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Mark H. Wittow

Mark Wittow is a partner in the Seattle office of K&L Gates and former practice group coordinator for the firm’s intellectual property/technology transactions and data privacy practice group. His work focuses on complex intellectual property, technology and data related transactions and counseling, including the acquisition, development, marketing, licensing and distribution of mobile applications and computing devices, cloud-based software and other types of computing and data management services, other types of technologies, music, and other media content. Mark also advises clients on electronic commerce, data privacy and data protection issues, technology litigation settlements, and patent licensing and dispositions. Mark provides advice to clients of all sizes on technology and content development, protection and licensing in a wide variety of industries, including health care, agriculture, real estate, aerospace and avionics, financial services, fashion and apparel, travel and tourism, and entertainment.

Mark’s recent experience includes assisting domestic and international businesses with the legal issues and agreements associated with the development and operation of data analytics and cloud services, mobile applications, and interactive websites; product and software distribution, including open source software issues; and machine learning and artificial intelligence developments.

Mark has extensive experience with antitrust, unfair practices and copyright litigation in the technology industry, including representation of Microsoft in federal and state antitrust actions, litigation concerning the Java software platform, and trade secret issues.

Mark has served as a special assistant attorney general for the attorneys general of Alaska, Oregon and Washington in technology development matters. Mark also has served as an expert witness and a dispute resolution panel member in various technology licensing matters.

Mark is a frequent presenter and author on cloud computing, copyright and trade secret law developments and technology and patent licensing and transaction issues.  Mark is an active member of the CLE Board of the intellectual property law section of the American Bar Association.  Mark is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington and Seattle University law schools, where he teaches or has taught the Advanced Copyright Law and Arts Legal Clinic courses.

Mark has been with K&L Gates since 1989. From 1981 to 1985, prior to joining the firm, Mark was associate director of state/federal relations for the State of Alaska with responsibility for international trade, energy and natural resource issues, and special assistant to the Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources with responsibility for oil and gas leasing, oil and gas royalty sales, land disposals and mining issues.

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©, Technology Law, 2020-2021
  • Washington Super Lawyers List (2007-2019)
  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Washington Law School (Advanced Copyright Law course, 2017)
  •  Adjunct Faculty, Seattle University Law School  (Arts Legal Clinic and Advanced Copyright Law courses, 2005-2020)
  • CLE Board member Intellectual Property Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Washington Lawyers for the Arts volunteer (clinic, presentations and consultations); winner of Washington Lawyers for the Arts 2015 Robert C. Cumbow Brio Award for volunteer service
  • Wayfind volunteer (clinics and clients)
  • Pro Bono Legal Advice to:  Seattle Symphony, KNKX, KEXP, KING-FM; Challenger Center; Tune In to Nature (BirdNote), Acoustic Sound Wintergrass), Landesa, ArtsFund of Washington, Earth’s Call, The Mockingbird Society, Village Reach, Confluence Project; Seattle Men’s Chorus; Girl Scouts of Western Washington; Community Museum Project of the University of Washington; Northwest Justice Project; Seattle Foundation; Audubon Washington; Chamber Music Madness, South Hudson Music Project, Alaska Geographic Association; and various documentary film projects.
  • Non-Profit Board President, The Westerlies Music, Inc.
  • Non-Profit Board Officer, South Hudson Music Project
  • “Copyright and Licensing Issues in Artificial Intelligence,” American Bar Association IP Fall Institute (Sept. 2020)
  • “Music Licensing - An Introduction and Recent Developments,” WSBA Technology and Licensing CLE Seminar (July 2020)
  • “Licensing Law Developments,” Annual IP and Technology Licensing Conference, Law Seminars International (Oct. 2019)
  • “Copyright Law Developments,” American Bar Association IP West Conference (Oct. 2019)
  • “Copyright Update,” Oregon State Bar Intellectual Property Review (Feb. 2019 and Oct. 2017)
  • “New Cases - Fundamentals of Copyright Law in the Data Era,” Practicing Law Institute, July 2018
  • “What Happened After Aereo: Explore the Legal Contours Within Which Alternative Web-Streaming Platforms May (or May Not) Operate,” American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting (May 2018)
  • “Copyright Law Developments 2016-2017” IP Law Institute, Washington State Bar Association (March 2017)
  • “Copyright Year in Review,” Annual Art Law Institute, Washington Lawyers for the Arts (Dec. 2016)
  • “Open Source Software: Opportunities and Challenges (Best practices for using open source software in a commercial environment and with devices),” American Bar Association IP West Conference (Oct. 2017)
  • 2017 Copyright Update, Oregon State Bar Intellectual Property Section (Oct. 2017)
  • “Music Law 101” (Copyright, Licensing, Ethics), National Business Institute (Oct. 2017)
  • “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? Practical Considerations for Providers, Subscribers and Acquirers of Cloud Services,” Research Triangle Area Association of Corporate Counsel Cyberpalooza (March 2017)
  • “Copyright Law Essentials,” Washington State Bar Association (Oct. 2016)
  • “Advising Artists & Arts Groups,” Alaska Bar Association (Aug. 2016)
  • “Copyright Developments - A Year in Review,” Kansas Bar Association (May 2016)
  • “Copyright Law Review - Updates and Changes from 2015,” Oregon State Bar Association (Feb. 2016)
  • “Copyright Year in Review,” Annual Art Law Institute, Washington Lawyers for the Arts (Dec. 2015)
  • Music Copyright Law Developments, King County Bar Association (Oct. 2015)
  • Music Law: The Basics and Beyond (Overview of Music Copyright Law and related Ethics Issues), National Business Institute CLE Seminar (Aug. 2015)
  • “Structuring IP-Focused Transactions: Developing Transactional Strategies” for Advanced Concepts in Licensing IP and Technology, LSI CLE Conference (Aug. 2015)
  • “Software Licensing: Recent US Developments and Key Licensing Agreement Provisions,” Licensing Executives Society of Vancouver, B.C. (Jan. 2015)
  • “Copyright Law Developments of Note: 2014,” Art Law Institute - Washington Lawyers for the Arts (Dec. 2014)
  • “Open Source Software: Effective Due Diligence in M&A Transactions,” Black Duck Software Seminar (Aug. 2014)
  • “Music Law 101,” National Business Institute CLE Seminar (April 2014)
  • “Music Copyright Law Developments,” Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Institute (March 2014)
  • “Cloud Computing – Understanding and Mitigating Risks,” LSI Conference on Licensing IP Technology (Aug. 2013)
  • “Getting the Deal Done: Spotting and Resolving Legal Issues for Cloud Computing and Big Data Services,” LSI Conference on Cloud Services and Related Big Data Issues (April 2013)
  • “Intellectual Property and Other Legal Issues for Writers, Editors and Publishers” (various groups, 2013 and 2014)
  • “Risk Assessment and Management in Cloud Platforms,” LSI Conference on Current Issues in IP Licensing (Aug. 2012)
  • “Digital Piracy, Intellectual Property and Content Protection in 2012,” LexisNexis Emerging Issues Webinar (June 2012)
  • “Traps for the Unwary (IP Issues),” Angel Capital Association Northwest Regional Meeting (May 2012)
  • “What Hot on the Hill: Information Technology Legislative Developments,” American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section annual conference (Arlington, VA, March 2012, moderator)
  • “Cloud Computing for Investment Managers,”100 Women in Hedge Funds, SF (March 2012)
  • “Copyright Fundamentals,” Washington Lawyers for the Arts (May 2012)
  • “Finance in the Clouds: Exploring the Best Practices in Cloud Computing,” Knowledge Congress webinar (Dec. 2011)
  • “Project Management in the Cloud – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” Puget Sound Project Management Institute (Oct. 2011)
  • “IP Issues for Exits,” Angel Capital Association Northwest Regional Meeting (Feb. 2011)
  • “Protection and Enforcement of Trade Secrets,” Alaska Bar Association CLE for Corporate and Other In-House Counsel (Anchorage, Jan. 2011)
  • "Cloud Computing and Intellectual Property Considerations," Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute, Washington State Bar Association (Spokane, Oct. 2010)
  • "IP Issues in the IT Cloud," IP Chat Channel (Intellectual Property Owners Association) (Aug. 2010)
  • "Cloud Computing - Recent Litigation Developments, Anticipating New Claims," Practicing Law Institute (SF), 2010
  • “Best Practices for Start-Ups,” Alliance of Angels Investor Education Event, 2010
  • "Competitive Intelligence - Safely Navigating Intellectual Property Minefields," Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Institute, 2010
  • "Trade Secret Case Law Developments," Law Seminars International Conference on New Trends and Legal Issues in Technology Law, 2009
  • "Anglo-American Information Technology Law and Contracts," Bitkom (Berlin), 2009
  • "Drafting Contracts that Meet Current Business Needs," The Practical and Tactical Art of the Deal in Software Licensing Agreements, American Conference Institute (SF), 2009
  • "Protecting Trade Secrets - Consideration and Practice Tips for Business Agreements and More," Washington State Bar Association "Best of CLE" 2009 (reprised from WSBA IP Licensing Essentials CLE, 2008)
  • "Update on Aspects of Employment Agreements Relating to Intellectual Property," Law Seminars International Conference on Departing Employees and Intellectual Property, 2009
  • Cloud Computing  Issues Roundtable, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Conference (Arlington, VA), 2009 (moderator)
  • "Avoiding Liability for User Generated Content - Recent DMCA Safe Harbor Cases" (Hot Topics for Transactional Lawyers CLE, 2008)
  • "Life After GPLv3:  New Developments in Open Source Software Licensing," American Bar Association Annual Meeting (NYC), 2008 (organizer)
  • "Conforming Complex Licensing Transactions to Business Objectives," IQPC Patent Strategies Conference (SF), 2008
  • "Protection of Trade Secrets Assets in Business Negotiations and Agreements," Law Seminars International Trade Secrets Conference, 2007
  • Overview of Copyright and Trademark Issues for Small Business, Washington State Bar Association Small Business Institute, 2007
  • "Implications of MedImmune v. Genetech for Patent Licensing, and Other Hot IP Topics," Licensing Executives Society, 2007
  • "An Introduction to and Criticism of Music Copyright Infringement Analysis," King County Bar Association IP Section, 2007
  • "Copyright Essentials - Protection for Architecture and Maps with a Special Focus on Virtual Worlds," Copyright Society of the USA, Northwest Chapter, 2006
  • "Intellectual Property Licensing Trends: Recent Case Law Developments, Annual Intellectual Property Licensing Seminar," Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, 2006
  • "Copyright  Basics, Intellectual Property for Non-Specialists," King County Bar Association, 2000-2006
  • "Legal Issues for Writers: Copyright," Washington Lawyers for the Arts, 2006
  • "The Technology Wild Card - How Technology Integration Can Make or Break Post-Merger Success," The Deal (NYC), 2005
  • "Legal Issues for Website Designers," Washington Lawyers for the Arts, 2005; Raincoast Computer Conference, 2005
  • "Recent Developments in the Protection and Use of Databases," 20th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, American Bar Association, 2005
  • "Databases - To License or Not to License," Licensing Essentials for Business and Technology Lawyers, Washington State Bar Association Business Law and Intellectual Property Sections, 2004
  • "Register Your Work - Nuts and Bolts of Copyright Registration and Enforcement," Washington Lawyers for the Arts, 2004
  • "Overview of Export Controls and Technology Export Issues, Advanced IP Licensing Transactions," Law Seminars International, 2004
  • "Applying Copyright Rules In Light Of New Legal Developments (Including DMCA):  Software, Digital Media, Internet & Related Issues, Alaska Bar Association Conference on Copying Intellectual Property for Business, School, Art or Home Use: Practical Advice for the 21st Century," 2003
  • "Electronic Transactions and UETA - Traps for the Unwary," Computer Law Conference, Law Seminars International, 2002
  • "Electronic Commerce Law Update, Business Law Section Mid-Year Meeting/Conference," Washington State Bar Association, 2002
  • "Copyright and Trade Secret Issues in Intellectual Property Audits, Intellectual Property Valuation and Audits Conference," Seattle University IP Law Society, 2002
  • "Privacy Law Litigation Developments, Responding to Privacy Laws," LSI, 2001
  • "Emerging Issues from the Internet," Washington State Ethics and Election Conference, 1999
  • "Intellectual Property Litigation, Computer Law Conference, LSI, 1998 (with Kirk Dublin)
  • "Entangled in the World Wide Web: Legal Liability in Cyberspace, Intellectual Property and Internet Law," Alaska Bar Association Conference, 1998
Academic, Business, and Non-Profit Presentations
  • Intellectual Property Issues in M&A Transactions, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 (University of Washington Institute in Transnational Law and Practice and Seattle University School of Law) 
  • Recent Copyright Law Developments, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 (various)“Copyright & Other Intellectual Property Law Issues for Architects and Builders.” 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 (University of Washington College of Built Environments) 
  • Music Copyright Law Issues and Developments, 2017 (University of Washington School of Law, Seattle University School of Law)
  • Copyright Developments for Entertainment Law, 2016 (Greater NALS of Seattle)
  • Software and Copyright Law Developments, 2015 (In-house presentation)
  • Ethical and Strategic Issues in Fair Use Litigation, 2015 (University of Washington School of Law)
  • Aereo and Beyond: Pushing the Boundaries in Copyright Law, 2015 (Seattle University School of Law)
  • “Copyright (Plus) for Writers & Publishers,” Whatcom Writers and Publishers Group (Feb. 2015)
  • Intellectual Property Due Diligence in M&A Transactions, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (University of Washington Institute in Transnational Law and Practice)
  • Music Law 101 for Transactional Lawyers, 2014
  • Preparing Your Business for Sale, 2013
  • Finance in the Clouds: Exploring Best Practices, 2012
  • Technology & IP Issues for Investment Management & Financial Services Companies, 2012
  • Intellectual Property Licensing, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 
  • Copyright Issues for Music, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016
  • Website Terms of Use and Privacy and Information Security Policies, 2010
  • IP and other Legal Issues for Writers, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 
  • IP Issues for Filmmakers, 2009
  • Legal Issues for Visual Artists, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 
  • Identifying and Resolving Problems in Acquiring Technology Companies and Assets, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015
  • IP Licensing Toolkit, 2009
  • Recent Developments in Website Liability, 2008
  • Open Source Software Developments, 2008
  • IP: The Basics and Beyond, 2008
  • In re Seagate – Recent Changes to the Federal Circuit’s Treatment of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product in Patent Infringement Litigation, 2007
  • University Technology Transfer and Related Government Research Funding Issues, 2007
  • IP Issues for Emerging Businesses, 2007
  • An Overview of IP Issues Relating to Standards Setting Organizations, 2007
  • Copyright Issues and Overview, 2005, 2006
  • Architecture and Engineering in the Digital Age, 2006
  • Intellectual Property Due Diligence Issues, 2006
  • Employee Invention Agreement Requirements, 2006
  • Attorney-Client Privilege Issues, 2006, 2007
  • Legal Issues for Journalists, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 
  • Trade Secret Issues Overview, 2000, 2003, 2004
  • Assessing Natural Resource Damages in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, 2004
  • Intellectual Property Litigation, 1999, 2002
  • Privacy and Encryption Legal Issues in Computer Programming, 2002
  • Copyright Basics for Authors and Illustrators, 2002
  • Electronic Contracting and Software Licensing Issues, 2001
  • Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, 1999
  • Negotiating Software Development Agreements, 1999
  • Exporting Software, 1998
  • Digital Works and Copyright, 1998
  • Natural Resources Law, 1994, 1996
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Rules Georgia’s Official Annotated Code Outside the Scope of Copyright Protection Under ‘Government Edicts” Doctrine,’ IP Law Watch (April 2020)
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Holds Copyright Remedy Classification Act of 1990 Does Not Abrogate State Sovereign Immunity for Copyright Infringement: Allen v. Cooper,” IP Law Watch (March 2020)
  • “Provisions for Resolving License Disputes: Substantive and Procedural Considerations” Licensing Law Update (Wolters Kluwer, Jan. 2020)
  • “Provisions for Resolving License Disputes: Substantive and Procedural Considerations and Sample Clauses,” The Licensing Journal (Wolters Kluwer, Feb. 2019)
  • “Copyright Law of China” in IP Protection in China, American Bar Association (co-author, 2015)
  • "Personal, Noncommercial File Sharing of Copyrighted Music is Not a Fair Use," Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments - 2010 (American Bar Association 2011)
  • “Cloud Computing: Recent Cases and Anticipating New Types of Claims,” The Computer & Internet Lawyer (Jan. 2011)
  • "Changing Legal Rules for US and UK Information Technology Contracts," BITKOM Newsline (published in German), May 2010
  • "How Using Open-Source Software Can Affect Your Company's Value," CIO Magazine, January 2010
  • “Open Source Software” section in Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments - 2006-2008 (American Bar Association 2009)
  • Contributions to “Anti-Circumvention” and “Copyright Infringement” sections in the Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments - 2009 (American Bar Association 2010)
  • “Copyright Basics,” King County Bar Association, 2006
  • “Selling the Business? Prepare for 200 Questions (Acquisitions Due Diligence),” Puget Sound Business Journal, 2006
  • “Developments in the Law Concerning Online Trademark Uses and Contextual Advertising,” report to the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law, 2006 and 2007
  • “Liability for File Sharing Software,” Computer Law Review International, 2005
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Rules Companies Promoting Infringing Uses Of A Product Or Service As Principal Or Primary Use Are Liable For Copyright Infringement,” analysis of June 27, 2005 Grokster decision, Preston Gates E-Alert, 2005
  • “Judgments,” in Business and Commercial Litigation in the Federal Courts, Thomson/West 2005, and annual Updates (through 2010) (with F. Tausend and D. Binney)
  • “Avoiding Legal Landmines in Software Development and Licensing,” ExecBlueprints, Books24x7, 2005
  • “Privacy – Adjusting to Changes in Technology,” ExecBlueprints, Books 24x7, 2005
  • “Technology Law in Action,” Inside The Minds: The Laws Behind Technology – Leading Lawyers on the Legal Aspects of Patents, Software Licensing, Telecommunications, & More, 2004
  • “Developments in the Law Concerning Databases,” report to the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law, 2003-2004
  • “Developments in the Law Concerning Computer Programs,” report to the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law, 2001-2003
  • Copyright chapter in Intellectual Property for Non-Specialists Deskbook, King County Bar Association, 2003
  • “Enforceability of Foreign Court Decisions – Yahoo! v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme,” Computer Law Review International, 2002
  • “Software and Data Licensing,” in Internet Law for the Business Lawyer, American Bar Association, 2001 (with D. Daggett and M. Williamson)
  • “Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law in Review - Oil and Gas Exploration and Production – Legislative, Judicial and Administrative Developments in Alaska,” American Bar Association, 1993-1998
  • “Economic Methodologies for Valuing Natural Resource Damages,” in Natural Resource Damages, Government Institutes, 1993
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