Robert Hough is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Dallas office.
Areas of Practice
Robert litigates nationwide to protect, enforce and leverage his clients' valuable intellectual property rights. Outside the courtroom, he counsels clients on copyright, trademark, trade dress, advertising, sports, publicity and entertainment law. He has lead over 50 trademark enforcement proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as well as proceedings under various other international dispute resolution policies.
Robert also protects his clients’ brands in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and through enforcement actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In addition to his litigation practice, Robert has successfully commercialized more than $16 million in intellectual property rights for his clients through licensing programs including naming rights, publicity, co-branding, integration and product placement and affiliate arrangements.
Robert brings over six years of experience in the advertising industry to his advertising law practice, having led national brand activation initiatives on the agency side in the print, digital, social and mobile spaces. His advertising practice focuses on influencer campaigns; endorsements and sponsorships; promotional licensing; social media activations; and risk management in the administration of sweepstakes, contests and other promotions. Robert previously structured more 160 brand promotions in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, United Kingdom, India, Japan, Germany, France and South Korea.
In addition, Robert counsels brand owners and marketing agencies on state and federal regulatory compliance issues related to claim substantiation and consumer protection, including regulation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act. He provides on-demand service as primary, overflow, and escalation counsel for compliance review of national advertising content across all platforms.
Robert is experienced in matters unique to the sports and entertainment industry. He negotiates, protects and commercializes intellectual property rights in connection with arenas and event centers, professional, semi-professional and amateur sports teams and professional athletes and artists. He regularly counsels clients on branding and publicity issues in hockey, baseball, basketball and football, and he also draws on his years of personal experience in the music business to provide counsel to clients in all areas of the industry.
- Defend national in-home fitness brand against $37 million infringement claims in Southern District of New York
- Defend leading national accessories retailer against copyright infringement claims in the Central District of California
- Enforce startup real estate brand’s federal trademark rights against infringer in the Northern District of Texas
- Try trademark infringement case to jury on behalf of leading online education provider (plaintiff) in the Northern District of Texas
- Defend ice hockey team in trademark opposition proceeding before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
- Negotiate major airline brand placement in national television reality series
- Negotiate talent engagement and content production agreements for the development and promotion of original music and companion music video for leading online dating services provider
- Negotiate co-branding and promotional license agreements on behalf of major airline in connection with feature film release
- Develop internal and external social media influencer policies for national financial services company
- Draft and provide counsel regarding artwork donation and copyright license agreements on behalf of former U.S. President
- Negotiate intellectual property rights for production of original music video and special edition card game for technology company’s advertising campaign in India
- Negotiate multi-year integrated marketing campaign with e-sports team operating in the NBA 2K League.
- Negotiate multi-year National Basketball Association jersey patch sponsorship for digital marketplace service provider
- Provide counsel on the development and operation of new Kansas sports and special events arena
- Negotiate multi-year brand ambassador agreement with professional athlete in the National Basketball Association
- Negotiate licenses and operating agreement in connection with national soccer hall of fame museum and event center
- Provide counsel in connection with the re-branding of a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision sporting event
- Draft and provide counsel on licenses and operating agreement in connection with professional football hall of fame
- Provide counsel to new owners of ice hockey team in North American Hockey League on re-branding efforts and negotiation of stadium rights
- Provide counsel and draft licenses in connection with Major League Baseball stadium naming rights sponsorship
- Sports Litigation Alert, 08.16.2019
- LawInSport, 04.17.2019
- "Faces and Names: Modern Issues in Publicity Licensing," Journal of NCAA Compliance, March/April 2019
Covering Your Ads Blog Posts
- "California’s Fair Pay to Play Act: This is Only The First Quarter," October 4, 2019
- "NAD Recommends Improvements to Baby Monitor Performance Disclosures," August 6, 2019
- "CARU Takes Action Against Two More Mobile Apps," (Part II), June 25, 2019
- "Faces and Names: Modern Issues in Athlete Publicity Licensing," April 9, 2019
Eye on Privacy Blog Posts
- "Utility Provider Settles Call Recording Lawsuit for $3.7 Million," August 6, 2019
- "CARU Takes Action Against Two Mobile Apps," (Part I) June 19, 2019
Intellectual Property Law Blog Posts
- "Celebrity Entertainer Sues Over Video Game Avatar," August 22, 2019
- Moderator, "Protecting & Enforcing Your Brand in the Intellectual Property, Domain Name, and Mobile App Arenas," 2017 ANA/BAA Marketing Law Conference, November 14, 2017
- "Top Advertising and Marketing Issues Facing Retailers Today," Consumer Products, Retail, and Franchise Industry Group, June 21, 2017
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Dallas Bar Association
Member, Board of Directors, Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
Member, Brand Activation Association
Member, United States Practical Shooting Association
J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2016, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
B.S./B.A., University of Arkansas, 2008, cum laude, Honors Program
- Judicial Extern, Hon. Elizabeth Lang-Miers, Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas