• About

    Pamela Chestek practices in trademark, copyright, open source, advertising, and marketing law. She has worked in both law firm and in-house environments serving a variety of fields—-footwear and apparel, software, design, retail, and manufacturing are a few.  She has been an adjunct law professor and often writes and speaks about ownership disputes in patent, trademark and copyright cases, including scholarly articles on the subject. You can read more of her writing on her blog, Property, intangible.

    Pam also has extensive experience in the open source community, in particular dealing with the challenge of managing brand identity and consumer expectation in a culture rooted in free access, collaboration and sharing. She brings her experience working collaboratively and transparently to all her client relationships, no matter what the organization.

    Pam has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre, awarded with high distinction from the Pennsylvania State University. Her law degree is from the Western New England College School of Law (now Western New England University), awarded summa cum laude. She is admitted to practice in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina. You can .


    • The Corporate Enterprise as Trademark Owner—The Proper Interpretation of “In re Wella,” 108 Trademark Rep. 1081 (2018)
    • A Theory of Joint Authorship For Free and Open Source Software Projects 162. Colo. Tech. L.J. 285 (2018)
    • Commentary: The Switch Thrown Wrong—How Railrunner Sent Intent-to-Use
      Down the Wrong Tracks
      , 106 Trademark Rep. 693 (2016)
    • Commentary: B&B Hardware and Ex Parte Appeal105 Trademark Rep. 810 (2015)
    • On Notice, Not Claimed: The Role of the Copyright Registration System, Landslide, Jan.-Feb. 2015 at 30 (2015)
    • Commentary: Let’s Kill the “Naked License” Defense, 104 Trademark Rep. 924 (2014)
    • Who Owns the Open Source Project Name?, 103 Trademark Rep. 1240 (2013)
    • Who Owns the Project Name?, International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, 5(2), pp 105 – 120
      DOI: 10.5033/ifosslr.v5i2.87
    • The Uneasy Role of Trade Marks in Free and Open Source Software: You Can Share My Code But You Can’t Share My Brand, 7 J. Intell. Prop. Law & Prac. 126 (2012); republished in 102 Trademark Rep. 1028 (2012)
    • Who Owns the Mark? A Single Framework for Resolving Trademark Ownership Disputes, 96 Trademark Rep. 681 (2006).
    • Control of Trademarks by the Intellectual Property Holding Company, 41 IDEA 1 (2001) (copy available on request).


    Maintainer of FLOSS Model Trademark Guidelines.

    Speaking engagements:

    March 25, 2017: “Rock and Roll Bands and Free Software Projects: A Comparative Analysis,” LibrePlanet 2017
    February 3, 2017: “The Backlash from Mismanagement of Inventorship in Multi-Party Deals,” AIPLA 2017 Mid-Winter Institute
    December 21, 2016: “Trademarks in Open Source,” PLI Seminar Open Source Software 2016 – From Compliance to Cooperation
    March 30, 2016: “Trademarks in FOSS,” Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit
    March 18, 2016: “Issue Preclusion and the USPTO,” North Carolina Bar Association 2016 Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Meeting
    January 22, 2016: “Trademarks and FOSS: Entirely the Same and Entirely Different,” SCaLE 14x, Southern California Linux Expo
    December 16, 2015: “Trademarks in Open Source,” PLI Seminar Open Source and Free Software 2015: Benefits, Risks and Challenges
    August 9, 2015: “How the Power of Community Prevails — It’s Not Only About the Code,” GUADEC The GNOME Conference 2015
    January 31, 2015: “Fog of War – The GNOME Trademark Battle,” FOSDEM 2015 Legal and Policy Issues devroom
    December 10, 2014: Panelist for “Hot Topics: Critical Issues and Important Cases in FOSS,” PLI Seminar Open Source and Free Software 2014: Benefits, Risks and Challenges
    November 7, 2014: “How to Identify and Manage Intellectual Property Rights in Bankruptcy,” 37th Annual Bankruptcy Institute (paper; presentation)
    September 20, 2014: “How to Write a Good Identification of Goods for Trademark Applications,” Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Association (original slides here, public domain version for download here)
    March 27, 2014: “Trademarks for Open Collaboration: Model Guidelines and an Unconventional Policy from Wikimedia,” Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit
    March 21, 2014: “Allowing Third-Party Use of Marks Without Risking Abandonment” (presentation; paper), North Carolina Bar Association 2014 IP Section Annual Meeting
    February 2, 2014: “Why Licenses Requiring the Use of Trademarks are Non-Free,” FOSDEM 2014 Legal and Policy Issues devroom
    December 11, 2013: Panelist for “Hot Topics: Critical Issues and Important Cases in FOSS,” PLI Seminar Open Source and Free Software 2013: Benefits, Risks and Challenges
    October 24, 2013: “The Brand is All You’ve Got,” All Things Open Conference
    September 21, 2013: “Filling Out the Lowly Copyright Application (and What the Courts Don’t Get About It),” Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Association
    August 8, 2013: “Group Discussion: Privacy, Art and the Law,” Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh
    July 10, 2013: “Trademarks, Copyrights, and Intellectual Property: How to Protect your Work,” ReDress Raleigh
    February 2, 2013: “How to Share a Trademark,” FOSDEM 2013 Legal Issues devroom
    January 15, 2013: “Intellectual Property and Copyright Law for Artists,” VAE, Visual Art Exchange
    October 9, 2012: “Image Rights: Who Bears the Risk?”, AIGA Raleigh
    March 23, 2012: “Who Owns the Intellectual Property?“, North Carolina Bar Association
    April 29, 2011: “Trademark Ownership,” The TTAB Comes to Boston!