Walter C. Grollitsch has over 12 years of legal experience in advising international clients on legal matters, intellectual property strategies, patent law and patent portfolio management. For the last several years, Walter has worked as in-house counsel at Intervale Capital which owns over 10 portfolio companies in the oil and gas industry. He has advised the management at the portfolio companies on various legal matters and on strategic ways to create, defend and assert their intellectual property rights. Walter has been involved in several intellectual property disputes in the federal courts and in the United States Patent Office. He has negotiated numerous settlement agreements and cross-licensing agreements. Walter has an engineering degree from The Penn State University and a law degree from South Texas College of Law.
Holly Chastain Nini is Senior Corporate Counsel and the Corporate Secretary for CITGO Petroleum Corporation in Houston, Texas where she manages the legal affairs for several of CITGO’s multi-billion dollar businesses, including Product Supply, Distribution and Trading; Terminals and Pipelines; Strategic Planning; Government and Public Affairs and CITGO’s international private non-profit foundation and the Corporate Secretary’s office and previously CITGO’s refining operations in Corpus Christi, Texas, Corporate Procurement and other business segments. In addition, Ms. Nini has been appointed by CITGO’s CEOs to serve as the legal advisor to several Executive committees that review and approve high significant matters and strategic projects for the company. Prior to joining CITGO, she was Regional Legal Counsel with Schlumberger where she managed the legal affairs for Schlumberger’s exploration and production oil and gas, technology and meter manufacturing businesses both onshore and offshore in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Her experience includes a broad range of strategic and high level domestic and international transactions, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, complex litigation, corporate governance, compliance, financings, risk management, regulatory matters and other legal areas. Ms. Nini received her Juris Doctor from The University of Alabama School of Law with honors and a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration with studies in International Business and French from The University of Alabama, graduating Summa Cum Laude and with other high honors, including a Presidential Scholarship and 3 other Scholarships. Ms. Nini also studied at the University of Provence in Aix en Provence, France.
Vincent is a registered patent attorney and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Michigan. He is also licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan. Prior to entering the legal field Mr. Wiltse worked for General Motors as Senior Project Engineer, where he worked in vehicle aerodynamics development and vehicle systems integration. He received his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School, in Detroit. He obtained his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan.
From 2000 to 2008 he was in private practice, first in Michigan and then in Illinois. Vincent joined Cummins-Allison as in-house counsel in 2008. At Cummins-Allison he manages the intellectual property portfolio. Cummins-Allison has topped Crain’s Chicago Business’ “Eureka Index” for having as the highest patent quality multiple times and is often named by Crain’s Chicago Business as among the top innovative companies in Chicago. Additionally, he support commercial transactions, litigation, real estate, and human resources efforts.
Karl Vick has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in the global procurement, strategic planning, litigation and licensing of IP assets. He was a partner at two boutique IP firms in Chicago during the early part of his career. He then moved in-house and held positions of increasing responsibility with Ford, GE, Raytheon and Cardinal Health. Karl was the Chief IP Counsel for Raytheon Company, and the SVP & Chief IP Counsel for Cardinal Health. In his corporate roles, Karl integrated strategic IP management processes into existing business processes, developed processes to better identify high value innovations that support business objectives, and applied Six Sigma to various law functions. Karl has provided IP counsel in a wide range of industries and technologies, including general electronics, automobiles, healthcare, satellites, telecommunications, electromechanical controls, power generation and control, appliances and lighting. He has lectured on IP topics for LES, Law Seminars International, AIPLA, and the InsideLawyer SuperConference.
Ann is responsible for managing USAA’s growing patent portfolio, supporting Innovation and licensing efforts, and facilitating the integration of intellectual property across the enterprise.
Carlo Cotrone is Senior Intellectual Property Counsel at Baker Hughes a GE Company in Houston. As lead IP counsel for the Surface, Drilling, Offshore, and Subsea Production Systems business units, he develops and manages the execution of offensive and defensive IP strategies; provides IP and general corporate advice; and negotiates strategic agreements with customers, suppliers, and licensees. Previously, Carlo practiced law at several firms on the East Coast and in the Midwest, most recently as a partner. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School and is admitted in Texas and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Nakul Goenka is Legal Counsel. He currently oversees the patent portfolio at Shipcom wireless, a software and mobile technology focused company. Nakul has a diverse background of experience encompassing, editorial, legal as well as counseling stints. He earned his Masterns in Law from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lee Kaplan has tried dozens of cases in state and federal courts, representing plaintiffs and defendants ranging from Fortune 10 corporations to individuals. In the last four years he has had two cases that landed in the top 25 verdicts in Texas for those years. His docket has included oil and gas, construction, securities, antitrust, patent and trademark infringement, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, fraud, theft of trade secrets, shareholder rights, and class actions. He frequently handles "high tech" cases and enjoys mastering complicated business dealings or scientific concepts in order to present them concisely to other lay people (particularly judges and juries). Lee has also served as an arbitrator, often named to panels by prior opposing counsel. Here are some recent examples:
In May 2015 he won a two-week federal jury trial alleging theft of trade secrets, obtaining a $12.2 million verdict and judgment in addition to four stipulated judgments of $28.5 million reached with four defendants prior to trial. Quantlab Technologies Ltd. (BVI) and Quantlab Financial, LLC, vs. Vitaliy Godlevsky, Andriy Kuharsky, Anna Maravina, Ping An, Emmanuel Mamalakis, and SXP Analytics, LLC, Case No. 09-cv-4039 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. The case was one of the top 25 verdicts in Texas in 2015.
In 2014, he served as an arbitrator in a four-week hearing of a $100 million-plus construction dispute, having been appointed to the panel by a former opposing counsel.
In 2013, he and his partner Land Murphy defended a trade secrets case in which the Fortune 500 plaintiff tried to shut down his startup client, which was formed by plaintiff's ex-employees. After months of discovery and a four-day trial at the temporary injunction stage, the state district court granted no meaningful relief to plaintiff and the case settled confidentially soon thereafter.
In 2012, he tried a jury case as co-counsel for a Schlumberger affiliate in a patent infringement suit. He conducted the voir dire examination to select the jury and the direct and cross-examination of the damages experts. The jury returned a nine-figure verdict in the client's favor. The case was one of the top 25 verdicts in Texas in 2012. The case is currently on appeal, with the Federal Circuit having sustained damages of approximately $20 million.
He has been selected as a Texas "SuperLawyer" every year since 2003 and listed every year since 2007 in Chambers USA, Leading Lawyers for Business, for commercial litigation. Chambers has referred to him as “good on his feet” and quoted a peer who said "he just lights up the courtroom" and recognized him as among Texas’ leading individual commercial litigators. In 2013 he was also named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas by SuperLawyers -Texas edition. He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute.
Lee has been a contributor on the radio show "The Price of Business" commenting on diverse topics such as the competitive value of patent protection, factors that drive settlement negotiations in commercial litigation and suggestions on how employers can protect themselves from the loss of intellectual property or from unjustified lawsuits claiming that they have misappropriated others' trade secrets. Lee has been quoted for publication on various important legal issues, including the 2014 Texas Supreme Court case Ritchie v. Rupe, which overturned decades of Texas law and severely restricted or extinguished the rights of minority shareholders in Texas.
Allen White currently serves as Chief IP Counsel for the North American affiliates of the Air Liquide group. He manages a department of 12 full time and 2 contract employees, including 6 attorneys. Allen worked as a patent engineer, prior to admission to the Texas bar in 2001, and as an IP specialist attorney since. Allen's experience includes extensive M&A duedil work, both technology centric and business centric. As part of his responsibilities, Allen drafts and negotiates numerous IP and technology driven agreements from NDAs to JDAs to Commercial Exploitation rights. Allen has also performed numerous FTO's and managed the follow on identified IP risks through opinions, design around counsel, invalidation actions, and licensure procurement. Allen still drafts and prosecutes patent applications, mainly related to the healthcare and life sciences/biotech segment of Air Liquide's diverse business portfolio. Prior to working at Air Liquide, Allen was an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Allen is licensed in Texas and registered with the USPTO.
Roger H. Lee focuses his practice on intellectual property law, with an emphasis on inter partes matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He has extensive experience before the PTAB and has successfully represented petitioners and patent owners in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings.
Roger provides strategic counseling and opinions concerning validity, infringement, and freedom to operate. He helps clients navigate complex disputes involving multiple patents and parallel proceedings. He has conducted appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Roger has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications and managing patent portfolios. He is experienced in all phases of patent prosecution, from drafting applications to conducting appeals. He has obtained numerous patents for clients in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, mechanical, and electrical fields.
Steve is Associate General Counsel, IP for Covidien (now Medtronic) in the Surgical Solutions Group. His practice focuses on all aspects of patent law, including prosecution, litigation, licensing and IP due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, and has, in the past, included managing products liability matters as well as general corporate work. Steve is responsible for IP legal work relating to energy-based surgical devices including electrosurgical instruments and accessories as well as the generators that power them; ultrasonic surgical instruments for sealing and dissecting tissue, and radio-frequency tissue ablation instruments and generators.
Steve has worked at Covidien for the past seven years, and prior to that was an associate at Greenberg Traurig in their Denver, Colorado office and an associate at Sidley Austin in Dallas, Texas.
Paul drafts and negotiates complex IP-related original agreements with R&D partners globally, including national labs, universities, suppliers, scale-up partners and start-ups. He manages global prosecution of a large patent portfolio, relating to a wide variety of products and processes, including lithium batteries, capacitors, complex thin materials, catalysts and chemical processes. In addition, Paul advises clients on all aspects of patent law, including setting up product groups' IP strategies as needed. He helps clients navigate the minefield of competitor patents, and provides creative training to all clients.
Mark A. Tidwell is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the Houston office. He focuses his practice on prosecution, acquisition, licensing, divestiture and enforcement of patent rights, trademark rights, trade secrets and copyrights. Mark has filed and prosecuted hundreds of patent, trademark and copyright applications. He was honored in Intellectual Asset Magazine's Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners, Globe White Page Ltd, 2014 and 2016 for patent prosecution and IP transactions.
Chris serves as Senior IP Counsel for Rovi, a position he has filled since June 2014. Prior to this in-house position, Chris worked for Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications in the electrical and computer software fields. Other firms he has worked for include Arent Fox and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Chris holds his law degree from University of Michigan Law School and has a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. He is accredited by the CA and NY state bars.
Jeffrey Johnson resolves complex commercial and IP litigation for the high-tech, energy and life science industries. Jeffrey earned his reputation as a first class litigator in the Eastern District of Texas, one of the nation’s toughest jurisdictions. Known for extricating clients out of multi-faceted litigation with creative settlements, he now represents clients throughout the country and in Asia.
Claudia Wilson Frost is a partner in the Houston office of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP. She has handled dozens of jury trials in state and federal courts in her 30-plus-year career as a trial lawyer, appellate advocate and strategist. Her experience has been wide-ranging and includes intellectual property and complex commercial litigation, in areas such as oil and gas and energy, telecommunications, technology, financial services and ERISA.
Claudia has been extensively recognized for her practice. Chambers USA notes, “Clients admired [this] 'highly responsive and fabulous strategist' for her powers of ‘brilliant analysis.’ She has a trial background and a depth of appellate experience, with a particular niche in patent infringement.” The Legal 500 has called her “One of Best Known Names in the Field.” Claudia was named one of Law360's "20 Most Influential Women in IP Law" and was featured in 2016 as a "Trial Pro" by Law360. She has been included as an IPStar, listed in IAM Patent 1000 and has been recognized in Euromoney's Guide to Leading US Litigators, Guide to Leading World Litigators and Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law. She has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for more than a decade and is in the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas and Top 100 Lawyers in Houston.
Counsel Jonathan R. Bowser is a member of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Intellectual Property Section. He focuses his practice on intellectual property law, with a special emphasis on inter partes matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, in federal courts, and before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). Jonathan specializes in challenging and defending the validity of patents in post-grant proceedings including inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), covered business method (CBM) review, ex parte reexamination, and reissue applications. Jonathan also focuses on appellate procedures before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Benis a Sales Engineer at Questel for the Midwest and Canada. Ben has been collaborating with numerous Fortune 500 companies in solving their IP related challenge.
Dan Bikus is Dennemeyer’s Central Region Business Development Manager. Dan has 12+ years’ experience consulting with AmLaw 250 and Fortune 500 legal departments. Dan is a seasoned intellectual property strategist. In his current role, Dan coaches corporate IP legal departments on how to maximize the value of their patent/trademark portfolios, while minimizing any unnecessary spend through Dennemeyer’s suite of services. Dan is a member of the IPO, AIPLA, and INTA. Dan has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Illinois State University.
Perving Taleyarkhan is Legal Counsel at Whirlpool. Her experience includes IP strategy, contract negotiation, as well as litigation. Prior to Whirlpool she served as Legal Associate in the IP legal team at Purdue University. She earned her BSChE in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney, School of Law. Pervin is actively involved in the American Bar Association, where she serves on the Editorial Board of the ABA Journal, and is also Editor-in-Chief of the Young Lawyer Division (ABA YLD)'s flagship The Young Lawyer. She is currently Vice Chair of the IP Law Section of the ABA YLD. In addition, Pervin is active in the ABA IP Law Section in various capacities, including work on the Editorial Board of the ABA IPL Section's Landslide magazine and chairing the Section's In-house IP Committee. She is also serving on the IP Counsel at the State Bar of Michigan and the Board of Directors for the Michigan Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). At the regional level, Pervin co-chairs the ACC's Southwest Michigan Committee.
C. Erik Hawes serves intellectual property clients in patent litigation and pre-litigation counseling, patent prosecution, management of patent and trademark portfolios, trade secrets and confidentiality issues, due diligence concerning IP issues in transactions, and day-to-day counseling concerning IP issues of every size and shape. While he has a strong background in other industries, Erik works extensively with clients in the oil and gas industry.