Hon. Kathleen O’Malley Image

Hon. Kathleen O’Malley

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (ret.)

Sullivan & Cromwell

Judge Kathleen O’Malley (Ret.) is of counsel in the Firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation practice, advising on a broad range of subject matters, including all forms of IP litigation, engaging in alternative dispute resolution, and intellectual property policy work. Kate was a federal judge for more than 27 years, including most recently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the only court that handles appeals of patent cases. She also previously served as first assistant and chief of staff to the Ohio Attorney General.

In addition to her patent expertise, Kate has substantial experience with other IP issues—copyright, trademark, trade secret, and the intersection of IP and antitrust—and with other areas of federal law, including securities fraud, tax matters, multi-district litigation and white collar criminal prosecutions.

Kate has received numerous awards over her career. For her contributions to the development of IP law alone, she has received accolades including the Sedona Conference “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association Jefferson Medal, the New York Intellectual Property Law Association “Outstanding Public Service Award,” the Intellectual Property Owners Association “Distinguished IP Professional Award” and the Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly “IP Champion Award.” She was also inducted into the IAM IP Hall of Fame by Intellectual Asset Management and was named a lifetime honorary member of the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel. Additionally, the Kathleen M. O’Malley Inn of Court was recently chartered in Cleveland, Ohio, as a tribute to Kate’s service.

Kate regularly lectures on various IP topics, including the importance of IP to innovation and the importance of innovation to the economy, and has trained judges, lawyers and stakeholders on the U.S. IP system in over a dozen countries around the world. She was the only U.S. representative on the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Judicial Advisory Council for the first five years of its existence and has been involved in many WIPO sponsored projects and programs. Kate is a senior adviser for the Renewing American Innovation Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and serves on the IPO Education Foundation Board of Directors. She is also a member of the board of the Council for Innovation Promotion (C4IP) and the board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in IP (FADIPL).

Kate has been involved in numerous projects relating to the intersection of science and the law.

At the invitation of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Federal Judicial Center, she served on the Committee on the Development of the Third Edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence. She also recently co-chaired a planning committee for a workshop titled, “Emerging Areas of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for the Courts,” that explored legal questions relating to climate change, the ethical and IP implications of AI, implicit bias, computer science and engineering, among other cutting-edge issues.

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