Deborah Ruff is a partner who focuses exclusively on intellectual property.
Deborah’s corporate and transactional IP focus includes extensive experience in evaluating, structuring, and managing commercial transactions, including IP due diligence for stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, and strategic alliances involving US, foreign and multinational corporations. Major US and foreign corporations rely on her to structure such technology-related agreements as asset- and technology-transfer agreements, patent and trademark assignments, licenses, joint venture and collaboration agreements, and product distribution agreements. Her transactional work also encompasses secured lending and financing agreements involving patent, trademark, and technical collateral for financial institutions and corporate borrowers.
Deborah also has substantial experience in the strategic management and enforcement of US and foreign trademark portfolios for numerous clients, including a major US chemical corporation and a major foreign corporation involved in the retail food industry. She has developed worldwide trademark protection and enforcement programs for many clients, including a major foreign automobile manufacturer, a US toy company, and a US chemical corporation, and is responsible for developing trademark use manuals that various corporate clients rely on. In addition, Deborah advises corporate clients regarding trademark availability, procurement and protection, deceptive/comparative advertising and ambush marketing issues, and FDA labeling requirements. She has organized a joint US-Canadian seminar for the retail food industry involving trademark development, procurement, protection, advertising, and labeling.
As a registered patent attorney, Deborah is also responsible for the US and foreign patent portfolios of several corporations. She provides patentability, validity, and infringement opinions as part of her management of corporate patent portfolios. Her counseling further includes development of worldwide protection strategies for technologies, including employee patent and trade secret programs.
Deborah also has experience in intellectual property litigation, having represented clients in Federal court, as well as before the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the US Patent Board of Appeals and Interferences, and European Patent Office.
Deborah joined Mayer Brown in 1996. Previously, she held senior positions with two other prominent law firms in the Chicago area.