199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
Intellectual Property - legal innovation, exceptional client service.
Peter Kunin is a highly experienced intellectual property lawyer, focusing on trademarks, software and technology licensing, internet legal issues and copyright. His clients include local Vermont tech start-ups, mid-sized companies based inside or outside Vermont, foreign companies seeking to protect their intellectual property as they expand into the U.S., and consumer products companies with worldwide sales. Peter also serves as Deputy Managing Partner of the Firm.
Peter works with companies to develop global trademark portfolios and to implement targeted global trademark enforcement strategies. His focus is using the trademark applications and registrations that he has developed to stop infringers without the need for extended and expensive litigation. On numerous occasions and across diverse industries, Peter has secured trademark settlements with infringers that are highly favorable to his clients. He also brings and defends Opposition Actions and Cancellation Actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Additionally, Peter negotiates a range of agreements for both technology vendors and corporate and institutional purchasers of technology. These agreements include licenses, fee for service agreements, support agreements, and distribution agreements. Peter takes the time to understand his client’s needs and goals, and combines this with almost two decades of negotiation experience. He works with technology companies to help them license their technology in a manner that minimizes risk and clarifies the obligations of both his client and his client’s customer. When disputes arise under these agreements, Peter advises his clients on their rights and obligations and seeks to resolve these matters in an efficient, cost-effective and fair manner – outside of court.
Peter’s practice also includes internet legal issues, copyright law and trade secret protection. He regularly advises clients on protecting their digital assets, and assists companies in blocking infringers from using domain names and websites that infringe on intellectual property rights. He aids clients with copyright ownership, registration and friendly resolution of copyright disputes. Peter also uses his skills to assist clients in developing trade secret protection plans and pursuing trade secret infringers.
- Develops and manages global trademark portfolios for industry-leading manufacturers of outdoor sports equipment.
- Retained as counsel for a national gluten-free baked goods company and successfully obtained settlement agreements under which infringers agreed, outside of court, to stop using names similar to the client’s brand name.
- On behalf of a national high-end women’s clothing maker, Peter successfully obtained a settlement agreement under which the infringer agreed to abandon its trademark application and choose another brand name.
- Represented a local Vermont spirits maker that had received a baseless threat of trademark infringement, and succeeded in persuading the larger company making the threat to drop its demands.
- Obtained a highly favorable settlement for a national manufacturer of eco-friendly modular homes under which a third party agreed to cease use of the client’s trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.
- Defended a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment who had been sued for false advertising, and obtained a favorable settlement - outside of court - under which the lawsuit was dismissed.
- Successfully obtained a favorable settlement under which claims were dropped against a nationally recognized advertising agency who had been sued for trademark copyright infringement based on unauthorized activities of an employee.
- Assisted a nonprofit organization in obtaining copyright ownership to important historical materials essential to its mission.
- Succeeded in obtaining U.S. trademark registration for critical trademark for UK beverage company, despite refusal to register issued by Examining Attorney at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and refusal to register issued by Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
- Negotiated a series of license agreements under which an app developer licensed trademarks, photographic content, audio content and textual content for use in smartphone apps.
- Negotiated a series of inter-related agreements under which an electric utility purchased hardware and software comprising a smart meter system valued at approximately $30 Million.
- On behalf of a health care software vendor, negotiated an exclusive distribution agreement covering portions of the European Union.
- Provided advice to a nonprofit organization on intellectual property ownership and licensing issues in an agreement with a leading U.S. charitable foundation providing grant funding to the client.
- Assisted a medical device manufacturer with the termination of an unfavorable license agreement and assisted in negotiating a new development and license agreement with a world-renowned academic medical center.
Cornell Law School, summa cum laude (first in class), J.D. Editor-in-Chief, Cornell Law Review
Williams College, B.A., 1985
Law Clerk for the Honorable James L. Oakes, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1991-1992
- International Trademark Association, former member of Meetings Committee
- Vermont Bar Association: Intellectual Property Section
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for his high caliber work in Trademark Law, Copyright Law, and Litigation - Intellectual Property, 2010-2018.
- The Best Lawyers in America® also identified Peter as "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation, Intellectual Property, for Burlington, Vermont, 2017.
- Peter is also recognized by his peers in Chambers USA as a “highly regarded trademark attorney.” Peter has been recognized by Chambers USA every year since 2009. Chambers USA awarded Peter and DRM’s IP practice with its prestigious “Band 1” designation. DRM’s IP practice is the only “Band 1” IP practice in Vermont.
- Motivated by a strong repugnance to abuses committed by patent trolls, Peter has worked to raise awareness and change the law to help neutralize the harm caused by patent trolls. In 2012 and 2013, Peter worked with DRM’s Eric Poehlmann to develop the legal approach for Vermont’s first in the nation legislation targeting patent trolls. He then worked with Vermont legislative leaders to draft the legislation, and he testified before Vermont House and Senate Committees in support of the legislation. Peter spoke at the signing of the legislation in May 2013. Peter has continued to work on federal patent reform efforts currently in progress in Congress. During the Fall of 2013, Peter worked with the offices of numerous U.S. Senators, staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and White House Staff in support of federal patent reform. Peter’s work toward solutions to the patent troll problem has been recognized in USA Today, CNN Money, The Washington Post, The American Lawyer, CFO Magazine, World IP Review, Vermontbiz.com, WCAX TV, Seven Days, Fox 44, VT Digger, The Burlington Free Press, and arstechnica.com.
- Peter taught trademark, copyright and trade secret law as an Adjunct Professor at Vermont Law School from 1996 to 2011.
- Peter has assisted the United Way of Chittenden County in various roles, including allocations and fundraising.
- He served on the Charlotte Planning Commission.
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190ph: 802-863-2375