Hara K. Jacobs


Tel 215.864.8209
Fax 215.864.8999

Hara K. Jacobs is the Practice Leader of the Trademarks and Copyrights Group. She is known for her work litigating intellectual property matters, including trademark, trade dress, copyright, right of publicity, trade secret, misappropriation, false advertising, and patent cases. Hara also represents clients in business and estates litigation. She regularly litigates in federal and state courts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

In addition to her litigation practice, Hara assists in the development and implementation of global branding and enforcement strategies. Her intellectual property counseling practice includes advising on issues involving copyright, trade secrets, domain names, trade dress, advertising, and right of publicity.

Representative client industries include:

  • Certifying boards 
  • Electronics 
  • Gaming 
  • Security 
  • Environmental/agriculture
  • Computer-based testing 
  • Software 
  • Retail stores 
  • E-Commerce

Representative Matters

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • 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

  • 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

Chambers USA, intellectual property law, 2010-2017

Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star," Intellectual Property, 2017-2020; 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