Joseph N. Welch II Counsel
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Northwestern University School of Law (J.D. 1984)
Harvard College (B.A., cum laude, 1976)

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Joseph N. Welch II

''Well versed in all facets of brand management and [has] a stellar reputation in the trademark market.''

World Trademark Review 1000 (2018)

''A true expert in the field.''

World Trademark Reporter

''Incredibly well-versed in all aspects of trademark law [with] a string of successes to his name''

Intellectual Property Today

Joseph Welch’s litigation motto is: “Fight hard, fight clean, and maintain a sense of humor.” With over 25 years representing companies in litigation, business planning, and transactions, he understands that the client’s goals are paramount and works hard to provide efficient analyses and advice. It helps, of course, that he enjoys what he does.

“Why wouldn’t I? Knowledgeable clients, challenging issues, good results for our clients, a firm full of talented lawyers-you’d have to be a grinch not to enjoy this.”

Formerly the firm’s Managing Partner, Welch says clients looking for IP lawyers have come to the right place at Pattishall. “We literally wrote the book on non-patent IP law,” he explains. “Our lawyers teach at major law schools, publish books and articles, speak at high-profile events, draft important legislation, and lead IP organizations at the local, national, and international levels. The breadth and depth of our experience can’t be matched.”

A recognized leader in the intellectual property field, Welch has handled a wide variety of IP matters, including ones involving brands, copyrighted materials, and advertising. He’s been an expert witness in brand, copyright, advertising and IP tax cases.

Welch has extensive experience in advertising law. In a three-year period, he handled over 100 arbitrations for a single client in the highly-competitive telecommunications industry, going after a competitor’s ads for alleged deception. “These cases have to be resolved quickly and efficiently,” he notes. “If litigation drags on for years, even a winning client may have lost critical market share.”

Welch, with his partner David Hilliard, won the Sun Life case in the Eleventh Circuit, which established the doctrine of “inevitable confusion.” In that case–involving two companies that had coexisted for many decades using similar names–Welch and Hilliard used a “mystery shopper” survey and anecdotal evidence to show that the confusion had become intolerable and “inevitable.”

Welch has experience in the wide variety of industries identified below, as well as with universities and non-profit organizations. Under his guidance, clients have implemented global licensing and registration programs, as well as policing programs aimed at preventing misuse, infringement, counterfeiting, gray market imports, and domain name cybersquatting.

In addition to being a mediator himself, Welch has represented clients in more than two hundred alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He’s listed in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal, the World’s Leading Trademark Practitioners and many similar publications. Both the American Bar Foundation and the American Intellectual Property Law Association have honored him as a Fellow. His peers voted him an Illinois “Leading Lawyer” and an Illinois “Super Lawyer,” and he was the subject of a feature article in Illinois Super Lawyer magazine.

Welch encourages businesses to enlist IP counsel early on. “We can help you protect your intellectual property–internally and externally–by identifying your IP assets (and potential assets), guiding you in their proper use and protection, minimizing your risks through clearance and investigation, and identifying the best way to acquire, license, and sell your IP assets. Whether your company is a start-up or a multi-national, we can help you with the quality of service you deserve.”

Active in the arts community, Welch represents a number of non-profit organizations, including Chicago Slam Works, an organization rooted in the poetry slam movement and devoted to promoting performance poetry, and Young Chicago Authors, which teaches young people writing and performance skills, and produces the nationally-renowned Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry slam.

  • Automobiles & Components
  • Commercial Services & Supplies
  • Consumer Durables & Apparel
  • Retailing
  • Food & Drug Retailing
  • Food, Beverage & Tobacco
  • Health Care Equipment & Services
  • Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
  • Household & Personal Products
  • Insurance
  • Media
  • Online Gaming and Entertainment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Real Estate
  • Software & Services
  • Technology Hardware & Equipment
  • Telecommunications Services