Community News

Volunteer Spotlight: Timothy J. Lockhart 

Published: August 4, 2021

John Berard Vox Populi Registry Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands INTA Bulletins—North America Subcommittee

Timothy J. Lockhart

Timothy J. Lockhart (Willcox Savage, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)

Attorneys are often accused by opposing counsel of “telling stories,” but in the case of Timothy J. Lockhart, partner in charge of the Intellectual Property Group at Willcox Savage in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, it’s true!

A lawyer since graduating from Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University Law Center in 1990, he is the author of three (soon to be four) thrillers. His first, Smith, about a female assassin, was published in 2017.

But whether focused on the law or the lawless, there is no confusion about Mr. Lockhart’s commitment to his clients, his firm, and to INTA. He currently is a member INTA Bulletins Committee—where he has served several times since 2002.

“I keep things compartmentalized,” Mr. Lockhart said. “I write in the morning before heading into work.” He points out that “being a good writer and a good lawyer begin with the same trait—liking to read.” And to write. Mr. Lockhart was the editor of his high school newspaper, a writer for his college paper, and has since published more than 100 articles and book reviews in national and local publications.

An attorney and an author must also be master of the plot. For Mr. Lockhart, that’s a skill honed over 30 years as a U.S. Naval intelligence officer (four on active duty and 26 in the reserve). Recruited to the service right out of Auburn University in 1977, he retired as a captain in 2007. In fact, it was the U.S. Navy that brought him to Norfolk, home of the world’s largest navy base.

“My books draw on this diverse background, the military, and the legal,” Mr. Lockhart said. “It’s the best way to make the characters as real as possible.” His trademark law expertise sometimes shows up on the page. “In novels, I will sometimes use brand names to say something about characters—like the model of the car they drive or the bourbon they drink,” he added.

Mr. Lockhart’s volunteer endeavors do not end at INTA. He is legal advisor to the Tidewater Chinese School, founded in 1982 to provide language and cultural education in and around Norfolk, and a member of the board of the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, dedicated to the life and achievements of the renowned U.S. general.

As someone with his foot in many worlds, Mr. Lockhart may be in a good position to help everyone, including the media, better understand the use and value of trademarks.

“There are two common mistakes,” Mr. Lockhart said. “First, confusing a copyright with a trademark. Second, believing that two marks must be identical for one to infringe the other.”

It is no surprise that Mr. Lockhart thought he might become a journalist, but his experience may have given him a leg up in the legal world.

“Courts want lawyers to use more natural language,” Mr. Lockhart said. “Just as I try to write novels that are ‘page-turners,’ I try to make the law accessible.”

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

© 2021 International Trademark Association