John Pickerill is a trademark and advertising attorney, with a specific emphasis on social media legal issues.

John assists clients with trademark planning, prosecution and enforcement, social media marketing planning and compliance, ad copy and sweepstakes/promotions compliance, industry agreements, dispute resolution, content licensing, and a wide range of copyright matters. John has developed a specialty in guiding clients through the legal minefield of internet marketing, including site-specific promotional restrictions, privacy issues, and applying traditional legal theories to the ambiguous world of social media.

Before law school, John spent over five years as an advertising executive at Carmichael Lynch Advertising managing campaigns for such clients as Harley-Davidson, Rollerblade and Volvo Trucks. This real-world experience in branding and marketing gives John a unique comfort level in the industry, allowing him to provide his clients with practical, business-focused advice.

John graduated magna cum laude from William Mitchell School of Law and was named to the Law Review. John was named one of the top 50 trademark attorneys in the U.S. in 2008 by Trademark Insider magazine. He has been on the Advertising Federation of Minnesota Board for 6 years and serves as legal counsel for Ad Fed Minnesota, the American Institute of Graphic Artists and Alphabet Bash—a local consortium of marketing industry trade organizations. He is licensed to practice in Minnesota and Iowa.



  • Advertising Copy Compliance
  • Sweepstakes Compliance
  • Social Media Planning & Enforcement
  • Mobile Marketing Issues
  • Trademark Searches/Registrations
  • Domain Name Selection/Protection
  • Copyright Searches/Registrations
  • Trademark/Copyright Disputes
  • NAD/NARB Challenges
  • Advertising Legal Disputes
  • Errors/Omissions Insurance Review
  • Agency/Client Agreements
  • Celebrity Talent Agreements
  • Website Development Agreements
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Music License Agreements
  • Trademark Licensing Agreements



  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2002, magna cum laude; Law Review
  • Iowa State University, B.S., Journalism/Advertising, 1990, graduated with Phi Kappa Phi honors


  • Minnesota, 2002
  • Iowa, 2023


  • Best Lawyers in America, Advertising Law, 2022-2024; Trademark Law, 2024 
  • Ranked as a leading trademark attorney, World Trademark Review 1000, 2016-2024
  • Top 50 Trademark Attorney, CSC Trademark Insider Report, 2008
  • Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers; Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine; Twin Cities Business, 2007

Civic & Professional

Professional Activities

  • Carmichael Lynch Advertising, Account Executive, managing marketing campaigns and building brands for such clients as Harley Davidson, Rollerblade and United HealthCare (an invaluable education for any ad law and trademark attorney), 1994-1999
  • Advertising Federation of Minnesota, former Board Member and legal counsel
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts, legal counsel
  • Art Buddies, Board Member
  • William Mitchell Law Review

News & Insights

Publications & Presentations

Co-Presenter, “Advertising Law Trends To Watch In 2021,” Fredrikson & Byron webinar, April 1, 2021

Co-Presenter, "Trends, Opportunities & Traps: What’s New in the World of Advertising?" Fredrikson & Byron program co-hosted with Ad Fed, August 1, 2019

Co-Presenter, “What’s Trending in the World of Advertising Law?” Fredrikson & Byron program co-hosted with Ad Fed, September 13, 2018

Co-Presenter, “#CanWeSayThat? AdLaw Answers from Industry Pros,” Fredrikson & Byron Advertising Law Seminar, February 27, 2018

Panelist, "Agency Valuation and M&A Cycles: The Unspoken Impact on the Business and its Employees," AdFed Program, July 27, 2017

Presenter, “The Future of Customer Experience,” Agosto, Fredrikson & Byron and Padilla Panel, June 8, 2017

Presenter, “Wolves at the Door: National and Local Efforts to Tax Advertising,” AdFed and Fredrikson & Byron Panel, June 2016

Quoted in “Stephen R. Bergerson: When Mad Med Become Lawyers,” Attorney at Law Magazine, October 2014

World Trademark Review 1000, World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, 2014

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