Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Bracket
Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
Named 2016 "Intellectual Property Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal
Named 2013 - 2017 "IP Star" by Managing Intellectual Property

Recognized in Intellectual Asset Management magazine's "IAM Patent 1000 2016"


"[Ms. Durkin] needs no introduction as the country's top design patent expert."

IAM Patent 1000 2017

Tracy-Gene G. Durkin

Mind + Muscle

Tracy-Gene G. Durkin

Director

 

Tracy Durkin has a well-earned reputation for excellence in design patent law. In 2017, Intellectual Asset Management noted in their annual "IAM 1000" ranking that Ms. Durkin "needs no introduction as the country's top design expert." The 2014 World Trademark Review’s annual rankings said that Ms. Durkin is particularly noted for her "smart, responsive, and value-oriented" approach, as well as her "knowledge of design patents, brand development strategies, and eliminating copycat consumer products from the marketplace to prevent the devaluation of IP rights." Since 2013, Ms. Durkin has been listed annually among Managing Intellectual Property's "IP Stars" for her counseling practice, and in 2013 and 2017, the publication  named her as one of the "Top 250 Women in IP." In 2016, Profiles in Diversity Journal listed her among "Women Worth Watching." A trailblazer, Ms. Durkin achieved a Martindale AV Preeminent Peer Rating of 5.0/5.0 in 2011, a recognition fewer than 5% of women lawyers have earned, and was named as one of the “Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast.” In 2017, she was named among Chambers & Partners' "recognized practitioners" in the "IP Patent Prosecution, District of Columbia category" and by Who's Who Legal for excellence in patents.

Tracy leads the Mechanical and Design Patent Group at Sterne Kessler. With nearly thirty years of experience obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights, she is sought out by leading consumer product companies, by colleagues around the world for her deep understanding of utility and design patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Tracy crafts and delivers unique IP protection strategies, designed to meet individual client's needs. Her expertise includes helping clear new products and trademarks for use in the marketplace, selecting appropriate IP protection, and enforcing such protection through mediation, litigation, and licensing.

Ms. Durkin has represented companies in patent, trademark, and copyright disputes before Federal District Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the International Trade Commission, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  She has successfully represented both complainants and respondents before the World Intellectual Property Office in domain name arbitrations. Her prior experience working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gives her unique insight into arguing difficult cases and negotiating with examiners in personal interviews. She has served as an expert witness in patent disputes in District Court litigation and before the International Trade Commission on the issues of design patents and U.S. Patent & Trademark Office practice and procedures.

Ms. Durkin is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition, published in 2017, the book provides a fresh and comprehensive exploration of patent office litigation proceedings, including how the proceedings interact with other aspects of patent procurement and enforcement, while delivering practical analysis and advice. This second edition of Patent Office Litigation is the follow up to the first version of the book that was published in 2012 by Thomson Reuters Westlaw that focused on the contested proceedings that were introduced under the America Invents Act that year. In 2016, Tracy served on the Law360 Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board. 

Tracy has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at George Mason University Law School in Virginia and has spoken internationally on topics, such as the interplay between design patents and trade dress, protection of user interface and the user experience, The Hague Agreement, trademark co-branding and licensing, IP audits and mediation. She is currently a vice chair of the Industrial Designs Committee of IP Section of the American Bar Association, and past vice chair of the Industrial Designs Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and past chair of the Industrial Designs Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Tracy's leadership at the firm includes  her current role as practice group leader. She was the first woman elected equity director to the firm in 1994, and is the first woman to serve on the firm's executive committee, where she served three terms. A leader in the legal community, Tracy is a past president of the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia and of The Women's Bar Association Foundation, two organizations in which she continues active membership. In 2015, she was elected to the board of the  Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. 

Publications
  • "The Goods on IP Newsletter - April 2017," Mark W. Rygiel, Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Dan A. Gajewski, and Pauline M. Pelletier, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, April 2017
  • "PTAB Follows Case Law, Design Examiners Should Too," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin & Daniel GAjewski, Law360, April 2017
  • "Why Patents Are Surviving Post-Grant Challenges," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Pauline M. Pelletier, Law360, March 2017
  • "World Intellectual Property Indicators 2015: Design Patent Highlights," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IP Watchdog, July 2016
  • "Another Way to Look at Software Protection," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Managing Intellectual Property, May 2016
  • "Comparison of Design Protection Systems in Australia, South Korea, Brazil and the United States," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, April 2016
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, David K.S. Cornwell and Benedict L. Hanrahan, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, February 2016
  • "2015 IPO Report Shows Continued Growth for Design Patents," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IP Watchdog, November 2015
  • "World Intellectual Property Indicators 2014: Design Patent Highlights," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IP Watchdog, September 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Simmons Bedding Company v. Sealy Technology LLC," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, David K.S. Cornwell and Benedict L. Hanrahan, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, July 2015
  • "Thinking About Using the Hague System? Think Again," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Law360, July 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Kreative Power, LLC v. Monoprice, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, May 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Munchkin, Inc. and Toys 'R' US, Inc. v. Luv N' Care, LTD.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Godlstein & Fox, May 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Kedem, LLC v. Team International Group of America, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, February 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Anderson v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Robinson v. JoeyBra LLC," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2015
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Young v. Stone," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, December 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Reddy v. Lowe's Companies, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, December 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: High Point LLC and Meijer Inc., Sears Holding Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Buyers Direct, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, December 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Wallace v. Ideavillage Products Corp.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, November 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Weber-Stephen Products LLC v. Sears Holding Corporation," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, November 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Butler v. Balkamp Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Medtronic, Inc. v. NuVasive, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Dorman Products, Inc. v. PACCAR, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, September 2014
  • "2014 IPO Report Shows Continued Growth for Design Patent Filings," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IP Watchdog, August 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Munhkin, Inc. and Toys 'R' US, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Z Produx, Inc. vs. Make-Up Art Cosmetics, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Godlstein & Fox, June 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: MRC Innovations, Inc. v. Hunter Mfg., LLP," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2014
  • "World Intellectual Property Indicators 2013: Design Patent Highlights," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IP Watchdog, June 2014
  • "PTAB Invalidates Patent in First IPR Trial of a Design Patent," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin adn Mark W. Rygiel, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, April 2014
  • "Comments in response to USPTO's Request for Comments on the Written Description Requirement for Design Applications," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Daniel A. Gajewski, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, March 2014
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Pacific Coast Marine Windshields Limited v. Malibu Boats, LLC," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2014
  • "Design Patent CAse Digest: W.Y. Industries, Inc. v. Kari-Out Club LLC," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, December 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest,: Spencer v. Taco Bell Corp.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin adn David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: High Point Design LLC and Meijer, Inc., Sears Holding Corpo. and Wal-mart Stores, Inc. v. Buyers Direct, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2013
  • "IPO Report Shows Design Patent Filings Continue to Rise," Tracy-Gene G. Dukin, IP Watchdog, August 2013
  • "IP: Piggybacking Design Patents and Trademark Rights," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Inside Counsel, July 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: McIntire v. Sunrise Specialty Company," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, July 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: MRC Innovations, Inc. v. Hunter Mfg., LLP," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, July 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Hutzler Manufacturing Company, Inc. v. Bradshaw International, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Keurig, Inc. v. JBR, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Robinson v. JoeyBra LLC," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2013
  • "Update on Post-Grant Design Patent Challenges," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Mark W. Rygiel, IP Watchdog, June 2013
  • "What is Next in Design Patents for On-Screen Icons?" Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Patently-O Blog, March 2013
  • "World Intellectual Property Indicators 2012: Design Patent Highlights," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IP Watchdog, March 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Revision Military, Inc. v. Balboa Manufacturing Company," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Godlstein & Fox, February 2013
  • "The Trademark Registration Process in the United States," Monica Riva Talley and Tracy-Gene G. Durkin," Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, February 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2013
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Telebrands Corp v. Del Laboratories, Inc.," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, December 2012
  • "Current Trends in the Protection of Graphical User Interface Designs in the United States," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2012
  • "The Future of Design Patents," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2012
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Sofpool, LLC v. Kmart Corp.," Tracy-Gene G. durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, August 2012
  • "Design Patent Case Digest: Moose Mountain Toymakers, Ltd. v. Majik Ltd., LLC," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, kessler, Goldstein & Fox, October 2011
  • "Comments sought on Australian Plain Packaging Proposal," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Washington Legal Foundation, May 2011
  • "Strictly Speaking," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Anbar F. Khal, Law360, March 2011
  • Eastern District of Texas Reject Design Patent Point of Ornamentality Test," Tracy-Gene G. durkin and Jeffrey R. Fougere, IP Watchdog, July 2010
  • "All or Nothing Design Patent Reexaminations: On the Rise?" Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, IPWatchdog.com, June 2010
  • "Federal Circuit Issues Key Ruling on Functional Features in Design Patent Cases," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Jeffrey R. Fougere, The National Law Review, March 2010
  • "Federal Circuit Opts for Ordinary Observer TEst in Anticipation Cases," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Jeffrey R. Fougere, The National Law Review, March 2010
  • "Federal Circuit Reverses ITC's Determination of Non-Infringement for Crocs' Design Patent," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Jeffrey R. Fougere, The National Law Review, March 2010
  • "Comments Sought On Australian Plain Packaging Bill," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Washington Legal Foundation, January 2010
  • "Congress Could Eliminate Design Patents for Component Parts through the Access To Repair Parts Act: H.R. 3059 and S. 1368," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Justin T. Sher, Bloomberg Law Reports, September 2009
  • "Improving Design Production in Chinese Patent Law," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Jeffrey R. Fougere, IP Law360, September 2009
  • "Global Push for 'Plain Packaging' on Consumer Products Will Burn Intellectual Property Rights," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Jeremy M. Klass, Washington Legal Foundation, September 2009
  • "Rescuecom v. Google: Not an Open Invitation to Trademark Plantiffs," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin and Jeremy M. Klass, Washington Legal Foundation, June 2009
  • "Back to the Future: The Federal Circuit's Redefinition of Design Patent Infringement," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin & Jeffrey R. Fougere, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, March 2009
  • “Egyptian Goddess v. Swisa: Brief of Amicus Curiae on behalf of The Intellectual Property Owners Association," Tracy-Gene G. Durkin & David K.S. Cornwell, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, February 2008
  • Admissions
      • United States Supreme Court

      • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

      • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

      • United States District Court for the District of Columbia

      • United States District Court for the District of Maryland

      • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

  • Education
    • J.D., The George Washington University

    • B.S., Textile Manufacturing and Marketing, Philadelphia University (formerly Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science) cum laude

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