Skip to content


Douglas Masters litigates and counsels clients primarily in the areas of intellectual property, advertising and unfair competition. He helps brand owners, sports leagues, athletes and advertisers protect and leverage their branding, marketing and other IP assets. Notably, he has worked with the National Collegiate Athletic Association for nearly 20 years on brand protection strategy, helping strengthen the organization’s ability to support college athletics. 

Doug has counseled major corporations and prominent individuals in a variety of matters involving trademark and copyright clearance, registration and policing, and enforcement. He handles and litigates consumer protection issues, such as allegations of deceptive or unfair advertising and marketing practices, and unfair competition. 

Douglas provides excellent representation in a cost-effective manner. He has been extremely successful obtaining desired results. He understands our position, always responds to inquiries in a timely manner, and takes the time to ensure his approach mirrors our preferred strategies. Further, Douglas possesses the unique skill to quickly get to the heart of the legal issue and provide the right perspective on the matter. He finds the proper case law (regardless of venue) and is always spot on with the best approach to take. 2023 World Trademark Review 1000 (client commentary)

Doug also has notable experience advising companies in domain name protection and enforcement proceedings, and matters and litigation relating to the unique issues of online marketing and advertising. In addition to representing clients in courts, he practices regularly before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board. 

Clients appreciate Doug’s collaborative approach, noting that he “surrounds himself with quality individuals” and “his team is extremely bright.” Doug values his relationships with his colleagues, and enjoys working with attorneys and professionals at all levels to gain varied perspectives on each matter in order to provide clients with the best possible solutions.

Throughout his career, Doug has taught law, including at Northwestern University and University of Chicago law schools. He provides pro bono counsel for GreenAmerica, which harnesses economic power to promote a socially just and environmentally sustainable society, and for Lawyers for the Creative Arts in Chicago, where he is a member of the board.


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude,

    Editor, Women’s Law Journal

  • Cornell University, B.A., With Distinction

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Illinois State Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Named in World Trademark Review Global Leaders, WTR is part of The IP Media Group (2020 and 2021)
  • Named one of the "World's Leading Trademark Lawyers" in Who's Who Legal (2017)
  • Named an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine (2013-2023)
  • Named "Best Lawyer" in Trademark Law and Intellectual Property Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, published by Woodward White, Inc. (2010-2024)
  • Named "Illinois Super Lawyer" in Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation and First Amendment/Media/Advertising by Thomson Reuters (2013-2024); Listed in the Top 100 "Illinois Super Lawyers" (2014 - 2016, 2018 - 2019, 2021 - 2024)
  • Named in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, in Illinois Intellectual Property (2016-2017, 2020) and Illinois Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2021-2023)    
  • Named in "Guide to the World's Leading Trade Mark Law Practitioners," published by Euromoney's Legal Media Group (2009)
  • Named a “Leading Lawyer” in The Legal 500 US in Sports, published by Legalease Limited and John Pritchard (2022 and 2023)
  • Named in The Legal 500 US in Sports and Trademarks: Non-Contentious, published by Legalease Limited and John Pritchard (2008-2009, 2012-2013, 2017-2021 and 2023)
  • Named in World Trademark Review 1000 in the U.S. - Nationwide and Illinois categories, WTR is part of The IP Media Group (2012, 2015, 2017, 2020-2024)
  • Named among “Top Lawyers in Illinois” in Advertising & Media, Intellectual Property, and Arts, Entertainment & Sports Law by the Leading Lawyers Network (2004-2018)
  • Honorable Mention, Hard Work on Intellectual Property Litigation Newsletter, ABA Section of Litigation (2009-2010)
  • Lecturer, Advanced Topics in Intellectual Property Litigation, University of Chicago Law School
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Trial Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Illinois “40 Lawyers Under 40 to Watch”


  • Member, Board of Directors, Lawyers for the Creative Arts
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Museum of Broadcast Communications
  • Member, Editorial Board, The Trademark Reporter
  • Member, Editorial Board, Newsletter of ABA Litigation Section, Intellectual Property Committee
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, IP Law360 (2009)