Owners of some of the world’s most famous trademarks trust Sam to protect their valuable brands against sophisticated, large-scale counterfeiting organizations. These organizations fall into the “Investor Class” of counterfeiters, i.e., the financial backers behind the typical counterfeit manufacturing and distribution chain. The Investor Class is generally immune to the effects of street level enforcement, e.g., raids that seize counterfeit product from retail sellers in places like Los Angeles’s Santee Alley or New York’s Canal Street.
To effect significant and lasting reductions in the numbers of counterfeit goods reaching the consumer, the Investor Class must be persuaded that their risks of copying a particular trademark are too high, and that their corresponding return on investment in that trademark is too low. When this risk/reward inversion happens, the Investor Class makes the rational business decision to redeploy their capital and organizational efforts into other, less-well-protected brands. Sam has developed a particularly efficient and cost-effective approach to persuading the Investor Class to leave his clients’ brands alone.
Part of Sam’s approach recognizes that large-scale manufacturing and distribution chains must rely on third party service suppliers, such as shipping companies, Customs brokers, freight forwarders, trucking companies, and couriers, to move their goods into the United States and get them into the hands of consumers. Sam has developed innovative and effective strategies to hold these third party service providers accountable when their actions amount to contributory infringement under the federal Lanham Act. As but one example, Sam obtained an $8 million jury verdict against a Customs broker for assisting others import counterfeit luxury handbags and wallets into the Port of Los Angeles.
Sam began his career as a Coast Guard Officer patrolling the Caribbean Sea and the coast of South America interdicting drug smugglers and human traffickers. Afterwards, the Coast Guard sent Sam to law school and made him a JAG Officer. When Sam is not applying his prior law enforcement skills for the benefit of his clients, Sam enjoys spending time with his family, going on long walks, golfing, and watching college football.