James Griffith

Head of Entertainment & Media Practice

James Griffith is the Head of Ziliak Law’s Entertainment and Media Practice.  For over 20 years, Jim has offered practical, strategic legal advice to clients in a wide variety of industries and markets, ranging from Fortune 500 corporations and emerging start-ups.   From the beginning of his career, Jim’s practice has focused on the development, acquisition, protection, licensing, exploitation, and sale of intangible assets for brand owners, content creators, and rights holders.  His practice covers a wide variety of industries, including entertainment and media, fine art, consumer products, technology, professional services, and healthcare.

Jim regularly counsels clients on the protection and use of copyrighted works, including fine art, literary works, musical compositions and sound recordings, motion pictures and television, computer software, secured tests, and online content.  Jim both advises on issues related to fair use, infringement, licensing, and clearance, and represents clients in copyright disputes and litigation. Jim also advises clients on issues related to social media, internet terms of use, privacy policies, GDPR compliance, and other compliance issues.

Clients also turn to Jim for strategic brand protection guidance and counsel.  Jim manages all aspects of domestic and foreign brand selection and protection, including the creation, development, expansion, and management of trademark portfolios, creative brand enforcement strategies, licensing of brand assets, and advertising.  Jim has also litigated dozens of trademark disputes, often involving internationally famous trademarks, in federal courts throughout the United States and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Jim’s practice also encompasses the representation of clients in connection with business and commercial disputes, trade secret and non-compete disputes, false advertising claims, privacy and publicity rights, and fraud cases.

Prior to joining Ziliak Law, Jim was a partner at an AmLaw100 firm and acted as senior counsel at a top intellectual property boutique.

Jim is admitted to practice in Illinois, the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, the Western District of Wisconsin, the District of Colorado, the Seventh Circuit, and the Federal Circuit.

Jim currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Blues Museum, and is the Co-Chair of the Midwest Region for the Copyright Society of the USA.  Jim is a frequent guest lecturer on copyright and fair use at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and regularly serves as a CLE instructor, writer, and speaker on various issues related to entertainment law, trademark, and copyright.  Jim is an active member of the International Trademark Association and the American Bar Association. He also maintains an active pro bono practice.

When he is not practicing law, Jim is a frequent concert goer, film lover, and Duke basketball fan.


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University of Chicago Law School, JD with Honors

Duke University, B.A.,summa cum laude

Practice Areas



Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Northern District of Illinois

Central District of Illinois

Western District of Wisconsin

District of Colorado

Professional Memberships

Lawyers Club of Chicago

American Bar Association, Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law sections

International Trademark Association

Copyright Society of the U.S.A., Regional Chair Mid-West Region


Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Attorney Volunteer


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