PHILIPPE SIGNORE, Ph.D.,
Mr. Signore’s practice includes counseling clients involved in patent disputes and litigation,drafting legal opinions, conducting due diligence patent portfolios. In counseling clients, he seeks to match their business needs to the legal tools available.With a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Signore is admitted to the Virginia State Bar, to the District of Columbia Bar, and is registered to practice before the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office. He is admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and various federal courts in Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Mr. Signore’s technical experience covers various industries including aerospace, semiconductors, automotive, energy, consumer electronics, computer hardware, software, and packaging. He studied solid state physics, including superconductivity, low temperature physics, and magnetic materials while achieving a Ph.D. in Physics. He is bilingual in English and French.
Mr. Signore regularly publishes and lectures on patent law issues in the U.S., Europe and Japan. He is an Adjunct Professor at the George Mason School of Law, where he teaches patent law. He also serves as a faculty member of the Patent Law Institute. He teaches U.S. patent law at the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) in Strasbourg, France. He gives an annual year-in-review lecture on U.S. patent law for the French Association of In-House Patent Specialists (ASPI). He frequently visits corporations in Europe and Japan to counsel them on the latest developments in U.S. patent law. In 2002, Mr. Signore was the recipient of the 30th Annual Rossman Award as the author of an article in the
Gary Hoffman chairs the Technology Group and the Intellectual Property Practice of Dickstein Shapiro LLP. He has been actively involved in the practice of intellectual property law for over thirty years and has participated in over 100 patent and/or trademark cases before the federal courts and the ITC and has drafted over 150 licensing agreements. He has lectured on numerous IP litigation topics for PLI, ABA, AIPLA, and other organizations. He has co-chaired the two AIPLA Mid-Winter Institutes on Litigation Advocacy as well as other programs. He chaired one of the committees of the Brookings Institution project on “Unseen Wealth” that study the valuation of intellectual capital. He has authored many articles and is the coeditor of the recently published ABA/IP-Section-sponsored book Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S.E.E.) and George Washington University School of Law (J.D.).
Kenneth Brothers is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice of Dickstein Shapiro. Mr. Brothers focuses his practice on intellectual property trial and appellate litigation. He also counsels clients with respect to claims of and defenses to patent infringement and patent licensing, as well as trademark, trade dress, copyright, e-commerce, trade secret, unfair competition, and related antitrust matters. He has acted as trial or appellate counsel in federal and state courts in more than a dozen states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
Mr. Brothers is a trial attorney who has represented clients in more than 100 cases. He has first chair experience in numerous jury and bench trials, Markman hearings, and other hearings in federal courts, as well as in state courts throughout the United States at both the trial and appellate levels. He has litigated patent infringement cases involving electrical, mechanical, and pharmaceutical patents concerning inventions in a wide variety of fields, including semiconductors, consumer electronics, security cameras, medical devices, optics, radio frequency identification products, and ink formulations. In addition, he has litigated cases in the areas of trademark, copyright, and trade secrets in a wide range of industries, including software, media, apparel, hair care, mailing lists, and pet food. He also has represented clients in arbitrations and mediations. He has written numerous amicus briefs on behalf of various clients in cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Representative cases include the following:
U.S. Supreme Court
J.D., cum laude, Cornell Law School, 1975
M.A., Columbia University, 1969
B.A., University of Michigan, 1967
Sharon E. Hayner is an Assistant Patent Counsel for Johnson & Johnson. She has been supporting Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Sector companies since 1999, including the NEUTROGENA, AVEENO, CLEAN & CLEAR and OrthoDermatologics skin care businesses. She handles a variety of licensing, opinion work, and patent procurement matters. She a member of the New York and District of Columbia bars.
John White is recognized as one of the top patent educators in the United States, having over 35 years of experience in all phases of the patent field. As a Special Counsel at Harness I.P., John is principally responsible for public outreach and advising clients on a host of strategic I.P. issues as well as offering patent procedure expert witness services. At PCT Learning Center, John has created an entire curriculum for IP support staff and attorneys/agents to learn the in and outs of international IP practice.
John began his technical career as a Field Engineer with the Federal Highway Administration specializing in bridge rehabilitation. Later, he worked as a Patent Examiner and the Special Assistant and Speech Writer to the Commissioner of Patents, Donald J. Quigg. Post law school, John founded what would become the largest patent searching and documentation entity in the U.S., supplying the needs of clients across the globe. He also founded the patent law firm, Berenato & White, and a patent education company. After selling the education company to the Practising Law Institute in the mid-90’s, John remained the author and principal lecturer for the course he created.
Since 1995, John has taught 30,000+ fellow patent practitioners in preparation for the Patent Office registration exam. He has also taught more than 400 Patent Examiners patent law and evidence, and has been qualified as a Patent Procedure Expert in several Federal District Court lawsuits. In addition, John served as an Adjunct Professor for the University of Virginia School of Law, and John Marshal Law School and has created numerous patent education programs and publications.
John has examined, written, and prosecuted thousands of patent applications in the United States and around the world.
Born in Bern, Switzerland, John graduated in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and obtained his law degree from George Washington University. He regularly speaks and publishes on a host of patent topics.
Ed Sarskas is a Co-Chair of the firm's Class Action/ MDL Team and a partner in the firm's Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Groups. Mr. Sarskas has significant experience handling complex commercial litigation concerning intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as unfair competition, advertising, trade secrets, and related contract disputes. Mr. Sarskas also has experience handling securities and corporate governance litigation in individual and class actions, including in In re Enron Securities Litigation, and as a member of the lead counsel teams in In re Imclone Securities Litigation, In re Mattel Securities Litigation, In re Emulex Corp. Securities Litigation and In re Priceline Securities Litigation. Mr. Sarskas also has experience counseling and representing healthcare providers on a variety of matters, including in class action lawsuits arising from the prices charged to uninsured patients. He has litigated cases in state and federal courts in Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, California, Virginia, Connecticut and other jurisdictions around the country. In 1996, as a law student, Mr. Sarskas played a significant role in drafting the complaint and certain dispositive motions in an antitrust class action lawsuit brought on behalf of Wisconsin healthcare consumers.
Mr. Sarskas actively participates in firm leadership and management by serving on several committees, including the firm's recruiting and pro bono committees.
Honors and Recognitions
Kathlyn Card Beckles is the Managing Director and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Technology law at JPMorgan Chase. She manages the Patent and Trademark Law group. She is a registered patent attorney responsible for patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets as they relate to JPMorgan, including the areas of litigations, mergers and legislation. Her prior legal experience includes the law firm of Kenyon & Kenyon, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Chambers of the Hon. Edward Damich of the Court of Federal Claims. Before her legal career, she held positions in analytical chemistry and process engineering. She has a law degree from The George Washington University and a Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Delaware.
David Rosenblatt has been an IP attorney for over 30 years, handling all facets of IP including litigation, licensing, preparation and prosecution, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, and IP related antitrust issues. Currently, David is the Licensing Vice President for Sound View Innovations, LLC, a position he has held since 2014. David started his legal career at Allegretti and Witcoff (currently Banner and Witcoff). He then moved to AT&T Bell Labs, holding positions of increasing legal responsibility with both AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Subsequently, he served as Chief IP Counsel for a publicly traded company prior to becoming Thomson Reuters’ Assistant General Counsel – Intellectual Property where he had numerous responsibilities including managing Thomson Reuters’ worldwide patent preparation and prosecution efforts. Prior to attending law school, David worked as an engineer for four years while obtaining a graduate degree in electrical engineering.
David Shofi is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in many aspects of technology, innovation and intellectual property. He is presently General Counsel for Univercells Technologies, a biotech company in Belgium. David also served as Vice President, IP Strategy Solutions and Chief IP Counsel for CPA Global where he helped clients assess and identify opportunities for improvement and efficiency implementation in their IP lifecycle processes. Before joining CPA Global, David held the role of Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for ATMI, an international semiconductor and lifesciences corporation. He began his legal career as an associate at the firm of Baker Botts. David has broad experience in IP and general corporate law including IP/technology licensing and transactions, due diligence, IP Strategy, portfolio development and monetization. David earned his law degree from Pace University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.
Dr. Dorothy Auth has more than 20 years of experience in complex patent litigation, as well as licensing, patent procurement, and intellectual property counseling in the United States and abroad. Her experience spans diverse industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical devices, as well as consumer products, computers, and other mechanical devices.
She addresses intellectual property diligence issues surrounding mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Representative clients in transactional IP matters includes the U.S. Treasury; Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.; Pfizer; Elan Pharmaceutical; Healthcare Royalty Partners; Fountanbleu Hotel; Quart Rx Pharma; iShares; Towers Watson; Hess and Triarco. In the transactional area, Dorothy advises clients on the validity of target patents and performs clearance analysis on the patents of competitors to render freedom-to-operate opinions.
Dorothy also litigates in U.S. Federal Courts and in international arbitrations conducted under the WIPO rules. She conducts all aspects of litigation, including motion practice, expert preparation and all aspects of discovery practice. Representative litigation clients include Medinol, DuPont, Osteonics and Kanzaki.
Dorothy also coordinates global patent procurement and enforcement strategies for her clients to maximize their patent-protected field. In this area, Dorothy’s practice includes U.S. and international client counseling and opinions regarding IP matters. Her international experience includes coordinating patent infringement trials and hearings between the U.S. and different European jurisdictions including trials seeking preliminary relief and cross-border injunctions, as well as nullity, cancellation and oppositions proceedings on patent rights.
Among the clients Dorothy has counseled are Credit Suisse, Rhone-Poulenc Rohrer, Inc., BioRest Ltd., Oscillon Ltd., Digene Corporation, Hoffmann-La Roche, and the National Institutes of Health.
At the firm, Dorothy is a member of the Technology Committee, the Healthcare Industry Team and the Advisory Counsel for the firm’s Center for Career Advancement. Dorothy was the Partner Chair of the Women’s Leadership Initiative for over five years.
Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since then it has become one of the leading IP publications on the Internet. IPWatchdog.com has been recognized multiple times by the American Bar Association as a top 100 legal blog, has 3 times been voted the top IP blog, and in 2014 was retired from voting and inducted into the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame.
Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus, he frequently advises on patent matters relating to software, computer implemented methods, business methods, and Internet innovations.
Between 2003 and 2007 Gene wrote a monthly column for Patent World and served on the Patent World editorial board. He has also previously taught a variety of intellectual property courses at the law school level, including patent law, patent claim drafting, patent prosecution, copyright law, trademark law and introduction to intellectual property. Gene taught at Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University School of Law, The University of Toledo College of Law, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Whittier Law School, and John Marshall Law School.
Gene is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Gerald Murphy has practiced in the intellectual property field for over 40 years, mostly in relation to U.S. and foreign patents for biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, therapeutic antibodies, organic chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry and pharmaceutical inventions. He works mostly with medium to large internal corporations. In addition to preparation and prosecution of patent applications and related appeals, Mr. Murphy has handled patent reexaminations and has been lead counsel in a numerous inter partes matters at the USPTO such as interferences and Inter Partes Reviews. He has also been lead counsel in several appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
In addition to handling matters at the USPTO, Mr. Murphy counsels clients in various IP matters such as patent validity and infringement. He has lectured extensively before U.S. and international audiences on U.S. patent law and case law developments. He served as the sole arbitrator in two arbitrations involving patent and licensing issues in the fields of DNA diagnostics and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and has served as an expert witness in patent infringement litigations and in an arbitration involving a patent license agreement.
Mr. Murphy chairs BSKB's annual Post Grant Bootcamp, an intensive 4 day program on procedures that are available to correct, defend and challenge patents at the USPTO and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr. Murphy graduated from University of Maryland in 1976. After taking off several years after graduation, he then attended George Mason University School of Law for his J.D. and then attended George Washington University National Law Center where he attained his LL.M.
Marti has represented clients in courts throughout the United States with respect to patent, trade secret, unfair competition, antitrust, and internet law matters. Marti has litigated disputes involving an extensive variety of technologies, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, computer hardware and software, financial systems, e-commerce, internet technologies, food processing and engineering, telecommunications systems, data transmission, semiconductors, and electronic displays (including micromirror array and LCD technology). Selected representations include:
Marti has also counseled technology companies regarding intellectual property transactions, licensing negotiations, freedom to operate determinations, electronic discovery parameters, and damages evaluations.
Prior to joining Gish PLLC, Marti was Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP where she practiced in the Patent and Technology Litigation group.
Marti’s pro bono practice includes nonprofit intellectual property investigations, Social Security benefits and unemployment insurance representation, as well as prisoner abuse cases and work for the Innocence Project.
Michelle Waites is Senior Patent Counsel for Xerox Corporation, actively involved in enforcing and obtaining the company's patent and other intellectual property rights. Her primary responsibility is patent litigation, and typically includes reviewing pleadings and motions, leading internal fact investigations, managing outside counsel, preparing for and attending court hearings, participating in settlement and case strategy discussions and drafting and negotiating settlement agreements. Her practice also includes reviewing technology transfer agreements, supporting product design and development programs and working with business and technical staff to develop and implement effective legal strategies. She is a registered patent attorney and has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications.
Ms. Waites has maintained her own law practice, has been associated with law firms in New York City and spent several years as an engineer in the aerospace/military defense industry.
She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. She is admitted to the Bar in California and New York and is registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Waites is a member of the American Bar Association, Lambda Legal and the National LGBT Bar Association.
Nanette Thomas is of counsel for the law firm of Dorsey & Semrau, LLC. Her experience includes municipal law, environmental litigation and representation at NJ Tax Court. In addition, she provides legal advice and counsel to small companies, musicians and social media advertising negotiations. Mrs. Thomas is also Assistant General Counsel, Commercial for Catalent Pharma Solutions in Somerset, NJ. Her experience in this capacity include strategic negotiations for commercial transactions, contracts, services, licensing, alliances, technology transfer, divestments and acquisitions, intellectual property and litigation. She has extensive corporate experience in providing collaborative advice and counsel on marketing, sales, procurement, regulatory, manufacturing and research as relating to transactions, litigation, compliance and intellectual property matters.
Mrs. Thomas' accomplishments include: representation of Third-Party Defendants in NJDEP v OCC; representation of municipalities in NJ Tax Court; advice and counsel to social media advertising companies and musicians; successful enforcement and assertion of intellectual property portfolios; identification and audit of trade secrets and the development, implementation and management of trade secret policies for successful business goals; managed outside counsel and experts, strategy and budget for Japanese and European Patent Office litigation and oppositions; successful enforcement and assertion of IP portfolios; successfully prosecuted more than 150 patents; developed, implemented and conducted interactive training and educational programs for corporate business functions on agreements, negotiations, litigation, compliance and intellectual property; and attained favorable resolution of assertions and claims relating to non-practicing entity claims.
Mrs. Thomas earned her B.E. from Stevens Institute of Technology and her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law. She is associated with the AIPLA, NJIPLA, ABA, LES, and JPPCLE. She is admitted to practice in the states of New Jersey and New York and the USPTO.
Orin Herskowitz is the Senior Vice President of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer for Columbia University, as well as Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV). He also is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia’s Business and Engineering Schools. He has served on boards or served as the Principle Investigator for a number of innovation and entrepreneurship-focused initiatives, including the NYC Media Lab, the PowerBridgeNY clean energy proof-of-concept center, the Columbia Coulter Translational Partnership, the Academic Venture Exchange, the NYC ACRE technology incubator, and Harlem Biospace; has been a peer reviewer for innovation and entrepreneurship awards for the National Science Foundation, the US Small Business Association, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; a published author on the topic of translating university-stage technology; and is a frequent speaker at technology-focused events in NYC and across the country. Orin has also been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, serving a two-year term beginning in 2016. Orin received his BA from Yale and his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Prior to joining Columbia, Orin spent 7 years at the Boston Consulting Group's New York office as a strategy consultant, and was previously an entrepreneur and a consultant to start-ups.
Columbia Technology Ventures is the tech transfer office of Columbia University. Our core objective is to facilitate the transfer of inventions from academic research to outside organizations for the benefit of society on a local, national and global basis. Each year, CTV manages more than 350 invention disclosures from faculty, 100 license deals and over 20 new start-ups. CTV currently has over 1200 patent assets available for licensing, across research fields such as bio, IT, cleantech, devices, nanotechnology, and materials science.
Columbia Technology Ventures has a particular focus on start-up companies. Over the years, CTV has been involved with launching over 180 companies based on Columbia's technologies. Of these companies, over 40 have received VC funding, with over 25 successful acquisitions or IPOs to date.
Pejman Sharifi advises clients on patent transactional, counseling, and litigation matters.
Pejman’s experience in patent transactional matters includes representing clients in protecting and prosecuting patent applications in the U.S. and abroad; managing patent portfolios; counseling clients with respect to strategy; developing patent portfolio mining programs; assisting with post-grant proceedings; developing patent application assets for assertion or licensing programs; developing corporate patent programs; advising with respect to patent eligibility and patentability; developing strategies for protecting software and business-related inventions in the U.S. and abroad; advising with respect to design patents; and assisting start-up enterprises in protecting core assets.
Counseling & Transactional
Pejman’s experience in patent counseling and transactional matters includes providing invalidity and non-infringement opinions; developing patent clearance strategies; assessing and responding to patent notification letters; evaluating intellectual property assets in the context of assertion or investment; providing IP due diligence for transactions; identifying and addressing core intellectual property issues in M&A transactions; drafting and negotiating a wide range of technology and IP related agreements; conducting diligence to identify patents assets for acquisition; assisting clients with patent evaluation and acquisition; advising clients with respect to changes in patent law; preparing software license agreements; and advising with respect to copyright or trade secret risks in connection with reverse engineering or technology development programs; monitoring and advising with respect to competitor portfolios, and handling patent ownership issues.
Pejman’s patent experience in complex patent litigation includes developing offensive patent positions for assertion; assessing and developing validity case; assisting with depositions, motions, and trial; developing invalidity search strategy involving professional searchers and third-party discovery; reviewing and approving technology related position in litigations; developing non-infringement, invalidity, and equitable defenses; interfaces with technical employees of client as part of investigating defensive or offensive positions; assisting with expert discovery, reports, and depositions; developing claim constructions positions; assisting with Markman hearings; assisting with technical tutorials; and leading joint defense group efforts with respect to invalidity.
Peter Brown has focused on technology law matters in national law firms and boutiques for over 25 years. He is currently the principal of Peter Brown & Associates PLLC, a New York boutique law firm concentrating in information technology, intellectual property and arbitration.
“The Best Lawyers in America” ® publication honored him as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Information Technology Law 2018 for New York City.
Mr. Brown has experience in a wide variety of litigations and arbitrations relating to the Internet, information technology and intellectual property. He regularly appears in both federal and state courts throughout the United States. In addition, Mr. Brown has acted as an arbitrator or mediator in over 70 matters involving IT and IP disputes.
Throughout his career he has drafted and negotiated a broad array of agreements relating to the Internet, outsourcing, cloud computing services, application software, Internet apps and e-commerce. He has prepared these agreements for domestic businesses and international companies.
Mr. Brown co-authored the leading treatises Emerging Technologies and the Law and Computer Law. He also co-authors a monthly column on Information Technology Law for the New York Law Journal.
Mr. Brown is regularly featured as a speaker at the International Technology Law Association, local bar associations and other professional organizations in the US and abroad. He frequently speaks on the topic of artificial intelligence, IT and IP.
The Best Lawyers in America 2019 edition (affiliated with U.S. News & World Report), rated Peter Brown & Associates PLLC a First Tier National Technology Law firm. Chambers USA, New York Metro Superlawyers and other ratings organization have all given Mr. Brown high ratings in the fields of IT and IP. For further information see www.browntechlegal.com
Scott Alter is an experienced intellectual property attorney whose practice focuses on software, electronics, internet, telecommunications, cloud computing, medical device, financial, and semiconductor technologies. A skilled global patent strategist, he also has significant expertise in patent eligibility, joint and indirect infringement, and indefiniteness. In every matter he handles, Scott strives to obtain practical results for his clients.
Scott has served as an expert witness in litigation concerning data encryption technology. Before becoming a lawyer, he worked at IBM as a LAN systems developer and computer programmer. Prior to joining the firm, Scott was a partner in the Colorado office of a national IP law firm.
The Honorable Faith S. Hochberg served over 15 years as a federal judge in the District of New Jersey. In 2015, she founded Hochberg ADR [www.JudgeHochberg.com], based in New York, to serve as a Mediator, Arbitrator, Special Master and Monitor in U.S. and international litigation. Judge Hochberg has served as a court-appointed Monitor in international cybersecurity cases, and is currently serving as a court-appointed Special Master in many cases in both federal and state courts, including complex multidistrict litigation (MDL cases).
Judge Hochberg is a distinguished neutral admitted to the rosters of the AAA, ICDR, ICC, CPR and FedArb; she is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators [FCIArb]. Her expertise broadly spans many areas of law: patent and other intellectual property litigation and licensing; class actions; corporate contract; insurance; banking & financial institutions; securities; antitrust; trade secrets; pharmaceutical development and licensing; merger and acquisition transactions; partnership disputes, and many more.
Judge Hochberg previously served as The United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and prior to that, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. She has twice been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Judge Hochberg has also spent many years in the private practice of law; as Legal Assistant to the Chairman of the SEC; and as a top official in a bank regulatory agency.
In her community, Judge Hochberg serves on the Advisory Board of the Innovation Center for Law & Technology, at New York Law School. She has been inducted into the Nutley, NJ Hall of Fame.
Judge Hochberg graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, where she was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and earned a B.A., summa cum laude, from Tufts University. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also attended the London School of Economics.
In her few moments of spare time, Judge Hochberg is an artist whose paintings and wearable art have been shown in galleries, boutiques and museum stores.
Jeffrey M. Sears
Associate General Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel
Jeffrey M. Sears serves as Associate General Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel for Columbia University. His practice encompasses all aspects of patent law, including prosecution, portfolio management, strategic counseling, licensing and post-licensing compliance, litigation, and legislative and regulatory patent matters.
Jeff holds an S.B. in physics from MIT, an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from SUNY Stony Brook, and a J.D. from NYU. He is admitted to practice law in New York and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg
Upon graduation from Temple Law School in 1986, Judge Goldberg joined the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office serving in both the trial and appellate divisions. In 1990, he joined the law firm of Cozen O'Connor where his practice primarily focused on commercial litigation. Judge Goldberg was eventually promoted to senior partner and manager of the Cozen's Arson and Fraud Unit. In 1997, Judge Goldberg returned to the public sector as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where he handled mostly white collar crime cases. In February 2003, Judge Goldberg was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to a position on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, and in November 2003, he was elected to a ten-year term on that Court. Judge Goldberg was appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on October 31, 2008.
Mr. Bhansali's experience spans a wide-range of civil trials and appeals, with particular emphasis on intellectual property and antitrust matters. He has handled patent disputes in district courts and the U.S. International Trade Commission for cases that have involved computer software, internet content delivery, digital imaging, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals. His antitrust experience has included representing corporations in the credit-card, pharmaceutical, and video-game industries as both plaintiffs and defendants. In addition, Mr. Bhansali has handled numerous appeals in federal and state courts, and he has defended clients in several class actions brought under federal and California law.
Mr. Bhansali has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Litigation, since 2010. In 2009, Mr. Bhansali was named one of the Daily Journal's Top 20 Under 40 lawyers in California. In 2015, he served as President of the Northern District of California Federal Bar Association Chapter, and he presently serves as Chief Financial Officer and Board member for the Northern District of California Practice Programs Committee. From 2010 to 2014, he served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California Section of Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law.
Senior Counsel Robert Neuner has had a distinguished career as a patent trial lawyer. He is also a featured lecturer on litigation for the annual Patent Law Institute program, lecturer on the trial and appeal of intellectual property cases, and a long-time columnist on patent and trademark law for the New York Law Journal. He is listed in the Chambers USA Guide, America’s Leading Business Lawyers since 2003, Chambers Global The World’s Leading Lawyers since 2004, and The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2009. In addition, Mr. Neuner was named a “New York Super Lawyer” in New York Super Lawyers, Manhattan Edition, a special supplement in the New York Times by Law and Politics, 2006-2009.
Extensive experience and success in the pretrial, trail, and appeal of patent, copyright, trademark, and trade dress cases. Additional expertise as a special master in patent cases, including discovery, settlement oversight, claim construction, and summary judgment.
Since January 3, 2007 when he retired from the USPTO, Robert (Bob) Spar has been actively providing advice, consultation and training services to the patent bar about patent practices and Office procedures, including, in particular, about recent examination related notices/initiatives, and proposed/final rule changes by the USPTO. He has provided such specialized consultant services via presentations and training workshops, with follow-up e-mails, to patent intellectual property organizations, individual attorneys, patent departments of major corporations and leading patent law firms; and to the patent community in general via presentations at Annual Patent Law conferences and telephonic Hot Topic Briefing webinars for the PLI. He has taught for the PLI in its bar review course, its program on Reissue and Reexamination Strategies and Tactics with Concurrent Litigation, and in its annual PLI programs on prior art/35 USC 102/103. He also served as an expert witness in patent litigation matters, and provided legal and technical consultation services on reissues, reexamination requests, and patent procedures, practices and issues.
Prior to his retirement on January 3, 2007, Bob had nearly 40 years of service at the USPTO. For the last 11 years, Bob was the Director of the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA, formerly SPLO), under the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy. Bob, with OPLA, played a significant and leading role in developing and implementing many major Office rule makings and policy initiatives involving the patent process, and greatly affecting the patent corps and all patent practitioners.
During his tenure in the Office, Bob served in a number of capacities in Patents, holding the titles of Primary Examiner, Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE), and Special Programs Examiner (SPRE); serving on details to the Solicitor’s Office, the Board of Appeals and Interferences; and in 1978, he was selected for a 1 year Commerce Science and Technology Fellowship to the White House.
He taught extensively at the Patent Academy (including numerous patent examiner initial training (PEIT) sessions, and on 35 U.S.C. 103 – Obviousness); he made many training and informational presentations to examiners, technical support staff, and top patents management; and he made a large number of presentations on proposed, existing and revised PTO practices and policies to state and city patent bar organizations, at conferences of intellectual property organizations, and for the PLI. He helped to create the Form Paragraph manual of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), and served as its editor for many years.
He received a BME from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1962, a LLB from University of Baltimore in 1969, is a member of the Maryland Bar, AIPLA, registered to practice before the USPTO, and is admitted to the CAFC.
Brian E. Hanlon is the Director of the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Prior to taking his current position, Mr. Hanlon served as the acting Chief of Staff for Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David J. Kappos, and served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Management Council for Under Secretary and Director Jon W. Dudas and acting Under Secretary and Director John J. Doll. Prior to his work in the Under Secretary’s Office, Mr. Hanlon was the Deputy Director of OPLA. Mr. Hanlon was also a shareholder at the law firm of Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. where his practice focused on patent prosecution and client counseling on issues relating to both procurement and enforcement of utility and design patents. Mr. Hanlon began his career as a patent examiner at the USPTO in former Group 3300, now TC 3700. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Honors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Mr. Hanlon is a member of the Bars of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.
Leonardo Renna is Patent Counsel for Google, Inc. Prior to joining Google, Mr. Renna was Intellectual Property and Technology Counsel for MasterCard Worldwide. Before working in-house, Mr. Renna practiced intellectual property law at Brumbaugh, Graves, Donohue & Raymond and Baker Botts L.L.P. Mr. Renna holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, where he graduated cum laude. After law school, Mr. Renna served as a law clerk to the Honorable Herbert J. Hutton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Richard L. Rainey
Richard Rainey is an intellectual property trial and appellate litigator who has resolved a wide range of matters, including patent infringement cases, trade secret disputes, and cybersecurity threats, in diverse technological areas across many industries. Mr. Rainey, a registered patent attorney, also has substantial experience in matters before various patent offices around the world, including various pre- and post-grant proceedings. His practice includes intellectual property counseling, such as a strategic patent portfolio analysis, and patent prosecution.
Mr. Rainey recently rejoined the firm after serving for three and a half years in GE's renowned Corporate legal department as GE’s Global Chief IP Litigator and head of GE’s Intellectual Property Litigation Center of Excellence, which is responsible for all of GE's IP disputes. During his time with GE, Mr. Rainey oversaw GE's multi-jurisdictional patent dispute with one of its largest competitors, which included the largest patent jury verdict in GE's history. He also argued and won two Federal Circuit appeals in patent cases. In addition, Mr. Rainey investigated and litigated a number of cybersecurity matters for GE, including both civil and criminal actions. He routinely counseled GE’s diverse businesses on intellectual property strategy, which extended to supporting GE’s efforts on the policy front regarding various proposed reforms in intellectual property law at both the state and federal level.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Rainey has been lead counsel in a number of high profile patent infringement cases including cases before district courts (both bench and jury trials) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) under Section 337 (for both complainants and respondents). He has been involved in more than 50 appeals in patent cases to the Federal Circuit, prevailing in all but one of the substantial number of cases he has argued before that Court.
Marian oversees the intellectual property operations for IBM’s world renowned research division. In this capacity she leads a team of legal professionals charged with the procurement of patents, the development and implementation of intellectual property policies and the negotiation of commercial transactions in support of the global research organization. Prior to assuming her current role, Marian was IBM’s Senior Counsel for IP Law Policy and Strategy, formulating policy on a broad spectrum of IP matters and developing and deploying IBM's patent portfolio strategy.
Marian is a member of the Board of Directors of the NYIPLA, Chair of the 101 Task Force of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and a member of the AIPLA and ABA.
Dr. Underweiser is a graduate of Harvard University where she received her AB in Physics. She received her PhD in Physics from UCLA, where she specialized in Condensed Matter Physics, and her JD from Columbia Law School where she was a Stone and a Kent scholar.