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Karl W. Means

Karl W. Means

Karl began his legal career with the United States Customs Service, now known as U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  His work involved the enforcement of border control laws and compliance with Customs regulations and as Senior Attorney in the Intellectual Property Rights Branch he handled cases dealing the enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights at the border, the detention and seizure of infringing imports, exclusion orders against infringing goods issued by the International Trade Commission and issuing decisions concerning the infringement of U.S. intellectual property rights. His work also involved tariff classification and duty assessment, as well as matters involving the substantial transformation, marking, and valuation of imported merchandise. Karl was also the principal author of federal regulations concerning the entry, detention, and seizure of parallel imports, otherwise known as gray market goods, and he represented Customs at the Customs Cooperation Council in Brussels and the Office of the United States Trade Representative during bilateral treaty negotiations and Special 301 reviews.

After leaving Customs Karl joined the intellectual property group at a midsized Washington area law firm where he supported corporate and business attorneys applying his intellectual property knowledge to a broad range of business situations. Initially, his practice included searching and advising on trademark and copyright matters, trademark and copyright registration, and the enforcement of intellectual property rights against infringers. However, as a partner in the corporate department he gained experience in a wide range of corporate matters such as forming corporations and limited liability companies, nondisclosure agreements, invention assignments and non-compete agreements, private placements and company acquisitions. And as Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group he oversaw administration of the trademark docket and worked with clients on all phases of brand development from conception and design to advertising, marketing, licensing, manufacturing, and product distribution.

Since joining Miles & Stockbridge in 2014, Karl has drawn on all of his prior experience to advise clients on issues ranging from international trade and border enforcement to IP development and management, and from transactional due diligence to corporate governance and import/export compliance. He still works with business clients on many different business matters, as well as trademark and copyright development. He draws extensively on his experience with Customs to advise matter clients with all types of trade and border enforcement issues. In today's international trade climate Karl's advice regarding retaliatory tariffs and import/export compliance has become particularly valuable. He also oversees IP portfolios for clients and advises on licensing, digital publication and e-commerce issues.

Affiliations & Recognition

Professional Involvement

  • District of Columbia Bar Association: Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section Chair (2006-2011)

  • International Trademark Association: Outreach Subcommittee, Anticounterfeiting and Enforcement Committee Chair (2002-2004)

  • Maryland Bar Association: Member (2000-present)

  • Maryland Technology Development Center: Member; Board of Advisors and Tenant Review Committee (2006-2013)

  • Montgomery County Students Information Technology Foundation: General Counsel (2003-2014)

  • Oklahoma Bar Association: Member (1989-present)

  • Washington Area  Lawyers for the Arts: Member; Education Committee (2009-present)


  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent® Rated


Case Examples


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Speaking Engagements