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Stites & Harbison is a large and very, very old Southeastern law firm. How old? It traces its roots to the 1832 establishment of a law firm by Judge Henry Pirtle and James Speed, who later served as Attorney General for Abraham Lincoln.

One or two important things have happened in this country since 1832. For instance, Stites & Harbison has become one of the top trademark firms in the country. Also, someone invented blogs. The goal of this blog, Trademarkology, is to help you select a brand name or logo by providing insight on how others have selected and protected their brands. We also hope to convince you of the power and value of obtaining federal trademark registration for all your brand names. We’d also like to make you chuckle a few times, because come on, this is trademark law. We’re sure ol’ Judge Pirtle would be quite proud.

All pleasantries aside, we are lawyers and therefore cannot resist telling you about how smart we are and how much we’ve accomplished. So, here goes:

Mari-Elise Paul

Mari-Elise is a native Mainer and loves everything New England, especially the lobstah. With a goal of becoming either a professional modern dancer or a Rockette, Mari-Elise attended the University of Maryland and received a double degree in Dance and English with a concentration in language, writing, and rhetoric. Mari-Elise attended the University of Louisville for law school. She started working in the Alexandria office of Stites & Harbison in 2010, but makes regular trips to Nashville and Louisville to see her Trademarkology pals.

When not writing clever, witty blog posts and surmising about developments in trademark law, Mari-Elise can be found in a hot room practicing yoga. She has a love of Bikram yoga and is now an instructor at Zweet Sport. Mari-Elise enjoys attempting to play golf, experimenting in the kitchen by making overly complicated recipes, watching sports, and traveling. She is an avid Louisville Cardinals fan and rarely misses a game.

Jennifer Kovalcik

Jen is originally a Hoosier (whatever that is) and grew up in Southern Indiana as a singer and eternal optimist.  She attended the University of Louisville, where she earned both her law degree and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance (yes, a singing degree).  Jen was immediately attracted to trademark and technology law by the opportunity to be involved in projects from inception at the intersection of creativity and design.

Jen moved from Stites & Harbison’s Louisville office to the Nashville office in 2011, with her husband of more than 15 years and twin daughters.  The twins are giving Jen a lot of practice being a chauffeur.  Cuteness aside, they better not mess with Jen because she is a former karate instructor and a second degree black belt. Jen is also an avid supporter of UofL athletics and still sings the National Anthem for basketball games.  Jen also uses her voice to provide pro bono help to our veterans to appeal denial of benefits.

When Jen is not kicking butt somewhere, she can be found with an Oregon pinot noir and jazz standards playing in the background.

Alex MacKay

Alex is camera shy (see Ex. A at right). Or maybe she is in a time out. Hard to tell.

Either way, you don’t see her face very often because she usually has her nose to the grindstone. She enjoys working hard to protect the interests of her clients as they select, adopt, acquire, register, license, and enforce their trademark rights.

When not otherwise engaged in the practice and study of trademark law, you can usually find Alex engaged in the practice and study of violin.

Brewster Taylor

Brewster was born in Washington, D.C.  He went to school in D.C. until leaving to attend college in New York.  After college he spent a couple of very enjoyable years living and working in Europe before going to graduate school in North Carolina for a year to obtain a Master’s Degree in English.  Brewster then worked as a teacher for a couple of years in Sweden before deciding to return to DC for law school.  Not long after he began his career as a lawyer, Brewster married Patty, whom he had first met when she was the fifteen year old maid of honor at the wedding of his brother and her sister.  They have been married for over thirty one years and have two daughters and a son.  Brewster had begun his career at a general practice firm, but soon he  joined the intellectual property firm of Larson & Taylor and had the privilege of working together with his father, a patent attorney, for a number of years before his father’s retirement.  Larson & Taylor became the Alexandria office of Stites & Harbison in 2004, and the office remains largely focused on the practice of intellectual property law.

History has always been important to Brewster, and he considers himself very lucky to be living in an area which has been so significant in American history.  He also enjoys traveling to all kinds of different places that have particular historical meaning to him and reading about the history of the U.S. and other countries. He keeps up with the Swedish he learned in Europe in part by reading Swedish history and Swedish historical fiction. His interest in history also extends to old languages like Latin and the Old English he studied in graduate school.  Brewster also enjoys running, and even when he is running, it is to the sound of jazz from the 1960s.

Melissa Hunter Smith

Although Melissa spent the first eleven years of her life in Dallas, Texas, she is a Nashvillian through and through.  When her family moved from Dallas to Middle Tennessee, Melissa knew she was finally home.  She obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Lipscomb University and, in spite of her parents’ prodding, Melissa had no plans to pursue a career in law.  In her final year of college, Melissa took a job at a law firm to prove to her family that the law was not for her.  The next thing she knew, Melissa had enrolled at University of Tennessee College of Law.  Upon graduation, Melissa began her legal career at Stites & Harbison—in its Nashville office, of course.

Melissa and her husband enjoy spending time in the mountains, whether they are hiking in the Smokies or skiing in the Rockies.  Melissa spends most of her free time chasing after her very active children and teaching them to love all things Nashville, especially the Nashville Predators.