Michael F. Snyder
Michael’s natural and engaging approach in laying out alternatives and potential outcomes is genuinely appreciated by clients. He advances their causes with all-encompassing intellectual property portfolio management including experience in patent, trademark and copyright prosecution as well as litigation. Michael also counsels and advises clients with regard to due diligence matters including intellectual property clearance, licensing and acquisition.
His intellectual property portfolio management work covers prosecuting domestic and foreign patents and trademarks, representing client interests in transactional matters and performing due diligence investigations. Michael’s experience in inter partes matters covers litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings concerning patents, trademarks, trade dress, unfair competition, non-competition agreements, trade-secrets and internet domain names.
Michael’s clients range from local startups to companies having a worldwide footprint, representing a wide variety of industries and technologies. His work has included handling trade dress litigation for a national casino chain, obtaining trademark protection for restaurant chains, managing the worldwide patent portfolio for global companies, brand management for professional athletes, reviewing copyright agreements for authors, and litigating patent, trade dress and trademark disputes in the field of action sports. Michael also frequently provides legal commentary on topical intellectual property news stories for the Philadelphia area media.
Previous Work and Industry Experience
Michael formerly practiced as a licensed pharmacist before entering into his law career in intellectual property. He has been an instructor of Pharmacy Law at Temple University School of Pharmacy since 1995.
Life Beyond Law
I am lucky enough to consider so many of my clients to be good friends.
- Ten Volpe and Koenig Attorneys Recognized in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America Rankings08.15.2019
Insights & Resources
In this episode, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts and Volpe Koenig shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue take you through their first round of pop culture “game-changers.” That is, who were the people, artists, or innovators where the world was never the same after them. Game changers exist in so many pop culture areas, including movies, music, television, and sports. In the world of patents and inventions, game changers from hundreds of years ago still impact our lives every day.
While the age of the tinkering in the garage or basement and coming up with an invention that changes the world may be much less likely today, this episode looks at the history of how a few brilliant minds saw a problem and set forth solving--not just for themselves, but for an entire world.
Michael and Joe set the table with their choices for iconic pop-culture game changers in basketball, music fandoms, special effects, TV shows, and stand-up comedy. These were legends that helped redefine their crafts. This episode then takes us further back into patent history than IP Goes Pop! has ever gone before. Michael and Joe dig deep into the patent archives and pull out some exceptional early inventions that are still relevant now. You will hear the story of each inventor, the background of their invention, and how their innovations impacted the larger culture.
In many ways, pop culture is defined by constant change. You never know from whom, from where, or how innovations will come about, but you can rest assured IP Goes Pop! will be there to walk you through the intellectual property game changers that continue to influence our world and the ways we interact with it.
This episode may inspire a listener to put an idea into practice that could end up making everyone’s life better or easier. The next game-changing invention could be just around the corner of curiosity and problem solving.
- Season 3 Ep #8: Intellectual Property and a Wacky Professor- Brands and Inventions in the Springfield Universe, Part II08.10.2022
This week on IP Goes Pop! co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue are joined by fellow intellectual property attorney and Volpe Koenig Shareholder, Randy Huis, to once again visit the town of Springfield in the fictional, but full of real fun, world of The Simpsons. Patents on candy, robots, and other inventions that may sound more like they are out of a writer’s room rather than based on an inventor’s technical notebook get filed with the Patent Office every day.
In this episode listeners will get a taste of just how much intellectual property can come out of, or be inspired by, popular culture.
Young or “prodigy" inventors. We see them fictionalized in movies and we hear about the real child inventors and entrepreneurs who make it onto Shark Tank each season. But in the real world, what programs are in place to encourage young inventors, new entrepreneurs, and small businesses to create and protect their ideas? Where can they turn to for reliable information and assistance on available protections for an idea, invention, or a revolutionary business venture, and how to go about securing those protections?
This episode of IP Goes Pop! virtually visits the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an inside look at the many available resources, World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, and how inventors of any age can bring their ideas into the world.
Volpe Koenig intellectual property attorneys and IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue team up once again, traveling to where worlds collide, taking us into the complex legal negotiations that bring beloved pop-culture characters from different franchises or “universes” together. Such crossovers can mix movie or TV characters or stories to the delight of fans. But can super heroes like Batman and Spider-Man crossover to team up and fight crime together? And who will they fight?
The amount of effort that goes into creating and protecting iconic movie, television, or comic book characters in alternate or rival universes is staggering. In this episode of IP Goes Pop! you might be surprised to learn what it takes to see your favorite characters “crossover” into other worlds.
IP Goes POP! takes you out to the ball game (and the blockchain) for this episode of the podcast that looks at the shift from “collectible trading cards” to “collectable NFTs”. Podcast co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, and intellectual property lawyers, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue round the bases and pull out their most memorable sports cards as they slide home to talk about the intellectual property (IP) of baseball cards, collecting, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The days of digging through the attic in search of that hidden box of your grandpa's old sports cards may be dwindling, but they are not gone. In some cases, these antique cards remain valuable assets for their owners, who can be thought of as holders of fine art. Some lock their cards away in vaults for safety or display them on their walls, behind glass cases, taken out only under the protection of silk gloves. But, how does the price of a 1959 Mickey Mantle or mint condition Honus Wagner baseball card (approximately 60 in remaining in existence) compare to a modern-day digital version of a trading card, such as the NBA Top Shot NFTs, with clips anyone can view online? Is the future of baseball cards still something you can touch with your hands or will it reside digitally on your phone? Our panel discusses the basics of what an NFT is and how this blockchain technology is shaping the future of the analog trading card business.
“We solemnly swear we are up to….intellectual property!” From the words that laid out a fictional universe on the page, to a real-world merchandising, film, and interactive theme park experience, the Harry Potter universe has become a pop culture staple of the last two decades. In this episode of the IP Goes Pop!® podcast, hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, put on their ‘sorting hats’ and pull back the curtain to reveal the intellectual property (IP) of the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’.
What can the world of wizards, witches, and magic teach us about real-world intellectual property? The global franchise that is the Harry Potter universe has been both a pioneer and target of IP litigation.
When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, there are no magic spells, potions, or wands to be waved. There are, however, trademarks, patents, and copyrights that each provide IP protection for you or your company, in order to protect a brand, work of authorship, or idea.
This episode will provide some observations for creating a fictional world that has aspects protectable in the real world.
IP Law is not magic, but it can be quite complex. No one can predict what projects or ideas will become a global phenomenon, but everyone can take the steps to protect their IP.
This episode of IP Goes POP! traces the development of a brand from its inception to a seminal trademark.
No matter the size of a business, it is important to grow your brand and establish goodwill in your name - and for that you need a strong trademark. In this podcast episode, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, and intellectual property lawyers, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, welcome Philadelphia's own Pete Ciarrocchi, founder of Chickie’s & Pete’s Sports Bar and Crab House.
In this episode, you will hear how Pete built his business, and what all business owners should know about building their brand, as well as the steps involved in protecting a brand. On the show, Pete shares the history of Chickie’s & Pete’s from a stool-less corner bar, tucked away in a former North Philadelphia row-home, to a franchise and regional staple of Philadelphia and beyond, home to the CRABFRIES® seasoned french fries (a Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant staple and federally registered and protected trademark).
American football is a sport that permeates the popular culture scene, but what intellectual property is involved between the end-zones? In this episode of the IP Goes Pop! podcast we explore the movies, toys, patents, and trademarks that have shaped the sport in modern times. From the technology built into the players’ helmets, to the glowing first-down line you see on television, intellectual property has a huge impact on the way we interface with football.
As we look ahead to the big game, join co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joe Gushue, along with their guest, IP Watchdog President and CEO, Gene Quinn, as they break down the IP that has shaped the sport. In this episode, Michael, Joe, and Gene kick things off by discussing famous football films and their influence on the generations that grew up with them. Then the panel examines the impact of iconic football-related toys, starting with the first “soft” football and ending with modern-day video games.
What do Bambi, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh all have in common? Besides remaining lovable pop-culture icons, these cartoon characters are all part of copyrighted works entering the public domain. In our first episode of season three, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, are back for a journey into the public domain. With the help of their fellow Shareholder John O’Malley, they walk through the history of copyright term (how long copyrights last), how and when copyrighted works enter the public domain, and the way this area of law continues to evolve as famous and high-value works enter the public domain.
Sometimes you have to ask the critical questions, like: Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? How can you turn your holiday invention into a patent-protected idea? In our first-ever IP Goes Pop! Snow-Tacular™, co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joe Gushue, unwrap the iconic pop culture movies, traditions, and intellectual property disputes around the most wonderful time of the year.
Grab your hot cocoa and rethink how you turn on your holiday lights, because in this episode, Michael and Joe are joined by registered Patent Agent and “friend of the podcast” Robert Ballarini, holder of two patents for holiday-themed inventions. Bob shares the inspiration behind his inventions, the process of applying for a patent, and how no idea is too outrageous for the holidays.
From the iconic Air Jordans to the Reebok Pumps to the undeniable influence of the Chuck Taylor All-Stars, sneakers have become pop-culture currency. As their status has shifted from a piece of sports equipment, meant to be scuffed up, into collectors’ items that are kept in pristine conditions, sneaker culture has become a multi-billion dollar market. So how do you, as a brand or consumer, guarantee your shoes are authentic and not just well-done knock-offs? What intellectual property (IP) protections are there for shoes and how do these protections help you in a global market?
This week on IP Goes Pop! co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, are joined by former New Balance Senior Counsel of Intellectual Property and Global Brand Protection, Dan McKinnon. Dan, who is currently CEO of Proof Authentication, Corp., shares his experience in dealing with the ever-shifting world of counterfeit products, and the IP challenges that arise in the face of, what Dan calls, “parasite brands.”
Why would a company, from the largest to the smallest, spend years building a reputation using its trademarked name and logo, and then suddenly decide to make a complete change? This week on IP Goes Pop! we explore some famous “rebrands,” the ones that worked, the ones that may not have worked. The podcast also looks at what we can learn from Facebook’s rebrand to “Meta” (announced October 2021) and what makes it so unique.
Join Volpe Koenig Shareholders and IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, along with fellow Volpe Koenig shareholder John O’Malley, as they explore famous rebrands and the intellectual property (IP) implications that can come with them. Our panel discusses common motives that may lead a company to undergo a rebrand and the key pieces of IP that can determine how strong and successful a company’s rebrand becomes.
In this spooktacular episode of IP Goes Pop! treat yourself to the intellectual property (IP) of Halloween. From the disputes surrounding the iconic Halloween mask to the similarities, and important differences, between some people’s favorite friendly ghost, Casper, and the ghost in the Ghostbusters logo, who ya gonna call but IP Goes Pop hosts, and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue?
So, grab your flashlight and your “fun” sized candy bars, as we take you through three cases in intellectual property law that might spook anyone to check their forms and contracts twice. We promise there's no tricks, only treats, on this episode!
This week IP Goes Pop! takes to the skies to explore intellectual property in the world of aviation. From the first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC, to the advancements in aircraft that came out of World War I, what patents have taken to the skies since the Wright Brothers first took flight in 1903?
In this episode Volpe Koenig Shareholders and IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, are joined by fellow Volpe Koenig attorney (and seasoned pilot) Tom Mattioli. If you’ve ever wondered why we use the word “fuselage” for the body of an aircraft, fasten your seatbelt as Michael, Joe, and Tom take you on the turbulent journey of the intellectual property that got us into the skies.
How do comedians protect their jokes or their delivery style? This week IP Goes Pop! goes to the comedy club to find the line between creative freedom and stolen (or borrowed) laughs. Join Volpe Koenig Shareholders and hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue as they welcome Volpe Koenig alum and comedy fan Aneesh Mehta, Senior Corporate Counsel for Experiences and Devices at Microsoft.
Michael, Joe, and Aneesh reminisce about comedy shows they have attended, and look at the legal protections a comedian may have, or not have, in performing a joke or an entire routine. From common themes, such as food, marriage, and having kids, to unique topics and styles, IP Goes Pop! stands up for the intellectual property behind the laughs and looks at the ways audience and comedian expectations have shifted over time.
When popular television, movie, or comic book characters are recast into three-dimensional, bendable, transformable toys, what intellectual property considerations go into their design? This week the panel on IP Goes Pop! takes apart iconic action figures, past and present, to explore the patents, design patents, licensing, and other intellectual property surrounding these valued toys and collectibles.
Join Volpe Koenig Shareholders and co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, along with fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Randy Huis, as they explore the evolution of celebrated action figures and the intellectual property behind them. From the technological innovations involved in G.I. Joe’s “Kung Fu Grip”, to the Transformers action figures’ unique ability to change from robot to animal to vehicle etc., each new wave of toys and characters brings with them new IP challenges and opportunities. But remember to keep them in the original packaging!
This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Ryan O’Donnell joins co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue to explore the technical world of the TV show Silicon Valley, the intellectual property (IP) challenges faced by fictional compression algorithm company Pied Piper, and how realistic those challenges are to those of real world tech start-ups.
Michael, Joe, and Ryan consider “what they could have done” in connection with the IP tropes presented through some of the IP-heavy Silicon Valley episodes. They compare and contrast what happens in the show with the way real-world start-ups approach similar scenarios. From patent clearance and licensing, to trademarks, to copyrights, to identifying the different legal entities involved in possible IP disputes, this podcast episode underscores how important it is to know your IP rights from the start of any venture.
This week on IP Goes Pop! Volpe Koenig attorney and Ph.D., Douglas Bucklin joins co-hosts and shareholders Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue to travel back in time, and somehow also to the future, to explore intellectual property interests in the area of genetic engineering.
In this episode, Michael, Joe, and Doug discuss, among other pop culture icons, the Jurassic Park movies and how the genetic engineering in those movies relates to science and intellectual property in the real world. They also explore the current status and methodologies of genetic engineering, how intellectual property laws consider DNA, and how close science may be to bringing back the dinosaurs…
What is an NFT (Non-Fungible Token)? How are they created? Why would you collect digital files that anyone can obtain or view for free? This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Joseph Gushue returns to the podcast and joins Michael Snyder to talk about the ABCs of NFTs.
Michael and Joe break down some of the technical jargon behind NFTs and the basics of the blockchain, as they explore the current trends and future prospects of this technology and how it could impact the pop culture world.
This week on IP Goes Pop! Fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Wesley McMichael joins Michael Snyder to talk about inventors Thomas Edison’s and Nikola Tesla’s “battle of currents”.
Michael and Wes have an electric conversation about the race to light up the country and the patents that both paved the way for providing power. They explore the difference between the direct current (DC), championed, sometimes to a shocking extreme, by Edison, and alternating current (AC) advocated for by Tesla.
This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Robert Leonard joins host Michael Snyder to talk about artists' rights, and attempts by musicians to regain rights to their original recordings.
From Taylor Swift to Prince, IP Goes Pop! looks at what’s at stake when giving up rights to master recordings. In this episode, Michael and Rob explore how musicians try to “take back the music” and discuss how different artists navigated disputes over their intellectual property, and how the internet coupled with the likes of TikTok may be turning the industry on its flip-side.
What happens when someone believes a movie is based on their original idea? What sets one Zombie film apart from another? In this episode of IP Goes Pop! intellectual property attorney and host, Michael Snyder, is joined by his fellow shareholder at Volpe Koenig, Joseph Gushue, for a trip to a Hollywood writer’s room.
Michael and Joe explore the intellectual property issues surrounding the stories that make it to the silver screen, and who really created them.
This week on IP Goes Pop! Volpe Koenig Shareholder Michael Snyder explores what happens when real world intellectual property makes its way into the virtual (video game) world.
In this episode, Michael looks at the outcomes of two separate cases involving famous major video game franchises, and how their use of real world images ended up in court.
This week IP Goes Pop!® makes patents fun (or at least tries)! Volpe Koenig Shareholder and IP Goes Pop!® guest Randy Huis is back to explore the world of toy patents with host Michael Snyder.
This week on IP Goes Pop!, Founding Shareholder of Volpe Koenig and intellectual property attorney Tony Volpe joins Michael Snyder to talk about the Right of Publicity. Whether it’s protecting your image or even your voice, how has the legal landscape changed in the age of technology and “going viral”?
BAM! POW! This week on IP Goes Pop! Volpe Koenig intellectual property Joseph Gushue joins fellow intellectual property attorney and host Michael Snyder to talk about comic book characters!
This week IP Goes Pop! goes to the ballgame, as Host and Volpe Koenig Shareholder Michael Snyder and breaks down a pending lawsuit, THE PHILLIES v. HARRISON/ERICKSON INC. What’s at stake in the case? The future of the Phillies Phanatic mascot. Mostly in appearance.
- Ep #5: Trademarks and Catchphrases in Popular Culture-The trademark “Gold Rush” to Capitalize on Trending Words or Phrases08.05.2020
- Ep #4: Intellectual Property in the Cartoon World of The Simpsons - Brands and inventions in the Springfield Universe07.22.2020
In this episode of IP Goes Pop!, Jay Halt, Shareholder at Volpe Koenig, and Ankit Aggarwal, Associate at Volpe Koenig, join Shareholder Michael Snyder to talk about Artificial Intelligence in pop culture. They discuss inventorship and how it can become even more complicated when Artificial Intelligence is added to the picture.
This week on IP Goes Pop!, Joseph Gushue, Shareholder with Volpe Koenig, joins fellow Shareholder Michael Snyder to talk about IP “urban legends.” What is an IP urban legend? That would be misinformation circulating about patents, trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets that sounds right, but is not quite right (certainly not from a legal standpoint).
This week IP Goes Pop! watches the documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness*, the popular Netflix documentary series about self-titled Joe Exotic. Michael Snyder is joined this week by fellow Volpe Koenig shareholder John O’Malley, head of the firm’s Trademark Group.
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Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, published by Best Lawyers LLC, (2013-2021) View methodology used for selection.
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Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., cum laude
Temple University, B.S., Pharmacy, magna cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the District for New Jersey
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office