The Catholic University of America


Maintaining a Conversation with the Consumer, While Protecting the Brand:
A Discussion with Under Armour

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The Columbus School of Law’s Law and Technology Institute honored Dean William Callyhan Robinson and his legacy on March 19, 2018, with an event entitled “Maintaining a Conversation with the Consumer, While Protecting the Brand: A Discussion with Under Armour.”

The audience was welcomed with opening remarks from CUA Law Professor and Co-Director of the Law and Technology Institute Elizabeth Winston who introduced Under Armour’s Deputy General Counsel Toke Vandervoort and Douglas A. Rettew, partner at Finnegan.

“Dean Robinson, the founding dean of the Law School, was a prominent scholar in the area of patent law. In 1890 he authored The Law of Patents for Useful Inventions. More than a century later, this long tradition of studying intellectual property law continues to thrive here at Catholic. The Law and Technology Institute offers a rich array of academic programs that provides a form for the exchange of ideas among students, faculty, the professional community, and colleagues from around the country, with respect to intellectual property, communications law, and information privacy,” Winston said.

Vandervoort discussed the growth of Under Armour and the structure of the brand. “There is constant innovation going on and because of that we have become a target…Some of our teams include patent and trademark, consumer protection, commercial, cyber security, litigation, and digital,” she said.

Rettew discussed how Under Armour works with Finnegan to litigate cases and how they decide where to put resources. He also provided examples of cases.

As Deputy General Counsel to Under Armour, Toke Vandervoort leads the legal team supporting UA Connected Fitness and provides cross-functional legal advice and leadership on critical initiatives to advance Under Armour's mission to "make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation." Vandervoort also serves as a member of the US Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee and is Co-Chair of the ACC Data Protection and Privacy Forum (National Capital chapter).

Douglas A. Rettew is a partner at Finnegan where he leads the firm’s trademark and copyright group. He focuses his practice on trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition litigation and disputes and is frequently touted as one of the nation’s top trademark lawyers. He serves as the principal editor for Trade Dress: International Practice and Procedure: USA Section, International Trademark Association (INTA). He is a sought-after litigator and speaker and is proud to count Under Armour as one of his clients.

After the program, students had a chance to establish professional connections with alumni in attendance at a reception in the Keelty Atrium.