Tracy-Gene Durkin has a well-earned reputation for excellence in design patent law. In 2017 the IAM Patent 1000 noted that Ms Durkin “needs no introduction as the country’s top design patent expert”. In 2015 the WTR 1000 noted: “an influential figure in the innovator space, Ms Durkin is a top choice for consumer product brand owners.” In 2014 the WTR 1000 recognised Ms Durkin for her “smart, responsive, and value-oriented” approach, as well as for her “knowledge of design patents, brand development strategies, and [elimination of] copycat consumer products from the marketplace to prevent the devaluation of IP rights”. Since 2013 Ms Durkin has been ranked among Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars, and the publication also named her one of the Top 250 Women in Intellectual Property.
Ms Durkin leads the mechanical and design patent group at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC. With nearly 30 years’ experience obtaining and enforcing IP rights, she is sought out by leading consumer product companies for her deep understanding of utility and design patents, trademarks and copyrights. Her expertise includes helping to 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 the federal district courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the International Trade Commission, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 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 Organisation in domain name arbitrations. Her prior experience working at the USPTO gives her unique insight into arguing difficult cases and negotiating with examiners in personal interviews.
Ms Durkin is an international speaker on the interplay between design patents and trade dress, the protection of user interface and the user experience, the Hague Agreement, trademark co-branding and licensing, IP audits and mediation.