Ask clients what Sarah does and they will tell you: she solves problems. Sarah develops complex trademark clearance and registration strategies across industry sector lines and around the world, with a particular area of experience in regulated industries. Sarah is skilled in conducting intellectual property audits and often assists in streamlining existing portfolios to eliminate unnecessary bulk and expense. She is also experienced in advertising review, clearance and substantiation, copyright registration and counseling, licensing and other transactional matters, including due diligence and technology transfers. Sarah has considerable experience in pharmaceutical trademarks, including regulatory and safety analysis branding considerations.
A significant portion of Sarah’s practice involves the handling of intellectual property disputes, including trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising litigation as well as trademark opposition proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. For many years she served on the International Trademark Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and frequently uses options such as trademark mediation to find quick and creative ways to resolve client disputes and solve client problems.
Ask Sarah what she likes most about her work: the variety and helping clients build something of value. She enjoys working on and through new advertising campaigns or launching new brands in emerging markets.
Presentations and Publications
- Panel discussion, Psychology of Mediation and Nuances of Negotiation, International Trademark Association (INTA) 140th Annual Meeting, May 19, 2018
- Turn a Distressed Brand Into a Business Opportunity, ManagingIP.com, September 2009
- Health and Safety Issues - Counterfeit Drugs, International Trademark Association Special Report, September 2004
- What IP Is All About; A Nonspecialist’s Guide to Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secrets, Legal Times, August 1996
- American Bar Association: Intellectual Property Section, Former Committee Chair, Pictorial, Graphic, Sculptural and Choreographic Works
- Florida Bar Association
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Former Board of Directors, North Carolina Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
- Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
- Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG)
Honors and Awards
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Trademark Law, 2016 – Present
- World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, 2020
(Video) Get to Know Sarah Keefe
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Defended a tobacco brand owner against serious claims of infringement from a brand leader in another industry.
- Protected a well-established furniture brand owner against infringement in related product categories.
- Negotiated favorable trademark licenses allowing for expansion by a regional broadcaster.
- Assisted a famous US brand owner in securing the right to use its own mark abroad; assisted a specialty manufacturing client in an expedited worldwide rebrand including clearance and registration in 80 jurisdictions.
- Published articles on the significant problems associated with counterfeit pharmaceutical products; counseled pharmaceutical clients in the clearance of brands by focusing on both trademark and regulatory concerns; acted to protect distinctive pharmaceutical trademark against infringement and possible medication and dispensing errors; counseled a big pharmaceutical company on using intellectual property laws to combat gray market and transshipment of pharmaceutical products into the US.
- Presented to a food products company’s marketing staff regarding the importance of selecting and protecting brands