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Lea Speed

Attorney

Lea Speed concentrates her practice in the areas of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition litigation. 

Professional Biography

Overview

Ms. Speed's practice is intellectual property with particular emphasis on patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition disputes. She focuses on the identification, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights so that clients can maximize the value of their IP assets in the marketplace, where it matters most. Recognizing that disputes over intellectual property are not merely court cases to be won or lost, Ms. Speed is attuned to the value and importance of intellectual property to the longevity, market position and competitive edge of a particular product, as well as the entire company. She knows that no dispute over intellectual property is a run-of-the-mill case, but is a challenge to the lifeblood of a company that requires an experienced advocate and, often, a creative resolution.

Ms. Speed has experience representing clients' intellectual property interests in a wide range of industries and technologies, including medical, dental, chemical, aircraft, defense, electronics, software, telecommunications, motor vehicles, tires, textiles, manufacturing, manufactured goods, packaging and containers, tools, machinery, equipment, construction, consumer goods, personal health care products, fans, food and beverages, education, banking, casinos and gaming, hunting gear and apparel, farming and agricultural machinery and equipment, utilities, and municipal water and waste treatment.

Ms. Speed advocates for clients in patent infringement, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and trade secret cases across the country and at the border. She has litigated these cases in federal courts throughout the United States, as well as before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the United States International Trade Commission. She is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

In her practice, Ms. Speed assists clients in all aspects of intellectual property, from identifying protectable assets to obtaining the appropriate protection for those assets, to licensing protectable intellectual property, in addition to enforcing those rights through infringement litigation. She has extensive experience using clients' intellectual property both as a sword and as a shield in the courts and in the marketplace.

Clients seek Ms. Speed's counsel not only when protecting their own intellectual property, but also for advice to avoid infringing the intellectual property rights of a competitor. As part of her representation in the area of patent law, Ms. Speed provides opinions regarding patentability of inventions, opinions regarding freedom to use technology in the marketplace, and recommendations regarding the design around of a competitor's product or process. She both prosecutes and defends patent infringement claims in litigation, and has experience managing clients' domestic and foreign intellectual property portfolios. Ms. Speed negotiates royalties, patent licenses and patent assignments, and prepares appropriate documents to effectuate those transfers.

Ms. Speed also has significant trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition experience, including advising clients regarding methods to obtain and maintain brand recognition in the marketplace, the selection of protectable trademarks (word, design, and trade dress), and the prosecution of state, federal, and foreign trademark applications. She also provides opinions on advertising and market competition so that clients can avoid or address improper competition, and, if a business resolution is unattainable, she litigates those issues.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Former Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Vice Chair of Editorial Board, Issue Editor, and Intake Editor – Landslide Magazine of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association
  • Former Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary – Executive Council of the Intellectual Property Section of the Tennessee Bar Association
  • Former Chair – Patent Bar Committee of the Tennessee Bar Association
  • Recipient – 2004 Young Lawyer Fellowship, Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association
  • Former Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary – Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property Section of the Mississippi Bar Association
  • Member – Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law (TBALL), Class of 2004
  • Former Representative, West Grand Division – TBALL Alumni Association Nominating Committee
  • Former Board Member – Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association
  • Former Member – CLE Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association
  • Memberships have further included: American Intellectual Property Law Association; Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association; American, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Memphis Bar Associations (Intellectual Property sections); Association of Women Attorneys; and Defense Research Institute
Teaching Experience
  • Adjunct Professor of Patent Law – University of Mississippi School of Law (2004, 2008, 2011)
  • Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law – University of Mississippi School of Law (2008)
  • Adjunct Professor of Legal Methods – University of Memphis School of Law (2001 – 2003)
Publications
  • "Patents," National Business Institute
  • "The Evolving Law of Personal Jurisdiction for Trademark Infringement on the Internet," 66 Mississippi Law Journal 457 (1996)
Speaking Engagements
  • "The On-Sale Bar to Patentability," Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association, Nashville, Tennessee
  • "Patent Law II," University of Mississippi School of Law
  • "The 102(b) Limbo: How Low Does the On-Sale Bar to Patentability Go?," Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, New Hampshire
  • "Patent Law I," University of Mississippi School of Law
  • "An Alternative Venue for Patent Infringement Litigation: The International Trade Commission," Tennessee Intellectual Property Forum, Nashville, Tennessee
  • "Current Issues in Intellectual Property," University of Mississippi Center for Continuing Legal Education, Memphis, Tennessee
  • "Practical Tips for Enforcing and Defending Patents," American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section Young Lawyers Committee, Boston, Massachusetts
  • "Spotting I.P. Litigation Issues," telecast, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz Litigation Section
  • "An Overview of Patent Litigation," Tennessee Intellectual Property Forum, Nashville, Tennessee
  • "The Inside Information on Patents and Trademarks," University of Memphis
  • "Effective Legal Writing for Paralegals in Tennessee," Institute for Paralegal Education, Memphis, Tennessee
  • "Intellectual Property for the Paralegal," Greater Memphis Paralegal Alliance, Memphis, Tennessee
  • "A Basic Overview of Patent Practice," University of Mississippi School of Law
  • "Patent Prosecution and Patent Litigation," Tennessee Bar Association, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • "Patent Prosecution and Patent Litigation," Tennessee Bar Association, Memphis, Tennessee
  • "Patent Prosecution and Patent Litigation," Tennessee Bar Association, Nashville, Tennessee
  • "Patents: An introduction to Prosecution and Litigation," University of Mississippi School of Law
  • "Patents and Trademarks," University of Memphis
  • "Protecting Business IP: Trademarks and Patents," University of Mississippi Center for Continuing Legal Education
  • "Patents: A Basic Overview of Obtaining a Patent and Litigating Patent Infringement," Memphis Bar Association
  • "Intellectual Property for the Entrepreneur I, II and III," University of Memphis M.B.A. Program
  • "Wrap It Up"

Education

  • University of Mississippi, J.D., 1998
  • Mississippi State University, M.B.A., 1995
  • Mississippi State University, B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, 1993

Admissions

  • Registered to practice before U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 1998
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, 2000
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 2003
  • Tennessee, 1998
  • Mississippi, 1999

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