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Clay Tillack focuses his practice on both the transactional and litigation aspects of high stakes intellectual property and franchise law matters. Clay represents clients with trademark prosecution, trademark protection, and trademark infringement claims, as well as rights of publicity and commercial litigation. His clients include private and public organizations, hospitality franchisors, athletes and sport agencies.


  • Trademark prosecution
  • Franchise law
  • IP litigation
  • Sports and entertainment



  • Representation of nearly two decades of one of the world’s most famous athletes on issues relating to his intellectual property, including trademarks and right of publicity. In addition to managing the client’s trademark portfolio, Clay’s representation has included prosecuting federal court claims for the misuse of trademarks and publicity rights in advertising.°
  • Led a brand update for one of the country’s largest health care equipment providers, which included a new logo for the client. °
  • Led the rebranding of one of the country’s largest foodservice providers, which included adopting and registering a new company name, logo, and trademarks for the goods and services provided by the client.°
  • Represented a major motion picture studio in its successful efforts to stop the unauthorized use of iconic images from two of the most famous 1930’s movies and one of the most famous cartoon duos in history.°
  • Defended a major motion picture studio facing a copyright claim arising from the alleged infringement of a copyright in a tattoo used on a movie character’s face.°
  • Arbitrated claims made against a client, a major franchisor in the real estate services field, stemming from a dispute about key provisions in its license agreement.°
  • Management of numerous trademark portfolios of private and public organizations in a wide variety of industries.
  • Obtained a ground-breaking Illinois Human Rights Commission order – working with the ACLU – that adopted the report and recommendations of an administrative law judge that found violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act against the clients, a gay couple celebrating their civil union who were denied equal access to a bed-and breakfast.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Tillack prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Selected, The Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2021 and 2023-2024
    • Franchise Law, 2019-2021 and 2023-2024
    • Trademark Law, 2021
  • Listed, Managing IP Magazine's World IP Handbook and Survey, “Notable Practitioner,” 2021-2023
  • Selected, Managing Intellectual Property, “IP Stars,” 2013-2020
  • Selected, Law Bulletin, “Illinois Leading Lawyers Network,” 2006-2020
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, “Illinois Super Lawyers,” 2006-2020
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Forum on Franchising
      • Former Steering Committee Member, Diversity Caucus
  • Member, International Trademark Association
  • Former Member and Secretary, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Equality Illinois


  • J.D., with honors, University of Texas School of Law, 1982
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 1979
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit