Richard J. McKenna is an intellectual property lawyer with over 25 years of experience assisting clients in a broad range of intellectual property matters. Rick has extensive experience counseling clients in the selection, adoption, use and enforcement of trademarks. His experience is focused on trademark selection and registration, enforcement, advertising review and protection of trade dress and licensing of these assets. Rick has also represented several clients in domain name disputes.
As a licensed patent attorney, he regularly counsels clients in the prosecution of U.S. and foreign patents, product clearance studies, potential patent infringement analysis and developing effective worldwide intellectual protection strategies. Based upon his technical background, Rick has addressed patent issues in material science and mechanical arts and in the areas of medical devices, food products and processing, automotive products, office furniture, power tools, consumer products and other industrial products.
With his qualifications and experience in both the trademark and patent fields, Rick is uniquely qualified to counsel clients on the interrelation between utility patent, design patent, trademark and trade dress law and to develop effective strategies for the protection of non-functional, aesthetic design elements. The recent Apple v. Samsung smartphone litigation has demonstrated the importance of an effective, coordinated, overlapping design patent and trademark/trade dress protection strategy.
For over seven years, Rick has served on committees of the International Trademark Association developing best practices, policies and procedures for owners of both non-functional, aesthetic designs and proprietary brands. Recently, he spoke at the INTA Design Rights conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on effective strategies for protecting Design Rights using U.S. Design Patents and Trademark Registrations.
Representative clients include Caterpillar Inc., Sunoco, Inc., Fiskars Brands, Inc., Medtronic, Inc., Robert Bosch Tool Corporation, Archway Cookies, Saputo, Inc., BISSELL Homecare Products, Inc. and Herman Miller, Inc.
Rick has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© each year since 2015 for his work in the field of Litigation - Intellectual Property, including being named Best Lawyers® 2020 Litigation - Intellectual Property “Lawyer of the Year” in Milwaukee.
In 2015, Rick was honored with the Client ChoiceTM award based on a survey of in-house counsel conducted by International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology.
Rick has also been recognized as a leader in the field of trademark law by World Trademark Review in its "WTR 1000 - The World's Leading Trademark Professionals" directory in 2021.
He has over 10 years of leadership experience within the firm as chair of the Milwaukee office Intellectual Property Department and as the former firm wide leader of the Trademark, Copyright & Advertising Practice.
Selected Publications and Presentations
Rick has written and lectured on a variety of issues, including trademark selection strategies, the overlap of protections provided by Design Patents and Trademark Registrations, invention idea generation strategies and false and misleading advertising. Representative publications and presentations include: