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Debra D. Peterson is an attorney specializing in international trade and intellectual property issues, with a focus on intellectual property rights (“IPR”) border enforcement.   She advises companies, law firms and organizations on national and international IPR and trade-related issues.  She also assists rights holders in all aspects of their intellectual property border enforcement programs.


Prior to entering private practice, she was employed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) where she worked on a wide variety of international trade projects.  During the last ten years of her CBP career, she worked almost exclusively on projects related to the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including targeting, risk assessment and the development of national IPR policies, procedures and programs.  


She frequently works with Homeland Security Investigations and other federal agencies on national and international criminal enforcement projects, including undercover operations.  She also works with other agencies, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on trade-related health and safety issues. 


Debra has provided training to foreign governments on the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.  She also frequently delivers intellectual property training to law enforcement officials.


Debra has been interviewed by multiple media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Time, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NBC, ABC, HBO, and FOX.  She has delivered many speeches on IPR enforcement and other trade-related issues to bar associations, trade associations, law schools and the trade community.  She has also published multiple articles on intellectual property issues.


Debra graduated with honors from law school, where she served on Law Review, and subsequently earned a Master of Laws in International Law, with distinction, from the University of London.  She is admitted to the Bars of California and Washington state and the Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales.  Debra is also a licensed U.S. customs broker. 



Admitted to:

  • State Bar of California

  • State Bar of Washington

  • Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales 


Licensed customs broker:

  • United States

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