Ira S. Sacks

New York

Akerman LLP
1251 Avenue of the Americas
37th Floor
New York, NY 10020

Tel: +1 212 880 3827


A litigator with high profile, first chair trial experience, Ira Sacks protects his clients’ assets in trademark and branding matters, as well as general commercial disputes. He has served as counsel of record in more than 100 reported decisions, including two arguments before the United States Supreme Court in City of Sherrill, N.Y. v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York, 544 US 197 (2005) and Lilly v. Virginia, 527 US 116 (1999).  He has served as lead trial counsel in over 20 matters litigated to judgment.

Ira’s complex and high profile cases center on trademark, copyright, and patent infringement; distribution disputes; false advertising; price fixing; dealer termination; monopolization and unfair competition; unfair and deceptive trade practices; and trade secrets. He has substantial experience counseling clients on consumer advertising and marketing laws, including designing advertising audits, performing prepublication reviews, and litigating false advertising and Lanham Act cases for luxury and consumer brands and large retailers.

Ira advocates for clients before District Courts around the country and numerous state and federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. The mix of high profile clients that Ira has represented includes numerous fragrance and fashion companies as well as national scientific laboratories, real estate developers, and financial institutions.

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1974, Law and Policy in International Business, Senior Topics Editor
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Economics, 1970
Honors & Distinctions
  • JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards, 2017, 2020-2021, Recognized as a “Top Author” on Trademarks
  • Super Lawyers Magazine 2009-2019, Listed in New York for Business Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
  • National Science Foundation, Fellow

Estée Lauder: Represented fragrance brand in trademark infringement and false advertising litigation, through jury verdict. BeautyBank, Inc. v. Harvey Prince, LLP, 10 CV 955 (SDNY); 2011 WL 671749 (SDNY 2011) ; also represented hair care products company in counterfeiting cases. Bumble and bumble LLC v. Harmon Stores, Inc., et al (DNJ 2013); Bumble and bumble LLC v. CVS et al (SDNY 2014)

Brookhaven Science Associates: Represented national laboratory in high technology trade secrets and breach of contract case. Modular Devices Inc. v. Brookhaven Science Associates, 2011 WL 1885719 (EDNY 2011)

Nike: Represented brand owner in counterfeiting matter. Nike, Inc. v. Top Brand Co., 2005 WL 1654859 (SDNY July 13, 2005) (leading decision on recapture of profits in anticounterfeiting matters)

Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star Pictures: Representation involving breach of contract and trademark claims relating to the film Return from the River Kwai. Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. v. Unger, 198 F.3d 235 (2d Cir. 1999) and 17 F.3d 38 (2d Cir. 1994)

VF Corp: Represented licensor in action concerning termination of license agreement. Woodland Designs PLC v. Nautica Apparel, Inc., 2012 WL 426518 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 2012); and also represented licensors in several US and International arbitration’s, including a multi-week successful AAA arbitration on termination and tortious interference claim.

Samsung: Represented sub-licensee in action asserting wrongful termination of distribution agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and misappropriation of trade secrets. Epic Sports International, Inc. v. Samsung C&T America et al, 2012 WL 5947826 (Sup. Ct. New York County Nov. 26, 2012).

Intellectual property is often a company’s most valuable asset and failure to protect this vital investment can have devastating consequences. Developing and managing an intellectual property portfolio is the cornerstone of a successful business strategy.

From pharmaceuticals and medical devices, to computer software and technology, to fashion and music, Akerman’s Intellectual Property Practice Group serves clients in all aspects of intellectual property counseling, litigation, licensing, transactions, and due diligence. Our team includes lawyers and patent agents with advanced technical degrees and business experience in disciplines such as electrical engineering, computer science, chemistry, and molecular biology. Our scientific and business backgrounds, coupled with experience gained from past service in the United States Patent & Trademark office, enable us to provide practical strategies for protecting intellectual property value.

We build longstanding relationships with our clients, gaining a deep understanding of their business operations so we can successfully manage, protect, and maximize the value of their intellectual property assets. When disputes arise, we effectively handle all aspects of the litigation, including resolving patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and related contract and antitrust disputes.

Our lawyers serve as business advisors to our clients, providing critical counsel on transactions involving intellectual property. We negotiate licensing and distribution agreements and intellectual property acquisition documents, providing the necessary due diligence to assess the validity and enforceability of intellectual property rights and freedom to operate. We also provide clients with customized on-site training on brand management, policing, and enforcement of their intellectual property rights.

Akerman LLP is a top 100 U.S. law firm recognized by Financial Times as among the most forward thinking firms in the industry.

Our more than 700 lawyers and business professionals collaborate with the world’s most successful enterprises and entrepreneurs to navigate change, seize opportunities, and help drive innovation and growth.

We are known for our results in middle market M&A and complex disputes, and for helping our clients achieve their most important business objectives in the financial services, real estate, and other dynamic sectors across the United States and Latin America.