Paul D. Swanson

Paul Swanson is the Chair of the Firm’s Food, Beverage and Hospitality Practice Group. Paul’s practice is devoted to litigating patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, software development and trade secret law disputes. He has tried cases to court or arbitral judgments in each of these intellectual property practice areas. He also defends prominent intellectual property law firms who have become embroiled in alleged patent legal malpractice claims or lawsuits. World Trademark Review 1000 listed Paul as a top individual in the trademark practice, describing him as a “very smart IP litigator who brings decades of courtroom experience to the table.”

Through his representation of various agribusinesses, Paul has litigated a number of cutting-edge issues arising in the field of plant patent and trademark law. Cases he has worked on have helped shape and highlight the legal issues in this expanding area of law, as more and more companies seek patent and trademark protection for what were once deemed to be undifferentiated commodity food products.

Paul regularly speaks on and writes about intellectual property issues and is a principal contributor to the Firm’s “Earth and Table” Law Reporter blog. He is a Former Chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section and has organized and chaired two of the WSBA/IP section’s annual intellectual property institutes. He chaired a WSBA/IP trademark committee whose work led to a significant revision of Washington’s trademark law.

Paul is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). He spoke about intellectual property issues facing culinary professionals at the IACP’s 2001 and 2003 annual conferences. Paul was the Co-chair of the IACP’s “Endangered Treasures” 2006 annual dinner event that raised funds for the preservation of historically significant cookbook archives.

Paul is currently a Board Member of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, a community-based, nonprofit organization that operates seven farmer/food only markets in Seattle neighborhoods. He is currently researching and writing articles that focus on food labeling law and policy. An article Paul authored regarding the history and legal status of organic and natural food labels entitled “We Are What We Eat” appears on the website of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture.