Deborah Schavey Ruff is a partner who focuses exclusively on intellectual property. Deborah’s corporate and transactional IP focus includes extensive experience in evaluating, structuring, and managing commercial transactions, including IP due diligence for stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, and strategic alliances involving US, foreign and multinational corporations.
Major US and foreign corporations rely on her to structure such technology-related agreements as asset- and technology-transfer agreements, patent and trademark assignments, licenses, joint venture and collaboration agreements, and product distribution agreements.
Her transactional work also encompasses secured lending and financing agreements involving patent, trademark, and technical collateral for financial institutions and corporate borrowers.
Deborah also has substantial experience in the strategic management and enforcement of US and foreign trademark portfolios for numerous clients, including a major US chemical corporation and a major foreign corporation involved in the retail food industry.
She has developed worldwide trademark protection and enforcement programs for many clients, including a major foreign automobile manufacturer, a US toy company, and a US chemical corporation, and is responsible for developing trademark use manuals that various corporate clients rely on.
In addition, Deborah advises corporate clients regarding trademark availability, procurement and protection, deceptive/comparative advertising and ambush marketing issues, and FDA labeling requirements. She has organized a joint US-Canadian seminar for the retail food industry involving trademark development, procurement, protection, advertising, and labeling.
As a registered patent attorney, Deborah is also responsible for the US and foreign patent portfolios of several corporations. She provides patentability, validity, and infringement opinions as part of her management of corporate patent portfolios.
Her counseling further includes development of worldwide protection strategies for technologies, including employee patent and trade secret programs.
Deborah also has experience in intellectual property litigation, having represented clients in Federal court, as well as before the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the US Patent Board of Appeals and Interferences, and European Patent Office.
- Purdue University, BS, Microbiology
- Purdue University, Graduate research (molecular genetics)
- Valparaiso University School of Law, JD
- US Patent and Trademark Office
- US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Appointment to International Trademark Association Public Relations Committee, 1998 to 2000; Regulatory Analysis Committee, 1993–1997
- Board of Directors, Valparaiso University School of Law, 1993–1996
- Adjunct Professor, Intellectual Property, Roosevelt University, Legal Assistant Program, 1991–1993
- Visiting Instructor, Purdue University, Department of Biological Sciences, 1982-1983
- Advised a $12 billion global manufacturing company on restructuring of their licensing and global royalty program.
- Represented a private international horticulture company in the intellectual property aspects involved in the sale of substantially all the assets of certain subsidiaries.
- Represented George Weston Limited in the intellectual property aspects to their acquisition of Keystone Bakeries.
- Represented Syngenta Coop Protection AG in the intellectual property aspects of the purchase by its U.S. affiliate, Syngenta Flowers of the chrysanthemum and asters businesses of Yoder Brothers Inc.
- Representation of The Diller Corporation in the intellectual property aspects of the sale of Formica Corporation and various foreign subsidiaries for $700 million.
- Represented George Weston Limited in the intellectual property aspects of its $610 million disposition of certain assets located in the western United States to Grupo Bimbo, SA de CV.
- Represented The Dow Chemical Company in the intellectual property aspects of its sale of the DowBrands businesses for more than $1 billion to S.C. Johnson & Son.
- Representation of Oshkosh B’Gosh in the intellectual property aspects of its $312 million sale of the company to Carter’s.
- Representation of the largest of the Golden Harvest companies in the intellectual property aspects involved in the sale of a 90-percent interest in those companies to Syngenta for about $180 million.
- Representation of Dow Chemical in the intellectual property aspects of the divestiture, effected in connection with the Union Carbide merger, of Dow’s ethyleneamines business to Huntsman.
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