James R. Steffen



Jim Steffen partners with clients to protect and enhance their brand assets through comprehensive trademark, advertising and marketing law strategies.

Jim serves the legal needs of corporate marketing officers and the in-house counsel that represent them, with particular emphasis on contentious and non-contentious trademark and advertising law matters. In the contentious sphere, Jim has deep experience in all species of litigation under the federal Lanham Act, in advertising disputes before the National Advertising Division, and in registrability disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In the non-contentious sphere, Jim provides comprehensive advertising law advice and teams with in-house resources to develop cost-effective strategies for global trademark portfolios and enforcement.

Jim has for many years been Target Corporation's primary outside trademark counsel. In that role, Jim was intimately involved in the 1999 formation of Target Brands, Inc., Target's brand management subsidiary, and works closely with Target Brands in its efforts to define, protect and enhance its valuable marks, brands and other IP assets around the world. Jim has represented Target, Target Brands and various of Target's other subsidiaries in dozens of trademark, copyright and unfair competition actions across the United States, and has also advised Target Brands with respect to international IP issues.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

Minnesota Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan


University of Michigan Law School
J.D. summa cum laude, Daniel H. Grady Prize (1st in class), Order of the Coif, Law Review (editor) (1989)

Princeton University
A.B. Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude (1986)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Firm Leadership

  • Leader, Intellectual Property Practice Group
  • Faegre Baker Daniels Intellectual Property Group — Leader, 2017-20


  • BTI Consulting Group — BTI Client Service All-Star, 2017
  • World Trademark Review — World's Leading Trademark Professionals (Minnesota) 2019-23, Enforcement & Litigation, 2012-21; Prosecution & Strategy, 2012-22
  • Managing Intellectual Property — "IP Star," 2014-18, 2020-22
  • Best Lawyers® — Trademark Law, 2014-20, 2022-24 (Lawyer of the Year, 2019)
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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