An International Approach to Intellectual Property: An Interview with Katie Staba

Katie Staba is a partner at K&L Gates in the Technology Transactions and Data Protection practice group at the firm’s Chicago office. Her practice focuses on complex global transactions and counseling relating to digital media planning and buying, advertising and marketing, claim substantiation, software licensing, She counsels clients on intellectual property issues in mergers, acquisitions and investments, unfair competition and trade secrets and competitive intelligence.
Katie attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she served as the Executive Editor of Loyola’s International Law Review. Recently, Katie was named to Crain’s 2020 Notable Women in the Law.
I had the opportunity to learn about Katie, her IP practice, and how she first got interested. The following is an edited version of our discussion that includes my own explanations of some IP lingo for those who may be less familiar.
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Palatable Patents

Did you know that many of the food products you see on the shelf at the grocery store are patented?
Utility patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for useful “inventions” that are new and nonobvious. The owner of a utility patent has the right to exclude others from making, selling, offering to sell, using, or importing the patented invention for a set period of time—usually around 17 years.

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Cash Rules Everything in IP

Like many other engineering graduates in the state of Michigan, I started my engineering career in the automotive industry. Lucky for me, I landed a pretty fun job in vehicle safety. The crash lab located in the space behind my office ran full speed crash tests on a daily basis. However, I spent most of my day behind a computer analyzing vehicle structures for crashworthiness.
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