Heather Kliebenstein and Luciano Ricondo named to Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce that attorneys Heather Kliebenstein, and Luciano Ricondo have been selected as members of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 2018 Class of Fellows and Pathfinders, respectively.

“It’s a well-deserved honor for Heather & Luciano to be recognized for their leadership potential in connection with LCLD’s Fellows and Pathfinders programs,” said Chris Leonard, CEO and Managing Director of Merchant & Gould, as well as an LCLD Member.  “We are extremely proud of them both and are excited about their participation in these programs.”

Heather J. Kliebenstein

Heather is an intellectual property attorney and partner at Merchant & Gould. She is also the chair of the firm’s litigation practice group. As someone with deep technology and IP experience, Heather is the go-to resource for companies requiring focused, strategic intellectual property insight.

Heather focuses mainly on trademark, trade dress, copyright, false advertising and unfair competition litigation.  However, with a technical background, Heather has prosecuted patents and litigated many patent disputes.  This allows her to offer something unique in the IP and technology litigation field—someone who can understand and litigate intellectual property disputes that combine multiple forms of intellectual property.   

As an IP litigator, Heather has secured several victories in court and settlement negotiations (see some Representative Cases below). She is the trusted advocate you can turn to when you need representation in or before federal court, appellate court, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Trade

A strong IP strategy does not stem only from handling litigation well. It also comes from smart counseling regarding your business’s assets. To that end, a significant part of Heather’s practice is counseling clients to strengthen their intellectual property portfolios and to manage their risks.  Heather works with a number of clients to help identify and secure their intellectual and property technology needs, including through building and managing trademark and copyright portfolios worldwide, and reviewing agreements such as technology licensing and vendor agreements. Heather also counsels clients regarding advertising claims and online advertising issues under the Lanham Act and state false advertising laws.

She offers these services to companies of all sizes, from solo startups to Fortune 500s. She knows that what most business owners need is a reliable counselor they can turn to when they need help in the intellectual property and technology space.

According to LCLD President Robert J. Grey, Jr., the LCLD Fellows Program offers participants “a year-long, in-depth program devoted to relationship-building, in-person training, peer-group projects, and extensive contact with LCLD’s top leadership and the best teachers in the business.”

Luciano A. Ricondo

Luciano drafts and prosecutes domestic and foreign patent applications in the mechanical, electrical, computer, and software-related arts. He also prepares and prosecutes domestic and foreign industrial designs. As part of his patent prosecution practice, Luciano helps clients traverse obstacles to patenting software and business methods, such as subject matter eligibility challenges based on the United States Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank decision.

In addition to patent prosecution, Luciano provides litigation support in a variety of areas, including drafting opinion letters regarding patentability, patent infringement, and freedom to operate.

Technologies and industries relevant to Luciano’s practice include medical devices, telecommunications, renewable energy, industrial machinery, consumer products, software, and e-commerce.

Luciano serves on the diversity committee at the firm and is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). In his spare time, Luciano has an active lifestyle which includes hiking, running, and traveling.

According to LCLD President Robert J. Grey, Jr., the LCLD Pathfinder Program offers participants “intensive in-person training, online experiential learning, and opportunities to network with peers and esteemed LCLD Fellows in small group gatherings.”

“We believe it’s a program that can help catapult a person’s career forward.”

Merchant & Gould is proud to be an LCLD Member Firm.

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

Founded in 2009, LCLD is a growing organization of more than 285 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. The LCLD Fellows program, which has trained more than a thousand mid-career attorneys since 2011, is one of LCLD’s most important initiatives. The LCLD Pathfinder Program is now in its third year as a full-scale program, having been piloted in 2015 among a select number of LCLD Member law firms and corporations. It is an initiative that has filled a gap in LCLD programming, targeting junior associates and the youngest members of corporate law departments. For information, visit www.lcldnet.org.