Theresa Orr’s experience spans transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters, and includes both in-house and law firm leadership roles.
Theresa’s legal career began in line at a movie theater. She struck up a conversation with a woman who hired her the next day as a clerk at an IP firm. Theresa remained at the firm for 12 years, advancing from law clerk to associate to partner and building a practice that included patent, trademark, and copyright prosecution; litigation in federal courts across the U.S.; and counseling corporate clients to leverage their IP portfolios through joint ventures, acquisitions, and licensing.
She then moved in-house, joining the law department of a consumer products manufacturer as its general counsel and chief patent counsel, enabling Theresa to expand her management, corporate governance, and business strategy skills. Because the company relied on third-party suppliers in China, she was quickly initiated to counterfeiting and developed an anti-counterfeiting program to stem the influx of counterfeit products at the border.
Later, as vice president and general counsel of a Tier 2 international automotive company that produced bearings and steering columns, Theresa led an industry association anti-counterfeiting committee, presenting to and joining in raids with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, FBI, Homeland Security, and Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers throughout North, Central, and South America. She also co-authored the U.S. Bearing Brand Protection Handbook and spearheaded the World Bearing Association’s StopFakeBearings.com campaign.
Theresa’s sharp business acumen comes from her extensive drafting and negotiation experience, including multilevel contracts, sales and purchase agreements, trade secret provisions, and the full gamut of intellectual property protections. She has implemented numerous internal programs focused on IP, warranties, product quality control, and human resources, as well as compliance with NHTSA, consumer product safety, ITAR, EAR, and Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act regulations.
Areas of Practice
- IP Strategy and Counseling
- Trademarks and Copyrights
- U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
- Michigan State University College of Law
- Juris Doctor, cum laude, 1989
- Western Michigan University
- Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1982
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of Michigan
- Member, Intellectual Property, International, and Master Lawyers Sections
- Former Co-Chair, Business Law Section In-House Counsel Committee
- Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
- Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional
- American Bearing Manufacturers Association
- Former Vice Chair, Anti-Counterfeiting Committee
- World Bearing Association
- Board Representative
- “Key Opportunities and Concerns for Legal Departments in an Evolving Industry” (moderator), Autolex Autonomous Vehicle Legal Forum, 2018
- “ABMA Efforts to Stop Fake Bearings Presentation,” Bearing Specialists Association Winter Meeting, 2015
- “General and In-House Counsel Roundtable” (panelist), Crain’s Detroit Business Summit, 2014
- “A Comprehensive Approach to Protecting Designs: The Overlap of Patent Design, Trade Dress, and Copyright Protection,” University of Toledo College of Law, 2011
- StopFakeBearings.com (anti-counterfeiting website and campaign), World Bearing Association, 2018
- U.S. Bearing Brand Protection Handbook (co-author), American Bearing Manufacturers Association, 2016