Ms Karen Artz Ash > Katten > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

NEW YORK, NY 10022-2585
United States

Work Department

Intellectual Property


Designers, apparel manufacturers and other clothing businesses seek out Karen Artz Ash, national co-chair of Katten’s Intellectual Property department and co-head of the Trademarks and Trademark Litigation practice, because of her experience in all aspects of intellectual property, trademarks and copyrights. In trademark law, clients note that Karen “is one of the best in the business” (U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”). She is member of the firm’s Board of Directors and also serves as chair of the national Pro Bono Committee. She has worked in fashion law for more than 25 years.

Karen handles the structuring and administration of intellectual property, including establishing holding companies and trusts, and the creation, development, implementation and administration of licensing, servicing and manufacturing for companies worldwide. She helps apparel clients in acquisition and disposition of major designer properties and businesses and represents clients in securitizations, financings and joint ventures. She handles intellectual property due diligence in all types of complex corporate transactions and is skilled in bankruptcy assessments and financings that are dependent upon intellectual property assets.

In addition to fashion, Karen represents clients in the publishing, banking, financial services and consumer electronics industries. She is a monthly columnist for Managing Intellectual Property magazine, contributing writer for The Licensing Journal and regular sponsor and participant in events hosted by Women’s Wear Daily. She is also a contributing writer to Becoming a Fashion Designer (Wiley, 2013) and a contributing author to Fashion Law (Bloomsbury, 2013). Karen is an adjunct professor at New York Law School, focusing on courses in fashion law licensing, and is a mediator in the Southern District of New York, where she serves on the Mediation Advisory Committee. She also is a mediator for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the CAMP Mediation Program. Additionally, she has been a lecturer at Columbia Law School.


She is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s sections on Trial Law, Intellectual Property and Alternative Dispute Resolutions, and a member of the American Bar Association’s sections on Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law and Trial Law. She is also a member of the United States International Trademark Association, the National Association of Mediators, the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the New York Women’s Bar. Ms. Ash is a member of the Anti-Defamation League, where she is on the Executive Committees of New York Regional Board and the Lawyers’ Committee. She is also a member of the Mediation/ADR Sub-Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA). She performs pro bono work for the Central Park Conservancy, ADL, Sanctuary for Families and other New York charitable institutions, and is a member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Planning Committee of Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS).


JD, New York Law School, magna cum laude, 1980; AB, Georgetown University, 1976

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Intellectual property > Copyright

Katten focuses on areas such as fashion, music, entertainment and technology, with a client roster that includes NBCUniversal, the estate of Michael Jackson, and Live Nation. David Halberstadter is a key figure who advised Starz Entertainment, Anchor Bay Entertainment and CBS Television Studios in relation to two separate lawsuits brought by writers who believed that the television series Power infringed upon their work.  Elsewhere, Karen Artz Ash advised Calvin Klein in licensing issues surrounding its use of imagery from the artist Andy Warhol and the photography of Dennis Hopper. Floyd Mandell is also a key figure and is very active in the technology sector.

United States > Intellectual property > Trademarks: litigation

Katten represents clients from a wide array of sectors with particular expertise in acting for clients in the fashion and entertainment industries. The ‘proactive’ attorneys are ‘excellent communicators’ and ‘experts in domestic and international matters’. Chicago-based Floyd Mandell successfully defended PepsiCo in a dispute where plaintiff SportFuel alleged that the client’s use of the tagline ‘Gatorade. The Sports Fuel Company’ infringed upon its trademarks. In another high-profile highlight, the team currently represents Forever 21 in a dispute with adidas concerning the use of striped designs on apparel. New York-based Karen Artz Ash ensures ‘that nothing is overlooked’, she leads the practice with Mandell. Kristin Achterhof and Roger Furey, respectively based in Chicago and Washington DC, are recommended.