Ukeme Awakessien Jeter

Partner Columbus


Ukeme is a partner in Taft’s Intellectual Property practice group, where she focuses on negotiating and structuring intellectual property licenses, options, and related agreements. From startups to major corporations, she helps companies whose core assets are intellectual property and investors who want to invest in them, identify, finance, and monetize the technologies, processes, products, and brands that will create the most value for them.

Additionally, Ukeme has extensive experience working with clients on commercial contracts in the technology industry. She helps clients draft and negotiates contacts such as Master Service Agreements, SOWs, SaaS agreements, business partnership agreements, Joint Development Agreements, and confidentiality agreements.

With a proven track record, Ukeme is a trusted advisor to her legal colleagues, clients, and business partners.

An active member of her community, Ukeme is proud to call Upper Arlington her community of choice. In 2021 she was elected to Upper Arlington City Council, making history as the first person of color elected to Council in the City’s 103-year old history.

Beyond her service to Upper Arlington, Ukeme is a tireless advocate for causes of access, equity, and inclusion. Ukeme serves on the board of directors for Ohio Legal Help, a start-up non-profit that leverages technology and innovation to improve justice and fairness for all Ohioans. She also serves on the United Way of Central Ohio’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.

Before joining Taft, Ukeme was the primary patent counsel on the Marketing and Intellectual Property Team at Nationwide.


  • ABA YLD Leader of the Quarter, 2016

  • Honoree, 2022 Columbus CEO Future 50


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (2013)
  • University of Massachusetts - Lowell, M.B.A (2009)
  • University of Maine, B.S. (2004)


  • State - Ohio

Speeches and Publications

  • Panelist, “Personal Reflections on Diversity in the IP System,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) 2024 DEIA Colloquium, Jan. 31, 2024.
  • Moderator, “Trademark Law and Ethics,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) 2023 Annual Meeting, Oct. 19, 2023.
  • ICANN Dot-Anything: Rethinking the Scope of the New gTLD Expansion, Its Effect on Government Regulation, and Its Impact on Trademark Owners 103 TMR 962-986, 2013.
  • The Trademark-Licensee Uncertainty in Bankruptcy Continues: Adding Crumbs to the Mix. Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, 2016.

Professional Affiliations

  • International Trademark Association

    Appointed, Chair: Public Relations Committee, Designers Subcommittee

  • American Bar Association

    Appointed, Co-Chair of the IP Committee for the YLD, 2015-2016
    Elected, District Representative for OH & WV to the WYLD, 2016-2017

Community Involvement

  • Upper Arlington City Council

    Chair Member, 2022-present

  • Ohio Legal Help

    Member, Board of Directors

  • United Way of Central Ohio - Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council


  • City of Upper Arlington Financial Review Task Force

    Appointed Member, 2019