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John Gilbertson Zarley Law Intellectual Propert Attorneys

John D. Gilbertson

Intellectual Property Attorney

Born and bred in Des Moines, Iowa, John came to us by way of Nashville and Los Angeles, spending nearly a decade in the media and entertainment business.  John honed his business chops managing a commercial recording studio, producing and engineering records for major label artists, and working with major music publishers managing large songwriting catalogs.  Through these experiences, John has developed a deep familiarity with the arcane and complex intellectual property issues business owners face on a daily basis.

An avid writer, John has been published in the ABA Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, the Des Moines Register, and IDEA, one of the nation’s leading intellectual property law journals.  He was also recognized onstage in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week 2020, having won Runner-Up in the Entertainment Law Initiative, a national legal writing competition sponsored by the Recording Academy.

Some of John’s publications include:

  • Blunt Advice: A Crash Course in Cannabis Trademarks
    • 60, IDEA: The Law Review for the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, 2020
  • Play It Again, Sam: The Free-Market Case for Government Intervention in the Music Streaming Sector
    • 36, ABA Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, Spring 2020
  • Grassley Brings Harmony to Work on Music Licensing
    • Des Moines Register, Mar. 3, 2020

As an IP attorney, John helps businesses, innovators, and creatives manage, protect, and develop their brands, start-ups, businesses, and IP portfolio (in and out of court).


Drake University Law School
J.D., with Honors

Drake Journal of Agricultural Law

Berklee College of Music
B.A., cum laude, Music Production & Engineering


Iowa State Bar

Non-Legalese Facts

Proud papa to a sweet English bulldog named Betsie
Thinks the best time of the year is the Stanley Cup Playoffs
Owns more pairs of boots from Red Wing Shoes® than we think is healthy

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