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Nicholas J. Krob

Nicholas J. Krob joined McKee, Voorhees & Sease in 2016 after working as a judicial law clerk for the Fifth Judicial District of Iowa. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and practices a variety of areas including trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and intellectual property licensing.

Nicholas graduated summa cum laude from the University of Northern Iowa in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Sociology, and Criminology, and a minor in Politics and Law. He attended Drake University Law School as a Dwight D. Opperman Scholar and graduated with high honors in 2015. Nicholas was awarded the Drake Law School Alumni Service Award at the 2019 Drake Law School Supreme Court Celebration.

While in law school, Nicholas was a staff member of the Drake Law Review and a member of the Drake Law School Intellectual Property Moot Court team. He focused his legal study on intellectual property, earning a certificate in Global Intellectual Property and serving as a research assistant for Drake Law School professors and Intellectual Property Center directors Shontavia Johnson and Peter Yu. His student note addressing trademark law in the context of keyword advertising was published in Volume 63 of the Drake Law Review.

  • Copyright and Media Law
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • Licensing
  • Litigation
  • Trade Secrets
  • Trademarks
  • Copyright, Media, Entertainment, And Branding

Professional Associations

Iowa State Bar Association

Iowa Intellectual Property Association

American Bar Association

Polk County Bar Association

Licensing Executives Society (LES) – Iowa Chapter – Chair


Drake University Law School, J.D., with High Honors

  • Certificates in Public Service and Global Intellectual Property

University of Northern Iowa. B.S., Sociology, Criminology and Philosophy, summa cum laude

Publications & Presentations

“What is all the Fuss About NIL???,” Licensing Executives Society Iowa Chapter, October 4, 2021

“Protecting Business in the Digital Age: A New Perspective on Trademark Law and Keyword Advertising,” 63 DRAKE L. REV. 947 (2015)

“Transracial Adoption: Arguments and Answers,” DRAKE L. REV. STUDENT SHOWCASE (2016),

Bar & Court Admissions

Iowa State Bar

Awards & Recognition

Dwight D. Opperman Scholarship, Drake University Law School

Dean’s Award, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, University of Northern Iowa

Irene M. Thompson Social and Behavioral Sciences Scholarship, University of Northern Iowa

FTC Issues Rule Banning Non-Competes

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission’s “Non-Compete Clause Rule” was published in the Federal Register. This rule, which was issued last month and is set to come into effect on September 4, 2024, will have significant implications in terms of non-compete clauses and corresponding contracts if adopted. At their most basic level, non-compete clauses are […]

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Most People Are DJs: When Being an Attorney Feels Like a Curse

As I was getting a haircut last week, I had a revelation: being an intellectual property attorney can be annoying. Most people can enter an establishment and go about their business while enjoying the background music inevitably being played. Me? Not so much. As my barber and I discussed one of our favorite bands (the […]

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Washington Commanders: So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

“Registration of the applied-for mark is refused” are not exactly words a trademark applicant wants to hear from the USPTO. But are they as daunting as they sound? Over the past week, various news outlets have been reporting how “the Washington Commanders’ trademark has been denied by the USPTO” and asking questions such as “What’s […]

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The Oprah Effect: Podcasters Sued for “Oprahdemics” Brand

“YOU get a car! YOU get a car! YOU get a car!” Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur, however, get a lawsuit. Media giant Oprah Winfrey seemingly strayed from her benevolent ways earlier this month when her media company Harpo, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Jackson and Rigueur, as well as Roulette Productions, LLC, […]

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Tread Lightly: Nike Trademark Lawsuit Raises NFT Questions

If you have read Brandon Clark’s January 25th “Copyright Ownership, Transfers, and NFTs” article (and if you haven’t, you should!), you will know that the growth of NFTs, or “Non-Fungible Tokens,” has brought with it a whole host of questions regarding intellectual property. Frequently, these questions center around copyright law. However, as demonstrated by a […]

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Good Save: UK IPO Blocks Passing Off Attempt

Earlier this year, a British businessman by the name of James Dear applied with the UK Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) to register a mark consisting of the name “RONALDINHO,” a famous retired Brazilian soccer player, imprinted on a crest resembling that of legendary soccer club F.C. Barcelona. Dear also applied to register a mark consisting […]

Read Post → SCOTUS Rules that Addition of Top-Level Domain to Generic Term Can Create Protectable Trademark

When the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. back in November, the question was whether a generic term such as “booking” could constitute a protectable trademark when accompanied by “.com.” In an 8-1 decision issued last week, the Court has answered this question with a resounding “yes.” The case before the Court […]

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Contract Killers: Coronavirus and “Act of God” Provisions

Businesses everywhere, like the individuals that comprise them, are facing an uncertain future in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”). As each new day brings unprecedented governmental regulations and market disruptions, businesses are increasingly finding themselves unable to fulfill, or enforce, contractual obligations. And with such inability often comes, at least eventually, litigation. […]

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When YouTubers Cry: Prince Concert Videos Deemed Not Fair Use

Last week, U.S. District Judge Leo T. Sorokin granted summary judgment in favor of the estate of the late artist Prince regarding its claim of copyright infringement against Kian Andrew Habib, who had previously posted six Prince concert videos to his YouTube channel. In doing so, Judge Sorokin rejected Habib’s fair use defense, claiming Habib’s […]

Read Post → SCOTUS to Consider Whether a Top-Level Domain Creates a Protectable Trademark

Much to the chagrin of companies such as Bayer, DuPont, Westinghouse, and Motorola—former owners of trademark rights in, respectively, the terms “aspirin,” “cellophane,” “laundromat,” and “flip phone”— U.S. law does not protect terms that identify the general nature of a product or service itself rather than the source thereof, or “generic” terms, as trademarks.  What […]

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Walking Alone: Liverpool FC Fails to Obtain Namesake Trademark

English Premier League soccer club Liverpool FC may have scraped by with a victory against Sheffield United last weekend, but that luck does not appear to have extended to the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.  Earlier this year, the club announced that it had submitted an application with the IPO to register LIVERPOOL as a trademark […]

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Big Mac Blunder: McDonald’s Loses European Trademark Rights for Famous Burger

Last month, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) issued a surprise decision revoking fast food giant, McDonald’s, “BIG MAC” EU trademark registration in its entirety. The decision was the latest development in an ongoing battle between McDonald’s and Irish fast food restaurant Supermac’s. McDonald’s trouble started in 2014 after they opposed Supermac’s trademark application […]

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“Hottest Fashion Brand in the World” Sues Children’s Clothing Company for Trademark Infringement

In December 2018, high-end streetwear fashion label Off-White filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against children’s clothing company Brooklyn Lighthouse, claiming the Brooklyn company infringed upon Off-White’s trademarks and trade dress. Off-White’s products typically retail between $150 and $2,500 and feature “distinctive graphic and logo-heavy apparel designs.”  Such graphics include the […]

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