MSU College of Law

James Darnton


Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 368
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

Jim Darnton is an international commercial and IP attorney with experience working and living in countries around the world. Jim began his career as a member of a global team that spearheaded the highly successful international expansion of Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of global appliances. His work included acquisitions and joint ventures in Asia and South America, creating a global distributor network and establishing an international trade and customs program that earned over $100 million in duty drawbacks. Jim then worked in Italy for several years as Whirlpool's Senior Counsel for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Most recently, Jim was the Vice President and Chief Trademark Counsel of Whirlpool Properties, Inc., which is an intellectual property holding company for Whirlpool Corporation. In this role he managed a global trademark and domain name portfolio for brands that include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and Amana. He also created and managed the legal operations for a brand licensing program that has grown to over $2 billion in annual retail sales.

Jim has a masters degree in International Law from Georgetown University Law School, a masters degree in Intellectual Property Law from Stockholm University School of Law and a law degree from Seattle University School of Law. Jim has taught Intellectual Property Licensing as an adjunct professor at the Michigan State University School of Law where he currently teaches a class in Trademarks and Unfair Competition.

Master of Legal Science 2003, Stockholm University School of Law; LL.M. 1991, with distinction, Georgetown University School of Law; J.D. 1985, cum laude, Seattle University School of Law; B.A. 1982, Indiana University Bloomington

  • Trademark Law and Unfair Competition Law
    (Formerly DCL 461) This course addresses current issues and developments such as the constitutional foundations and limitations of trademark protection, domain names and cybersquatting.

Michigan, Washington, England