Matthew Howell, partner in Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group, has been honored by the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance for demonstrating the highest level of ethics, leadership, and serving others in the community.
The “IP Community Service Award” – which GIPA gives every three years to individuals who are leaders in intellectual property law and have served the community with distinction – recognized Howell for his role in serving underrepresented communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of the Office of Immigrant Affairs of the City of Atlanta, he helped research policies governing residential landlord/tenant relationships and their effect on impoverished and unemployed individuals who were unable to make their rent payments due to the economic impact of COVID-19. He also worked on behalf of individual tenants to address legal issues with local landlords, including evictions and utility cutoffs.
Additionally, Howell was highlighted for working with the Georgia Legal Services Program, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and National Center for Law and Economic Justice on a case in Georgia federal court that concerned whether Georgia discriminated against people with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act when it administered programs like Medicaid or SNAP (food stamps). He helped settle the case, with the state agreeing to change and reinforce its existing policies to better accommodate federal law with disability discrimination.
Howell focuses his IP practice on chemical and biological arts, especially cases related to vaccines and pharmaceutical products, and has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts across the country and before the U.S. International Trade Commission, Federal Circuit, and Patent Trial and Appeal Board. He has significant experience both enforcing and defending his clients’ IP rights through trial and on appeal. In addition, he is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Response & Relief Team.
Outside his practice, Howell has logged at least 100 hours of pro bono service in each of the past 10 years. A member of Alston & Bird’s Pro Bono Committee, he also serves on the boards of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and the Georgia Legal Services Program. In addition, Howell works closely with other local volunteer groups, including the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.