Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP
Sam Watkins is a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Area in the Los Angeles office of Thompson Coburn LLP. He practices trademark and related intellectual property litigation, with a special focus on the design and implementation of brand protection strategies that target pirates who illegally import or distribute counterfeit goods and other acts of infringement. He advises leading companies in the luxury goods, apparel, footwear, and fitness industries on how best to address counterfeit and gray market issues.
Watkins’ successful brand integrity efforts involve 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. Watkins 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.