J. Thomas McCarthy

J. Thomas McCarthy


University of Detroit Mercy (B.S., 1960)
University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1963)

Bar Admissions

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

J. Thomas McCarthy is of counsel to Morrison & Foerster LLP and is a nationally renowned authority on trademarks and unfair competition and on the rights of publicity. He is a Senior Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and founding director of the McCarthy Institute for Intellectual Property & Technology Law.

Mr. McCarthy is the author of the well-known seven-volume treatise, McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition (published by Thomson-Reuters). This treatise is now in its Fifth Edition and has been relied upon as authority in over 5000 judicial opinions, including thirteen U.S. Supreme Court decisions. He is also the author of the two-volume treatise The Rights of Publicity and Privacy (Second edition), and McCarthy's Desk Encyclopedia of Intellectual Property (Third edition, 2004). Who's Who Legal named Mr. McCarthy its 2005 global Trademarks Lawyer of the Year, as determined through peer nominations and interviews. In addition, Mr. McCarthy is listed in Best Lawyers in America (1995–2020) as a leader in the fields of Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law. In 2012, Mr. McCarthy was inducted into Intellectual Asset Management's IP Hall of Fame. In 2018, Mr. McCarthy received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Trademark Review, a trade publication based in London.

Mr. McCarthy began his legal career in the Offices of Julian Caplan in San Francisco in 1963, joining the faculty at the University of San Francisco School of Law three years later. He was of counsel at Townsend & Townsend from 1974 to 1983. In 1983 he joined Limbach & Limbach as an of counsel consultant and remained until the closure of that firm in December 2000. He joined Morrison & Foerster in January 2001.

Thomas McCarthy is ranked among the top three trademark attorneys in California by World Trademark Review in the 2011 edition of the WTR1000. He is also recommended as a leading lawyer by Best Lawyers In America (1995–2020), Euromoney’s Expert Guides and Super Lawyers 2009. In 2018, Mr. McCarthy received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Trademark Review, a trade publication based in London.


Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from World Trademark Review

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