Cynthia E. Kernick

Cynthia E. Kernick



  • Duquesne University School of Law, 1985, J.D., cum laude, Order of the Barristers; Executive Article Editor of the Duquesne Law Review
  • Duquesne University, 1976, M.S.
  • Duquesne University, 1974, B.A.

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
  • State Supreme Court - Pennsylvania

Cindy is a trial lawyer focusing on intellectual property litigation. She has tried cases in jurisdictions throughout the United States in actions involving medical devices, software systems, glass, glass coatings, printer cartridges, food processing, printing systems, and various mechanical devices. Cindy has successfully handled multiple Markman hearings before District Court Judges as well as Special Masters, and obtained (or avoided) injunctions in trademark infringement actions in industries as diverse as clothing, food, computers, music, television and other industries.

Cindy has been active throughout her career in shaping the direction of intellectual property law, including through her work on the Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Intellectual Property Law, and is involved in many other intellectual property organizations. She was one of the original drafters of the Local Patent Rules for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

She has written extensively on and is regularly invited to speak regarding the pro bono litigation she championed to rescue the historically significant photographic archive of photographer Charles H. "Teenie" Harris from a Pittsburgh businessman who had misappropriated it. The case garnered international media recognition because Mr. Harris' collection is widely considered to be one of the most significant and complete documentations of the African American urban community in the 20th Century. Through Cindy's efforts, this collection was acquired and is being restored, preserved and exhibited by the Carnegie Museum of Art. Cindy encourages other lawyers to be generous of their time in doing pro bono work including through a program presented on "Building the Business Case for Having a Pro Bono Program as Part of a Law Firm's Practice."

Employment History

  • 1985 - Reed Smith
    • Co-Editor of Reed Smith's IP Moves Newsletter

Honors & Awards

  • Managing Intellectual Property - Named one of the "Top 250 Women in IP" (Worldwide, 2016)
  • Women's Law Association, Duquesne University School of Law - Woman of the Year 2016
  • Managing Intellectual Property – Recipient of the 2015 North America award in the category “U.S. State Award for Outstanding IP Litigator in Pennsylvania”
  • Law360 – Named a 2014 "Influential Woman in IP Law,” one of only 20 attorneys selected for the honor
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – President’s Commendation (2006) in recognition of efforts to preserve the rights to counsel in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Professional Affiliations

  • Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County
  • American Bar Association – Member of Council, Intellectual Property Law Section (2005 to 2011)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania – Member of the Local Patent Rules Committee
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law – Adjunct Professor, Patent Litigation Course (2004-2011)
  • Gateway to the Arts – former Board Member
  • Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater – former Board Member


  • Art
  • Photography
  • Quilting

Notable Quotes