Susan Farley has earned her reputation as a highly knowledgeable and skilled litigator in design patent law, trademark and copyright enforcement. She has been lead counsel in hundreds of cases, developing successful strategies to prevent unfair knock offs and in defense of those who have not crossed the line. An IP design law innovator, she has won several precedent setting cases, including a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a cutting edge trade dress case. Her “in the trenches” experience includes district courtrooms around the country, appeals courts, foreign courtrooms and co-authoring briefs on important design law cases at the US Supreme Court. She has successfully briefed and argued hundreds of motions, appeared in countless hearings, conducted numerous oral arguments and tried bench and jury cases. She is recognized by her clients as smart, hard-working, detail oriented and tenacious with a keen ability to stick to the principles of the case at hand.

Susan’s counsel in developing strategies to prevent infringements before they happen and resolve them without full blown litigation when they do is a great asset making her constantly in demand by a robust list of clients from around the US and the world. Since its inception, she has been voted by her colleagues as a Super Lawyer in Upstate New York, and in the Corporate Edition, has achieved an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell Peer Review, and AV Preeminent by the Judicial Edition.  She was named one of the top 25 Women Lawyers in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers across all disciplines. Susan’s insight and work has been featured in scores of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and she is a frequently sought after speaker on design law topics by countless academic institutions, trade associations, bar associations and USPTO events. Her chapter on design law is the legal authority in THE STATE OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN PROFESSION, published by Fairchild books. She chaired the committee which proposed the first and only comprehensive set of jury instructions in design patent cases and were unanimously adopted by the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association.  Today it’s the seminal work used by Federal Courts in design patent jury cases. The Design Rights Committee at IPO won Committee of the Year under her leadership. Susan also provides expert witness services on the subject of design law and litigation.

Susan is a proven team leader of the litigation practice area at HRFM providing clients with a deep knowledge of how to overlap utility and design patents, copyright and trademarks in enforcement and procurement. She brings to each client a real world strategy for cost effective use of Intellectual Property Laws in their specific market. She credits the key to her loyal and successful practice to her sincere interest in the success of her clients and the ability to select and guide a great team to get the client the results they deserve.

Ms. Farley is a registered patent attorney earning a BS in Chemistry from Union College, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduating in the top 3% of her class with a full second major in German. She studied a year at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich concentrating on Inorganic Synthesis. Thereafter, she graduated with honors from Albany Law School, where she finished as a top 10 graduate and member of the Justinian Honor Society.

At HRFM, Susan is one of three members of the Management Committee and for years directed the firm’s internal education training program for attorneys. She is Chairman of the IP and Innovation Inn of Court of Upstate NY, an association of practitioners and judges focused on the ethical and collegial advancement of IP matters in Federal Court. She served on the committee writing the Local Patent Rules for the Federal Court in the NDNY which became the model for the three other Federal District Courts in NYS. For many years she served as advisor to the Foundation for Design Integrity, and is a former adjunct professor of law.

Community service has always been a passion for Susan who has served as trustee/board member of many civic organizations including Albany Law School, Northeast Parent and Child Society, Center for Economic Growth, chairing the First Capital District Business Hall of Fame event, and Junior Achievement where she also served as Chairman of the Board.

She is admitted to the USPTO and in Federal District and State Courts in Illinois, New York and Maine, as well as the Federal Court of Appeals for the Federal and 2nd Circuits and the US Supreme Court.

Super Lawyer Badge SEF (H0379127xD16FB)

When is an imitation an illegal knockoff?, The State of the Interior Design Profession, Chapter 6  (March 1, 2010)

Taming the Copy Cats, Contract Magazine  (May 1, 2005)

Guarding Against Knock Offs: Protecting Your Blood, Sweat and Design, ASID- ICON Magazine (Spring 2005)

New York Times, Showroom Guilty in Counterfeiting Case (May 13, 2004)

Co-Author: The Road to Trade Dress Protection for Product Configuration: Not a Dead End Despite TrafFix and The Functionality Roadblocks, The New York State Bar Association Bright Ideas, Vol I  (June 1, 2004)

Presenting the Trade Secret Owner’s Case, Trade Secrets, Practicing Law Institute. Quoted in: Los Angeles Times, The Great Pretenders (June 2004)

The Law and Product Protection – Hearth and Home (May 2003)

Knock Offs – Laying Down the Law, In Furniture Magazine (September 2002)

Trademark Law Quick Reference Practice Tips, New York State Bar Association (2001)

Getting Burned By a Knock Off, Home Furniture Magazine (1998)

Protection of Designs, Foundation for Design Integrity (1997)

Designers Want Copycats to Knock it Off, Wall Street Journal (1997)

Protection of Product Configuration Using Copyright Laws, New York State Bar Association (1996)

San Francisco Examiner, To Catch a Design Thief (March 1996)

Pitfalls of Practice, Intellectual Property Law, Chapter 13, New York State Bar Association Guide for Young Lawyers (1994)

Introduction to Trademark Law, Bright Ideas, New York State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section Newsletter (1992)

Primer on Intellectual Property Law, New York State Bar Association Pitfalls of Practice (1991)


International Trademark Association 2005 Annual Meeting San Diego, CA; Mock Jury Trial Lead Counsel: Tiger Woods Trademark Infringement Mock Case – Runaway Jury Presentation (May 2005)

NeoCon World’s Trade Fair ‘05 (June 2005), Promoting Original Design: An Intellectual Property Primer

New York State Bar Association (October 2004), Program Chair, Bridging the Gap – Intellectual Property Law

NEWH Presentation (February 19, 2004), Promoting Original Design

HD2003-Expo & Conference: Defining Hospitality Design (May 2003), Promoting Original Design: An Intellectual Property Law Primer

NeoCon World’s Trade Fair ’02-Chicago (June 2002), Protection against Knock- Offs

Smithsonian Institute: Cooper Hewitt Conference on Authenticity (April 2002), Standards of Authenticity

New York State Bar Association (October 2001), The TrafFix Debate

New York State Bar Association (September 2001), Bridging the Gap – Intellectual Property Law and the Internet

Lightfair 2001 (June 2001), Liability For Designers: Lighting and Law

San Francisco Design Week (January 2001), Intellectual Property Law in the Design Industry

New York Design Week (October 2000), Intellectual Property Law in the Design Industry

Neocon –West (March 2000), Intellectual Property protection in the Design Industry

Neocon 1999-Chicago (June 1999), Intellectual Property Law in the Design Industry

International Trademark Association (April, 1999), U.S. Roundtable Program-Product Configurations and Packaging

New York State Bar Association (February 1997), Trade Dress Litigation Update

New York State Bar Association-IP section (January, 1996), Protection of Product Configuration Using Copyright Laws

Foundation for Design Integrity (Fall 1996), “Don’t Knock It Off”