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Melinda S. Giftos


33 East Main Street, Suite 300
P.O. Box 1379
Madison, WI 53701-1379
Phone: (608) 234-6076

Intellectual Property Litigation PDF
Mindi Giftos is the managing shareholder of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek's Madison office. She is the team leader of WHD's Technology Law team and is a key member of WHD's Intellectual Property practice group. Mindi represents clients in a wide array of industries with complex intellectual property and information technology matters. Mindi is well-versed in emerging IP and IT topics and is skilled at presenting them in a clear and readily understandable manner. For that reason, she not only effectively communicates with and represents her clients, she is also frequently asked to speak and write about pertinent IP and IT topics.

Data Privacy & Security
Mindi understands cutting edge technology issues facing businesses today. Data privacy and security is certainly one of those key issues most companies are currently grappling with. Mindi helps clients with data breach preparedness planning, and when necessary, helps clients navigate large and small data breaches of all kinds, including those involving sensitive information (including credit card information) and hacker extortion attempts. She closely tracks developments in the law relating to data privacy and security, and works collaboratively with forensic IT investigators, the FBI (when appropriate) and other regulatory entities to ensure her clients' needs are met in the event of a data breach.

Technology Licensing & Policies Mindi prepares, evaluates and negotiates complex technology transactions, such as open source software and software-as-a-service license agreements, as well as hosting agreements and any other creative arrangements our clients want to develop to suit their business needs. Mindi also assists clients with the development of open source software licensing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the many conflicting open source licenses.

Advertising Law Mindi helps clients navigate the many regulatory laws and guidelines relating to advertising. She assists clients with social media issues, online contests / promotions, enforceability of web site terms, ADA compliance of web sites and fair advertising laws.

Intellectual Property Litigation & Commercial Litigation
Mindi advises and represents clients in their high-stakes intellectual property and information technology disputes. She has represented clients with their copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trade dress infringement and patent infringement disputes in federal courts throughout the United States. She has also represented clients in disputes involving unfair competition, unauthorized sales of goods, misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of non-compete agreements, violations of privacy rights, violations of publicity rights, defamation claims, and distributorship disputes in state and federal courts. Mindi also represents clients in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Intellectual Property Counseling & Protection
Mindi is adept at helping clients identify, register and protect their valuable intellectual property rights – such as trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and proprietary data – in the U.S. and throughout the world. She has extensive experience with the licensing and sale of IP assets and with negotiating and preparing IP-related policies and business arrangements.

Pro Bono Services
Mindi is a member of the Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society. She proudly provides pro bono representation to a number of veterans and non-profit organizations that support members of the U.S. military and veterans. Mindi also provides pro bono representation to youth facing expulsion and other disciplinary proceedings at the Madison Metropolitan School District through the Wisconsin Bar's StEPP project (Student Expulsion and Prevention Project), as well as non-profit organizations attempting to raise awareness of mental health and addiction issues, and to prevent suicide and self-harm.

Community involvement is very important to Mindi. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors, a founding site liaison and active coach for Girls on the Run of Dane County, a positive youth development program which encourages young girls to become self-confident, involved, and healthy leaders. She also served as a director and president of the Board of Directors for Avenues to Community, a support broker agency that provides support services to adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries, from 2008 through 2013.


  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., 2000, with honors; Editor in Chief, Journal of Technology Law & Policy, 1999; Book Awards, Intellectual Property Litigation and Techniques of Growth Management
  • Florida State University, B.S., 1996


  • Wisconsin Supreme Court, 2005
  • Florida Supreme Court, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Awards & Distinctions

  • Named a "Rising Star" by Wisconsin Super Lawyers
  • Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society

Representative Work

  • Assisting clients with data breach responses.
  • Litigating trademark, unfair competition, copyright and patent matters before federal courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
  • Advising clients on comprehensive intellectual property protection, infringement, ownership and licensing.
  • Assisting businesses with identifying key intellectual property assets and advising them on how to most effectively leverage those assets.
  • Advising businesses on how to protect their valuable data and remain complaint with data privacy laws and regulations.
  • Advising businesses on effective branding and marketing, including counsel on promotion/sweepstakes laws, user generated content and ADA compliance for web sites.
  • Advising businesses on use of open source software in commercial applications, and how to internally manage open source software usage.
  • Advising businesses on how to effectively create and maintain Internet presences while avoiding legal pitfalls involved in social media, blogs, testimonials and websites.
  • Navigating businesses through the federal and international trademark and copyright registration processes.
  • Preparing and negotiating a broad range of commercial agreements, such as intellectual property licenses and assignments, confidentiality agreements, entertainment agreements, advertising agreements, production agreements, promotion agreements, sponsorship agreements, agency agreements, software development agreements, software licensing agreements, software as a service agreements, non-compete agreements, and joint venture agreements.
  • Preparing international licensing and distribution agreements.
  • Conducting comprehensive intellectual property due diligence and preparing related reports in connection with large and small mergers and acquisitions.

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