• University of Michigan, B.A. political science (1993)
  • Boston University School of Law, J.D. (1998)


  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Howard Michael


From startups to the most prominent Fortune 100 companies, intellectual property owners trust Howard Michael to protect their most valuable assets. Boards of directors, CEOs, General Counsels and other key business stakeholders depend on Howard’s assistance to navigate trademark concerns around the world.

Howard Michael is a co-chair of Crowell & Moring's Technology and Brand Protection Group. With nearly 25 years of counseling and litigation experience in the fields of trademarks, unfair competition, false advertising, copyrights and trade secrets, Howard represents many of the world’s largest companies and supports several of the world’s most famous brands. His client’s range from startups to those in the Fortune 100.

Howard has particular expertise in protecting trade dress, acquired distinctiveness and genericness issues. He represents clients in a wide range of industries, including social media, data security and privacy, alternative energy solutions, waste disposal, apparel, banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, electrical devices, food and beverage, and home and consumer goods.

As a litigator, Howard represents clients in district court litigation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) oppositions and cancellation actions, arbitration proceedings, and domain name disputes under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy. Howard also has significant experience leading international disputes across a number of jurisdictions. Among his other areas of practice, Howard has a particular focus on critical trademark counterfeiting matters. He works closely with the courts, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Marshals Service to stop counterfeit goods from entering the country, obtains injunctive relief, and coordinates the ex parte seizures of counterfeit goods.

Howard is also regularly asked to speak on topical trademark issues. Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Howard was a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione.


  • World Trademark Review 1000, Illinois
    Silver Band, Prosecution & Strategy, 2020–2021
    Silver Band, Enforcement & Litigation, 2020–2021
    Bronze Band, Prosecution & Strategy, 2018–2019
    Bronze Band, Enforcement & Litigation, 2017–2019 
  • Managing Intellectual Property Magazine: IP Star, 2020 
  • National Law Review: Go To Thought Leader, 2019 
  • Leading Lawyers Network: Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer, 2010–2016


Professional Activities and Memberships

  • International Trademark Association 
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association 
  • Chicago Bar Association 
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association

Representative Matters

  • Represented a famous baking company in trademark infringement litigation involving the national launch of a product line and issues including fair use and geographic rights. 
  • Coordinated the seizure of illegally imported counterfeit goods into the United States; obtained temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, ex parte seizure orders, and final judgments against several defendants. 
  • Coordinated several worldwide trademark clearance projects in the alternative energy fields. 
  • Secured federal trademark protection in connection with iconic athletic footwear. 
  • Coordinated foreign trademark litigation directed to counterfeit cargo goods. 
  • Assisted a not-for-profit client in developing and licensing a groundbreaking online course for Chicago public school students.

Speeches & Presentations


  • "Third Circuit Adopts Nominative Fair Use Defense," The National Law Journal (January 23, 2006). Authors: David S. Fleming and Howard Michael

Client Alerts & Newsletters

Press Coverage

Firm News & Announcements

February 9, 2023 World Trademark Review Ranks Crowell & Moring in WTR 1000 2023 Guide
June 15, 2022 Legal 500 United States Ranks Crowell & Moring in Eight Practice Areas in 2022 Guide
March 7, 2022 World Trademark Review Ranks Crowell & Moring in WTR 1000