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Katherine McGuire

mcguire-katieKatherine McGuire

Partner, Chair of Intellectual Property Group, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP

Years in current role:13

What do you enjoy most about practicing intellectual property law?

“Intellectual property” is by definition a product of the human mind and I thoroughly enjoy exploring and understanding how IP and technology fits within my clients’ business strategy and competitive landscape. I have always enjoyed researching, learning and writing about new inventions with the depth of technical detail a patent application requires. On the trademark side, I enjoy working with my clients in establishing and protecting their branding, which is a key factor to their success.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

I must say the recent passing of my father, Charles (Steve) McGuire, after a long illness. He was a brilliant patent attorney in private practice in Syracuse, and he mentored me my first five years out of law school. His guidance made me the patent attorney I am today.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?

I think we will continue to see changes and advances in how we work and collaborate with coworkers, clients and colleagues at home and abroad. This will require learning how to quickly identify and effectively utilize, adapt and integrate rapidly evolving technical advances into the practice of law.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

In the past I have acted as a volunteer attorney for Volunteer Legal Services Project of Rochester and served as a caller for the annual fundraising drive. As a volunteer attorney I successfully represented many people in appealing denials of their Supplemental Disability Social Security applications. These people were deserving of the SSI benefits they were initially being denied and they had nowhere else to turn for help. The appreciation I received from these clients for getting them their well-deserved benefits provided me with a true sense of joy in knowing that I was able to help another human being.

What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?

Getting together more with family, friends, clients and colleagues in person rather than over phone or video. While it’s nice to have the video option it will never take the place of the human connections and conversations that result from simply being together in person.