Darren S. Cahr



Darren Cahr has built a national reputation helping clients develop and defend their most critical intellectual property rights. Clients seek his counsel on brand strategies, marketing laws and the modern complexities of corporate identity and product authenticity. Darren advises clients on product design, competitive positioning and parallel importation of grey-market goods, and he has been recognized as an authority on the interface of intellectual property and social media advertising. When infringements and disputes arise, Darren uses his nearly three decades of experience as a courtroom advocate to ensure that the rights of his clients are fiercely protected.

New Media, Social Media and Marketing

Darren counsels clients on branding, advertising, and marketing strategies on an international scale. He is especially focused on legal issues arising through the internet, social media, and other new technology platforms, including advertising review and claim substantiation, online promotion clearance, sweepstakes and contests. He writes and speaks frequently on legal issues at the intersection of social media and intellectual property, and he tweets on those topics and more @legallysocial.

Trademark, Copyright and Advertising Litigation

When disputes emerge that place client brands, assets and advertising strategies at stake, Darren is relentless in his efforts to protect clients’ interests. Whether obtaining a restraining order in a contentious trademark dispute, trying a complex product configuration trade dress dispute or successfully litigating a false advertising claim, he finds a way to prevail on behalf of clients. Darren litigates cases in courts across the country, as well as before administrative bodies such as the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the International Trade Commission, and industry self-regulatory forums, including the National Advertising Division.

Representative Experience

  • Won significant trial victory before the International Trade Commission, successfully defending global oral care company in large-scale, competitor dispute. In Re Certain Dental Ceramics, Products Thereof, and Methods of Making the Same, 83 FR 66303 (2018)
  • Successfully obtained temporary restraining order in contentious trademark infringement dispute after full evidentiary hearing in Venus Laboratories, Inc. v. Vlahakis et al, No. 1:2015-cv-01617 (N.D. Ill. 2015)
  • Obtained summary judgment in defense of false advertising, false designation of origin, and trade secret claims after extensive fact and expert discovery in Alpha Pro Tech, Inc. v. VWR International LLC, No. 2:12-cv-01615 (E.D. Pa. 2017)
  • Successfully argued appeal, after oral argument, overruling trademark application refusal on novel specimen issue in In re Johnson & Johnson, Serial No. 85286071 (T.T.A.B. 2015)
  • Won complex product configuration trade dress infringement action at trial, upheld on appeal, in Bobrick Washroom Equipment v. American Specialties (C.D. Cal. 2012)
  • Successfully obtained consent judgments in parallel importation cases in Trademark Holdings of Illinois v. AR Dental (E.D. NY 2009) and Trademark Holdings of Illinois v. King’s Two Dental Supply (C.D. Cal. 2009)
  • Won high-profile copyright infringement action relating to protection of science fiction tropes in films and video games in Crawford et al. v. Midway Games Inc., et al, 2:07-cv-00967 (C.D. Cal. 2008)
  • Successfully represented major consumer products companies before nation’s premier advertising industry self-regulatory forums, National Advertising Division and Children’s Advertising Review Unit
  • Advised well-known environmentally conscious consumer products company on marketing practices and social media
  • Counseled a number of major insurance companies on intellectual property issues and marketing practices
  • Advised major national retailer on copyright and trademark issues, and successfully resolved a series of high-profile infringement disputes pre-litigation
  • Coordinated international branding efforts with global network of foreign counsel for major life sciences company
  • Reviewed and cleared major comparative advertising campaign for well-known national restaurant chain
  • Counseled life-sciences companies on product packaging and legal risks emerging from parallel importation and counterfeiting
  • Reviewed and designed legal framework for cutting-edge online promotions, including sweepstakes, contests, and other marketing practices
  • Advised major toy and hobby company on copyright, trade secret, and trademark issues

Personal Interests

Darren is a widely published author on topics of law, technology, social media and popular culture, a science fiction novelist, a painter and a musician.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar


Northwestern University
B.A. (1990)

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
J.D. (1993)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Litigation & Intellectual Property Sections
  • Brand Activation Association
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association — Domain Names and Social Media Committee
  • International Trademark Association — Parallel Importation Committee


  • Best Lawyers® — Trademark Law, 2020-22 (Lawyer of the Year - Trademark Law, 2022)
  • World Trademark Review 1000 — World’s Leading Trademark Professionals (Illinois), 2013-21
  • Managing Intellectual Property, "IP Star" 2018-21

Awards Methodology

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