ITA Spotlight: Janet Garetto, Nixon Peabody
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Janet Garetto, Partner, Nixon Peabody
I love to help people and find myself gravitating toward opportunities to get involved and work with clients and friends to help them achieve their goals. It is who I am and what I am about. Whether it is a start-up tech company or a multi-national Fortune 500, I love to strategize and develop plans for success for those with whom I connect.
Chicagoan by birth or relocation?
I am proud to be a native Southsider. Although I loved my time in Evanston at Northwestern during college, I always knew I would be back on the Southside and now live a mile from my childhood neighborhood.
How did you come to work with Nixon Peabody?
I am part of a team of intellectual property attorneys who opened the Chicago office of Nixon Peabody in 2007. We expanded our operations to become a full- service office offering a wide array of legal services to our clients through our combination with the Ungaretti & Harris firm in 2015. It has been a terrific place to practice law.
What about Nixon Peabody was appealing?
Nixon Peabody is an international law firm serving the various business needs of our clients. Although we have a national platform of resources to serve our clients, we operate nimbly and are very entrepreneurial like a much smaller law firm operation. The people are by far what make our firm great-I enjoy my colleagues and helping our clients together. There is an internal saying that Nixon Peabody stands for "Nice People."
What other roles have you held in the industry? How did they lead you to where you are now?
I have spent my entire career has been spent as an intellectual property attorney serving as external counsel to businesses. I have worked with Fortune 100 companies to start-ups-from each, I have learned about their businesses and nuggets to use in better servicing our clients' needs and business goals.
Out of all the positions you've held, which one is the most interesting?
I have held numerous positions within Nixon Peabody including serving as our Chicago Office Managing Partner and on our firm's board of directors and have much enjoyed the opportunities such roles create to get to know your colleagues better. One of my most loved positions, though, was one outside of the firm. I was nominated to serve as President of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, the oldest association of intellectual property attorneys in the U.S. I enjoyed creating programming and events to bring the Chicago community of intellectual property attorneys together.
What do you like most about what you do?
I love helping businesses navigate the decision tree of how to strategically protect their intellectual property. Exploring the different intellectual property buckets from trade secrets, patents, trademarks and copyrights and how to best leverage those tools to provide a business advantage to our clients is both rewarding and challenging.
What's your outlook on the local tech industry?
I am so excited about the vibe of the local tech industry in Chicago. People here are so passionate about creating and sustaining the local tech community-from the exciting things happening at the ITA to the other local technology hubs and the local universities; we are on a terrific trajectory.
What do you think are the top issues facing the Illinois tech community?
One top issue is retaining local talent in the STEM and technology arenas. We are graduating terrific talent from our excellent local universities and need to keep that talent in the Chicago area. We also need to expand our ability to help support Chicago-based technology start-ups and more advanced stage tech companies with funding for growth to the level seen on the coasts.
Let's talk! While this article has been about me, I want to hear more about you and your business! Perhaps we can brainstorm a solution to a patent portfolio strategy, or maybe you need guidance from a corporate perspective, either way, I love to connect with new people in our ever-growing business community.