Hara K. Jacobs


Tel 215.864.8209
Fax 215.864.8999

Hara K. Jacobs—leader of Ballard Spahr’s nationally recognized Trademarks and Copyrights Group—focuses on intellectual property infringement litigation and advising clients on the implementation and development of global branding and enforcement strategies.

Hara has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in all phases of trademark, trade dress, false advertising, copyright, trade secret, and right of publicity litigation, from initial counseling through trial and appeal. She regularly appears in federal and state courts and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Named to the 2020 “Best of the Bar” list by the Philadelphia Business Journal, Hara is known for her work litigating complex, high-profile infringement disputes with critical IP assets at stake. She has achieved victories for clients at trial and through arbitration, summary judgment, and settlement.

Her clients include market leaders in defense and outdoor products, food and beverage, electronics, gaming and hospitality, computer-based testing, and certifying boards.

In addition to her intellectual property litigation and global branding practice, Hara represents clients in business and fiduciary litigation and leads the firm’s Wealth Management and Fiduciary Litigation practice. 

Representative Matters

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Sturm, Ruger & Co. v. American Outdoor Brands Corporation et al. (D. N.H. 2019). Defeated motion for preliminary injunction alleging that a Smith & Wesson rifle infringed the trade dress of Ruger’s 10/22 rifle following expedited fact and expert discovery and a three day evidentiary hearing in November 2019.
  • Hidden City v. ABC, Inc. (E.D. Pa. 2018). Successfully dismissed trademark infringement and dilution claims against ABC, Inc. by prevailing on a motion to dismiss on First Amendment grounds.
  • PNGI Charles Town Gaming, LLC and Hollywood Casinos, LLC v. Hot Spot CT Real Estate, LLC, d/b/a Casino Pawn and Brent Jackson (N.D. W.V. 2018). Successfully represented Penn National Gaming in false association claim against defendants who branded their pawn shop as “Casino Pawn”.
  • Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. v. The Wuster et al. (D. Ariz. 2015). Successfully represented Smith & Wesson in trade dress litigation prevailing against online retailers selling airsoft pistols that copied the overall look and feel of Smith & Wesson's iconic M&P® pistols. 
  • PSI Services LLC v. Johnson (W.D. N.C. 2015). Obtained temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction against test prep company that infringed PSI’s copyrighted building contractor examinations.
  • Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. v. Del Monte Foods, Inc. (S.D. N.Y. 2015). Prevailed on motion to dismiss declaratory judgment action against Del Monte Foods, Inc. on the ground that the Lanham Act could not be used to determine ownership of foreign trademark registrations. 
  • American Board of Internal Medicine v. Sarah Von Muller, M.D. (E.D. Pa. 2010). Won 12-day federal jury trial as lead trial counsel in exam security case; obtained monetary judgment on copyright and contract claims and a defense verdict on counterclaims for tortious interference, defamation, commercial disparagement, and invasion of privacy; obtained attorneys' fees award on copyright claim
  • American Board of Internal Medicine v. Arora Board Review (E.D. Pa. 2009). Obtained a temporary restraining order, seizure order, and permanent injunction against a test preparation company that collected and disseminated copyrighted examination questions
  • American Board of Internal Medicine v. Bradley D. Mittman, M.D. et al. (C.D. Cal. 2008). Obtained statutory damages and permanent injunction against a test preparation company that collected and disseminated copyrighted examination questions; court awarded monetary damages and permanent injunction against defendants as the ultimate sanction for failing to participate in discovery
  • Plaor, LLC v. Hollywood Casino Corp. et al. (C.D. Cal. 2013). Successfully represented gaming company in trademark infringement litigation and multiple TTAB opposition proceedings, resulting in the federal registration of the client's five HOLLYWOOD POKER marks.
  • Successfully defended copyright infringement action on behalf of award-winning rap artist and music labels; plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case following defendants' motion to dismiss
  • Van Buren v. Panini America Inc. (E.D. Pa. 2010). Successfully represented Hall of Fame running back, the late Steve Van Buren, in a right-of-publicity action against a trading card company for issuing "cut signature" trading cards
  • Live Face on Web, LLC v. Howard Stern Productions, Inc. et al. (E.D. Pa. 2008). Successfully defended media personality in a computer software copyright infringement dispute by obtaining dismissal of most claims
  • CJ Environmental, Inc. v. Green Bullion Financial Services, LLC (C.D. Cal. 2008). Successfully represented precious metal recycling services company in a declaratory judgment action; obtained dismissal based on the "first filed" rule
  • Green Bullion Financial Services, LLC v. Money4Gold Holdings, Inc. et al. (S.D. Fl. 2009). Obtained consent injunction against client's competitor and Internet advertising companies that infringed client's CASH4GOLD mark and its copyright rights in its CASH4GOLD advertising materials
  • Richard Dan v. Green Bullion Financial Services LLC (D. Hawaii 2009). Successfully defended trademark infringement action concerning the CASH4GOLD mark
  • Represented educational software company in a trademark infringement action; obtained monetary sanctions against opposing counsel for improper conduct in discovery
  • Successfully prosecuted misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract claims on behalf of a software company against a large storage device hardware manufacturer and competitor; resolved case days before trial

Commercial Litigation

  • Estate of Flatow (Pa. Super. 2016) - Obtained summary judgment dismissing will contest on behalf of three charities and obtained affirmance of ruling in PA Superior Court, resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars for the charities.

  • Successfully defended educational consulting company in a competitive bidding dispute for a state contract resulting in the withdrawal of the bid dispute
  • Successfully prosecuted breach of contract and tortious interference claims in federal court on behalf of computer-based testing company arising out of a competitive bidding dispute
  • Successfully defended breach of contract claims on behalf of a computer-based testing company arising out of an alleged security breach
  • Won trial as lead trial counsel for the executor of the estate of a prominent Philadelphian against objections filed by an estate beneficiary
  • Defended investment management company and investment advisors in multiple state court actions alleging breach of fiduciary duty for investment losses sustained during the 2001 stock market crash; obtained favorable resolutions

Professional Activities

Pennsylvania Bar Association Review and Certifying Board, member

International Trademark Association 

Ballard Spahr's Hiring Committee

Recognition & Accomplishments

Recognized as one of the "Best of the Bar" by the Philadelphia Business Journal for 2020

Chambers USA, intellectual property law, 2010-2017

Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star," Intellectual Property, 2017-2021; named one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation," 2017-2018

Recognized as one of "IP Stars" in Pennsylvania by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, 2013, 2019-2020; named one of the "Top 250 Women in IP," 2013


Co-author, "Do Not Be Blindsided by SideWiki," myCorporateResource.com, November 20, 2009

Co-author, U.S. Trade Dress Law: A Primer for the New Millennium, with Glenn Mitchell, Steven J. Wadyka, Jr., and Melissa J. Lee, 2002

Speaking Engagements

"Ethics in Social Media," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 8th Annual Intellectual Property Law Institute, Philadelphia, April 9, 2014

"Web Suffix Explosion May Create .Concern: Strategies for Protecting Brands and Enhancing Data Security," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 13, 2014

"Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging…Oh MySpace! Legal Issues with Social Networking Sites," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, December 2010

Program planner and presenter, "IP Law and Its Intersection with Social Media," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Intellectual Property Defense in an Age of Social Media CLE Program, Philadelphia, October 6, 2010; and Pittsburgh, September 29, 2010

"Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging…Oh MySpace! Legal Issues with Social Networking Sites," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, March 2010 and November 2009; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, April 2010

"IP and the Internet: The story of GROW AND GO, the Fictional Drink of the Summer Games," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, November 2008, and at a Ballard Spahr CLE Program, Philadelphia, June 2008

"Hey, Knock It Off: Protecting Fashion Designs," University of Delaware (guest lecturer), February 2007

"Trial Advocacy," Villanova Law School (guest lecturer), November 2005

"Parody: Barbie is a Slut and Other Slurs Against Iconic Marketing Figures," University of Delaware (guest lecturer), Spring 2003

"Role of Counsel in Copyright Infringement: Download This! The Latest in Online Copyright Infringement," Ballard Spahr program, December 2003

"Right of Publicity," Intellectual Property Breakfast Seminar, Ballard Spahr, November 2002

"Protecting Websites and Graphical User Interfaces with Trade Dress Law," Intellectual Property Breakfast Seminar, Ballard Spahr, November 2001

Board Memberships

ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter

Duke University School of Law (J.D. 1994)

University of Michigan (B.A. 1991, with high distinction)
Member, Phi Beta Kappa

New Jersey

New York