Nonprofit Practice

For many years, SGR has represented nonprofit organizations. We incorporated our longest-standing trade association client more than 100 years ago.

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What types of entities are represented by your Nonprofit Practice?

SGR represents domestic and foreign nonprofit clients, including fraternal, benevolent and religious orders and institutions; public charities; international nongovernmental organizations; private foundations; and organizations dedicated to rescue of animals and providing for the families of policemen, firemen and other first responders who die in the line of duty. We represent higher education institutions and associations that promote education outside the U.S. We also represent the world’s largest sports nonprofit organization.

What are some representative matters handled by the lawyers in your Nonprofit Practice?

  • Assisted the oldest agricultural cooperation fraternal order in the U.S. in protection of its 175-year-old trademarks and copyrighted works and in litigation against infringers and cybersquatters.
  • Advised an international sports organization on trademark and domain-name policy and enforcement matters, including litigation and arbitration proceedings.
  • Designed and implemented antitrust compliance policies for numerous trade and professional societies.
  • Managed state regulatory and legislative programs for surgeons’ societies.
  • Advised several nonprofits on Internet governance and policy issues.
  • Negotiated charitable gift agreements for gifts to large charitable organizations.
  • Advised charitable organizations on unrelated business tax issues.
  • Advised charitable organizations about complex structures, such as joint ventures, single-member LLCs and blocker corporations.
  • Reviewed charitable organizations for compliance with group ruling requirements.


A Selection of Nonprofit Groups SGR Has Recently Advised

Heroes, Inc.

Heroes, Inc. is a Washington, D.C.-area nonprofit that provides support and assistance to the survivors of law enforcement officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty. SGR handles trademark, copyright and domain registration, litigation and counseling services for this client, including representing them in two recent federal court cases in which SGR obtained judgments against trademark infringers.

Pilots N Paws

Pilots N Paws is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Landrum, South Carolina. Its website is a meeting place for volunteers engaged in rescuing, sheltering and adopting animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with animal transportation. The mission of Pilots N Paws is to provide an environment in which volunteers can come together to arrange and/or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and other related activities. For nearly 10 years, SGR lawyers have been providing legal services in the field of intellectual property. The Firm has helped Pilots N Paws register trademarks in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to protect the valuable goodwill associated with its services. We have counseled them on proper trademark use and helped update their website to protect their intellectual property. We also represent the organization in licensing agreements and copyright infringement matters.

Recently, we assisted Pilots N Paws in addressing the unauthorized use of its marks on social media, shutting down Facebook pages of a competing “breakaway” organization as well as a counterfeit group page. SGR’s efforts on behalf of Pilots N Paws have been recognized by the National Aeronautic Association and Air Care Alliance.

National Coalition for the Homeless 

For more than a decade, SGR has been providing legal services to this Washington D.C.-based charitable organization whose mission is to “prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected.” To raise money and awareness, and build solidarity with those experiencing homelessness, the National Coalition encourages members of the community to participate in various “sleep out” events throughout the annual National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. SGR recently defended the National Coalition from an attack on its use of the generic term “sleep out” by a much larger organization providing similar services, ensuring that our client can continue to use this phrase in connection with its events.


James Bikoff - Nonprofit LawJim Bikoff is a partner in SGR’s Washington D.C. office. He focuses on intellectual property and Internet law. He is also head of the Firm’s International Trademark Practice.

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