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Tennell Lockett

Managing Partner

Townsend & Lockett

Tennell Lockett is Townsend & Lockett’s Managing Partner and focuses his practice on patent, trademark and copyright matters, including all aspects of complex intellectual property litigation and intellectual property and technology licensing and transactions. Tennell also has significant experience securing, protecting and enforcing trademark and service mark rights and registrations for clients of varying industry and portfolio complexity. Tennell has handled numerous IP administrative matters, including TTAB proceedings and domain name and Internet matters.

Prior to forming Townsend & Lockett, LLC, Tennell practiced law at Alston & Bird, LLP in its Intellectual Property group. While there, Tennell serviced both large and small clients in complex patent infringement cases, ranging from representations of Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500 companies to sole inventors. Tennell also gained years of trademark experience, managing large trademark portfolios for numerous companies with nationally- and internationally-recognized trade and service marks. Tennell’s litigation expertise includes considerable trial experience, including multiple successful patent trials in front of the International Trade Commission.

Tennell has been published in Alston & Bird’s Federal Circuit Annual Review (Aspen Publishers) and the IP Links, the official newsletter for the North Carolina Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section and has previously been admitted pro hac vice to the State Bars of Alabama, New Jersey, Texas and South Carolina. Tennell currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Legal Services Program.

Recent Articles by Tennell Lockett

Battle Between Newspaper Giant and Generative AI Boils Down to Definition of Fair Use

The training of artificial intelligence models using copyrighted material continues to stir debate and prompt litigation. In the latest salvo, the New York Times Company sued Microsoft and OpenAI – the creator of ChatGPT – for infringement under the federal Copyright Act. As often is the case with claims like these, the merits will center on the fair-use doctrine, a well-recognized legal principle in copyright law that aims to balance the interests of copyright holders with the public benefit of free speech and creative works. Fair use is a defense to a claim of copyright infringement that must be affirmatively invoked by the accused infringer.

USPTO Efforts to Reduce Fraud are Good for the Trademark System

Security issues have long dogged the U.S. trademark system. Unscrupulous operators – sometimes competitors, sometimes bad actors with nothing better to do – too frequently muck up the application process by modifying those filings or filing improper submissions. This is no small problem given the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (the USPTO) remains a mammoth and international hub of trademark filings. In fiscal 2021, trademark application filings topped 943,000, a record high. This marked an increase of about 28% from the prior year, with that increase driven primarily by Chinese filers.