Morrison & Foerster’s diverse, LGBTQ+, and women lawyers hold key leadership positions throughout the firm. They serve on committees that define the firm’s strategy, run our global offices, and lead our best-in-class practices, including commercial litigation, intellectual property, corporate finance, private equity investments and buyouts, consumer products, retail, financial services, employment and labor, life sciences, outsourcing, and mergers and acquisitions.
Our lawyers are united in their passion for what they do and their dedication to our clients and communities. Each month we will feature one of our diverse, LGBTQ+, or women lawyers who calls MoFo home.
Mark Whitaker is co-chair of the firm’s global IP Litigation Practice and cross-disciplinary Intellectual Property Group. Mark’s clients benefit from his more than 30 years of experience crafting litigation strategies in high-stakes patent and trade secret litigation. He is a U.S. Navy veteran, serving as a member of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mark is also a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and was elected to their prestigious Fellows membership. In addition to his regular practice, Mark is also co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Strategy Committee and is a frequent speaker at the American Bar Association and numerous CLE events across the country.
Briefly describe, in two or three sentences, your practice.
My practice involves litigating high-stakes, complex intellectual property disputes involving patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights. And I practice exclusively in federal district courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission in so-called Section 337 investigations, and related appellate courts.
Why did you choose to make MoFo your professional home?
MoFo had and has a reputation in excellence in IP litigation. The firm really possesses a very talented group of lawyers, partners, and associates, who work with a lot of energy toward bringing the best results for our clients. MoFo is also simply a nice, fun place to work where colleagues truly work together and collaborate as opposed to working in silos with limited interaction between the practice groups.
I’ve also been involved in diversity and expanding diversity and inclusion in the various organizations that I’ve been a part of. And one of the things that truly drew me to MoFo, as well, beyond the legal work and its reputation in IP litigation, was the fact that it was a progressive leader in diversity. It’s been a real pleasure to be a co‑chair of the Diversity Strategy Committee that helps drive some of these strategic initiatives for D+I. It is a place that I have enjoyed the past nearly five years and expect to enjoy on into the future.
How do clients benefit from having diverse teams of lawyers working for them?
Diverse teams naturally bring a broad breadth of backgrounds, education, life experiences, and intellect to problem solving, which is important in the work that we do. Having teams that look and think like all of America brings knowledge to every legal endeavor that less diverse teams simply cannot. As a trial attorney, it is especially important for our trial teams to look like the jury sitting in front of us. Having diverse teams is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart business thing to do to bring about the best and most positive results in client matters.
We know our differences make us stronger. At Morrison & Foerster, we not only celebrate our differences, but call upon them to better serve our clients, communities, and teams.
Whether tackling complex disputes, winning high-stakes litigation for our clients, or leading the charge on landmark pro bono cases, our global team of litigators use their strengths to make a difference where it counts.
We are MoFo lawyers, leading the way.
Meet Jina Choi, Litigation Partner
Meet Arturo González, Commercial Litigation + Trial Group Co-Chair
Meet Kristen Mathews, Privacy Partner
Meet Lisa Phelan, Antitrust Partner
Meet Penny Preovolos, Litigation Partner
Meet Colette Reiner Mayer, IP Litigation Partner
Meet Julia Schwalm, Litigation Partner
Meet Stacey Sprenkel, Litigation Partner
Meet John E. Smith, National Security Partner
Meet Louise Stoupe, Commercial Litigation and Trial Group Co-Chair
Meet Christine Wong, Litigation Partner
Meet Chie Yakura, IP Litigation Partner