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William Y. Klett, III

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  • (T) 803.253.8205
  • (F) 803.727.1452
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Overview

Corky Klett has a broad and diverse intellectual property practice throughout the Southeast and in courts across the United States. While his law practice focuses on intellectual property litigation of all types, he is also routinely involved in the intellectual property aspects of corporate transactions including due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, technology transfer and licensing, as well as intellectual property portfolio creation, management, and enforcement.  He represents both plaintiffs and defendants, and has experience protecting the rights and interests of inventors, engineers, artists, authors, and musicians.

PATENTS

Corky has experience representing clients in patent infringement matters related to a broad range of technologies, and has argued before Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  He litigates both utility and design patents in Federal Court, and has experience before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in the conduct of trials, including inter partes, post-grant, and covered business method patent reviews and derivation proceedings.  Corky’s patent practice also includes rendering infringement and freedom-to-operate opinions.

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Education
  • University of Nebraska, J.D., 1990
  • Colorado School of Mines, B.S.E., 1987
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Texas
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. District Courts in Colorado, South Carolina and the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Tenth and Federal Circuits
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Law and Litigation Sections)
  • Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI)
Recognitions
  • Best Lawyers in America - Intellectual Property (2006-2011); Copyright Law (2012-Present); Trademark Law (2012-Present); Patent Law (2012-Present); Patent Litigation (2012-Present); Intellectual Property Litigation (2012-Present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell - AV-rated
  • Supreme Court of SC's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline (1995-1997)
  • Supreme Court of SC's Commission on Lawyer Conduct (1997-1998; 2000-2004)
  • SC Bar Ethics Advisory Committee - Chair
  • "Legal Elite of the Midlands" - Intellectual Property
  • Listed in Managing Intellectual Property magazine's "IP Stars"

Patents

  • Defense of a large textile manufacturer in a case related to fire retardant textile treatment (Northern District of Illinois).
  • Defense of a manufacturer accused of infringing a hand-held equipment mount patent (Western District of Washington).
  • Defense of a manufacturer accused of infringing a trailer hitch patent (Western District of Oklahoma).
  • Defense of a medical cart manufacturer accused of infringing a mobile clinical workstation patent (Northern District of Georgia).  Such defense included a concurrent reexamination of the patent at issue before the USPTO.
  • Multiple patent enforcement actions against competitors accused of infringing various construction material patents (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a ink manufacturer accused of infringing a patent directed to sublimation inkjet printer inks (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a large insurance claims processor accused of infringing a healthcare management patent (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a beverage blending system manufacturer accused of infringing a patent directed to flavored beverage blending systems (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement action against an infringer of an ATM transport and mounting system (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement of a design patent related to juvenile beverage containers (District of South Carolina).
  • Multiple enforcement actions against competitors accused of infringing various patents related to electrical lighting fixtures (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement of utility and design patents against a competitor related to a system of removing construction debris (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement of a patent directed to a transformable mechanic’s creeper (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a manufacturer accused of infringing a patent related to paintball accessories (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a steel manufacturer accused of infringing fastening tool patents (District of Arizona).   Such defense included a concurrent reexamination of the patents at issue before the USPTO.

Trademarks

  • Management and enforcement of the trademark portfolio of a preeminent publisher of lawyer referral directories.
  • Multiple trademark infringement actions against competitors marketing counterfeit coating products (District of South Carolina, Western District of North Carolina, Middle District of Florida).
  • Defense of trademark action against a manufacturer of optical solutions (District of Nevada).
  • Defense of a trademark action against a resort hotel (Southern District of Georgia).
  • Defense of trademark claims against a real estate management company by a consortium of resort hotels.
  • Defense of a trademark infringement action against a travel services company (District of South Carolina).
  • Prosecution of a trademark and trade dress infringement claim against a competing heavy equipment manufacturer (District of South Carolina).
  • Prosecution of a trademark infringement claim on behalf of a national dry cleaning franchisor against a terminated franchisee (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a trademark and trade dress infringement claim relating to cookie packaging (Western District of North Carolina).
  • Prosecution of trademark infringement claim on behalf of a miniature golf business (District of Delaware).
  • Prosecution of a trademark infringement claim against a competing manufacturer of boat heaters (District of South Carolina).
  • Prosecution of unfair competition claims against competing resellers of luxury bath fixtures (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a national restaurant and bar chain accused of infringing trademark associated with the menu items of a local competitor (District of South Carolina).

Copyrights

  • Corky was regional counsel and led a team in the management of all internet music downloading cases in North and South Carolina brought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  These efforts resulted in the filing of over 100 cases in South Carolina alone for copyright infringement arising out of peer-to-peer music file sharing.
  • Lead counsel in enforcing copyrights in house plans authored by a nationally recognized, award-winning designer against a national monthly publication (Northern District of Alabama).
  • Defense of copyright infringement claims asserted by a decorative sign company against a competing manufacturer (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of an exercise video production company against claims of copyright infringement by a set designer (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement action by nationally recognized artist whose copyrights were infringed by counterfeit reproductions of his work (District of South Carolina).
  • Defense of a test preparation company accused of infringing copyrights held by a testing service (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement of copyrights in maps against an infringing competitor (District of South Carolina).
  • Enforcement of copyrights owned by a regional home builder against a local competitor (District of South Carolina)

Trade Secrets

  • Defending a distributor of sanitizing solutions accused of misappropriating product formulas and directly competing against distributor’s former supplier.
  • Defending a parts manufacturer accused of misappropriating design information from a former customer.
  • Enforcing on behalf of a European company a foreign judgment obtained in Ireland against a former employee accused of misappropriating confidential design information and data (District of South Carolina).
  • Protecting the proprietary information of a nonparty to a patent infringement action where client was served with a subpoena requesting such information from both foreign and domestic company divisions (District of South Carolina).

Software

  • Arbitration of a failed software implementation project on behalf of a major utilities provider against a software developer.
  • Assisted in the representation of a major New York savings and loan relating to a failed computer system project (District of South Carolina).

Entertainment

  • Development, monetization, and enforcement of a large IP portfolio consisting of music copyrights, trademarks, and publicity rights.
  • Auditing of royalties.
  • Negotiation of various production deals associated with music, film, and performance productions.
  • Management of copyright terms and termination rights.

Corporate/Transactional

  • Assistance with IP due diligence in corporate sales and acquisitions.
  • Drafting of license agreements for patents, trademarks, or other intangible property.
  • Drafting nondisclosure, assignment, and joint development agreements for use with employees, vendors, or third parties.
  • Assistance with IP issues arising in bankruptcy and tax proceedings.
Overview

Corky is a frequent speaker on a variety of intellectual property issues. He has taught copyright and entertainment law at the University of South Carolina School of Law, and participated as a speaker at numerous continuing legal education seminars on a variety of IP and ethics topics.

Outside the office, Corky spends as much time as possible with his wife and four children. Corky is also an avid soccer player, having played on scholarship in college, as well as professionally. He still plays in amateur leagues and has been a member of amateur State Cup title teams in Colorado, South Carolina, and Texas. He has had the privilege of coaching all four of his children's soccer teams.

When he is not on the soccer field, Corky enjoys international travel, snow skiing, and reading.

Corky Klett main bio photoCorky Klett outside NP photo

"Sometimes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...Sometimes it's simply infringement."