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Joan K. Archer

Of Counsel


Joan Archer is an experienced trial attorney and outside general counsel who focuses her practice on intellectual property portfolio development and litigation, as well as complex business disputes. She provides legal counsel on a wide range of issues, including global data privacy and protection, protection of intellectual property, trade secret defense and protection, noncompete agreements and litigation, internal risk management and compliance, licensing, marketing, and general corporate strategy. She has deep experience in complex technology commercial agreements and licensing, with a special focus on data privacy, as well as Canadian cross-border litigation and compliance strategies and other international issues.

Joan has served as a trusted business and risk management adviser to clients for more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as the general counsel of an agricultural technology startup and subsequent technology division of a Canadian public company, where she actively participated in complex patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret litigation and directed the exponential growth of IP portfolios, in addition to handling all the company’s legal needs.

A seasoned intellectual property and commercial trial attorney, Joan has a unique combination of in-house and high-stakes litigation experience. As a first-chair trial attorney, she has won multimillion-dollar bet-the-company cases in the United States and other countries, including complex intellectual property, breach of contract, covenant not to compete, and product liability cases.

Admitted in Kansas and Missouri. All work in California supervised by a California licensed attorney.


  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • "Stand-Out Lawyers," Thomson Reuters (2024)
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2009–2016); Top 50 Kansas City (2016); Top 50 Women (2010–2011, 2013–2016), Super Lawyers Magazine
  • Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal (2009–2013, 2017)
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year, Kansas Bar Association (2012)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Association of Corporate Counsel
    • Programming Chair, New to In-House Network (2020–present)
    • Past Chair, New to In-House Network (2019–2020)
  • American Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Corporate Counsel Committee, Section of Litigation (2020–present)
    • Committee on the American Judicial System, Section of Litigation (2019–present)
    • Division Director, Section of Litigation (2017–2019)
    • Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Standing Committee on the American Judicial System (2015–2018)
    • Council, Section of Litigation (2014–2017)
    • National Co-Chair, Section of Litigation Roadshow (2016–2017)
    • Co-Chair, Pretrial Practice & Discovery and Expert Witness Committees (2008–2014)
  • American Bar Foundation
    • Fellow
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)
    • Opposition and Cancellation Standards and Procedures Subcommittee, Enforcement Committee (2012–2016)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Sometimes It's the Little Things: How to Maintain and Grow Your Relationship With Your In-House Clients,” American Bar Association, Litigation Section Annual Conference (May 2023)
  • “Pros and Cons of Litigation Finance,” Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting (October 2022)
  • “Gaming the Patent Litigation System: Value, Venue, Verdicts & Villains,” IP Watchdog Live (September 2022)
  • “Know It When You See It: Advanced Trade Secret Protection Workshop,” Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting (October 2021)
  • “A Holistic Approach to Patent Strategy for C-Suite Executives,” IP Watchdog Live (September 2021)
  • “Managing IP Risk to Grow Business: A Conversation With C-Suite Executives,” IP Watchdog Live (September 2021)
  • “Trade Secret Litigation Today: Cutting Issues for Every Litigator,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, IP Litigation Committee (March 2021)
  • “Current Trends in Trade Secret Law for In-House Counsel,” Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting (October 2020)
  • "Key Data Ownership, Privacy and Protection Issues, and Strategies for the International Precision Agriculture Industry," International Conference on Precision Agriculture (August 2016)



  • University of Kansas School of Law (J.D.)
    • Managing Editor, Kansas Law Review
  • University of Kansas (Ph.D.)
  • Wayne State University (M.A.)
  • Gonzaga University (B.A., summa cum laude)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


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