Kate Spelman has special expertise in cutting edge copyright matters, as well as in the area of providing strategic advice, design and implementation for start-up companies, including those engaging in handheld computing devices and wireless technology. Kate also has extensive experience in the beverage industry, including special knowledge in wine issues as they relate to trademark and marketing law. Kate is also experienced in copyright, media, licensing, and trademark issues, and provides advice and counseling on the development, production, sale, and defense work for numerous varied intellectual property matters. Kate manages the copyright and trademark portfolios of many Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and nationally recognized non-profit organizations. She has prosecuted thousands of trademark and copyrights worldwide, including difficult "ingredient" marks and other unique trademarks. Kate has been a frequent speaker on the progress and issues of the Google Book Settlement; and has advised authors, as well as nonprofit and for-profit publishers who are struggling to understand and cope with the Google Book Settlement. Kate's expertise includes negotiating and structuring evolving digital publishing issues and deals focusing on the new language and provisions of the changed, global distribution environment.
In addition to her counseling and transactional work, Kate has extensive litigation experience. She is an expert in anti-counterfeiting enforcement and has worked with U.S. Customs to detect counterfeit merchandise at U.S. borders. In addition, Kate has managed, written, and argued over two dozen seizure and impound complaints, motions and orders in the federal district courts of Seattle, San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Kate's special expertise in the area of copyright law has also lead her to serve as a non-testifying expert witness for U.S. copyright litigation infringement actions.
For her clients with mature portfolios, Kate has designed and implemented trademark rehabilitation programs for trademarks challenged by worldwide success leading to imperiled distinctiveness, including creating successful "watch-for" and pro-active advertising campaigns. For her non-profit clients, she has advised and counseled on intellectual property IP asset generation and exploitation.
Kate has also helped larger corporate clients design independent holding companies in the United States and in offshore intellectual property asset management. She has experience with intellectual property asset audit, and has assisted companies in proactive and reactive Sarbanes-Oxley compliance with reporting requirements.
Kate has a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Classics and Latin from the University of Michigan. Her current and former affiliations are numerous and include: Trustee, American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation; Copyright Section Chair, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); Current member, Copyright Society of the United States; ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law; Member, Governing Committee, ABA Forum on Franchising (1999 - 2001); President, San Francisco Intellectual Property Association (2000 - 2001); Member, Editorial Boards of The Journal of Internet Law, The Journal of Brand Management, and The Cyberspace Lawyer; Board Member of 'Women Chefs and Restaurateurs'; Council Member, ABA Intellectual Property Section (2001 - 2005); Board Member, American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (2003 - 2007); President, San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association (1999 - 2000); ABA Intellectual Property Section Delegate to the World Intellectual Property; Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights (SCCR); Board of Trustees, Copyright Society of the United States; Council of American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section (2000 - 2004); International Trademark Association Panel of Neutrals (2008 - 2011). The 2009 International Who's Who of Internet & E-Commerce Lawyers has recognized Kate for leadership and achievement in the law. Kate is also recognized and included in the 2010 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her specialty of Information Technology Law.
Publications include co-author "Creators Must Publish Older Works or Lose 45 Years of Copyright Protection," San Francisco Daily Journal, August 19, 2002.
When Kate is out of the office and not at a committee meeting, or otherwise engaged in the practice of law, she can be found near or in used bookstores.