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Daniel Nathan Ballard

Intellectual property Attorney

4.4   22 reviews

also known as Dan Ballard

  • Licensed for 21 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2002
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Daniel

Learn Daniel’s areas of practice.

Mr. Ballard is a patent attorney and a trademark, copyright, and e-commerce attorney. He is hired by and accepts new clients only from other attorneys. He serves as outside corporate counsel for small to medium-sized businesses and, in addition to general business transactional advice, focuses on intellectual property strategy and, when necessary, engages in federal and state court litigation and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. 

Mr. Ballard is not accepting any new clients. Nonetheless, under California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400 this profile and any of his responses to questions on the Avvo Q&A forum may constitute a "communication" concerning the availability of professional employment.  As such, please consider all of this information a SOLICITATION for employment.

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4.4 / 5.0
  22 customer reviews
Posted by John | December 6, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Most thoughtful, comprehensive answer I received!
Obiously a very thoughtful attorney. I wish I could contact him back. But he has no contact info. None of the attorneys' answers really got to my situation, and I'd like to clarify.
Response from Daniel Ballard December 8, 2018
Thanks for your kind words. I don't list contact information because I only very rarely accept clients through Avvo. I'm normally hired by other attorneys or get referrals from other attorneys. Good luck with your project.
Posted by anonymous | December 5, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Was Honest and Straight Up with Me
Mr. Ballard patiently answered my questions with regard to making my own subtitles for commercial films. I appreciate his directness and willingness to go the whole nine yards to explain his reasoning and provide me with legal sources supporting his arguments; the information he gave was more than I hoped for. Thanks for the help!
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Posted by Alice | September 8, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
IP question answered
Daniel went above and beyond a simple reply regarding my YouTube video content and I appreciate him taking his off time to respond in detail. By the time I finished reading his info-packed answer I had more ammunition than ever to understand the convoluted ramifications of the law pertaining to my question. You have to respect the brilliance of attorneys like Daniel who also choose to share themselves pro bono. Saved me a ton of creative time for which I am grateful.
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Posted by Sheldon Daniels | August 28, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Just another Review
I've seen a few of his answers from other questions. They are always as detailed as possible & I appreciate you taking your time out for the advice you give
Posted by Ryan | July 11, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Youtube Copyright Question For CC-BY Material Answered Very Quickly & Included Specific Section Of Code For Me
My Youtube Copyright Question For CC-BY Video Attribution Was Answered Very Throughly & Quickly. He Also Included The Specific Section Of Code That Pertained To My Question That I Was Unable To Find In My Own Internet Searches.
Posted by anonymous | August 14, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
A great Amazon specific Intellectual Property Law Attorney
I am an Amazon seller and had a patent infringement complaint. Daniel was very helpful and cognizant in his advices. He helped me to understand the situation and make my decision on how to move further. Amazon is a fairly new playground for lawyers and it is hard to find the professional who can give a good advice with the understanding of the specific environment. Daniel is a go-to guy for any amazon seller.
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Posted by John Edward Flynt | April 17, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
My experience with Dan Ballard
Dan answered very quickly, got more information from me, and gave me a detailed answer to my specific question. I would recommend him to anyone who needs representation for intellectual property, copyrights, and any other areas related to protecting one's creative property.
Posted by Varun Gupta | April 17, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Genuine, clear, concise & brutally honest
I was about to hire a lawyer searched on Avvo but wasn't very comfortable with the contract he drafted. I approached Mr. Ballard to review the contract drafted by the other guy and was willing to pay from the very beginning for his consultation. He however offered to review the contract free of cost and even suggested I should not continue with the earlier guy as his verbal promises and contract had different tones. In other words the other guy was trying to bind me in a contract which would have costed me a lot of money and time. Not only this he was patient enough to go through the case and suggested I shouldn't pursue it and take it with a pinch of salt as justice at times could be very expensive and non rewarding.
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Posted by Rick Bennette | November 18, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Concise and Clear
Daniel opened my eyes to a legal status of copyright not known to me, even after I read through the posting of copyright law on the government web site, Implied copyright is something I was not aware of before the initial consult with Daniel, and had I gone into court without knowing this, I could have wasted my dollars and time.
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Posted by Hans Merkel | March 14, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Very giving and very detailed.
It's understandable that lawyers need to make a living just anybody else. Their livelihood is based on their services which includes giving advice. To come on here with questions and get free advice from the many attorneys on this site is God given and much appreciated. But with Mr. Ballard it just goes a step further. I asked a few very complex questions regarding derivative works and copyright and such. Mr. Ballard answered them in detail and bluntly, exactly what anyone should want to have from an attorney. He even researched and posted the cases that pertained to my questions. In a litigious country like the States, an attorney such as Mr Ballard would not only be very knowledgeable, but I sense he'd also fight for your case ferociously and smartly by digging deep in his analyses of cases. So far, a 5 star rating from me.
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Posted by Terry Allred | October 18, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Most responsive, helpful and clear in his advice.
Over time I have asked several questions. Each time Mr. Ballard has been the first to respond. I totally agree with the reviews of Amanda, James, Chris, Kevin, and John. He has also been very clear and forthright in his answers. On one occasion he even re-posted additional unsolicited clarification. Should I proceed with any of these projects I would not hesitate to retain him. He has convinced me he cares to be of service!
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Posted by anonymous | June 9, 2015
Covered all three of my questions
I had a three part question and Mr. Ballard covered all the points to my satisfaction. Although one of the answers wasn't what I wanted to hear, it was what I expected. All the answers were short, concise and clear. I received other responses which were also good, but the one I received from Mr. Ballard was the most comprehensive of the lot. I will use the information he provided to help the group I'm working with, make an intelligent decision on what avenue to follow. I think it is nice that AVVO offers this service and that there are lawyers willing to offer free advice. I know you only get what you pay for, but this worked out well. I simply wanted to get an opinion on something without going into a lot of detail. This is what I got and now I can decide how to proceed. I'm on the opposite side of the country from Mr. Ballard, but if I were to hire a lawyer for this question, he'd be the one I'd want. Thank you sir!
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Posted by John | May 3, 2015
Outstanding Service
I had a question about photography, Facebook, and copyright. Mr. Ballard gave me an in depth answer that was very clear and easy for me to understand. If Mr. Ballard gave me this free advice just on a question I asked in the AVVO website, I can only imagine the service he would provide to his paying clients. I only wish that Mr. Ballard would be closer to my location so I could retain his services. I am definitely inquiring on 'over the net' services. Thanks Mr. Ballard!!
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Posted by Kevin | April 20, 2015
Daniel is an aces-quality lawyer who gave as thorough a few paragraph synopsis for me as could be done without more info. If I had money for a trademark lawyer I would call him up.
Posted by Chris | May 3, 2013
Great job on IP advice
Consulted Daniel regarding IP advice on a contract associated with a social networking startup. I was thoroughly impressed with how quickly he was able to resolve the legalese and explain in layman's terms exactly what the clauses meant. Very straighforward and tells it like it is, not just what we want to hear but what we have to hear.
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Posted by anonymous | December 22, 2012
Simple, Informative help
Gave me a simple yet informative feedback on wether hyperlinks are copyright infringement or not, said it's "contributory infringement"
Posted by James | September 10, 2011
Daniel Ballard is brilliant!!
This lawyer took time out of his busy day to explain to me the implications of publishing a TV stations logo within a still frame of a newspaper ad I had run, and how to respond and interpret the nasty-gram I got from the TV stations lawyers. An obvious brain. Thanks Dan.
Posted by Amanda | September 30, 2010
Helped me out
Mr. Ballard provided all the information and advice I needed in a straight forward and understandable way.
Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2013
Thank you
Clearly explained the legalese on a portion of an employment agreement dealing with intellectual property. Mr. Ballard explained his take on it in easy to understand terms and recommended I discuss the matter with my local attorney for futher clarification of the law in my state. I expect nothing less than this type of information and guidance from a professional in any field and I would definitely recommend Mr. Ballard to anyone in his area that is in need of an attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | July 30, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Unprofessional and unnecessarily condescending, and judgmental
I asked a simple question regarding mechanical licensing. In my original question, I informed everyone reading that I had previously released an album of music with one song composed by another artist and had paid for the rights to use it. I stated that when I paid for those right, it was based on number of CD's produced, and number of downloads I planned to sell. I recently gave a performance of all jazz standards and it was recorded. I was considering sharing it with my fans as a free download. Since I was not producing any CDs and was not SELLING any downloads (the 2 stipulations that my only other experience regarding mechanical licenses said mattered), I came to this site to ask for legal advice as to whether or not I was allowed to share the recording with my fans without paying for the rights to the songs). A handful of lawyers responded all more-or-less saying no. All of the lawyers were professional, factual, and helpful....except Daniel. Right out of the gate, he began by telling me that I "already know the answer - you [I] just don't want to hear it." The rest of his message was very brief. And while it did answer the question, it was clear he was equally as concerned with telling me what's obvious and what I should already know as he was with answering the question. I responded and informed him that I did not already know the answer, and let him know that his condescension was not appreciated. I tried to explain to him that not everyone else went to law school and that what seems obvious to him is not necessarily known by everyone else. I explained that if EVERYONE knew the law, there would be no need for lawyers. He has his job and people come to him and other lawyers to seek legal guidance BECAUSE we don't know the law. He responded back with a short and insulting message letting me know that I lacked common sense. I see that Daniel has received mostly 5 star ratings here, so he must be good at what he does. But I also see that I am not alone in giving him 1 star. And frankly, if I could give him zero stars, or even negative, I would. He was presumptuous, condescending, judgmental, and mean...for no reason. I see that Daniel has responded to all the other 1-star reviews with explanations and justifications. I imagine that he will respond to this one as well. Perhaps he will belittle me and put me down. Perhaps he'll craft some story about how he was in the right, and I'm just some dumb artist. Perhaps he'll apologize and say he was just having a bad day. I don't know. All I know is that I was civil and respectful from the beginning, and of the five lawyers that have responded to me so far...Daniel is the only one who felt that my question could not be answered objectively and factually, and instead required unnecessary judgment, condescension, and assumptions.
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Response from Daniel Ballard September 2, 2015
An attorney must often educate before giving advice. But when the education is mere common sense, rather than legal nuance, the person seeking the advice needs to be shaken up -- directly and convincingly. Which has piqued this Questioner's ire and ego. The answer to his question was: "Of course you may NOT distribute, even for free, your performance of someone else's copyright-protected musical composition." Which anyone with common sense knows. And especially someone with a background in music. I've responded to 7,552 questions via this site. They can be viewed here:
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We have not found any cost information for this lawyer


AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Law Offices of Daniel N. Ballard, Esq.
  • 2008 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
  • 2006 - 2008
  • Adjunct Professor
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2005 - 2009
  • Attorney
  • McDonough Holland & Allen PC
  • 2001 - 2006
  • Environmental Science Officer
  • US Army Reserve
  • 1998 - 2010
View all work experience


  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1997
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Associates in Science
  • 1993

Legal Cases

  • SunEarth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co., Ltd., 846 F. Supp. 2d 1063, 1078 (ND Cal. 2012)
  • Preliminary injunction granted
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP, v. Gale Corp., 2009 WL 3614762 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 2, 2009)
  • Federal court has jurisdiction over malpractice claim relating to patent litigation
  • Nerds On Call, Inc. v. Nerds On Call, Inc., 598 F.Supp.2d 913 (S.D. Ind. 2008)
  • Case dismissed
View all legal cases


  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, IP Section
  • Board Member
  • 2007 - 2010
  • International Trademark Association
  • Member, Monetary Remedies Committee
  • 2004 - 2005
  • Recording Academy
  • Associate Member
  • 2004 - 2012
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Best Student Participation
  • Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court
  • 2001


  • Sacramento Lawyer
  • International Intellectual Property Protection
  • 2009
  • Sacramento Lawyer
  • Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs
  • 2007

Speaking Engagements

  • Business End of Patents
  • Patent law
  • 2007
  • Fourth Annual Pacific Music Business Symposium
  • Digital music issues
  • 2004
  • Music Wars
  • Digital music copyright issues
  • 2003
  • Digital Music Summit Music Industry in the Digital Age
  • Digital Music Intellectual Property Issues
  • 2003
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (72)
Given (20)
Endorse Daniel
Business Attorney | Feb 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse my fellow lawyer who has exhibited keen legal knowledge and an excellent grasp of the law as exhibited by the responses on AVVO."
Trademark infringement Attorney | Apr 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He is highly regarded by his fellow lawyers and clients. He also assists the public by answering questions on Avvo which are insightful and helpful."
Intellectual property Attorney | Jul 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Attorney Ballard. I have viewed his responses and advice that he has offered on a wide range of topics and have found it on point and insightful."
Intellectual property Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Ballard answers questions in an incisive and detailed manner; and raises issues which give both Avvo questioners and practicing attorneys much food for thought."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. His answers to questions posed are very informative and well thought out."
Intellectual property Attorney | Mar 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ballard has an impressive understanding of his area of practice, which is demonstrated in every meticulous and thoughtful response he affords Avvo users. This is an easy endorsement for me."
Intellectual property Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Ballard takes a lot of time to answer questions on the Avvo forum in a meticulous and sound manner. His answers are always very through and it is clear he is very knowledgeable."
Intellectual property Attorney | Nov 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ballard's responses are among the most intelligent, realistic, useful and thorough on Avvo. It's difficult to stand out among the many excellent attorneys that provide answers here, so I endorse Mr. Ballard because he consistently does."
Intellectual property Attorney | Nov 04
Relationship: Other
"I have read hundreds of responses Attorney Ballard has submitted to the Avvo website and, while I do not always agree with his position, I always find it well researched and well presented."
Intellectual property Attorney | Oct 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Daniel Ballard is thoughtful, poised, and extremely well versed in all areas of IP. His contributions to the discourse here on Avvo have been commendable. At the same time, he strikes me as an attorney with a lot of integrity. When a client's best option is to walk away and cut their losses, he will tell them. In short, I am pleased to endorse Daniel Ballard."
Intellectual property Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ballard is very knowledgeable on Intellectual Property Matters. I would recommend Mr. Ballard to my friends and family."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ballard is a valuable asset to this community. His dedication to the law and his clients is admirable."
Intellectual property Attorney | Aug 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Daniel's answers are consistently well-reasoned and on point."
Intellectual property Attorney | Aug 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ballard and I have answered a very large number of the same questions. He is invariably the attorney who spots the issue that no one else spotted. The breadth and depth of knowledge that he demonstrates in his answers is a benefit not only for those asking the question, but also for the other attorney participants here. I have personally learned details of law from Mr. Ballard's answers that have benefited my clients. There is no question in my mind that any client choosing to utilize Mr. Ballard's services is well served. I endorse this lawyer."
Patent application Attorney | Jun 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. His answers on this forum are thorough as it relates to the subject matter and consistently accurate."
Intellectual property Attorney | Jun 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Intellectual property Attorney | May 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Attorney Ballard. In my experience answering the same questions on this site, consistently provides thoughtful and insightful advice on IP matters. His answers are very detailed and usually are supported by links to authoritative and informative articles and relevant citations. I usually in agreement with his analysis and advice. However, whether or not I agree with his position, like many of my colleagues I have learned more each time I read attorney Ballard's postings."
Intellectual property Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Ballard has a clear and solid understanding of intellectual property law and routinely provides solid suggestions to those needing assistance. I endorse Mr. Ballard."
Intellectual property Attorney | May 05
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer. I have read many of the answers given by this attorney. I can say that the answers are well done and give solid advice."
Intellectual property Attorney | Apr 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Daniel Ballard is a top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
View more endorsements
Patent application
Intellectual property
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Patent infringement
Lawsuits and disputes