Melissa Rizzo joined Adams and Reese in 2010 following the firm's expansion into Tampa. A Partner in the Special Business Services Practice Group, Missy practices primarily on intellectual property matters, including the litigation of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret disputes. She also has litigation experience in a variety of other commercial areas, including real property, contract, unfair competition, and related business disputes.
Missy also has patent prosecution experience before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in a variety of technical fields, including the chemical, electrical, mechanical, and biomedical arts. She also regularly represents clients in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
She is admitted to practice before all state and federal district courts in Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Federal Circuits. She is also registered to practice in Patent Cases before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Prior to attending law school, Missy used her chemical engineering degree to work as a process engineer for an oil refinery. In this role, she managed, troubleshot, and optimized the day-to-day and long-term operation of several refinery units. Missy also was active in the planning and execution of turnarounds for several major refinery units, and in that role, she participated in catalyst loading, vessel inspection, and unit shutdowns and start-ups.
Missy then chose a legal career and attended law school at Stetson University College of Law, earning her J.D., summa cum laude, and graduating first in her law school class.
While at Stetson, she was a senior associate member of the Stetson Law Review and president of the Intellectual Property Law Society.