Skip to content


Melanie Howard’s practice focuses on the acquisition, protection, licensing, exploitation and sale of intangible assets for major brands and individual talent. Known for her business-minded approach, she represents clients across a variety of industries, including fashion and luxury retail, esports, automotive, technology, entertainment and media, and financial.  

Clients regularly turn to Melanie for strategic brand protection guidance and counsel on data privacy matters 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.

A member of the Privacy, Security & Data Innovations team, Melanie advises clients on myriad 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). 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 non-profit organization focused on combating sexual slavery and trafficking. She also maintains an active pro bono practice.


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., Articles Editor, Harvard Negotiation Law Review
  • Williams College, B.A., Political Science & German Studies; Dean’s List; cum laude

Court Admissions

  • 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

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Italian


  • 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)
  • 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, by The Best Lawyers in America (2020-2022)
  • Named in The Legal 500 U.S. in Advertising and Marketing, published by Legalease Limited and John Pritchard (2017-2021)
  • 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