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New York University School of Law, J.D., 1966.Order of the Coif, Moot Court Board.
Otterbein College, B.A., with honors, 1963.
Thomas Morrison is nationally renowned as a trial and appellate attorney, author and lecturer in the fields of trademarks, false advertising, and unfair competition. While he has concentrated his practice on trademark and false advertising law for more than 30 years, he has tried over 60 cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States in all areas of commercial litigation. He regularly represents major pharmaceutical and consumer product companies in Lanham Act and unfair competition litigation.
Prior to joining Manatt, Mr. Morrison served as the co-chair of a national law firm’s Appellate Practice Group and has argued more than 35 appeals in the various United States Courts of Appeals. He has been recognized by Chambers USA in the area of advertising litigation: “With a first-rate reputation Thomas Morrison is a terrific false advertising litigator who has been in the industry longer than most” and is “a bright and committed false advertising litigator” who “will always put a client’s interest first.”
Mr. Morrison has handled numerous trademark and false advertising cases that have resulted in significant jury verdicts and landmark appellate decisions, including:
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Ethex Corporation and KV Pharmaceutical Company, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6003 (D. Minn. 2004), 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26370, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26367 and 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54838 (2006): Six-week jury trial resulted in a total verdict for the client, who was accused of falsely advertising and promoting its PANGESTYME 10 and PANGESTYME 20 pancreatic enzyme products.
Pizza Hut, Inc. v. Papa John’s Int’l, Inc., 80 F.Supp. 2d 600 (N.D. Tex. 2000), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 227 F.3d 489 (5th Cir.2000): Four-week jury trial resulted in a verdict in favor of the client that defendant’s “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” advertising campaign was false and misleading.
Mead Johnson & Co. v. Abbott Laboratories, 201 F.3d 883 and 209 F.3d 1032 (7th Cir. 2000): In a challenge to the advertising claim that the client’s SIMILAC infant formula was the “1st Choice of Doctors,” the Seventh Circuit reversed the trial court’s entry of a preliminary injunction on the ground that the claim was literally truthful and could not be deemed misleading on the basis of a consumer survey that explored consumers’ views as to the nature of the advertiser’s substantiation.
Warner-Lambert Co. v. BreathAsure, Inc., 204 F.3d 87 (3d Cir. 2000): In addition to leaving in place a stipulated injunction enjoining 21 separate advertising claims for defendant’s BREATHASURE bad breath product, the Third Circuit held that the district court erred in refusing to enjoin the BREATHASURE trademark as a false and misleading characterization of the product’s nature and characteristics.
Time, Inc. v. Petersen Publishing Company, 976 F. Supp. 263 (S.D.N.Y. 1997,) aff’d, 173 F.3d 113 (2d Cir. 1999): Two-week jury trial resulted in verdict in favor of the client Time, Inc. that its TEEN PEOPLE magazine trademark did not infringe defendant’s TEEN magazine trademark; in an earlier phase of the lawsuit, defendant agreed to abandon its own planned publication of a TEEN PEOPLE magazine.
Abbott Laboratories v. Mead Johnson & Co., 971 F.2d 6 (7th Cir. 1992): The Seventh Circuit reversed the trial court’s denial of a preliminary injunction against the defendant’s advertising for an infant rehydration product known as RICELYTE, as well as against the name itself; this was the first Lanham Act case to hold that a product’s trademarked name could constitute false advertising.
Thompson Medical Company, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc., 753 F.2d 208 (2d Cir. 1985): A preliminary injunction against the name of the client’s BEN GAY SPORTS GEL product was vacated and the court adopted a new standard for judging “likelihood of confusion” in cases where the goods are directly competitive.
Coca-Cola Company v. Tropicana Products, Inc., 690 F.2d 312 (2d Cir. 1982): In this landmark false advertising case, the Second Circuit overturned the trial court’s denial of a preliminary injunction regarding the advertising for TROPICANA Orange Juice; in doing so, the Second Circuit became the first court to rule that a visual image in a television commercial could be literally false.
Johnson & Johnson v. Carter-Wallace, Inc., 631 F.2d 186 (2d Cir. 1980): In reversing the district court’s denial of an injunction regarding the advertising for NAIR WITH BABY OIL, the Second Circuit articulated the standard that has come to define the element of injury in false advertising cases.
Procter & Gamble v. Johnson & Johnson, 636 F.2d 1203 (2d Cir. 1980), aff’ing, 485 F. Supp. 1185 (S.D.N.Y. 1979): The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding, following a lengthy trial, that P&G’s “minor brands” trademark program was invalid because it was based on token use of marks maintained for trademark registration purposes only; as a result, none of those marks afforded a basis for a trademark infringement action against the client.
Mr. Morrison is a frequent author and presenter on trademark, trade dress, and false advertising law. He is also active in alternative dispute resolution and is a panelist on the CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals for trademarks and false advertising disputes.
Mr. Morrison began his legal career with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Air Force. He is a partner in the New York office.
"Chambers USA,” Top-ranked Attorney in Advertising.
“The Best Lawyers in America,” Advertising.
“Super Lawyers,” Intellectual Property Litigation.
“Guide to the World’s Leading Trademark Law Practitioners,” Euromoney Legal Media Group, 2004.
Admitted to practice in the state of New York; U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Third Circuit; Fourth Circuit; Fifth Circuit; Sixth Circuit; Seventh Circuit; Eighth Circuit; Tenth Circuit; Federal Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court.
Member American Bar Association; Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Federal Bar Council; and the Federalist Society.
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Otterbein College (Ohio).
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