DC Fashion Commissioner Mariessa Terrell is a native Washingtonian who has been practicing law for over 16 years, specializing in trademark, trademark enforcement, licensing and contracts. Through her firm, Innovation PI Law (formerly SBC Law Group), Mariessa provides marketing, intellectual property docketing services, software licensing and intellectual property law services to a variety of corporate and business development clients, including: Lockheed Martin Corporation Information Systems and Global Services; Leidos Corporation, the University of the District of Columbia; the Washington Baptist Seminary; Global Villages Publishing, Raine Magazine; Gloria Gelfand Marketing Co. and many others.
Prior to starting her own firm in 2003, Mariessa served as a trademark attorney for the US Patent and Trademark Office where she prosecuted trademarks for leaders in the publishing, fashion and beauty industries. Mariessa also served as a law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Cheryl Long, who presided over the Tax Division of the Superior Court of District of Columbia.
In 2004, Mariessa created FashionTrademarks.biz, a special division of her firm dedicated to addressing the unique needs of fashion purveyors.
In 2006, Mariessa drafted legislation to create a DC Commission on Fashion Arts and Events; and in 2013, Mayor Vincent Gray appointed Mariessa to serve as a DC Fashion Commissioner. In 2018, Mayor Muriel Bowser reappointed Mariessa to serve an additional 4 years.
In 2015, Mariessa assumed the role of Adjunct Professor & Supervising Attorney of the Howard University School of Law Intellectual Property Law Clinic.
In October 2017, Mariessa was retained by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to help manage their trademark portfolio and oversee IP enforcement.
In addition to practicing law, Mariessa serves as the Executive Director of the High Tea Society, a mentoring program for girls in Washington, DC and produces and hosts a 30 min episodic television series featuring her alter ego Simone Butterfly Fabulous Freelance Fashion Investigator.