Christopher L. Graff - Pirkey Barber PLLC

Christopher L. Graff

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013

Repeatedly recognized as “Go-To” lawyer for intellectual property law in the annual survey of the FORTUNE 500 by Corporate Counsel magazine, Chris Graff specializes in the areas of trademarks, false advertising, unfair competition, domain name piracy, copyrights, and trade secrets. Chris advises clients on all aspects of trademark selection, prosecution, enforcement, licensing, and global portfolio management. He has represented clients in over a hundred cases before a wide variety of tribunals including Federal Court, State Court, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Chris received his J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law in 1993. Prior to law school, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with highest honors in Electrical Engineering Management from The University of Texas at Austin.

The University of Texas at AustinBBA 1989University of Texas Law SchoolJ.D. 1993
Intellectual Property Owners AssociationAmerican Intellectual Property OrganizationInternational Trademark AssociationState Bar of TexasAustin Intellectual Property Law AssociationAustin Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association

Case History

Launch of Thrive Digital Network — We advised Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organize food retailer, in connection with the launch of “Thrive,” an innovated digital online network that combines entertainment and educational programming with social media.  We provided legal counsel through the company’s process of selecting, clearing, and filing to register the THRIVE mark, as well as the names of the numerous shows and programs carried on the network.  The Thrive network and programming was an innovative approach by a Fortune 500 company to educate and engage their customers online using social media and programming.
Eat Right Foods Ltd. v. Whole Foods Market, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-02174-RSM in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington — Represented Defendants in this case challenging licensed use of Whole Foods Market's use of Eat Right Foods.  Whole Foods Market has denied any liability, noting that there are numerous third-party uses of “Eat Right” for food products and related products/services.  In addition, Whole Foods Market has filed a counterclaim against Plaintiff, arguing that it is in breach of its contract with Whole Foods Market’s licensor, and is also estopped from bringing such claims.  
Multi-Jurisdictional Trademark Disputes involving ALLEGRO

Whole Foods Market owns several trademark registrations for its ALLEGRO marks in the US, Canada and the EU, covering coffee, tea, chocolate and related goods and services.  Recently, several companies have sought to register similar coffee-related marks in these countries, including Société des Produits Nestlé, S.A (“ALEGRIA” in the US, Canada, and EU), Heimbs Kaffee Gmbh (“ALLEGRETTO” in the US and Canada), and Kaufland Warenhandel Gmbh (“CAFÉ ALLEGRO” in the EU), which registrations have been opposed by Whole Foods Market.  These same companies (and others) have sought to oppose Whole Foods Market’s most recent application for its ALLEGRO mark in the EU.  As a result, Whole Foods Market and these companies are currently embroiled in a dozen contested proceedings before various tribunals involving a wide variety of trademark rights, including US, Canadian, European Community, German, and Portuguese trademark registrations.  The proceedings are on-going.

Office Location

600 Congress Avenue, Suite 2120
Austin, TX 78701
United States

Practice Areas

Trademark Law

Other Information

Gender: Male