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Mark H. Wittow

Partner
+1.206.370.8399
Fax +1.206.370.6210

Mr. Wittow is a partner in the Seattle office of K&L Gates. His work focuses on intellectual property and technology transactions and counseling including the acquisition, development, marketing, licensing and distribution of mobile applications and computing devices, cloud-based software and other types of computing and data management services, other types of technologies and media content. Mr. Wittow also advises clients on electronic commerce, data privacy and data protection issues, technology litigation settlements, and complex patent licensing and patent dispositions.

Mr. Wittow’s recent experience includes preparing and negotiating patent and technology licensing and purchase agreements and product development, licensing, distribution and services (particularly cloud services) agreements for technology, online retail, media (film, music, electronic games, books and periodicals), health care, energy, financial services, engineering, transportation and telecommunications businesses; providing counseling on strategic trade secret and copyright issues; preparing and negotiating technology agreements, supervising due diligence and resolving issues for the acquisition of technology companies or assets and in conjunction with the resolution of intellectual property litigation; assisting international businesses with the legal issues and agreements associated with the creation and operation of cloud services, mobile applications, interactive websites and product and software distribution, including open source software issues; and assisting authors, filmmakers, musicians and artists with licensing and distribution of their works. Mr. Wittow is a frequent presenter and author on cloud computing, copyright and trade secret law developments and on technology and patent licensing and transaction issues. 

Before focusing his practice on intellectual property, Mr. Wittow concentrated on complex energy and natural resources litigation and transactions. Mr. Wittow was lead counsel for the Municipality of Anchorage’s $120 million acquisition of a one-third working interest in the Beluga River natural gas field and represented the State of Alaska in complex oil and gas tax litigation and the Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation. Over the course of his career at K&L Gates, he also has advised clients on a broad array of legal issues from both a litigation and transactional perspective and served as a hearing officer for the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights and other State of Alaska administrative agencies.

Mr. Wittow is active in the Copyright Law Society of the United States and is a member of the CLE Board of the intellectual property law section of the American Bar Association. Mr. Wittow is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington and Seattle University law schools, where he teaches Advanced Copyright Law and Arts Legal Clinic courses.

Professional Background

Mr. Wittow has been with K&L Gates since 1989. He is and has been selected to the Washington Super Lawyers List (2007-2016) and “Top Lawyers in Washington” (Washington CEO), LawDragon 3000 Leading Lawyers, and Who’s Who in American Law and similar publications.  From 1981 to 1985, prior to joining the firm, Mr. Wittow was associate director of state/federal relations for the State of Alaska with responsibility for international trade, energy and natural resource issues, and special assistant to the Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources with responsibility for oil and gas leasing, oil and gas royalty sales, land disposals and mining issues.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Washington Law School (Advanced Copyright Law course, 2017)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Seattle University Law School (Arts Legal Clinic and Advanced Copyright Law courses, 2013-2016)
  • CLE Board member Intellectual Property Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Washington Lawyers for the Arts volunteer (clinic, presentations and consultations); winner of Washington Lawyers for the Arts 2015 Robert C. Cumbow Brio Award for volunteer service.
  • Pro Bono Legal Advice to: KEXP, Tune In to Nature (BirdNote), Landesa, The Mockingbird Society, Confluence Project; Seattle Men’s Chorus; Girls Scouts of Western Washington; Community Museum Project of the University of Washington; Northwest Justice Project; Seattle Foundation; Audubon Washington;, Alaska Geographic Association; and various documentary film projects.
  • Non-Profit Board Member and Board Secretary, Hanford Challenge
  • Non-Profit Board Member and Board Treasurer, The Westerlies Music

Speaking Engagements

Conferences and Prepared Materials
  • “Copyright Law Developments 2016-2017” IP Law Institute, Washington State Bar Association (March 2017)
  • “Copyright Year in Review,” Annual Art Law Institute, Washington Lawyers for the Arts (Dec. 2016)
  • “Copyright Law Essentials,” Washington State Bar Association (Oct. 2016)
  • “Advising Artists & Arts Groups,” Alaska Bar Association (Aug. 2016)
  • “Copyright Developments - A Year in Review,” Kansas Bar Association (May 2016)
  • “Copyright Law Review - Updates and Changes from 2015,” Oregon State Bar Association (Feb. 2016)
  • “Copyright Year in Review,” Annual Art Law Institute, Washington Lawyers for the Arts (Dec. 2015)
  • Music Copyright Law Developments, King County Bar Association (Oct. 2015)
  • Music Law: The Basics and Beyond (Overview of Music Copyright Law and related Ethics Issues), National Business Institute CLE Seminar (Aug. 2015)
  • “Structuring IP-Focused Transactions: Developing Transactional Strategies” for Advanced Concepts in Licensing IP and Technology, LSI CLE Conference (Aug. 2015)
  • “Software Licensing: Recent US Developments and Key Licensing Agreement Provisions,” Licensing Executives Society of Vancouver, B.C. (Jan. 2015)
  • “Copyright Law Developments of Note: 2014,” Art Law Institute - Washington Lawyers for the Arts (Dec. 2014)
  • “Open Source Software: Effective Due Diligence in M&A Transactions,” Black Duck Software Seminar (Aug. 2014)
  • “Music Law 101,” National Business Institute CLE Seminar (April 2014)
  • “Music Copyright Law Developments,” Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Institute (March 2014)
  • “Cloud Computing – Understanding and Mitigating Risks,” LSI Conference on Licensing IP Technology (Aug. 2013)
  • “Getting the Deal Done: Spotting and Resolving Legal Issues for Cloud Computing and Big Data Services,” LSI Conference on Cloud Services and Related Big Data Issues (April 2013)
  • “Intellectual Property and Other Legal Issues for Writers, Editors and Publishers” (various groups, 2013 and 2014)
  • “Risk Assessment and Management in Cloud Platforms,” LSI Conference on Current Issues in IP Licensing (Aug. 2012)
  • “Digital Piracy, Intellectual Property and Content Protection in 2012,” LexisNexis Emerging Issues Webinar (June 2012)
  • “Traps for the Unwary (IP Issues),” Angel Capital Association Northwest Regional Meeting (May 2012)
  • “What Hot on the Hill: Information Technology Legislative Developments,” American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section annual conference (Arlington, VA, March 2012, moderator)
  • “Cloud Computing for Investment Managers,”100 Women in Hedge Funds, SF (March 2012)
  • “Copyright Fundamentals,” Washington Lawyers for the Arts (May 2012)
  • “Finance in the Clouds: Exploring the Best Practices in Cloud Computing,” Knowledge Congress webinar (Dec. 2011)
  • “Project Management in the Cloud – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” Puget Sound Project Management Institute (Oct. 2011)
  • “IP Issues for Exits,” Angel Capital Association Northwest Regional Meeting (Feb. 2011)
  • “Protection and Enforcement of Trade Secrets,” Alaska Bar Association CLE for Corporate and Other In-House Counsel (Anchorage, Jan. 2011)
  • "Cloud Computing and Intellectual Property Considerations," Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute, Washington State Bar Association (Spokane, Oct. 2010)
  • "IP Issues in the IT Cloud," IP Chat Channel (Intellectual Property Owners Association) (Aug. 2010)
  • "Cloud Computing - Recent Litigation Developments, Anticipating New Claims," Practicing Law Institute (SF), 2010
  • “Best Practices for Start-Ups,” Alliance of Angels Investor Education Event, 2010
  • "Competitive Intelligence - Safely Navigating Intellectual Property Minefields," Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Institute, 2010
  • "Trade Secret Case Law Developments," Law Seminars International Conference on New Trends and Legal Issues in Technology Law, 2009
  • "Anglo-American Information Technology Law and Contracts," Bitkom (Berlin), 2009
  • "Drafting Contracts that Meet Current Business Needs," The Practical and Tactical Art of the Deal in Software Licensing Agreements, American Conference Institute (SF), 2009
  • "Protecting Trade Secrets - Consideration and Practice Tips for Business Agreements and More," Washington State Bar Association "Best of CLE" 2009 (reprised from WSBA IP Licensing Essentials CLE, 2008)
  • "Update on Aspects of Employment Agreements Relating to Intellectual Property," Law Seminars International Conference on Departing Employees and Intellectual Property, 2009
  • Cloud Computing  Issues Roundtable, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Conference (Arlington, VA), 2009 (moderator)
  • "Avoiding Liability for User Generated Content - Recent DMCA Safe Harbor Cases" (Hot Topics for Transactional Lawyers CLE, 2008)
  • "Life After GPLv3:  New Developments in Open Source Software Licensing," American Bar Association Annual Meeting (NYC), 2008 (organizer)
  • "Conforming Complex Licensing Transactions to Business Objectives," IQPC Patent Strategies Conference (SF), 2008
  • "Protection of Trade Secrets Assets in Business Negotiations and Agreements," Law Seminars International Trade Secrets Conference, 2007
  • Overview of Copyright and Trademark Issues for Small Business, Washington State Bar Association Small Business Institute, 2007
  • "Implications of MedImmune v. Genetech for Patent Licensing, and Other Hot IP Topics," Licensing Executives Society, 2007
  • "An Introduction to and Criticism of Music Copyright Infringement Analysis," King County Bar Association IP Section, 2007
  • "Copyright Essentials - Protection for Architecture and Maps with a Special Focus on Virtual Worlds," Copyright Society of the USA, Northwest Chapter, 2006
  • "Intellectual Property Licensing Trends: Recent Case Law Developments, Annual Intellectual Property Licensing Seminar," Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, 2006
  • "Copyright  Basics, Intellectual Property for Non-Specialists," King County Bar Association, 2000-2006
  • "Legal Issues for Writers: Copyright," Washington Lawyers for the Arts, 2006
  • "The Technology Wild Card - How Technology Integration Can Make or Break Post-Merger Success," The Deal (NYC), 2005
  • "Legal Issues for Website Designers," Washington Lawyers for the Arts, 2005; Raincoast Computer Conference, 2005
  • "Recent Developments in the Protection and Use of Databases," 20th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, American Bar Association, 2005
  • "Databases - To License or Not to License," Licensing Essentials for Business and Technology Lawyers, Washington State Bar Association Business Law and Intellectual Property Sections, 2004
  • "Register Your Work - Nuts and Bolts of Copyright Registration and Enforcement," Washington Lawyers for the Arts, 2004
  • "Overview of Export Controls and Technology Export Issues, Advanced IP Licensing Transactions," Law Seminars International, 2004
  • "Applying Copyright Rules In Light Of New Legal Developments (Including DMCA):  Software, Digital Media, Internet & Related Issues, Alaska Bar Association Conference on Copying Intellectual Property for Business, School, Art or Home Use: Practical Advice for the 21st Century," 2003
  • "Electronic Transactions and UETA - Traps for the Unwary," Computer Law Conference, Law Seminars International, 2002
  • "Electronic Commerce Law Update, Business Law Section Mid-Year Meeting/Conference," Washington State Bar Association, 2002
  • "Copyright and Trade Secret Issues in Intellectual Property Audits, Intellectual Property Valuation and Audits Conference," Seattle University IP Law Society, 2002
  • "Privacy Law Litigation Developments, Responding to Privacy Laws," LSI, 2001
  • "Emerging Issues from the Internet," Washington State Ethics and Election Conference, 1999
  • "Intellectual Property Litigation, Computer Law Conference, LSI, 1998 (with Kirk Dublin)
  • "Entangled in the World Wide Web: Legal Liability in Cyberspace, Intellectual Property and Internet Law," Alaska Bar Association Conference, 1998
Academic, Business and Non–Profit Presentations
  • Music Copyright Law Issues and Developments, March and April 2017 (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Copyright Developments for Entertainment Law, 2016 (Greater NALS of Seattle)
  • Software and Copyright Law Developments, 2015 (In-house presentation)
  • Ethical and Strategic Issues in Fair Use Litigation, 2015 (University of Washington School of Law)
  • Aereo and Beyond: Pushing the Boundaries in Copyright Law, 2015 (Seattle University School of Law)
  • “Copyright (Plus) for Writers & Publishers,” Whatcom Writers and Publishers Group (Feb. 2015)
  • “Copyright & Other Intellectual Property Law Issues for Architects and Builders.” 2012, 2013, 2015 (University of Washington College of Built Environments)
  • Intellectual Property Due Diligence in M&A Transactions, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (University of Washington Institute in Transnational Law and Practice)
  • Music Law 101 for Transactional Lawyers, 2014
  • Preparing Your Business for Sale, 2013
  • Finance in the Clouds: Exploring Best Practices, 2012
  • Technology & IP Issues for Investment Management & Financial Services Companies, 2012
  • Intellectual Property Licensing, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 
  • Copyright Issues for Music, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016
  • Website Terms of Use and Privacy and Information Security Policies, 2010
  • IP and other Legal Issues for Writers, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 
  • IP Issues for Filmmakers, 2009
  • Legal Issues for Visual Artists, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 
  • Identifying and Resolving Problems in Acquiring Technology Companies and Assets, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015
  • IP Licensing Toolkit, 2009
  • Recent Developments in Website Liability, 2008
  • Open Source Software Developments, 2008
  • IP: The Basics and Beyond, 2008
  • Recent Copyright Law Developments, 2007
  • In re Seagate – Recent Changes to the Federal Circuit’s Treatment of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product in Patent Infringement Litigation, 2007
  • University Technology Transfer and Related Government Research Funding Issues, 2007
  • IP Issues for Emerging Businesses, 2007
  • An Overview of IP Issues Relating to Standards Setting Organizations, 2007
  • Copyright Issues and Overview, 2005, 2006
  • Architecture and Engineering in the Digital Age, 2006
  • Intellectual Property Due Diligence Issues, 2006
  • Employee Invention Agreement Requirements, 2006
  • Attorney-Client Privilege Issues, 2006, 2007
  • Legal Issues for Journalists, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 
  • Trade Secret Issues Overview, 2000, 2003, 2004
  • Assessing Natural Resource Damages in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, 2004
  • Intellectual Property Litigation, 1999, 2002
  • Privacy and Encryption Legal Issues in Computer Programming, 2002
  • Copyright Basics for Authors and Illustrators, 2002
  • Electronic Contracting and Software Licensing Issues, 2001
  • Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, 1999
  • Negotiating Software Development Agreements, 1999
  • Exporting Software, 1998
  • Digital Works and Copyright, 1998
  • Natural Resources Law, 1994, 1996