Consider the example sentence in the cropped graphic at left. The writer could have used in spite of instead of despite. Both expressions have the same denotation (which is notwithstanding), but they have very different connotations. Despite suggests an effort to avoid or to deflect blame. In spite of simply juxtaposes two contrasting elements.
Does the writer of the example sentence above really want to play a blame game? Consider this revision:
Some writers ignore not only the difference in connotation between despite and in spite of but also the confusion created by combing these two expressions together. More effective technical writers always avoid using despite of. The phrase is awkward and as such very ineffective at conveying anything meaningful.
So in spite of what you may think, beware despite and the blame game. Ensure your technical writing more effectively conveys your message by exercising more care in the words you use. Considering both the denotation and the connotation of the words you use will present not only your message but also you and your brands more effectively to your audience.