Melanie Howard’s practice focuses on the acquisition, protection, licensing, exploitation and sale of intangible assets for major brands and individual talent. Clients laud her as “super responsive” and seek her out for her practical guidance and business-minded approach. Melanie’s unmatched experience in the fashion, luxury and retail sectors has been recognized by industry leaders, including through Loeb’s recognition as the Best New Luxury Law Firm (2021) by the Luxury Law Alliance. Her practice also spans entertainment and media, esports and Web3, including advising clients and managing deals involving cryptocurrency, blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), minting, licensing and royalty structures, advertising issues and brand protection, exploitation and enforcement in the metaverse.
Clients regularly turn to Melanie for strategic brand protection guidance and counsel on intellectual property support in the context of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other complex commercial transactions as well as licensing, influencer, sponsorship and endorsement deals. Melanie also has extensive experience in copyright and trademark infringement disputes, false advertising cases, right of publicity cases and entertainment contractual disputes. She serves as Chair of the Brand Protection Group and curates Loeb’s “Branded” publication.
A member of the Privacy, Security & Data Innovations team, Melanie also advises clients on a myriad of data privacy and security issues, including data protection strategy, privacy by design, cross-border transfers of personal data, legal compliance and the development of internal data security and privacy practices and policies, with a particular focus on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), taking effect in January 2023. She regularly handles IP and technology transactions relating to software and mobile application development, software licensing, e-commerce solutions, technology vendor agreements and other data intensive transactions.
Melanie currently serves as Secretary and Board member of Saving Innocence, a nonprofit organization focused on combating sexual slavery and trafficking. She also maintains an active pro bono practice, including managing matters for The Bail Project, Dress for Success and the ACLU of Southern California, who awarded her a Community Service Award in 2021.
- Harvard Law School, J.D., Articles Editor, Harvard Negotiation Law Review
- Williams College, B.A., Political Science & German Studies; Dean’s List; cum laude
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
- Named among "Top 250 Women in IP" in IP Stars rankings by Managing Intellectual Property magazine (2022)
- Named among "Top 100 Lawyers" by the Los Angeles Business Journal (2022)
- Named "Lawyer of the Year" in Advertising Law for Los Angeles by The Best Lawyers in America (2022)
- Named a "Leader in Law Finalist" within the intellectual property category by the Los Angeles Business Journal (2021)
- Named an "IP Star" in trademark law by Managing Intellectual Property magazine (2021 and 2022)
- Named among "Top Intellectual Property Lawyers" in California by the Daily Journal (2018, 2021)
- Recommended in World Trademark Review 1000 United States - California (2020-2021), WTR is part of The IP Media Group
- Named "Best Lawyer" in Advertising Law (2020-2023), Copyright Law (2023) and Media Law (2023) by The Best Lawyers in America
- Named in The Legal 500 US in Advertising and Marketing (2017-2022), Copyright (2022) and Trademarks: Non-Contentious (2022), published by Legalease Limited and John Pritchard
- Named "Southern California Rising Star" in Media and Advertising and Intellectual Property by Thomson Reuters (2004-2007, 2010, 2012-2015)
- Recipient, Community Service Award, ACLU of Southern California (2021)
- Secretary and Board Member, Fonkoze USA (2006-2014)
- Founding Director, Opportunities Without Borders
- Member, International Trademark Association (2004-Present)
- Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association (2001-Present)
- Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals