top of page

John Petite is a business litigator, with an emphasis on antitrust and trade regulation litigation and intellectual property litigation.


John leverages his litigation expertise to counsel clients on a wide array of pricing, incentive, trademark enforcement and other distribution issues, helping them avoid disputes altogether whenever possible. He also advises clients on franchise and intellectual property issues associated with asset acquisition and divestment. For example, John represented a major oil company in connection with its sale of retail marketing assets associated with its $2.6 billion sale of a refinery, and a private equity firm on its billion-dollar purchase of branded and unbranded fuel terminals and retail assets, and subsequent resale of some of those retail assets.  


John works on matters involving claims of unlawful franchise termination, including termination of motor fuel marketing franchises.  He also regularly defends claims against oil companies for alleged unlawful motor fuel pricing practices and purportedly unlawful deed restrictions or brand covenants associated with the sale of gas stations. John provides business counseling to an array of distributors about pricing and incentive programs, as well as territory and similar restrictions designed to maximize the competitiveness of distribution networks.


In his intellectual property practice, John handles trademark and copyright infringement claims and manages enforcement programs for large franchisors and other intellectual property owners. In addition to litigation of such claims in federal court, John represents clients in responding to office actions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in litigating contested proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), primarily with respect to claims of likelihood of confusion.  


He also frequently litigates claims against employees, such as non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements that implicate employers’ interests in trade secrets or customer relationships, and claims against competitors for false advertising or misappropriation of trade secrets. Similarly, John provides pre-publication review of advertising and promotional programs for compliance with the Lanham Act and state laws. He has handled right of publicity and related privacy claims in connection with advertising campaigns.


John’s antitrust experience led him to defend hospitals and other health care providers in medical staff privileges litigation, where physicians often allege unfair competition.  His work in that area has yielded significant published state and federal court decisions under the federal Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (HCQIA) and Missouri’s rule of non-review (by which the judiciary generally defers to the quality of care decisions of health care providers), and with respect to alleged violations of medical staff bylaws.


In addition, John frequently litigates constitutional issues, including First Amendment issues, successfully defending defamation and privacy claims for media organizations, brokerage firms (Form U-5 filings), health care providers (data bank reports submitted pursuant to the HCQIA) and other defendants. He has also prosecuted: 


  • First Amendment attacks on state and federal legislation
  • Fifth Amendment property rights, such as attacks on a municipality’s exercise of the power of eminent domain or franchisees’ claims under state right of first refusal laws
  • Commerce Clause, Due Process Clause, Supremacy Clause, and Equal Protection Clause challenges to state trade regulation, franchise relationship and merchandising practices statutes.


Similarly, John regularly defends both public enforcement actions and private claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and similar deceptive trade practices or consumer protection statutes. Such claims have included putative class actions alleging the wrongful charging of fees or surcharges by sellers large and small.


John practices in state and federal court, before the USPTO and the TTAB, and in arbitral forums. He has tried bench and jury trials and arbitration hearings and has extensive appellate experience, with numerous victories in the Eighth Circuit, Fourth Circuit and Missouri and Illinois courts of appeals.



Contact info:

  • p 314.516.2698



Click here to visit website

John Petite - America's Top 50 Lawyer - Antitrust - Missouri

    bottom of page