December 20, 2022Press Release

Deborah Gerhardt Appointed to USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee

Michael Best is pleased to announce that Deborah Gerhardt, of counsel based in the firm’s Raleigh office, has been appointed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to its Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). Gerhardt will serve a three-year rotating term.

Gerhardt specializes in intellectual property (IP) law, with a particular focus on the intersection of law and creativity. She specializes in copyright and trademark law, and counsels clients on legal issues arising in entertainment and the arts, advertising and marketing and entrepreneurship.

In addition to private practice, she is a Reef C. Ivey II Excellence Fund Term Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she teaches trademark law; copyright, intellectual property law; and art law, as well as arts entrepreneurship. She was integral to the launch of UNC’s Intellectual Property Clinic and oversees students providing pro bono counsel to artists, entrepreneurs, museums, and small businesses.

Gerhardt has published leading articles on a wide range of intellectual property subjects including the role of consumers in brand development, whether lawyers help clients succeed in trademark prosecution, protecting colors as marks and clarifying whether art and original documents are in the public domain.

As a USPTO Trademark Public Advisory Committee member, Gerhardt will advise the USPTO director on matters relating to innovation policy. Amongst the other three leaders appointed to the committee, Gerhardt is the only legal academic.

Gerhardt has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America© in copyright and trademark law, and serves on the Playmakers Repertory Company Advisory Counsel and the UNC-Chapel Hill Arts Everywhere Leadership Council.

Gerhardt earned her Artium Baccalaureus (A.B.) in political science from Duke University and her, J.D., cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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