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IP Trailblazer: Fenwick & West's Sally Abel

October 31, 2014

The National Law Journal (NLJ) profiled Fenwick & West intellectual property partner and trademark chair Sally Abel as one of 50 attorneys recognized nationally by NLJ as 2014 IP Trailblazers and Pioneers for “innovating in the field, helping to change the way copyright, patent, trademark or licensing law is practiced, or how IP is protected and managed.”

As an example of her “pioneer spirit,” NLJ noted Abel’s 20-year representation of Sun Microsystems, dating back to when Sun was “tiny.” “Sun and I grew up together,” Abel told NLJ.

Among Abel’s “trailblazing” accomplishments, NLJ cited her involvement chairing the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Business Identifiers Task Force Internet Subcommittee, developing and chairing the Enforcement Committee, and serving as INTA’s representative to the International Ad Hoc Committee—a predecessor to ICANN and an early initiative to organize top-level domain name assignments.

Looking ahead, Abel told NLJ that domain names will dwindle in significance. “The point is apps,” she said. “Domain names are not going to be as important as they have been over the past 20 years.” Abel also predicted the acceleration of the use and abuse of trademarks, especially in the realm of technology.

The full profile is available through the NLJ “2014 Intellectual Property Trailblazers & Pioneers” supplement.