Thompson Coburn is pleased to announce that Samuel R. Watkins has joined the firm as a partner in our Los Angeles office. Sam will join the Intellectual Property group. He previously served as a senior attorney at Theodora Oringher PC.
Sam focuses on trademark and related intellectual property litigation, with a special focus on the design and implementation of brand protection strategies that target counterfeiters, gray marketers, pirates, and others who illegally import or distribute copyrighted, patented, or trademarked goods. He advises leading companies in the luxury goods, apparel, footwear, and fitness industries on how best to address counterfeit and gray market issues.
An active member of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, Sam has developed his innovative and highly effective approach to combating counterfeiters while representing several of the nation's largest consumer products companies.
Sam's successful brand protection efforts have involved lawsuits against illegal importers, Internet vendors, retailers, suppliers, as well as complicit Customs brokers, freight forwarders, and local distributors across the United States. These lawsuits not only have resulted in multi-million dollar damages awards and settlements against counterfeiters and gray marketers, they also have produced significant, brand-owner-friendly advancements in the field of trademark enforcement law. For example, Sam recently obtained an $8 million federal jury verdict — the first of its kind in the United States — against a Customs broker for contributory infringement involving the importation of tens of thousands of counterfeit luxury handbags and wallets.
With extensive experience in the areas of product liability and commercial litigation, Sam has also represented businesses facing contract disputes, trade secret theft, or significant product liability exposure.
Sam earned his law degree from George Washington University School of Law. He obtained a B.A. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.