Biography

As a member of the Intellectual Property practice group and leader of the Trademark Services practice area, Donna Schmitt strategically manages global trademark portfolios and advises clients on copyright, trade dress and trade secret matters.

Businesses in a variety of industries look to Donna to handle domestic and foreign trademark prosecution and for guidance on trademark selection, use, registration, policing, protection, infringement and enforcement. She also advises on commercialization of intellectual property through licensing. Donna counsels on domain name registration and use of trademarks and copyrights in social media.

As part of her practice, Donna works to identify trends and new tools to enforce intellectual property rights, including efforts to curb the sale and distribution of counterfeit and knockoff products from electronics to personal care items. She manages oppositions and cancellations at the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, as well as in dozens of foreign countries. She develops and implements customs enforcement programs for her clients and, due to her in-house experience, incorporates business solutions along with legal options.

Donna’s experience and current practice includes entities that provide goods and services in an array of industries. Donna is a member of Armstrong Teasdale’s Health Care and Life Sciences industry team representing numerous entities, including local, regional and global health care systems and technology and investment companies focusing on this industry. She is also a member of the firm’s Fashion and Design practice area representing large international luxury brands and local and international fashion entrepreneurs.

Active in the community, Donna has volunteered for academic and charitable institutions including Washington University School of Law, and is a board member for Whole Kids Outreach and a trustee for the City of St. Louis Mental Health Board, where she serves on the Finance Committee.

Education

  • Washington University School of Law  (J.D., 1991)
    • Order of Barristers
  • University of Arkansas  (B.A., magna cum laude, 1988)
    • English
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Arkansas

Professional Activities

  • International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (Board of Directors 2006-2016; Executive Committee 2010-2014; Board Chairman, 2010-2012)
  • International Trademark Association Committees - Meetings, Legislative, Anti-Counterfeiting (former Chair of North America Subcommittee) and Enforcement Committee
  • National Association of Women Lawyers (Fashion Law Affinity Group)
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • American Bar Association 
  • Armstrong Teasdale Women's Inclusion Network (Committee Member)

Charitable and Civic Involvement

  • City of St. Louis Mental Health Board (Trustee; Finance Committee) 
  • Whole Kids Outreach (Board Member)
  • Washington University Schools of Law and Engineering (Adjunct Professor) 
  • Washington University School of Law (Intellectual Property Advisory Board, 2006-2015)
  • The College School of St. Louis (Personnel Committee, 2009-2015)
  • Grace Place Retreat (Board of Directors, 2008-2012) 
  • St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (Volunteer)

Accolades

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Trademark Law (2019-present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers (2011-2014)
  • AV® Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • “40 Under 40,” St. Louis Business Journal(2005) and Most Popular (2015)

Background

Prior to joining the firm, Donna served as in-house counsel for Energizer Holdings and Edgewell Personal Care. She led the trademark and copyright department managing global trademark clearance and prosecution for a 10,000-plus trademark portfolio. As in-house counsel, Donna directly managed trademark infringement cases with litigation counsel and developed and implemented a brand protection practice to address counterfeit products globally. As Energizer and Edgewell entered into more aggressive trademark licensing to expand their brands, Donna was a member of the business teams that developed the company program and was the legal counsel lead for all licensing issues. Now, Donna advises clients from manufacturers to developers and service providers on strategic business matters related to intellectual property.

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