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Susan M. Kayser

Susan Kayser is a nationally recognized IP litigator and counselor, having been named an “All Star” by Managing Intellectual Property; an “IP Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal; and consistently recognized by The Legal 500 US and the World Trademark Review as a leading trademark practitioner (both litigation and non-contentious). She services clients in the fashion, luxury, consumer products, food, and technology industries on trademark, advertising, and copyright matters.

Client Recognition:

  • “Always in demand, Susan Kayser takes on a ton of work, but is never overwhelmed. She treats her clients to a tip-top counselling and litigation service and puts shoulder to the wheel to help them grow globally. She is an anchor of K&L Gates’ worldwide trademark group.” World Trademark Review 1000 (2021).
  • “Since moving from Jones Day to K&L Gates in the spring of 2018, Susan Kayser has settled in well. The nationally reputed litigator and counsellor has a lot going on but never drops the ball. Recently, she successfully represented Procter & Gamble in defending the exclusivity of billion-dollar brand GILLETTE. She also continues to serve as primary US trademark and copyright counsel for Abercrombie & Fitch.” World Trademark Review 1000 (2020).
  • “She wields a thorough command of the law and relevant procedural rules. Her calm and rational approach has resulted in favourable settlements with difficult parties without the need for the nasty hysterics so often favoured by other counsel.” World Trademark Review 1000 (2018).
  • “…ample experience in the courtroom…” securing permanent injunctive relief and millions in damages. WTR 1000 (2017).
  • “fantastic disputes specialist…whose work on a variety of high-profile contentious briefs has left a string of clients ‘thrilled’” WTR 1000 (2015).
  • “shrewd interlocutory tactics” and “tactical trial lawyering skills.” The Legal 500 US (2010).
  • “…‘amazing support’ in relation to portfolio management” The Legal 500 US (2007).
  • “a solid litigator with broad-based knowledge of trademark law” WTR 1000 (2011).
  • “responsive and thorough” WTR 1000 (2013).
  • “outstanding” and “a true delight to work with” WTR 1000 (2014).


Susan has significant experience in obtaining (and defeating) TROs and preliminary injunctions, including those involving contributory infringement and counterfeiting, and ex parte seizures. She handles all aspects of USPTO practice, has won numerous oppositions before the TTAB, and obtained fame decisions, including from the National Arbitration Forum.

Susan also provides clients with results-oriented counseling, manages multibillion dollar worldwide trademark portfolios and worldwide clearance projects, serves as lead negotiator for multi-jurisdictional disputes, and leads IP due diligence teams for brand acquisitions.


Susan litigates and defends competitor false advertising claims under the Lanham Act. She clears advertising and marketing campaigns, including advising on related trademark, copyright, and right of publicity issues. She conducts training for companies on compliance with US advertising laws. She also counsels clients on compliance with Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, including testimonials, endorsements, and online advertising, marketing, and social media issues; efficacy claims for sport and health products; the FTC’s Green Guides; and “Made in the USA” claims. 


Susan represents clients in copyright litigation and counsels on protection and enforcement of original works, including fabric designs, labels, art (paintings and sculptures), photographs, and architectural designs. She also represents clients on moral rights under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA).

Prior to joining the firm, Susan served as a trademark litigator for an international law firm, where she represented famous brands. In addition, she also defended against the Lanham Act false advertising claims by competitors. She regularly counseled clients on advertising issues and compliance with Section 5 FTC regulations, including testimonials, endorsements, and online advertising issues, efficacy claims for sport and health products, and "Made in the USA" claims.

  • Listed in the World's Leading Trademark Professionals by World Trademark Review 1000, 2011-2024
  • Managing Intellectual Property “All Star,” 2014, 2016-2021
  • National Law Journal “IP Trailblazer,” 2014
  • Lead lawyer for “Standout” trademark litigation Chloé SAS v. SISCOM, The Financial Times, most innovative US litigations, 2013
  • Consistently ranked as a leading trademark litigator by The Legal 500 US survey

Susan served on the editorial board of Trademarks & Brands Online. She was also a member of the International Trademark Association North American Global Advisory Council and former chair of the Subcommittee on Trademark Policy and Advocacy for the Enforcement Committee. She is coauthor of the chapter “Copyright Damages” for the treatise Calculating and Proving Damages (Law Journal Press). She has also been on the forefront of online contributory infringement and counterfeiting, and is frequently quoted and cited on the subject. Susan is a former adjunct professor of Trademarks and Unfair Competition at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, Washington, D.C.

  • Panelist, Enforcing Contributory Online Trademark Infringement: Willful Blindness, Knowledge Standard, Stafford 5 December 2023
  • How Trademarks & Copyrights Impact our Retail Space, Columbus OH, 11 October 2023
  • Panelist, American University Washington College of Law Intellectual Property Brief The Art of Intellectual Property Law (Trademarks) 24 March 2023
  • Moderator of K&L Gates LLP’s panel: "Fashion’s Role in Politics, Diplomacy & Social Change: Leading Change or Mere Reflection," 2022 Luxury Law Summit Americas, 2 November 2022
  • Panelist, Intellectual Property at the Supreme Court, Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashion, Inc., American University Washington College of Law, 13 January 2020
  • Anti-Counterfeiting: Brand Strategies and Government Resources, guest lecturer, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C., 10 June 2019
  • - Identify, Invest, Investigate = Impact, keynote speaker, Intellectual Property, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Chicago, IL, 30 April 2019
  • Luxury & Fashion Webinar: Trademark, Design and Copyright Update for Fashion Brands, 21 March 2019
  • Blockchain and Trademarks, Strafford CLE, 4 December 2018
  • Madison Avenue Meets Hollywood: Navigating Product Placement Deals in Movies and Television, INTA 2018 Annual Meeting, Seattle, 21 May 2018
  • Food Labeling post-POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., panelist, D.C. Bar Washington, D.C., 29 July 2014
  • The Presumption of Irreparable Harm:  Don’t Stop Believing, INTA 2014 Annual Conference Hong Kong, 12 May 2014
  • Executive Roundtable Series: Protecting Your Business Against Online Counterfeiting and Patent Trolls, Washington, D.C., 26 February 2014
  • E-Discovery: Obtaining Electronic Documents Without Glitches, INTA Leadership, Miami Beach, Florida, November 2013
  • Executive Roundtable Series: Hot Topics in Trademark, False Advertising, and Copyright Law, Washington, D.C., 27 April 2012
  • Winning (And Managing Costs In) False Advertising and Other Lanham Act Litigation Webinar, 19 April 2012
  • Madrid Protocol - Is It Working For U.S. Brand Owners? panelist, INTA Annual Conference Seattle, Washington, May 2009
  • INTA - Trademark Administrators Conference, Madrid Protocol, panelist, Arlington, Virginia, October 2008
  • What’s New in Patent, Trademark and Insurance Coverage Law, panelist, Washington Metropolitan Association of Corporate Counsel (WMACCA), Falls Church, Virginia, April 2008
  • Intellectual Property: Assessing Current and Proposed Reforms in Patent, Trademark, and Copyright, panelist, ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, The ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law Washington, D.C., 25 October 2007
  • Federal Trademark Dilution Revision Act, moderator, INTA Roundtable, Washington, D.C., April 2007
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • Analysis and Takeaways as Defence Preclusion is Considered in U.S. Supreme Court Hearing,” World Trademark Review, 15 January 2020
  • Sweet as Hard Candy,” Ragtrader, October 2019
  • Blockchain Can Change Everything: Even Trademark Transactions,” American Bar Association, September/October 2018
  • World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), ‘Physical, conceptual, distinctive’-why the Batmobile is copyrightable (26 November 2015)
  • E-Commerce Law Reports - volume 15 issue 06, Multi Time Mach. Inc. v. Inc. (November 2015)
  • Operation Choke Point: a tool against online counterfeiting, E-Commerce Law & Policy - PDF Only Ql (May 2014)
  • Combating Contributory Infringement on the Internet, INTA Bulletin - PDF Only (1 May 2014)
  • The duties of online service providers, TBO Newsletter (March 2014)
  • Counterfeiting: Chloé SAS et al v. Sawabeh Information Services Co., et al., E Commerce Law Reports, Vol. 13, Issue 06 (December 2013)
  • Second Circuit Clarifies Copyright Fair Use Standard (May 2013)
  • FTC Updates Guidance on Online Advertising Disclosures (March 2013)
  • Calculating and Proving Damages, Chapter 8, coauthor, Copyright Damages, Law Journal Press (2011)
  • Recent Copyright Case Developments (5 August 2011)
  • Sui Generis Right for Databases. Revamped or Redundant? coauthor, IP Intelligence (Fall 2009)
  • 2007 Trademark Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit, coauthor, 57 Am. U.L. Rev. 1039 (2008)
  • Resolving Trademark Disputes Through ADR, Inside the Minds: Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution, Aspatore (2008)
  • Prospective Franchisee Not Covered by Connecticut Act, The Franchise Lawyer, Vol. 3, No.4. (Spring 2000)
  • Summarized opinions of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Case Digests, Legal Times (November 1997–September 1999)
  • Advertising Fund Disclosures: Lessons Learned From the Meineke Case, coauthor, Franchise Update, 2nd Quarter 1997, at 34, 36 (1997)
  • Back Away From the Benefits, review of the Supreme Court’s 1996–97 term, Legal Times, S48 (14 July 1997)
Additional News & Event Pages
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