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Lawrence G. Townsend

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Practice Areas

  • Intellectual Property Law 100%
  • Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets
  • Right of Publicity
  • Unfair Competition Law


Welcome to the Lawrence G. Townsend, Intellectual Property Lawyer site. But please, clients and friends call me Larry. You should too.

Here's a snapshot of who I am and what I'm pleased to offer you:

Intellectual Property Lawyer: based in San Francisco with 40 years of experience.

Expertise: Litigation in state and federal court in the areas of trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, software, new media technology, domain names, publishing, advertising, rights of publicity, and art law (photography, graphic design, and fine art); counseling and licensing of intellectual property; domestic and international trademark prosecution; clearances of names and marks; trial consultant and expert witness in IP law, customs, practices, and procedures.

Experienced Advocate: Representing plaintiffs and defendants in IP and business disputes, arbitrations, and trials in both state and federal courts throughout California.

Personal Service: Friendly, responsive, and keenly sensitive to the fact that clients are real people with real budgets. Contingent fees available for select copyright and trade secret claims.

Author: Various legal articles, and  Secrets of the Wholly Grill  (Carroll & Graf, New York 2002), a satiric novel, optioned for film, about the software industry. Kirkus Reviews: "The perfect gift for everyone who has ever cursed Windows." Oakland Tribune: "Impressive debut novel...easily mixes styles and genres to create a courtroom thriller that comically tackles modern issues such as intellectual property rights and business ethics."

Presenter: Speaker on various aspects of IP law, writing, publishing, and humor.

Of Counsel Relationship: Long-established working relationship with the venerable IP firm, Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, P.C., making additional staffing and resources available for your matter, but only if you request it. (NOTE: Representation by the Owen firm requires separate retainer agreement)

Current Employment Position

  • Sole Practitioner

Published Works

  • Secrets of the Wholly Grill, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2002
  • Shrink-Wrap Solution, Authors Guild Bulletin, Spring, 2002
  • Shrink Wrap-Up: One License Doesn't Fit All, Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 22, 1996
  • Limited Licenses: The Unfortunate Fragility of Shrinkwrap, Intellectual Property, The Magazine of Law and Policy for High Technology, Spring, 1996
  • Ticket to E-Ride: Name for Airline's Electronic Service is Generic, San Francisco Daily Journal, March 30, 2000


  • University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1979
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, California
    • B.A. - 1974
    • Major: English

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Professional Associations

  • California State Bar, Member: Intellectual Property Section
  • San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Marin County Bar Association
  • The Authors Guild
  • San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property Law Inn of Court, Past Member
  • Advisory Board Member, Golden Gate University School of Law Center for Intellectual Property and Privacy Law