s UP – Here Comes the Judge (Mock Preliminary Injunction Hearing), Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Intellectual Property Law Institute, Philadelphia, PA (April 29, 2015); INTA Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (May 4, 2015); State Bar of Arizona – CLE in the Gardens, Phoenix, AZ (April 8, 2016), IP CLE & Ski, Salt Lake City, UT (February 24, 2017), ABA IPL Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (April 6, 2017)
  • Review of Recent and Pending Trademark Cases, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (April 9, 2014) 
  • Mastering Copyright, Trademark & Patent Law – Hot Topics in Trademark Law, The Rossdale Group CLE (February 27, 2014)
  • Making Sense of Fair Use: What Business Lawyers Need to Know About Copyright, American Law Institute ALI-CLE program, Philadelphia, PA (November 20, 2013)
  • Review of Recent and Pending Trademark Cases and Predicting Their Effect, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (August 11, 2013)
  • Trademark Dilution for Business Lawyers, American Law Institute ALI-CLE program, Philadelphia, PA (July 11, 2012)
  • Practical Aspects of Trademark Practice, ALI-ABA Video Webcast, Philadelphia, PA (February 15, 2012)
  • Ethical Issues in IP, ALI-ABA Teleseminar (August 17, 2011)
  • Where Are Your Goods Being Sold and What Can You Do About It . . . eBay Issues and Beyond, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (March 31, 2011)
  • Trademarks for the Non-Specialists, ALI-ABA Video Webcast, Philadelphia, PA (March 23, 2011)
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (April 15, 2010)
  • Co-Existence and License Agreements in Resolution of Trademark Disputes, ALI-ABA Video Webcast, Philadelphia, PA (March 23, 2010)
  • Overview of Copyright and Trademark Law, Art Institute of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (2007-2009) 
  • Trademark Practitioners Tackle Tough Trademark Litigation Issues, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (March 6, 2009)
  • Mock Interview with IP Counsel, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (March 5, 2009); Philadelphia Bench-Bar Meeting, Atlantic City, NJ (September 25, 2008)
  • Trademark and Copyright Trials, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (April 17, 2007 and April 18, 2008)
  • Fair or Foul: Navigating the Waters of Fair Use, INTA Round Table Moderator, Philadelphia, PA (July 27, 2006)
  • Trade Dress, Product Configuration & Design Patent Protection, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (March 12, 2003), Pittsburgh, PA (March 18, 2003)
  • Apple v. Franklin – 20 Years Later, Temple University School of Law National Symposium, Philadelphia, PA (March 21, 2003)
  • Copyright Damages, Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association, Philadelphia, PA (February 20, 2002)
  • Year in Review – Trademark Decisions in the Federal Courts, Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association, Philadelphia, PA (May 13, 1999)
  • An Overview of the Law of Trade Dress, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (February 1997)
  • Non-Traditional Trademarks, American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Washington D.C.  (November 1989)

Publications

  • What the General Practitioner Should Know About Trademarks and Copyrights, Co-author, Sixth Edition, American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Committee on Continuing Professional Education, Philadelphia, PA (1992)
  • Issues of Fraud and Bona Fide Intent in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, published by ALI-ABA, August 2011
  • Intellectual Property Law Update – Hot Internet Topics:  The Latest Word on the Use of Keywords and Meta Tags, May 2006
  • Trade Dress, Product Configuration & Design Patent Protection, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2003
  • What the General Practitioner Should Know About Bad Faith UDRP Proceedings, IP Law Newsletter, Summer 2002
  • An Overview of the Law of Trade Dress, published by Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 1996
  • Product Configuration Trade Dress in the Third Circuit, Has A New Standard Been Adopted?, The Legal Intelligencer, 1998

Community & Professional

Community & Professional

American Bar Association

  • Intellectual Property Section
  • Litigation Section

International Trademark Association

  • Academic Committee

Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association

Pennsylvania Bar Institute: Intellectual Property Advisory Committee

IP Law Institute

  • Co-Chair, 2010 to present
  • Course Planner, 2007 to present

ChIPS

  • Philadelphia Chapter: Founder and Leader

Copyright Society of the U.S.A.

  • Philadelphia Chapter: Chair, 2001 to 2003

Community

  • Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Breastcancer.org: Board Member

Pro Bono

  • Serves as trademark counsel to breastcancer.org, the world's leading online resource for breast health and breast cancer information.
  • Represented a pro bono client in a trademark infringement case against the client's former volunteer, who tried to claim trademark rights in a fundraiser. The case was settled after a preliminary injunction was issued in favor of our client.
  • Routinely provides trademark and copyright counsel to artists and cultural organizations for Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
  • Serves as trademark counsel to Surrey Services for Seniors, a nonprofit organization offering comprehensive resources, services, and activities for older adults.

Education

J.D., Temple University Beasley School of Law, 1986, cum laude

B.A., Ohio University, 1975

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
    U.S. Supreme Court
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Honors

The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended in Intellectual Property: Copyright, 2022

Chambers USA: Intellectual Property in Pennsylvania, 2006 to 2022

WTR Global Leaders: Private Practice, 2022

  • Pennsylvania

WTR 1000 – The World's Leading Trademark Professionals, 2011 to 2022

  • Top Attorney in Pennsylvania for Enforcement and Litigation - Gold
  • Top Attorney in Pennsylvania for Prosecution and Strategy - Gold

Who's Who Legal: Trademarks, 2016 to 2022

The Best Lawyers in America, 2012 to Present

  • Pennsylvania: Copyright Law
    • Lawyer of the Year, 2018 & 2022
  • Pennsylvania: Litigation - Intellectual Property
    • Lawyer of the Year, 2020 & 2022
  • Pennsylvania: Trademark Law
    • Lawyer of the Year, 2023

Managing Intellectual Property "Top 250 Women in IP"

Managing Intellectual Property "IP Stars" in Pennsylvania

Arrive Magazine "Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast"

Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent

Pennsylvania Super Lawyers,  2010-2022

  • Top 50 Women Lawyers in Pennsylvania, 2016-2022

Arthur H. Seidel Distinguished Service Award, 2016

World Intellectual Property Review: Leader, 2017 to 2022

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