Rita Kline

Counsel

Rita is an experienced IP lawyer who concentrates her practice in the area of trademarks. She represents a wide range of clients, including nonprofits, startups, mid-market and large international corporations, carefully adapting her advice to suit each of her clients’ unique legal needs. Rita counsels clients on all aspects of trademark portfolios, including the selection, clearance and acquisition brands, securing trademark registrations, portfolio maintenance, and enforcement, both domestically and abroad. She has a network of highly skilled international legal contacts that she leverages to protect clients’ trademark rights overseas. She also works with clients to secure trademarks to enable registration with Amazon’s brand registry process.

Rita’s practice involves counseling clients on a variety of complex trademark issues that often involves domain name disputes, as well as copyright issues. Rita often structures and negotiates agreements related to the sale or acquisition, coexistence, settlement, and licensing of trademarks and copyrights. Rita advises clients on navigating Apple app store trademark disputes, and also provides strategies to combat trademark dilution, to ensure brands continue to stay strong and valuable. Rita’s work often involves collaborating with her clients’ advertising and marketing departments on issues of trademark fair use and the legal aspects of proper trademark usage in advertising, critical to maintaining trademark rights.

Her practice also includes advising clients whose websites and other digital content have been copied without permission by another, and utilizing Digital Millennium Copyright Act compliance strategies to take down websites. She assists clients with strategies to combat trademark counterfeiting and has worked with Asia Pacific countries and U.S. customs office officials to protect client interests. Rita is counsel of record on 100+ U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancellation and opposition proceedings involving the enforcement of trademarks on both the plaintiff and defendant sides.

A passionate attorney, Rita’s focus is client satisfaction. She provides efficient and tailored legal solutions so clients can focus on running their businesses. Sensitive to her clients’ legal needs, she prides herself on active and ongoing client communication and attention, monitoring all client deadlines, and addressing outstanding issues to completion. She listens to her clients, learns about their specific industry practices, zealously advocates their legal issues, and joins them in celebrating their legal and businesses successes. Highly regarded in her field, Rita is an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater Cleveland Marshall College of Law where she teaches Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

Education & Admissions

Education

  • John Carroll University

    (B.S., chemistry, 1996)

  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

    (J.D., 2000)
    Managing Editor, Cleveland State University Law Review

Admissions

  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Experience

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Skilled in the prosecution of trademark and copyright applications, including trademark clearance, office, opposition, and cancellation actions.
  • Experienced with the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including in USPTO proceedings and IP litigation.
  • Reviews marketing and advertising pieces and advises on “truth in advertising standards” and proper trademark use.
  • Assists brand owners in addressing gray market/parallel import issues, including working with e-commerce websites to take down counterfeit product lists, with foreign law firms to coordinate efforts in Thailand and China, and with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop the importation of counterfeit goods into the United States.
  • Drafts and sends cease and desist letters to enforce clients’ IP rights against trademark and copyright infringers.

Involvement

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Adjunct Professor of Law in Trademark and Unfair Competition Law)
  • Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association (Board Treasurer, 2021-present; Chair, Women’s Committee; Board of Directors, 2016-2018)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • International Trademark Association (Academic Committee on the Adjunct Professors Sub-Committee; Non-Traditional Trademark Committee, 2010-2012; Design Rights Subcommittee of the Emerging Issues Committee, 2008-2009)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Catholic Lawyers Guild