The Trademark Institute

Intellectual Property Attorneys

About Us

The Trademark Institute, a boutique law firm located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, was organized in 1997 to provide new and established businesses, non-profits, athletes, entertainers, producers, writers and event managers with specialized business, litigation and intellectual property advice, assistance and representation.  Trademark, copyright, contract, entertainment and licensing issues are the firm’s emphasis.  In addition to its intellectual property services, the firm provides assistance on general business law issues, including, entity advice, business formation, tax exempt entity formation, employment agreements, government contracting issues, real estate and litigation. 


Todd A. Pilot, Esq.

Todd A. Pilot, Esquire is the managing member of the Trademark Institute.  Trademark law, copyright law, contracts, government contracting issues, entertainment and licensing issues are Mr. Pilot’s primary practice areas. Mr. Pilot is a frequent speaker on trademark, copyright, entertainment and small business matters. Mr. Pilot was recognized in 2011 as one of Virginia’s Leaders in the Law and in 2016 as one of the top IP lawyers in the state by Virginia Business Magazine.

Mr. Pilot holds a Bachelors degree in Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Masters degree in Physics from Hampton University. He began his career in technology and the sciences with a research fellowship through Hampton University at NASA Langley Research Center. Mr. Pilot then worked for IBM as a scientific computing specialist.  In 1994, Mr. Pilot received his law degree from the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law where his focus was technology and intellectual property. 

Following law school, Mr. Pilot clerked in the District of Columbia Superior Court for Senior Judges Luke Moore, Margaret Haywood, Bruce Mencher and Ronald Wertheim and, thereafter, for Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton. 

Following his clerkships, Mr. Pilot worked for the US Department of Commerce as a Trademark Attorney. Mr. Pilot has literally worked on  thousands of trademark applications and numerous matters before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board.

Mr. Pilot also represents government contractors and served as General Counsel for AIS Engineering, Inc. for several years before focusing on private practice. 

Mr. Pilot has been active with the Northern Virginia Black Attorney’s Association, the Old Dominion Bar Association, the Black Entertainment & Sports Law Association the National Bar Association, and the Alexandria Bar Association.  Mr. Pilot is the Past President of the Alexandria Bar Association. Mr. Pilot also served on the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Committee and was the Chair of Section IV. Mr. Pilot was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court to a position on Bar Council for the Virginia State Bar and served on the Executive Committee in 2016 and 2017.  Mr. Pilot has been a member the Alexandria Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) Policy Board for six years and served as chair in 2017.   Mr. Pilot was also a faculty member of the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism course – training Virginia practitioners must attend during the first year following their admission to the Virginia State Bar. 

Specific Practice Areas

- Conducting clearances for foreign and domestic trademarks and service marks

Advising clients on the availability, defensibility and commercial advisability of proposed marks   

-  Reviewing client advertising materials, packaging and logo placement for proper trademark use

Advising clients on the implementation of policing and enforcement policies for protection against counterfeiting and unlawful gray market activities

Litigating intellectual property matters involving, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, trade secrets, unfair competition and right to likeness issues

Litigating opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Negotiating, reviewing and drafting business and intellectual property agreements including software licensing agreements, brand and trademark licensing agreements, employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, commercial leases, executive compensation agreements, consent agreements, assignments, releases, and asset purchase agreements

Providing legal representation to internationally acclaimed musicians, music producers, singers, songwriters, actors, television personalities, athletes, authors, film producers, entertainment managers, broadcasting companies, production companies, event managers, non-profits, government contractors, internet and other high-tech companies

Negotiating, reviewing and drafting television and film contracts and agreements, including, film licensing agreements, film distribution agreements, television series agreements, talent agreements, life story agreements, option agreements, synchronization licenses 

Negotiating, reviewing and drafting music industry contracts and agreements, including, music licensing agreements, publishing deals, management contracts, talent performance agreements, production deals and agreements, distribution agreements, synchronization licenses, concert and event promotions agreements and sponsorship agreements 

Negotiating, reviewing and drafting licensing agreements for artists, foundations and other entities with ownership or control over works of art 

Negotiating, reviewing and drafting book publishing agreements, agent agreements, literary purchase agreements and book deals for writers