Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

John Halski

John provides a full range of brand management services, from trademark clearance to global portfolio maintenance. He works with companies of all sizes and sorts to create, build, maintain and protect their intellectual property, including trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, and trade secrets. His clients include biotech start-ups, educational nonprofits, and multinational software companies. Taking a collaborative approach, John seeks practical, cost-effective approaches to his clients’ legal issues tailored to align with their goals and values as well as their budget.

His skillsets include:

   Filing and prosecuting trademark and copyright applications,
   Filing and defending against trademark oppositions and cancellation actions,
   Managing licensing programs and anti-piracy strategies,
   Domain name enforcement actions, and
   Trademark and copyright enforcement and litigation.

John specializes in finding innovative solutions in a changing intellectual property landscape. He has handled the registration of non-traditional trademarks such as color marks and counseled clients on brand enforcement in virtual spaces and the “fan fiction” community. He regularly advises nonprofit and advocacy-driven organizations on their unique intellectual property challenges, and he is a published author on the subject of trademark rights in the political space.

Representative Experience

  • Trademark and copyright enforcement and litigation.
  • Managed global trademark portfolios of clients ranging from a Fortune 500 software company to a non-profit yoga association.
  • Advised dozens of start-ups, emerging companies, political campaigns (including presidential candidates), and public advocacy organizations on creating and launching their brands.
  • Defended major political organizations and figures from intellectual property infringement claims.
  • Handled the intellectual property components of major company sales, acquisitions, and mergers.


Speaking Engagements

Legal Answers – Trademark Domain Name Dispute

Someone is using your trademark in their domain name without your permission – What do you do? In the short video below, John provides valuable insights on how the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) can be used to cost-effectively address this issue and protect your brand’s identity.

Professional Activities

  • International Trademark Association, Emerging Issues Committee
  • Washington State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section
  • Washington Lawyers for the Arts, Board Member (2017-2021)


  • Columbia Law School
    (J.D., 2006, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar)
  • Truman State University
    (B.A., 2001, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • Washington
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York

Hobbies & Interests

John’s interests run from the arts and travel to social activism and community engagement, which he merges into his professional life whenever possible. Born and raised in St. Louis, he divided his time through college between exploring the local film and music scene and engaging in local politics. After college, he went from the Midwest to the Middle East, interning for a year with a civil rights organization in Israel and exploring the neighboring countries whenever possible. Following law school and a stint enjoying the rich diversity of New York, he moved from the east coast to the west to settle down in Seattle.

In his legal career, John is grateful for the opportunity to apply his personal interests to his professional practice. He appreciates the creative aspects of intellectual property, as well as the many ways that trademarks and copyrights can project a positive message to the world. He finds great satisfaction in helping artists and advocates alike maximize the value and impact of their creations.

In between office hours, John splits his time between fostering the passions of his own two sons, enjoying Seattle’s plethora of record stores, and traveling with his family whenever possible. He’s also an aspiring writer and grateful to have a very patient spouse willing to read his drafts.