Lobbying Affiliate: MML&K Government Solutions
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Honors & Awards

  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2007-2021 (Intellectual Property Litigation)
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers® 2019: Recognized as Top 10 Attorney in Kentucky 
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers® 2011-2015, 2017 to Present: Recognized as Top 50 Attorney in Kentucky
  • Named WIPR Leader (World Intellectual Property Review) 2017-Present

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Chambers USA, 'Leaders in their Field', 2016 to Present (Intellectual Property Kentucky)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, (Intellectual Property Litigation and Trademark Law, 2007-2022.)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year for Litigation-Intellectual Property, 2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year for Trademark Law, 2015
  • Chambers USA: "America's Leading Lawyers for Business", Intellectual Property, 2013-Present
  • Who's Who, Trademarks, 2013-Present
  • Louisville Magazine's "Top Lawyers" for Copyright Law, 2013-2014
  • Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars, 2013-Present
  • Best for Copyright Infringement Litigation - Kentucky
  • Best for IP Litigation - Southern USA, 2017-2018



U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

U.S. District Court for Arizona

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas


University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Louisville, Kentucky, J.D., 1979

Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana, B.A., 1976

  • Major: Economics


For over 30 years, I have concentrated my practice in the area of intellectual property, primarily dealing with patent, trademark, and copyright infringement litigation, and services such as trademark and copyright registration. I was the founder of the well-respected intellectual property boutique firm of Wheat, Smith & Beres, which merged into Stites & Harbison effective January 1, 2000. I was the Service Group Leader of that firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Services Group from 2000 until into 2012. From 2011 through 2015 and for 2017 through the present, Super Lawyers® ranked me as one of the "Top 50" attorneys in Kentucky and in 2019, I ranked as one of the "Top 10" in Kentucky and The Best Lawyers in America recognizes me as the Louisville, Kentucky, Area "Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyer of the Year" for 2016 and previously recognized me as the "Trademark Lawyer of the Year" for the Louisville area for 2015.

My practice is national; I regularly litigate across the United States and have served as lead counsel in infringement litigation in over 30 states and in seven of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeal as well as in the United States Supreme Court. Nelson v. Adams USA Inc., 529 U.S. 460 (2000).


I was the founder of the largest intellectual property boutique law firm in Kentucky, Wheat, Smith & Beres, which merged into Stites & Harbison on January 1, 2000. While at Stites & Harbison (2000-2015) I was the Service Group Leader of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Services Group from 2000 until into 2012.


Since 1994, I have had the privilege to serve periodically as an Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and as the coach of the school's Lefkowitz Trademark Law Moot Court Teams. One of these teams was the National Champion for 2011, one placed third nationally in 2010, and one advanced to Nationals again in March 2019, placing sixth.

Additional Practice Experience

Kentucky Leader

Community/Civic Leadership

For the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., I am an Ordained Elder, a former Commissioner and Moderator (Chief Judge) of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky (the presbytery’s ecclesiastical court) and a former Commissioner of the Synod of the Living Waters Permanent Judicial Commission. Also, I am a member of the Order of Constantine of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and Legal Counsel to the fraternity's Licensing Committee. Previously, I served as Grand Praetor (regional supervisor) of the fraternity's Kentucky Province.

News & Insights


Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Lexington, KY, June 3, 2019
  • IP 101: A Non-Specialist’s Guide to the Basics of Intellectual Property Law
    Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, June 21, 2017
  • Louisville, Kentucky, May 15, 2017
  • Patchworks and Pitfalls: Server Training and State Laws and Regulations
    New Orleans, LA, October 5, 2016
  • IP 101: A Non-Specialist’s Guide to the Basics of Intellectual Property Law
    Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, June 16, 2010
  • Ethical Considerations in Intellectual Property Law
    Louisville Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program
    Louisville, KY, June 19, 2003
  • Supreme IP
    On experience arguing at United States Supreme Court
    Louisville Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program, February 19, 2003


  • They're Coming to Steal Your Ideas
    Louisville Business First, March 18, 2016
  • Business First of Louisville, January 22, 2016
  • IP Practices Growing
    Lane Report, February 1, 2010
  • Intellectual Property audits can identify assets to be protected
    Business First of Louisville, August 21, 2009
  • All in the name
    Thoroughbred Times, February 29, 2008
  • Protect yourself from competition by former employees
    Business First of Louisville, May 1, 2005
  • To franchise or not is a big question
    Business First of Louisville, August 6, 2004




  • Jack A. Wheat - Attorney Biography
    Jack A. Wheat - Attorney Biography


I place high importance on the value of communication and networking. With that said, I am an active member in a number of trademark organizations, including the International Trademark Association. These memberships enable me to advocate for trademark issues, allow me to maintain connections with trademark counsel around the world, and help keep my clients at the forefront of emerging and significant issues facing trademark owners today.

I have developed extensive experience helping clients secure and protect their trademarks.

Services I provide include:

  • Conducting clearance searches to select protectable marks
  • Prosecuting trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as well as with state trademark offices
  • Facilitating the registration of trademarks abroad
  • Maintaining and renewing trademark registrations in the U.S. and abroad
  • Negotiating and documenting transfers and licenses of trademarks
  • Recording trademarks with Customs to help prevent the importation of counterfeit goods
  • Protecting our clients' marks on the Internet
  • Resolving trademark disputes through litigation, including practice before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board of the USPTO.


Copyrights are the lynchpin of many businesses. With the growth of the worldwide Internet and some popular views currently shifting against copyright owners, copyright protection has become even more critical. Technological advances also have led to important and ongoing changes in copyright law.

I have developed a dedicated and seasoned copyright practice, with experience in district courts across the country. I work with my clients to evaluate strengths and weaknesses and to develop the most enduring and comprehensive method of protecting their valuable works. I help clients avoid trial when prudent; however, I also aggressively litigate when copyrights are threatened or questioned.

My copyright experience is broad, including various types of media such as entertainment, literary works, software, toys, and sculptures.

Intellectual Property Litigation

Within intellectual property litigation, I handle patent infringement litigation, trademark infringement litigation, and copyright infringement litigation. Infringement litigation consists of about two-thirds of my practice. My clients range from trailblazing start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, all of which benefit from my unique, business-focused approach to developing litigation strategies tailored to each client's definition of success. I invest the time and resources to developing a value-driven relationship with my clients to produce better results, reduce costs, drive increased productivity, and improve the quality of legal services provided. I take pride in understanding my clients' businesses and the critical role that IP plays in a highly competitive landscape. It is this business sense, combined with my ability to handle the complicated technical issues that are often intertwined with IP disputes, which separates my legal experience from my competitors. Additionally, through representation of both plaintiffs and defendants, I have an expertise in remedies and damages that better positions my clients to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Representative Successes:

  • Churchill Downs Inc. v. Commemorative Derby Promotions, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135350 (N.D. Ga. Sept. 23, 2013)
  • Abraham v. Alpha Chi Omega, et al, 781F.Supp.2d 396 (N.D. Tx 2011), affd 708 F.3d 614 (5th Cir. 2013)
  • Winchester Federal Savings Bank v. Winchester Bank, 359 F.Supp.2d 561 (E.D.Ky. 2004)
  • Pure Country Inc. v. Sigma Chi Fraternity, 312 F.3d 952 (8th Cir. 2002)
  • Sigma Chi Fraternity v. Sethscot Collection, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6332 (S.D. Fla. April 7, 2000) affd 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 22234 (11th Cir August 28, 2002)

Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors of the Christian Care Communities Foundation
  • American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section; Co-Chair, Dilution Law Subcommittee, 1999; Chair, Right of Publicity Subcommittee, 2004-06
  • Sigma Chi Fraternity Licensing Committee, Legal Counsel, 1991 - present
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • International Trademark Association; Member, Amicus Committee
  • Louisville Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, Chair, 1989, 1990 and 1994
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

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