Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek Acquires The Trademark Group
By Jonathan Horn, U-T San Diego
The San Diego-based law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek has acquired The Trademark Group, a La Jolla-based law firm specializing in trademark protection and enforcement.
Marnie Barnhorst, Trademark Group’s founding attorney, will join Seltzer Caplan as Of Counsel. The acquisition was completed July 1.
“I built a firm that had grown so large that I needed help in handling it,” Barnhorst said of the reasons behind the move. “We have clients with litigation matters and licensing matters that I wasn’t able to handle as a single person.
“Seltzer Caplan came to mind as a way to meet the diverse needs of my clients. It really is a perfect fit.”
She also has strong ties to Seltzer Caplan. Her husband, Howard Barnhorst, is a shareholder at the firm, and her son, Nicholas, once worked as an attorney at the firm.
Additionally, Marnie Barnhorst was a sub-tenant of the firm for several years in the early 2000s, renting space in Seltzer Caplan’s downtown offices.
“Our family has known Seltzer Caplan for 40 years,” Barnhorst said. “So for me it’s kind of like going home. My (entire) group is very excited about being downtown and having some help on all of these matters.”
Barnhorst launched The Trademark Group in 1997, and her firm has handled nearly 10,000 domestic and international trademarks and executed thousands of trademark searches.
With the addition of Barnhorst, Seltzer Caplan’s intellectual property practice expands to six attorneys, offering legal services in a range of trademark, copyright, trade secret and other IP-related areas of law.
The Trademark Group has relationships with attorneys who assist with international filings in more than 120 countries, enabling Seltzer Caplan to expand its practice in international trademark law.
“The addition of The Trademark Group to our firm reflects our continuing growth and commitment to providing the most effective and comprehensive legal services,” said shareholder John Alspaugh, leader of the firm’s intellectual property team. “The combined forces of Marnie and her team with our existing trademark and intellectual property attorneys positions our firm to become an even stronger player in this important practice area.”
Alspaugh said the personal connections played a part in the acquisition as well as The Trademark Group’s international network of contacts.
“It takes us immediately from having a very strong domestic trademark practice with a small amount of international work to having a global practice,” he said.