Susan Rector is a partner who represents companies in business transactions and in all aspects of intellectual property ownership and information technology transactions. She assists business clients in navigating Internet of Things issues that affect their business. She assists start-up and established businesses with commercializing technology and conducting business online. She has prosecuted more than 850 applications with the U.S. Trademark Office and has worked extensively with information technology issues.
Internet of Things Resource Center
Her experience includes a wide variety of business transactions, from business formation, restructurings and mergers and acquisitions to advising institutional investors making investments in venture capital funds or other equity investments. She also provides ongoing advice and counsel to family and privately-held businesses.

She is an active participant in the nonprofit community and with organizations of women business owners. She is engaged in the local angel investment community and serves on the board of a national bank and its holding company.

In 1981, Susan received her Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wake Forest University, magna cum laude with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, and her juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1984.
Representative Transactions
  • Serve as general intellectual property counsel to a CPA firm with over 400 employees in eight offices providing accounting, advisory, technology and managed services and assist with the following:
  • Information technology contracting, including associated intellectual property ownership, indemnification and licensing issues
  • Negotiated the takedown of a European infringer’s misappropriation of significant web content, including bios of professional personnel
  • Domain name issues in connection with acquisition of a related business and negotiation of rights going forward
  • Trademark prosecution for a new company logo and new product names, including overall responsibility for maintenance of the trademark portfolio
  • Resolution of potential opposition of two pending trademarks
  • Provide ongoing advice to advertising and communications firms providing advertising, digital marketing and public relations services across the country through:
  • Providing advice and preparing contest rules for sweepstakes, various loyalty programs and a myriad of social media promotional contests, including photo contests, video contests and skill contests
  • Performing trademark, copyright and other clearance searches for advertising campaigns, potential trademarks and domain names
  • Defending assertions of patent infringement claims from non-practicing entities
  • Negotiating contracts with vendors and clients, that included IP issues
  • Assisting the client’s ultimate client with trademark clearance and prosecution
  • For an IT consulting and staffing firm with employees in multiple states and two foreign offices, provided advice regarding information technology contracting and noncompetition issues and trademark protection and defense, including brand protection and identity.
  • Resolved contentious software license dispute for a software developer with an existing customer over the current license and further software development to be conducted for governmental entities documenting new terms going forward and obtaining payment of past due receivables.
  • Regularly assist U.S. and foreign clients with prosecution of domestic and foreign trademark applications and enforcement efforts against infringing trademarks and domain names in the United States and abroad.
  • Provided advice regarding domain name issues, Internet key word advertising issues, social media issues and trademark enforcement efforts to a consumer financial services company with hundreds of retail stores in more than 10 states.
  • Served as general intellectual property counsel to several national trade associations and provided ongoing advice on a variety of legal issues – including trademark, certification mark, copyright and e-commerce issues – related to publications, programs and making educational and trade association materials available online to members and the public.
  • Brought numerous Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy actions to enforce trademark rights against bad faith use of infringing domain names.
  • Transfer of domain names and trademarks as a result of infringement or as part of an arms-length third party transaction.
  • Assisted clients to establish and administer its brand program for certification marks, provided ongoing advice regarding propriety of various entities using the certification mark and obtained trademark registration for a certification mark used on the owner’s goods.
  • Extensive legal research and analysis to advise the client as to the risks of proceeding with a mobile app that relies on specialized RSS feeds and news aggregators and further categorizes data, industry information, news and articles and pushes content out to end users.
  • Formed an Indian subsidiary for a software company to obtain the technical expertise of software developers not available in the United States due to visa restrictions.
  • Assisted a client to hire independent contractors to write the code to develop a computerized inventory system as part of its procurement and manufacturing process with the long term objective to license this software to third parties in a wide variety of industries.
  • When an existing business relationship became extremely contentious and threatened the ongoing software development of software system critical to our client, reviewed the existing software license and services agreement and provided advice regarding the enforceability of its terms and a source code escrow agreement. During prolonged negotiations, advised our client as to the strength of its position and amended the license agreement to compromise and settle substantive points at issue to clearly articulate ownership of the source code and other open issues.
  • Created a web-based portal for financial reporting, human resources, sales and customer relationship management functions to be accessed by small businesses for a subscription-based fee. Negotiated contracts with the software integrator as well as the four software vendors.
  • Counselled a startup software developer on the best means to protect its proprietary software and the negotiated the terms of doing business with major financial institutions and their counsel.
  • Assisted a startup company to sell its monitoring and reporting software exclusively over the Internet and assure compliance with state and federal laws applicable to contractors.
  • Represented an entity owned by a professor and negotiated the terms of a transaction with a third party in exchange for stock and a consulting arrangement to commercialize the medical device to be used for medical diagnosis and treatment. Negotiated with the Office for Technology Licensing to exercise an option and obtain a license to sublicense the technology from the university.
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Published In
  • "Internet of Things' Protocols: Past and Future Trends," Law360, October 12, 2016.
  • “Commentary: An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Use of Takedown Notices for Trademark Infringement,“  The Trademark Reporter, May-June 2016, Vol. 106 No. 3.
  • “Touched by an Angel,” Enterprising Women, Vol. 12, No. 3., 2011.
  • “Can Avatars Commit Trademark Infringement?” The SciTech Lawyer, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, Fall 2010.
  • “FTC Endorsement Guides Extended to Bloggers,” Executive Counsel, April/May 2010.
  • “Brand Promotion and Unauthorized Trademark Use in Virtual Worlds,” coauthored, INTA Bulletin, Sept. 15, 2007 and WIPO Magazine, December 2007.
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