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Michele Ciotola, Top 25 Women in Business 2022 Honoree

Michele Ciotola Employer: Cantor Colburn Title: Partner & Chair, Trademark and Copyright Department Check out all of the WIB honorees here!
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Michele Ciotola oversees a team of 20 intellectual property professionals and is active in firm management, including the firm’s equity advancement and women’s initiative

Ciotola cultivates an inclusive and team-driven environment. A self-proclaimed trademark nerd, she enjoys working with her clients to build and enforce their brands and creative content in the United States and internationally.

Q: What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far?

I’m a founding member of the firm’s women’s initiative employee resource group and serve on the firm’s equity advancement committee, which leads the firm in its diversity, equity, and inclusion work. My team and I deeply value creators — we offer a special copyright law session for artists of all kinds — so that they understand their IP rights regarding their
artistic creations.

Q: What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

The IP Duo was born during the pandemic: Patent attorney Tina Dorr and I teamed up for business development. We write articles, give talks and we are in the process of launching a podcast, IP Obsessed. I want to continue to build our IP Duo brand.

Q: What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

Assuming the role of chair during a pandemic brought many challenges, including transitioning the longstanding clients of my retiring partner to my responsibility, without the opportunity for in-person meetings.

I had to be more intentional and inclusive in my communications and proactive in many areas. All this while working from home, where my school-aged children would often join internal meetings uninvited.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to adapt as a leader?

The pandemic forced me to immediately embrace video conferencing. And communication became more crucial than before — video conferencing, whether to collaborate with colleagues or clients, or just to connect — allowed me to not just maintain relationships but strengthen them.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

I want to create memories with my family. This includes trying new recipes together, planting a garden, hiking, and many arts and craft projects that take over our kitchen table. My side hustle is chauffeuring my children to their activities.

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