Brian W. LaCorte

Tel 602.798.5449
Fax 602.798.5595

Brian W. LaCorte represents public and private sector clients in complex litigation matters nationwide. He frequently appears in federal courts as lead counsel representing clients across a range of industries and businesses, including national retailers, innovative startup companies, and large technology firms. With more than 30 years in practice, Brian is an adept courtroom lawyer with significant trial experience. His level of skill and expertise equip him to aggressively pursue the merits of a case against formidable adversaries.

Brian has substantial experience with commercial litigation, including franchise litigation. He has represented several franchisors in matters involving all manner of franchise disputes, including franchise termination.

Brian also focuses on patent litigation before federal district courts throughout the United States, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A seasoned intellectual property litigator, Brian practices before administrative tribunals such as the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Brian directs the distinguished patent litigation team in the firm’s Phoenix office and has been involved in several nationally prominent patent and trademark litigation matters.

Brian has litigated more than 100 IP matters, many of which involved significant patent litigation around the country, including in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Arizona, the Eastern District of Texas, the Central District of California, and the District of Delaware. Brian has significant trial experience, including a successful jury verdict from a one-month jury trial that involved complex economic valuation issues with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Brian emphasizes his patent litigation practice in software patent litigation, but his cases cover a wide variety of industries, including medical devices, medical informatics, biotechnology, mechanical, computer, and electronics, as well as e-commerce systems and consumer products. Brian frequently advises clients on post-grant review proceedings and administrative trademark proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Brian has vast experience in trademark infringement and trademark anti-counterfeiting matters, including representation of high-profile intellectual property owners involved in national events and programs. He has represented the National Football League in trademark enforcement programs relating to Super Bowls XXX and XLII. He has represented the National Basketball Association in trademark enforcement during the NBA All Star Game in Phoenix, as well as Major League Baseball in its All Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix. Brian was a driving force behind Arizona’s adoption of anti-counterfeiting legislation and was the lead witness providing expert testimony to the Arizona legislature during adoption of the law. The anti-counterfeiting statute has been essential for the prevention and deterrence of counterfeiting in Arizona, providing both civil and criminal enforcement avenues to curb the sale and distribution of knock-off products, from counterfeit software to unlicensed merchandise.

Representative Matters

Among the many notable cases in which Brian has appeared as lead counsel, he has represented national retailers, innovative startup companies, and large technology firms, including:

  • Representation of several franchisors in matters involving successful termination of franchise relationships or enforcement of franchise agreements in numerous jurisdictions, including the Northern District of California, the Western District of Texas and in the American Arbitration Association.
  • Representation of Discount Tire Company in complex commercial litigation involving bet-the-farm breach of contract litigation and class action patent litigation in the EDTX (and successfully transferred to the Arizona District), GeoTag v. Discount Tire, with a nationally reported successful result involving a complete walkaway by plaintiff in the face of a summary judgment motion.
  • Representation of GoDaddy in numerous software patent litigation matters throughout the United States, including the nationally followed case GoDaddy v. Rpost International in the District of Arizona where the court granted summary judgment concerning Section 101 unpatentability regarding several patents covering common business methods surrounding email technologies. In one matter for GoDaddy in the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX), Brian obtained a walkaway result against a patent troll asserting a broad patent over common e-mail technology.
  • Successful representation of U-Haul in software patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas and the Northern District of Georgia.
  • Representation of major national retailer in bet-the-farm trademark litigation in the Central District of California leading to a successful resolution that opened e-commerce channels for substantial online commerce.
  • Representation of nationally renowned author in first impression case concerning copyright protection for non-fiction work with successful summary judgment outcome that was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Representation of national Internet company in software patent litigation in the District of Connecticut with extremely successful result following early counterclaims attacking validity of patents in suit.
  • Representation of the National Basketball Association and the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) in trademark litigation with very successful results for both the team and the League.
  • Representation of Fireman’s Fund over counterfeit construction bonds with successful pursuit of U.S. Marshal seizure of counterfeit bonds and related records and complete shutdown of unscrupulous business.

Judicial Externship

Hon. Glenn Archer, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Professional Activities

American Intellectual Property Law Association, member, Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arizona "Smart Beginnings" Task Force, member

Arizona Governor's Statewide Youth Development Taskforce, past member, Education Subcommittee

Association of Trial Lawyers of America/American Association for Justice, past member

Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, past member

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, intellectual property litigation, patent litigation, trademark law, 2009-2021; "Lawyer of the Year," Trademark Law (Phoenix), 2019

Named a "Southwest Super Lawyer" for excellence in intellectual property practice, 2007-2017

AV Peer Review Rating, and rated AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5 in Intellectual Property, Martindale-Hubbell, 2007-2020

Recipient of awards and recognition from the State Bar of Arizona and the Maricopa County Bar Association

"Who's Who in America Law," Marquis Who's Who

Speaking Engagements and Publications

Brian is frequently quoted in national and local media publications, such as American Lawyer, IP Law 360, and the Phoenix Business Journal concerning franchise and intellectual property issues.

"Real Estate Tax Assessment Appeals - Potential Opportunity Post-COVID-19," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 17, 2020

Co-author, "The Defend Trade Secrets Act Signed into Law," Ballard Spahr alert, May 11, 2016

Co-author, "President Obama Signs Defend Trade Secrets Act into Law," Ballard Spahr alert, May 11, 2016

Co-speaker, "Post-Grant Proceedings before USPTO's PTAB", Managing Intellectual Property International Patent Forum 2016, London, March 9, 2016

Co-author, "Fed Circuit Decision Gives Broad Patents New Concerns," Ballard Spahr Intellectual Property alert, June 19, 2015

Co-author, "Supreme Court Invalidates Software Patents in Alice Corp. Case," Ballard Spahr Intellectual Property alert, June 19, 2014

Co-author, "Supreme Court Rulings Expected To Curb Meritless Patent Litigation," Ballard Spahr Intellectual Property alert, April 30, 2014

Author, "Patent Litigation Reform Bill Passes U.S. House," Ballard Spahr Intellectual Property alert, December 6, 2013

Panelist, "Staying in Bounds: Understanding Today's Legal Landscape in Sports," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 5, 2013

Panelist, "International Business: Navigating Risk on the Road to Growth," Ballard Spahr, City National Bank, Eversheds, and McGladrey seminar, Las Vegas, June 22, 2012

Co-author, "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Applies Only to Hackers, Not Thieving Workers, 9th Circuit Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, April 13, 2012

Emerging Copyright Issues in the Internet, National Education Telecommunications Association, 2000

Community Activities

St. Thomas More Society

Valley Leadership, Class XI, Alumnus

Valley Citizens League, Alumnus

Victory Together Campaign Committee for MLK, Jr. Holiday
State Bar Representative to Campaign

Board Memberships

Arizona State University, ex-officio member, Board of Trustees

Arizona State University Alumni Association, Chair, Board of Directors

Crisis Nursery, past executive board member

Southwest Human Development, past President

George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1988)
Recipient, Trial Lawyers' Award

Arizona State University (B.S., cum laude, 1985)


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court