Technology-focused law firm Munck Wilson Mandala has hired video gaming trademark lawyer D. Wade Cloud Jr., who practiced for more than three decades at Hiersche, Hayward, Drakeley & Urbach of Addison.
Cloud, who joined the firm as a partner in Dallas on May 8, has done trademark work for video gaming clients since 1992. He also does trademark prosecution and enforcement along with licensing and copyright matters for companies in the automotive parts, food, and software development and distribution industries.
“After the 32 years I’ve been in practice, I was looking for an energetic change to a firm with an awful lot of momentum in the IP area. I was thrilled to find that Munck Wilson Mandala liked the area of practice that I’m in and they have very exciting plans for the future,” Cloud said.
Cloud’s hiring in Dallas strengthens Munck Wilson’s practice in the related areas of video games, esports—competitive video gaming—and entertainment, said William Munck, the firm’s managing partner.
Earlier this year, the firm added an office in Los Angeles when it acquired IP boutique Hecker Law Group, which added to its entertainment practice.
Munck said the firm has represented many video gaming clients over the years, but his view is the sector will only grow over time.
“Over the years to come, there’s going to be a mass convergence of data in the entertainment business, the video gaming business, sports, esports. All of that is merging. We want to be at the forefront of practice,” Munck said.
Cloud expects the same, because he’s seen a close relationship develop between the video gaming industry and the motion picture industry.
The trademark lawyer said he has done licensing and trademark work on video games including DOOM, Quake, Rage and Wolfenstein. He has also has worked in the esports area, having done legal work to launch QuakeCon, an annual convention in Dallas sponsored by ZeniMax Media that includes a gaming tournament. It takes place in July.
“It’s attended by players from all over the world,” Cloud said.
Jerry Hiersche, a founder of Hiersche Hayward, declined comment on Cloud’s departure.
Munck Wilson isn’t the only firm in Texas beefing up its video gaming expertise. Late last year, Greenberg Traurig launched a multi-office, cross-practice team to do work for esports clients, led by Dallas litigation partners Steve Walkowiak and P. William Stark.
Dallas, home of Esports Stadium Arlington, is also home to a few big players in the esports business. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in 2017 bought compLexity Gaming, which sponsors numerous teams for games including “Fortnite.” Jones moved the company’s headquarters to Frisco, Texas, where it will operate out of The Star, home of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters. In addition, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban owns Mavs Gaming, which has a team playing in the NBA 2K league.
Munck Wilson has offices in Dallas, Austin and Marshall, as well as Los Angeles.