Jill McWhirter, a partner in the Houston office and a member of the energy practice’s management team, advises clients on innovative intellectual property (“IP”) strategies as well as legal challenges they may face to succeed in the highly competitive world market. Her approach is simple: align her clients’ business goals with the ability to protect all aspects of their IP, optimize and monetize its value, and increase their market position.
With Ms. McWhirter’s undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering and her experience working as a “decontamination engineer” (preparing for disposal or radioactive and hazardous waste materials) at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the energy industry has been a central component of Ms. McWhirter’s IP practice. She spends a significant amount of time focused on strengthening the IP position of her energy clients (including Varel International, Key Energy Services, Alaska Energy Resources, Endicott Biofuels and Sadara Chemical Company) and their technology, whether through IP prosecution, contract and licensing negotiations or acquisitions. She has particular expertise working with energy clients as they begin to develop and/or expand their IP footprint by pulling the right K&S team together to provide the full range of IP expertise that King & Spalding has to offer.
In addition, she leads the IP practice’s IP Tech Center which comprises a dedicated and experienced prosecution team that assist clients with all phases of intellectual property prosecution work by delivering uncompromising quality on a cost effective basis. Ms. McWhirter’s approach to cost-effective management of IP portfolios can be seen in clients she has represented over the years, including Cooper Industries, United Parcel Services, Igloo Corporation and The Coca-Cola Company.
Ms. McWhirter has given numerous in-house presentations to various Fortune 500 clients detailing the need for and benefits of intellectual property protection and implementation of intellectual property strategies. Ms. McWhirter is a member of the Texas, Alabama and Washington, D.C. bars, and is a member of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. She holds memberships in the American Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Houston Intellectual Property Law Association and International Trademark Association. While in law school, Ms. McWhirter served as a legal intern with Hon. Craig Enoch in the Texas Supreme Court.