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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Johanna Schmitt

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Work Department

Intellectual Property


Johanna Schmitt is an intellectual property partner in Kirkland’s New York office. Her practice focuses on intellectual property law, specifically copyright, trademark, trade dress, domain name, false advertising, licensing and contract issues. She counsels clients regarding the acquisition and retention of intellectual property rights (including Internet issues) and also litigates disputes related to such rights. She has extensive experience with managing trademark portfolios, trademark prosecution and proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2013, Johanna was recognized in the category of Trademarks: Litigation in The Legal 500 U.S. She has served on multiple INTA committees, including most recently on the committee for non-traditional marks.


Brooklyn School of Law, J.D., 1999, summa cum laude; Columbia University, B.A., 1992.

United States: Intellectual property

Trademarks: litigation

Within: Trademarks: litigation

Dale Cendali is a ‘world class litigator’ who heads a ‘great team of highly trained lawyers’ at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Alongside John O'Quinn, the ‘brilliant’ Claudia Ray and Diana Torres, Cendali recently represented Nike at the Federal Circuit, which overturned a previous ITC ruling, supporting the client’s enforcement efforts against knockoffs of its Converse Chuck Taylor design. Ray, Torres and Cendali also assisted Johanna Schmitt and Joshua Simmons in defeating a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Equinox Hotel Management against client Equinox Holdings; the plaintiff sought to prevent the client from using the ‘Equinox’ trademark in connection with its forthcoming hotel line, though failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits of irreparable harm. Industries of expertise include media and entertainment, software and technology, financial services, consumer products and fashion. Torres is based in LA while O’Quinn operates from Washington DC. All other named attorneys are part of the firm’s New York office.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Media and entertainment: litigation

Within: Media and entertainment: litigation

Kirkland & Ellis LLP's copyright, trademark, internet and advertising team, based in New York, frequently handles litigation for clients in the media and entertainment sector. Intellectual property litigation expert Dale Cendali is a key contact; she and Joshua Simmons recently led the successful representation of Take-Two Interactive Software in obtaining an injunction against the defendant who created software programs allowing players to create unauthorised features in Take-Two’s online video game Grand Theft Auto. In addition to the gaming industry, the group's experience spans across the music, theatre, film and television sectors; recent matters have included defending Sun TV Network in copyright litigation brought by Freeplay Music and advising Stage Entertainment in copyright infringement relating to the hit Broadway musical Anastasia. Claudia Ray and Johanna Schmitt are noted for their expertise.

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