About John H. Zacharia

John H. Zacharia is the Founder of Zacharia Law PLLC and has over 26 years of litigation, policy and counseling experience. John regularly advises clients on matters involving intellectual property violations, cyber threats, domestic and international commercial litigation, and administrative law.

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Experience

For over two decades, John has worked at the forefront of the legal issues confronting intellectual property owners, becoming one of the leading subject matter experts in intellectual property criminal law in the country. As the Assistant Deputy Chief for Litigation of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the United States Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, John was responsible for supervising all of the intellectual property and cybercrime prosecutions by the Section’s 40 attorneys. In his 12 years at CCIPS, John became one of the most experienced federal prosecutors of intellectual property crime in the country.

John was CCIPS’ lead counsel in the prosecution of some of the largest and most significant intellectual property crime cases in U.S. history. For example, John prosecuted and obtained jury verdicts in one of the largest counterfeit goods prosecutions in U.S. history, and he successfully argued and defended the convictions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. John also successfully prosecuted the leaders of the "IMAGiNE" group, the most prolific English-language movie piracy group operating on the Internet from September 2009 to September 2011.

John secured a number of “first of its kind” convictions, including the first-ever conviction and sentencing of a cyberlocker operator, and the first-ever prosecution and conviction for criminal copyright infringement of mobile device applications (“apps”). John also obtained the first-ever maximum sentence for felony copyright infringement, as well as the first-ever maximum sentence for a felony related to copyright infringement online. John also defended the United States as co-counsel against the first-ever challenge to the constitutionality of the Stored Communications Act before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit sitting en banc.

John is a globally recognized expert in intellectual property law and policy, having worked directly with and trained law enforcement officials from over sixty countries and presented to a variety of international fora across the globe, including the European Union, Interpol, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences, Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) conferences, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Selected Prior Cases

United States v. MacKellar, et al. (S.D. Tex.); United States v. Martin (S.D. Tex.): Obtained convictions and sentences against members of one of the largest known groups of importers of counterfeit packaged veterinary products.

United States v. Al-Jabri, et al. (S.D. Tex.): Obtained convictions and precedent-setting sentences against counterfeit prescription drug ring members.

United States v. Ahn, et al. (N.D. Ga.); United States v. Ndhlovu, (N.D. Gal.): Obtained jury verdicts and sentences against members of organized copyright piracy group that represented one of the largest ever copyright piracy and counterfeit labels prosecutions in the South Eastern United States.  Successfully defended the convictions and sentences before the U.S Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

United States v. Lam, et al. (E.D. Va.): Obtained jury verdict against defendants in one of the largest counterfeit goods cases in U.S. history, and successfully defended the conviction on appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kahle v. Ashcroft (N.D. Cal.): Successfully defended the constitutionality of the 1976 Copyright Act, the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and the Berne Convention Implementation Act. 

321 Studios v. MGM Studios, Inc., 307 F.Supp.2d 1085  (N.D. Cal): Successfully defended the constitutionality of Title I of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In re Verizon Internet Services, Inc., 257 F. Supp. 2d 244 (D.D.C. 2003): Successfully defended the contistutionality of Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • “Criminal Trademark Counterfeit Law” (Guest Lecturer) at the George Washington University Law School Course on Trademark and Unfair Competition, in Washington, D.C. (Apr. 13, 2022).
  • “Steps in an IP Crime Case” at the “EMPACT IP Crime Investigation Handbook Kick Off Meeting,” sponsored by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”), by video in Alicante, Spain (March 16, 2022).
  • “IP Crime Prosecutions – Challenges and Solutions” at the “UN’s Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) Workshop on Emerging Threats to IP Law,” sponsored by Bournemouth University’s Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, Bournemouth University’s Computer & Security Society, and Bournemouth University’s Computer Emergency Response Team, in Bournemouth, United Kingdom (March 10, 2022).
  • “Criminal Copyright Law and the Arts” (Guest Lecturer) at the American University Washington College of Law School Course on Law and the Arts, in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 9, 2021).
  • “AI and IP Infringement and Enforcement: AI Used to Infringe and Enforce IP from a U.S. Perspective,” at “The Future of IPR and Artificial Intelligence Workshop,” sponsored by the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, in Copenhagen, Denmark (Oct. 15, 2021).
  • “Artificial Intelligence and IP Crime,” at the “Research on Business Models Used to Infringe Intellectual Property – Phase 5 Workshop,” sponsored by the EUIPO and the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies (“CEIPI”), in Strasbourg, France (Oct. 13, 2021).
  • “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Impact on Intellectual Property Crime,” at the “2021 Anti-Counterfeiting Innovation Day Workshop: Global Perspectives of Anti-Counterfeiting Innovation,” sponsored by INTERPOL, the International IP Crime Investigators College and Underwriters Laboratories, by video in Washington, D.C. (Sept. 28, 2021).
  • “Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Crime,” at the European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network “Online Workshop on Intellectual Property Crime,” sponsored by EUIPO and the European Union Judicial Cooperation Unit (“EUROJUST”), by video in Alicante, Spain (May 20, 2021).
  • "Considerations When Referring a Trademark Counterfeiting Case for Federal Prosecution” (Guest Speaker) at Michigan State University Law School Course on Trademark Counterfeiting, by video in East Lansing, Michigan (Jan. 15, 2021).
  • "Beginning with the End in Mind: Model Intellectual Property and Computer Crime Charging Considerations,” “Obtaining Electronic Evidence and Online Investigative Principles,” “Obtaining Electronic Evidence Stored Overseas and the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Process,” and “Legal Considerations in Domain Name Seizures” at the City of Los Angeles’ Workshop on “Where Intellectual Property and the Dark Web Meet,” sponsored by City of Los Angeles, by video in Los Angeles, California (Dec. 10-11, 2020).
  • “Intellectual Property Criminal Law” (Guest Lecturer) at Georgia State University Law School Course on White Collar Crime, by video in Atlanta, Georgia (Oct. 7, 2020).
  • “International Judicial Cooperation with the U.S.” at the European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network Meeting on “International Judicial Cooperation, COVID-19 Crime, IPTV Crime Investigations, European Intellectual Property Crime Case Studies,” sponsored by the EUIPO and EUROJUST, by video in Alicante, Spain (May 19, 2020).
  • “How Criminal Trademark Law Can Be Used to Combat Food Counterfeiting” (Guest Speaker) at Michigan State University Law School Course on Food Counterfeiting Law, by video in East Lansing, Michigan (May 11, 2020).
  • “Best Practices – Prosecuting IP Crime Cases” at the “2019 International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference: Fighting IP Crime through Innovation and Cooperation,” sponsored by Interpol, in Cape Town, South Africa (October 23, 2019).
  • “A Trade Secret Experience from the U.S.A.” at the EUIPO “Judges Seminar on Trade Secrets,” sponsored by the EUIPO, in Alicante, Spain (October 10, 2019).
  • “United States Trade Secrets Case Study” at the European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network “Workshop on Trade Secrets Violations, IP Enforcement in Practice, International Judicial Cooperation and EU Trade mark and Design Crime,” sponsored by the EUIPO and EUROJUST, in The Hague, the Netherlands (May 22, 2019).
  • “Investigating and Prosecuting Counterfeiting Cases” at the “Global Food Law Current Issues Conference,” sponsored by Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan (June 20, 2018).
  • European DIGITAL SME Alliance’s AI Focus Group’s Panel on “SME Perspectives on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on IP Infringement and Enforcement,” sponsored by the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, by video in Brussels, Belgium (May 18, 2022).
  • International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (“IACC”) 2022 Annual Conference Panel on “Engaging with Government to Protect your Brand and Enforce Your Rights,” sponsored by IACC, in Washington, D.C. (Apr. 28, 2022).
  • Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) Annual Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Seminar Panel on “Current Government IP Enforcement Programs,” sponsored by PLI, by video in New York, New York (Jan. 7, 2022).
  • European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) “Developing the Intellectual Property Crime Investigation Handbook Workshop” Group Discussions/Panels on “Investigating Counterfeiting” and on “Investigating Piracy,” sponsored by EUIPO, in Alicante, Spain (Dec. 15, 2021).
  • EUIPO's European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network “Workshop on Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals, International Judicial Cooperation and IP Investigations and Prosecutions in Practice” Panel on “How Can International Cooperation in IP Cases Be Improved?” sponsored by the EUIPO and the European Union Judicial Cooperation Unit (“EUROJUST”), in Alicante, Spain (Dec. 13-14, 2021).
  • EUIPO’s “Online Workshop on Blockchain” Panel on “IP Crime Investigation Handbook,” sponsored by EUIPO, by video in Alicante, Spain (Nov. 18, 2021).
  • EUIPO's webinar on “Judicial Cooperation in Online Intellectual Property Cases,” by video in Alicante, Spain (May 25, 2021).
  • EUIPO’s “Online Workshop on Digital Mobile Networking and Internet of Things” Group Discussion/Panel on “Impact on IP Related Enforcement, Investigation and Legal System on Consumer and Goods and Digital Content,” by video in Alicante, Spain (May 6, 2021).
  • EUIPO’s “IP in the Digital World Working Group Meeting” Panel on “Study on Artificial Intelligence and Copyright and Design Infringement,” by video in Alicante, Spain (March 24, 2021).
  • Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (“A-CAPP”) “A Brand’s New World Part 2” Conference Panel on “Legislative Updates: E-Commerce,” sponsored by A-CAPP, by video in East Lansing, Michigan (December 9, 2020).
  • Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) “Aftermarket IP Forum” Conference Panel on “Anti-Counterfeiting and E-Commerce: Next Steps,” sponsored by AASA, by video in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 19, 2020).
  • Centromarca Institute for the Defense and Identification of Authentic Brands and for the Fight Against Counterfeiting (“INDICAM”) “Counterfeiting Among Organized Crime, Money Laundering and Labor Exploitation” Conference Panel on “International Cooperation, Contrast Scenarios, and New Perspectives,” sponsored by INIDICAM in collaboration with the EUIPO and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (“UNICRI”), by video in Milan, Italy (Oct. 21, 2020).
  • A-CAPP’s “A Brand’s New World” Conference Panel on “Counterfeits Online: The Pharma Experience,” sponsored by A-CAPP, by video in East Lansing, Michigan (July 21, 2020).
  • PLI’s Annual Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Seminar Panel on “Current Government IP Enforcement Programs,” sponsored by PLI, in New York, New York (Jan. 16, 2020).
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) “Trending Issues in Trade Secrets 2019” Seminar Panel on “Advising Clients in Criminal Trade Secret Matters,” in Alexandria, Virginia (Sept. 19, 2019).
  • EUIPO European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network “Workshop on Trade Secrets Violations, IP Enforcement in Practice, International Judicial Cooperation and EU Trade mark and Design Crime” Panel on “International Judicial Cooperation,” sponsored by the EUIPO and EUROJUST, in The Hague, the Netherlands (May 22, 2019).
  • PLI Annual Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Seminar Panel on “Current Government IP Enforcement Programs,” sponsored by PLI, in New York, New York (Jan. 17, 2019).

Awards and Recognitions

Recording Industry Association of America’s Gold Record Award of Achievement (2012, 2016, 2019).

National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center Recognition of Exceptional Service (2017).

Motion Picture Association of America’s Award of Outstanding Achievement (2015).

U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Performance Award (2015).

U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Special Achievement Awards (2006, 2009-2012, 2014).

U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Certificate of Appreciation (2012).

Investigative Consultants’ John Rodriguez IPR Award of Excellence (2012).

U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service (2011).

U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Award of Appreciation for “Operation LAM CHOP” (2010).

Louis Vuitton’s Award of Appreciation (2008).

U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Meritorious Awards (2007, 2008).

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division’s Performance Award (2004).

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division’s “On-the-Spot” Merit Award (2002).

 

Recent Publications

Study on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Infringement and Enforcement of Copyright and Designs

European Union Intellectual Property Office (March 2022).

International Judicial Cooperation in Intellectual Property Cases: Study on Legislative Measures Related to Online Intellectual Property Infringement – Phase 2

European Union Intellectual Property Office (March 2021).

Congress’s Proposed E-Commerce Legislation for Regulation of Third-Party Sellers: Why It’s Needed and How Congress Should Make It Better

21 University of California-Davis Business Law Journal, 91 (Fall 2020).

How Congress Proposes to Protect Consumers from Online Counterfeits: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Brand Protection Professional, 17th Edition, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Sept. 21, 2020).

Trade Secret Theft in Academia: Brand Owners Are Not the Only Ones Who Noticed

The Brand Protection Professional, 15th Edition, Vol. 5, No. 1 (March 20, 2020).

The Supreme Court Just Made Restitution Harder for Brand Owners: Here’s What They Can Do About It

The Brand Protection Professional, 9th Edition, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Sept. 20, 2018).

Where Can Brand Owners Find the Undiscovered Leak of Their Trade Secrets? It’s Academic

The Brand Protection Professional, 7th Edition, Vol. 3, No. 1 (March 20, 2018).

Other Practice Areas

Zacharia Law PLLC

Administrative Law

John was a trial attorney with the Federal Programs Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he specialized in constitutional and administrative law litigation on behalf of the United States. John also was an Attorney Advisor to three different heads of the Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration.

Zacharia Law PLLC

Commercial Law and International Arbitration

Prior to joining the Justice Department, John represented a variety of clients in private practice in large-scale “bet the company” litigation as a Senior Associate at Howrey & Simon and as an Associate at Carlton Fields. In addition, John represented large corporations and nation states in several international arbitration cases before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Centre for Settlement of International Disputes (ICSID), and the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI).