Ann Ford

Ann K. Ford

Partner
Executive Director, Clients and Sectors
Member, Global Board
Member, Executive Committee
Ford is a recognized trademark expert who offers particular experience acting on behalf of clients in the fashion sector.
Chambers USA
About

Ann Ford is a highly qualified intellectual property lawyer, working with clients to acquire, develop and exploit intellectual property assets. She advises clients on the business and transactional aspects of intellectual property and assists them with litigation and pre-litigation protective measures.

Ann has extensive experience developing and strengthening brands for both mature and emerging companies in a range of industries. Her background in communications and media law, and her experience in the retail, fashion, and financial sectors, provide her clients with perspective on the specialized and unique issues faced by those industries.

Ann was formerly the US Chair and Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper's Intellectual Property and Technology practice, where she oversaw areas including trademark, patent, cybersecurity, data privacy, telecommunications, commercial contracts, technology transactions, strategic sourcing, and financial payments and digital.

Ann is a member of the US Management Team and leads the firm's strategy around clients and sectors. She is a member of DLA Piper's Global Board, the Executive Committee and the firmwide Policy Committee.

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaNew York
Education
  • J.D., Duke University School of Law
  • B.A., Georgetown University

Awards

  • Chambers Global
    • Band 1, USA Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2022)
    • Band 2, USA Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2014-2021)
    • Chambers comments, "Ann Ford is a respected trademark attorney who frequently counsels clients on portfolio management and enforcement matters, with capabilities including global brand protection and portfolio expansion." Clients say, "Ann has a superb grasp of the law from a technical perspective and also understands the challenges we face and is very adept at providing practical advice through a commercial lens." "She has great IP. We bring her in for high-stakes matters."
    • Band 3, USA Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2013)
  • Chambers USA
    • Band 2, Nationwide Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2021-2022)
      Chambers comments, "Ann Ford is a respected trademark attorney who frequently counsels clients on portfolio management and enforcement matters, with capabilities including global brand protection and portfolio expansion." Clients say, "Ann has a superb grasp of the law from a technical perspective and also understands the challenges we face and is very adept at providing practical advice through a commercial lens." "She has great IP. We bring her in for high-stakes matters."
    • Band 1, Nationwide Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2012-2020) 
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Leading Lawyer, Trademarks: Litigation (2021)
      Clients say, "I would call out for special recognition Ann Ford, who despite her heavy responsibilities still gets on important calls to discuss strategy and next steps."  "When you speak with Ann Ford, the vast array of her experience becomes evident, quickly. She fully understands the law, the potential issues at hand, how to resolve them, and most importantly, how to protect your brand. If I were starting a law firm, she is my first hire. I only surround myself with the best and brightest, and this team at DLA Piper, go a level beyond."
    • Hall of Fame, Trademarks: Non-Contentious (including Prosecution, Portfolio Management, and Licensing) (2021-2022)
      Clients say, "Before choosing DLA Piper as our trademark law firm, I conducted a significant amount of research on not only the best firms but also the most talented attorneys. My research concluded that DLA Piper and Ann Ford were in fact the best."
    • Recommended, Patent Litigation: Full Coverage (2021)
    • Recommended, Patents: Litigation (International Trade Commission) (2021)
    • Hall of Fame, Trademarks: Non-Contentious (including Prosecution, Portfolio Management, and Licensing) (2020)
    • Recommended, Trademarks: Litigation (2018-2020)
    • Leading Lawyer, Trademarks: Non-Contentious (including Prosecution, Portfolio Management, and Licensing) (2016-2019)
  • Named a DC Trailblazer by the National Law Journal (2020)
  • Commended in the WTR 1000: The World's Leading Trademark Professionals (2021)
  • Selected as a Client Choice Award recipient for excellence in client service in Intellectual Property: Trademarks (2017)

In the global guide, she is described as "a rock star who provides excellent customer service and is one of the top trademark lawyers in the US." Clients in the US guide state "Ann has a superb grasp of the law from a technical perspective and also understands the challenges we face and is very adept at providing practical advice through a commercial lens." Another client notes "She has great IP. We bring her in for high-stakes matters."

A client describes her as ‘Ann Ford — there’s a reason why every company that I have been with immediately transfers our trademark portfolio to her firm. She is outstanding, one of the absolute best in the business. Great business sense and way of navigating thorny trademark issues.’ Another client states ‘Ann Ford could be the best intellectual property attorney for trademarks. When you speak with her, the vast array of her experience becomes evident, quickly. She fully understands the law, the potential issues at hand, how to resolve them, and most importantly, how to protect your brand. If I were starting a law firm, she is my first hire.’  A client notes "Having now worked with Ann and her team, they are bright, forward-thinking, and creative when dealing with trademark litigation, trademark protection, and related intellectual property. Collectively, I trust DLA Piper to help protect and grow our brands.’

Ann was selected as a Client Choice Award recipient for excellence in client service in Intellectual Property: Trademarks in 2017.  She has also been listed in IP Stars-Top 250 Women in IP, An International Who's Who of Trademark Lawyers, Guide to the World's Leading Trade Mark Practitioners, Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law, Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and The Legal Times.

Bylines

  • "Reminder: In the age of social influence, fair use must be considered," Law à la Mode, May 2019
  • "The development of artificial intelligence in the fashion industry: An opportunity or a threat," Law à la Mode, November 2018
  • "Social Media Influencers & Effective Disclosures, IP and E-Commerce: Your basic checklist, Longchamp's Handbag Copyright Saga, IP Protection of Fashion Shows in Italy and more," Law à la Mode, May 2018
  • "Trademarks—International," The Intellectual Property Handbook: A Practical Guide for Franchise, Business, and IP Counsel (Second Edition), ABA Book Publishing, October 2016
  • "Working with Clients in the Fashion Industry: IP Tips and Trends," Inside the Minds: Navigating Fashion Law, Leading Lawyers on Exploring the Trends, Cases and Strategies of Fashion Law, Aspatore/Thomson Reuters, 2012

Media Mentions

  • "DLA Piper Forms New Management Team After Strong 2020," Law360, March 9, 2021
  • "Keeping up with the co-chairs," IPPro The Internet, March 20, 2018

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member, International Trademark Association 
  • Board member and Chair of Nominating Committee, DC Women's Bar Association Foundation 
  • Former Member, Law360 IP Editorial Board 
  • Former Member, District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors
  • Member and Chair, DC Bar Pro Bono Committee, 2009-2015

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