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About us

Darden Betts Strategic Intellectual Property Counselors is a Black, woman-owned law firm specializing in intellectual property (“IP”) law, Rights of Publicity, and name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) protections. Our law firm aims to provide legal services to established and small businesses to help them strategically use their IP assets to grow their business and effectively manage and protect their patents, trademarks, and copyrights domestically and worldwide. The firm will also assist athletes and entertainers protect their NIL rights, including rights of publicity and privacy, under federal and state laws.

Darden Betts is also committed to reducing the innovator diversity gap by supporting the growth and sustainability of small and emerging businesses with founders of color, particularly women and Black and African American founders from historically under resourced and underrepresented communities. Research shows that although the demand for Black businesses and Black brands is rising, only a fraction of Black businesses make it to their third year of operation. For example, only four percent (4%) of Black-owned businesses survive the first three and a half years of operation, compared to 55.5 percent for all other businesses. Research, as well as our work with entrepreneurs and innovators, shows that awareness of IP rights, how to strategically position those assets, and entrepreneurial strategy may help sustain the longevity of these businesses. Our firm provides educational outreach in these areas.

Lolita Darden, the managing partner at Darden Betts has over twenty years of experience in IP law, including experience as chief IP counsel for a start-up consumer products company and as a law firm partner overseeing the patent practice group. Lolita’s experience also includes patent and trademark prosecution, trademark oppositions, litigation, IP portfolio management, IP transactional practice, including licensing and leading IP due diligence teams,
NIL counseling and protection. Our trademark group lead partner previously served as a trademark examining attorney and is experienced in counseling clients regarding NIL protection and sports team management and negotiation.

Loletta (Lolita) Darden

Managing Partner

Lolita Darden is a registered patent attorney with over 20 years of experience as an intellectual property practitioner. She has participated in several legal precedent setting patent and trademark cases, as well as copyright cases that have led to positive outcomes from a social justice perspective.  

Lolita’s practice includes all aspects of intellectual property counseling, including patent and trademark application preparation and prosecution; litigation; licensing, as well as copyright counseling and registration, rights of publicity and privacy licensing and protection; advertising, marketing, and brand protection; and sports law advocacy. 

Lolita is also a Visiting Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the IP and Technology Law Clinic at The George Washington University Law School, which provides IP legal services to clients from communities that have been historically and intentionally excluded from access to economic opportunity. 

Previously, Lolita was a tenured Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the IP Clinic at Suffolk University Law School for six years, where she supervised students on all aspects of IP practice including litigation. 

Before joining Suffolk University, Lolita was a partner at Sachnoff & Weaver, where she led the patent prosecution department, assisted with IP litigation, and represented small and emerging businesses in asserting and protecting their IP rights. 

Prior to joining Sachnoff & Weaver, Lolita was Chief IP Counsel for a small consumer products company, where she managed the company’s IP prosecution and litigation portfolios and pioneered a strategy for strategically using and creating IP assets that enhanced the company’s competitive strength. 

Lolita has been appointed by Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, to the Patent Public Advisory Counsel, where she advises the Commissioner of Patents on patent matters.  She is also a member of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, which focuses on attorney professionalism.

Marcya Betts

Trademark Partner

Prior to forming Darden Betts, Marcya worked for the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a Trademark Examining Attorney and has extensive experience in managing and resolving substantive and procedural issues pertaining to trademark prosecution. As an Examiner Attorney, Marcya prosecuted trademark applications related to the Controlled Substance and the Foods, Drug, and Cosmetic Acts, and was a mentor to new Examining Attorney.  

Marcya earned her J.D./MBA from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as a student attorney for Suffolk’s Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic. Before entering law school, Marcya graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration.

About our clients

We are dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes, from emerging startups and nonprofits to established corporations.

Our attorneys have experience working with clients from the following industries:

  • Consumer products, including small appliances; electronics; eyewear; footwear;
    clothing; accessories; fitness; and beauty, hair care and wellness
  • Professional Sports (football and basketball)
  • Beverages and beverage containers, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Entertainment — music production, small venue concert licensing, songwriter and
    performance agreements, screenplay and stage play writer’s agreements, and
    documentary film review and clearance
  • Restaurants, specifically fast food national and local chains
  • Automotive
  • Medical devices
  • Building materials and interior design
  • Paper processing and products
  • Educational research institutes
  • Mechanical and electromechanical devices
  • Wearable technology

Attorney Betts is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and her DC practice is supervised by one or more D.C. Bar Members.