John L. Welch

John L. Welch

Senior Counsel | Trademark & Copyright
617.646.8285 LinkedIn Profile


  • BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, summa cum laude
  • JD, Harvard Law School

Key Industries

  • Clothing & Fashion
  • Restaurant Services
  • Food Products
  • Computer Hardware & Software

Practice Groups

Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • US Patent and Trademark Office
  • Various federal district and appellate courts


  • Boston


John Welch has represented clients in scores of patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and domain name lawsuits across the country, and has handled hundreds of opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

He is responsible for the international trademark portfolios of a number of major companies in such diverse fields as clothing and fashion, restaurant services, food processing machinery, and computer hardware and software. John has obtained numerous utility and design patents for clients in a variety of consumer industries, including patents for lighting fixtures, electrical instrumentation, ceramic candle holders, food processing machinery, and kitchen utensils.

Client Testimonial

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  • Obtained summary judgment of validity and infringement in a patent infringement lawsuit in New Orleans involving a patent on a laser board game, including entry of a permanent injunction.
  • Assisted a bank in a proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) involving the domain names that included the bank’s name, resulting in a transfer of those domain names to the bank.
  • Represented a restaurant company in a federal lawsuit alleging infringement of that client’s service mark by another restaurant, resulting in a settlement of the dispute whereby the defendants agreed to change the name of their restaurant.
  • Successfully teamed with a company in the clothing field in obtaining a TTAB decision sustaining the client’s opposition to registration of a design of a standing dog in the color yellow, the TTAB finding that mark likely to cause confusion with the client’s standing dog design.
  • Represented an engineering software company in connection with infringement of its copyright in a book in the field of design for manufacture and assembly.
  • Represented a European fashion company in successfully overturning a United States Patent and Trademark Office refusal to register a design mark containing the term “AUX ETATS UNIS,” which the Office had deemed geographically deceptive of luggage.
  • Represented a musical group in obtaining a reversal of a federal district court ruling that had dismissed the group’s claim of trademark infringement by a rival group that had adopted the same name.


  • Founder and Publisher of The TTABlog
  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA), Trademark Reporter Committee
  • Member, Board of Editors, The Trademark Reporter 
  • Member of the Trademarks and Unfair Competition Committee of the Boston Intellectual Property Law Association 
  • Contributing Editor, Allen’s Trademark Digest
  • Faculty Clinic Supervisor, Northeastern University School of Law's IP CO-LAB


  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named to World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals (2012-2024)
  • Named to World Trademark Review Global Leaders (2019-2024)
  • Named as one of Massachusetts “Super Lawyers” in the field of intellectual property (2004-2023)
  • Named a United States Trademark Leader in World IP Review’s WIPR Leaders (2022-2023)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® (2023-2024)
  • Ranked among the top 5% of most active trademark attorneys by Patexia, Inc. (2023-2024)
  • Recipient of the INTA President's Award (2023)
  • Recognized as a High-Performing Committee Member by INTA (2022)


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Other Publications

  • The Seventy-Fourth Year of Administration of the Lanham Act of 1946, John L. Welch and Theodore H. Davis Jr., The Trademark Reporter, Vol. 112, no. 1, January-February 2022.
  • The Seventy-Second Year of Administration of the Lanham Act of 1946, John L. Welch and Theodore H. Davis Jr., The Trademark Reporter, Vol. 110, no. 1, January-February 2020.
  • The Seventy-First Year of Administration of the Lanham Act of 1946, John L. Welch and Theodore H. Davis Jr., The Trademark Reporter, Vol. 109, no. 1, January-February 2019.
  • The Seventieth Year of Administration of the Lanham Act of 1946, John L. Welch and Theodore H. Davis Jr., The Trademark Reporter, Vol. 108, no. 1, January-February 2018 

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