Stephen P. Meleen - Pirkey Barber PLLC

Stephen P. Meleen

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2011
Phone: 512-482-5224

Steve Meleen has specialized in trademark law since he began his career with Arnold White & Durkee in 1996. Steve handles all aspects of trademark and unfair competition law, and primarily focuses on trademark litigation. He is also experienced in copyright counseling and litigation.

Steve has been actively involved in internet developments and policies affecting trademark owners, and devotes a significant portion of his practice to internet-related trademark issues.  He has served as Chair of the Trademark Internet and Trademark Litigation Committees of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and is currently Chair of the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Law Section's Trademark Committee.

Steve received his J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law, where he was a member of Texas Law Review and Order of the Coif. Before law school, he was a nuclear engineer at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, where he specialized in reactor plant shielding of nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers, and guided-missile cruisers.

Steve enjoys an active family life with his wife Jana and children Ashley and Matthew. In their leisure time, they can often be found at the lake, traveling to a Red Sox game, or in search of the world’s best roller coasters.

Oral Roberts UniversityBS 1988University of Texas Law SchoolJ.D. 1995
American Intellectual Property Law AssociationAmerican Society of Mechanical EngineersAustin IP American Inn of CourtAustin Intellectual Property Law AssociationFederal Bar AssociationInternational Trademark AssociationState Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Law SectionTexas Bar AssociationTexas Bar FoundationAustin Bar Association

Case History

Board of Regents, The University of Texas System v. Tower Car Wash, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:11-cv-00125-LY in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas — Represented Board of Regents, The University of Texas (“UT”) in this case challenging Tower Car Wash’s construction of a 60-foot replica of the iconic UT Tower, as well as Tower Car Wash’s logo, which prominently features the UT Tower in an orange color scheme.  Because the case involves a local landmark and unique areas of trademark law, it has received attention from a number of media outlets.  On January 8, 2014, the court granted final judgment to UT, finding that UT operates one of the most successful collegiate trademark licensing programs in the world and that Tower Car Wash used the marks to take advantage of the university’s goodwill.  The court enjoined the car wash and awarded UT $68,285.59 as a reasonable royalty for Tower Car Wash’s infringement.  The case is pending appeal.
Umami Burger Licensing USA, LLC v. Umami Mia Pizzeria, et al., Case No. A-13-CA-511-SS in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas — Represented Defendants in this case challenging Defendants’ right to use the word umami in connection with a pizzeria.  Because the case involved a local restaurant owned by several successful restaurateurs, as well as a fast-growing restaurant (Umami Burger) and an increasingly popular concept (umami), it received attention from a number of media outlets.  On August 13, 2013, Pirkey Barber successfully represented Defendants at a hearing on Plaintiff’s preliminary injunction motion, after which the district court issued an order denying the injunction and finding that the word umami is a descriptive term available to third parties, including Defendants, rather than a name invented by Plaintiff.  The parties have since amicably resolved the dispute.
SXSW, Inc. v. Joseph Gingerella d/b/a Black Ice Booking & Entertainment, Shyan Selah d/b/a Brave New World Media Group, and BNW Global, Inc. — Defendants promoted and organized a series of battle-of-the-bands throughout the United States using the SXSW trademarks and promising that the winners would play at the SXSW Music Festival.  Defendants, however, were not affiliated with SXSW.  SXSW brought suit against Defendants in November 2011 for counterfeiting, trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment.  On March 5, 2012, SXSW sought, and the district court granted, a preliminary injunction against Defendant Gingerella enjoining his use of the SXSW trademarks and ordering that he advise the affected bands and venues, as well as the public, that he is not affiliated with the 2012 SXSW Music Festival

Client Comments

"Because our brand is our primary asset, protecting it against infringement is a constant process. There are numerous infringers every year who decide to use our marks, or variations of our marks, sometimes from ignorance and sometimes with malice. Steve Meleen is a highly skilled tactician, helping us weigh the efficacy of actions we may contemplate to bring resolution to our particular issues. "

-Roland Swenson
SXSW, Inc.

Office Location

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

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2013 Lawyer of the Year in Trademark Law of the Austin Metro Area
Stephen P. Meleen has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Litigation - Intellectual Property
Trademark Law

Other Information

Gender: Male