William J. Morris III, Esq.
A legal veteran with over seventeen years of experience in trademark, trade dress, copyright, Internet, and entertainment law, William has represented a diverse group of clients including multi-billion dollar global corporations, domestic corporations, internationally based corporations, Internet based businesses, start ups, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. William has a passion for trademark law that is unmatched-- he sleeps with a copy of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure next to his bed, watches television for commercials, prefers highways with billboards, and reads through 10-20 catalogs per week for "fun." He loves representing his clients as if they are members of his own family, and has a practical, business minded, custom-tailored, and creative approach to the practice of law.
Prior to joining Alprin Law, William was President and Counsel for Hershey Chocolate and Confectionery Corporation, where he managed a global portfolio of over 10,000 trademarks. He also served as a Director and Trademark Counsel for Under Armour, Inc., where he helped build one of the largest families of marks in the USA, and assisted the corporation in its global expansion as it went from a multi-million dollar corporation to a multi-billion dollar one. In addition to working with Alprin Law, Mr. Morris also serves as General Counsel for Felt LLC , where he assists the start up success featured on the show Shark Tank with its legal matters.
Mr. Morris is active in the legal community, is author of The UDRP Blog™, and has spoken at numerous events sponsored by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, International Trademark Association, Intellectual Property Organization, Rocky Mountain IP Institute, Inn of Court, and numerous law schools.
Alprin Law Q & A
Q: What inspired you to get into trademark law?
A: I was a law student at Vermont Law School, studying to be an environmental attorney, went skiing one day at Killington, and heard an amazing voice singing in the resort's base lodge. What I heard was the sweet sounds of Melanie Krahmer, lead singer of the nationally touring band, sirsy®. I decided right then and there that I wanted to be part of something positive, something fun, and completely changed my entire career path to go into trademark, copyright, Internet, and entertainment law. Sirsy® ended up being my first client, and even introduced me to my wife. Needless to say, they've earned a lifetime of free legal services!
Q: What inspired you to join Alprin Law Offices and how do you feel about working with M. Scott Alprin?
A: Being in-house counsel for global, publicly traded corporations for almost ten years was great experience that really gave me a business-minded approach to the practice of law, but in an in-house role you work for one client, and you spend a lot of time managing outside counsel instead of being the one actually doing the work. I love trademarks and the practice of trademark law. I missed the diversity of working with different clients in different industries, assisting small businesses, and the satisfaction of helping people build and add value to their businesses. Alprin Law afforded me the opportunity to get back to the roots of practicing trademark law that drove me to become a trademark lawyer.
As for working with Scott, for a fan of the Washington Capitals, he is surprisingly intelligent. As you can see, we like to have fun around here. Seriously, Scott and I have an identical philosophy on the practice of law, and share the same passion for trademarks and representing our clients, so the decision to join his firm was an easy one.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence throughout your legal career?
A: Several people have helped me develop as an attorney, but two really stand out. First, "Professor" Susan Richey, now Deputy Chief Judge of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was my trademark professor and mentor at Franklin Pierce Law Center. She instilled in me a fundamental appreciation of trademark law that is the core of my practice. I'm honored to be quoted on the jacket cover of her excellent book, Trademark Valuation. Second, Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armour, Inc., instilled in me an appreciation of how to not just be a trademark attorney, but a business minded attorney. I will never forget my first week on the job when he asked me what I do for Under Armour. I responded with, "I'm your trademark counsel and I build and protect your brands." He said, "no, you sell shirts and shoes; you just do it differently than most people." That one sentence changed my entire mindset toward the practice of law and made me a much more effective attorney.
Q: What do you like to do when not practicing law?
A: I enjoy hiking, camping, skiing on one telemark ski, horseback riding, hanging out with my several rescued pets, and writing music on piano and guitar. I absolutely love hockey, especially my beloved Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, and Tampa Bay Lightning. I play hockey almost every day and coach youth hockey teams. But above all else, I love spending time with my wife and son, doing whatever it is that makes them happy.