Fenwick & West partner and trademark group chair Sally M. Abel was profiled by The Recorder in recognition of her inclusion on the publication’s Women Leaders in Tech Law list for the third straight year. The list celebrates leadership and great achievement in the legal field.
“Under Sally Abel's leadership, attorneys in Fenwick's trademark group have prosecuted thousands of U.S. trademarks, handled numerous actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and advised on some of the largest and most valuable tech brands in the world,” The Recorder noted.
When asked what she enjoyed most about working at in the tech industry, Abel told The Recorder that she likes “the pace, the nuance and being involved on the ground floor of life changing, disruptive technologies that don't quite exist yet.”
A pioneer in the international debate over trademark rights on the Internet, Abel identifies her career high in the industry as “representing the International Trademark Association (INTA) on the 11-person international panel deciding the fate of the domain name system in 1998, pre-ICANN.”
However, Abel told The Recorder that in her lifetime she expects to see the death of the domain name system and possibly even the Internet itself. She also predicted the proliferation of self-driving cars and digital medicine in the near future.
Further reflecting on change in the industry, Abel called companies to strive for greater gender diversity when hiring. However, she noted progress has occurred.
“Though we are nowhere near the level of parity we deserve, I have to say I've seen improvement in the gender gap in the 24 years since I breastfed my baby at my first partner meeting.”
Managing partner Kate Fritz and startup and venture capital co-chair Cindy Hess were also recognized among the 2015 Women Leaders in Tech Law.