Nicole M. Murray


Nikki Murray assists clients with a full range of branding, advertising, and promotions legal matters. She counsels clients on intellectual property issues, including trademark and copyright infringement, licensing, and portfolio management, as well as the acquisition, protection, and exploitation of their intellectual property around the world. Nikki ensures that clients understand and implement branding and marketing best practices to maximize return on their investments and operate in compliance with federal and state laws. Through enforcement campaigns and strategic advice, she helps clients protect, maintain and expand their brand portfolios.

When marketing and advertising issues arise, both in traditional media and on social media platforms, Nikki advises clients on how to minimize the legal risks in the areas of mobile marketing, social influencers, native advertising, and sweepstakes and contests. She also advises clients on advertising campaigns, including sponsorship agreements, and agency-client agreements.

Nikki represents companies in a broad range of industries, including consumer products, advertising, and manufacturing.

Representative Experience

  • Counseling clients on how to structure sweepstakes, contests, and promotions and reviewing traditional and social media advertising campaigns for legal compliance
  • Negotiating trademark license and celebrity spokesperson agreements for a major U.S. home furnishings manufacturer
  • Negotiating stadium sponsorship and naming rights for consumer products companies and manufacturing clients
  • Negotiating advertising agency and promotion fulfillment agreements for a major U.S. home furnishings manufacturer, a consumer products company, and a major full-service dining company
  • Advising clients on compliance issues associated with gift cards, rebates, coupons, and loyalty programs
  • Advising clients on compliance issues associated with text and email-based marketing
  • Trademark prosecution and counseling, including selecting, clearing, and registering trademarks, as well as representing businesses in federal court litigation and trademark oppositions and cancellations
  • Advising clients on brand partnership agreements, including co-branding agreements, product placement agreements, and influencer agreements and best practices
  • Negotiating publishing agreements for both commercial and non-profit entities

Representative Cases

  • Representing a beverage company seeking to enforce its trademarks against a vaping company using a similar mark in the Central District of California
  • Defending an internet company in a trademark infringement suit regarding the company’s key advertising tagline in the Central District of Illinois
  • Defending a higher education client in a trademark infringement suit in the Northern District of Illinois
  • Defending an outdoor retailer in a patent infringement and trade dress suit in the Southern District of California related to cold weather headwear
  • Represented a drug manufacturer in a trademark infringement suit in the District of New Jersey and the Third Circuit, obtaining a preliminary injunction enjoining use of the competitor’s similar trademark

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Harvard University Women’s Accelerated Leadership (2018)
  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 2002)
  • Purdue University (B.S.ChE, 1998)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Professional and Civic Activities

  • International Trademark Association (member)
  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts (volunteer)
  • Lifeline Theatre (board member)
  • Brand Activation Association (Chicago Chapter committee member)

Professional Recognition

  • Illinois Super Lawyers®-Super Lawyers Edition, Intellectual Property, 2018–present
  • Illinois Emerging Lawyer - Law Bulletin Media, Copyright & Trademark, Intellectual Property, 2017–present
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®–Rising Stars Edition, Intellectual Property, 2010–2011, 2013–2017
  • In 2016, Nikki was named in World Trademark Review 1000, a guide to the world's leading trademark practitioners. The publication notes that “She is extraordinarily knowledgeable on the subject of trademark law, enormously talented and personable for client - a sterling professional.”
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Trademark Law, 2015–present
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