Monica Riva Talley



Monica Talley's headshot
The Managing IP Americas Awards named Monica the 2022 U.S. National Practitioner of the Year for Trademark Prosecution.

Monica Talley is a director and heads Sterne Kessler's Trademark & Brand Protection Practice. For more than 25 years she has specialized in strategic trademark counseling and portfolio enhancement, developing anti-counterfeiting solutions and strategies, and resolving trademark disputes. Monica is particularly sought after for her expertise in enforcing brand rights against infringers and counterfeiters seeking to profit from her clients’ well-known brands. In addition to managing her robust practice, she has worked as an adjunct professor teaching trademark law at The George Washington University Law School.

Ranked as one of the leading trademark prosecution and strategy attorneys in Washington, DC, Monica is noted for her global brand protection and commercialization strategies. She has been consecutively ranked in the prestigious World Trademark Review 1000 (WTR1000) since 2012.  In 2024, the editors report, “Monica is a true subject-matter expert and a trusted business partner to numerous household-name brands” and she is “quick to get to the key strategic points and dispense succinct advice.” The 2022 edition includes, “Monica is lauded as someone who “protects clients’ brands like they’re her own and is brilliant on strategy and communication” she “runs an impressive team that can handle a large workflow without ever letting matters drop.”  Notably, Monica was named the U.S. National Practitioner of the Year for Trademark Prosecution at the 2022 Managing IP Americas Awards, and the publication has named her an "IP Star" since 2013 in addition to recognizing her as one of the magazine's "Top 250 Women in IP." Further, Monica has been ranked among the "leading IP practitioners in the world" by the World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) and was among the elite attorneys included in the 2022 "WIPR Leaders" publication.

Monica is also well-versed in prosecuting and defending opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She handles a wide range of Internet trademark and domain name disputes; files arbitration complaints under ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy; negotiates resolutions to disputes; drafts advantageous settlement and coexistence agreements; and is skilled at negotiating and drafting license agreements. Sterne Kessler is an Official Agent for the Trademark Clearinghouse, and Monica assists brand owners with navigating the changing landscape of ICANN's evolving gTLD system.

Having worked in advertising and marketing prior to her entry into the field of law, Monica is particularly known for providing clients with creative and practical solutions that work within both business and legal parameters. In addition to being sought after for her business acumen, Monica is well-known for her ability to foster strong, mutually rewarding client relationships. In recognition of her excellent client service and the quality of her work, Monica received the Lexology Client Choice Award in the Intellectual Property: Trademarks category within the District of Columbia in 2021 and 2022.

Monica serves a broad base of international clients in the consumer products, apparel, food and beverage, manufacturing, telecom, music, biotechnology, information technology, media, and entertainment fields. She also represents numerous associations and non-profits, and works with clients in registering and enforcing certification marks.

Monica frequently speaks and writes on trademark issues to a variety of public and private audiences. She has been active for many years in leading intellectual property organizations, including the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association (IPO). She is the Vice Chair of IPO's Anti-Counterfeiting Committee and Co-Chair of AIPLA's Cannabis Tech Subcommittee, serves on INTA’s Brands and Innovation Committee, and served as an editor for The Trademark Reporter for four years. Monica has penned extensive content for Sterne Kessler’s well-read “MarkIt to Market” newsletter and other leading publications. She authored the trademark chapter of the Thomson Reuters Westlaw book, Patent Office Litigation -- Second Edition, and JD Supra recognized her with a “Reader’s Choice Award,” for excellence in writing and thought leadership in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

While attending law school at George Mason University School of Law, Monica worked as a trademark attorney assistant at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She earned her B.S.B.A. in marketing and management from the University of Richmond.


  • World Trademark Review 1000, "The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals" (2024 - 2012)
  • WIPR Insights USA Trademarks, "Non-Contentious - Recommended" (2023)
  • Lexology, "Client Choice Award for IP - Trademarks - United States: District of Columbia" (2023 - 2021)
  • Managing IP Americas Awards, "National Trademark Prosecution Practitioner of the Year" (2022)
  • Managing IP, "Top 250 Women in IP" (2022, 2020 - 2013)
  • Managing IP, "IP Star" (2023 - 2013)
  • Who's Who Legal, "IP - Trademarks" (2023 - 2021, 2019)
  • World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), "WIPR Leaders" (2023 - 2022, 2020 - 2017)
  • Super Lawyers, "Super Lawyer - Washington DC" (2023 - 2019)
  • JD Supra, "Reader's Choice Award" (2021 - 2017)
  • Managing IP Americas Awards, "Nominee - National Trademark Practitioner of the Year"  (2021)
  • Lawyer Monthly, "Women in Law Award - Trademarks Category" (2020, 2018 - 2015)
  • The National Law Review, "Go-To Thought Leader" (2018)
  • Euromoney Expert Guides, "Trade Mark Guide" (2018 - 2016)
  • Burton Award, "Excellence in Legal Writing" (2005)

Thought Leadership

Past Events

Contact Information

Phone Number


George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
Dean's Scholar
Marketing and Management
University of Richmond


District of Columbia
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Supreme Court of Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia


  • American Bar Association, IP Section
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • AIPLA Cannabis Tech Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • ChIPs Women in IP
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association, Trademark Office Practice Committee
  • International Trademark Association, Brands and Innovation Committee (2022-2023)
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Women's Bar Association