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Mr. Abruzzese is Chairman of the Intellectual Property Department. His practice focuses primarily on trademarks, patents, copyrights, technology, software, e-commerce and other intellectual property rights as well as the licensing and other transactional matters involving intellectual property rights.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Abruzzese served for 25 years as intellectual property counsel to ITT Corporation. For the last nine years he was Associate General Counsel-Intellectual Property, General Patent Counsel, Department Manager and Vice President of ITT. He maintained the same position and titles at Starwood Hotels & Resorts following its acquisition of ITT in 1998 and continued to be responsible for the full range of intellectual property activities of the companies of ITT and now Starwood, including Sheraton, Caesars Palace, Westin and Starwood. He was also responsible for the intellectual property activity of the formerly owned businesses of ITT Defense, ITT Automotive, ITT Semiconductors, ITT World Directories, Madison Square Garden, ITT Educational Services and the WBIS-TV Station.
Mr. Abruzzese's legal, management and administrative responsibilities included preparation and negotiation of transactional contracts for trademark, technology and other IP licenses, acquisitions and divestitures, software system development, transitional services, and joint ventures; the clearance, filing, prosecution and policing of an extensive trademark portfolio; assuring that the trademark license and franchise contracts for the Sheraton and Westin Hotels adapted to each country's laws and regulations; legal and contract support for Caesars' active merchandising licensing program; and WBIS-TV promotional development contracts.