Romi is the Associate Chief Counsel for the Industrial Technologies Group at Danaher Corporation, a $20 billion science and technology company. He has 20 years of patent prosecution experience in the electrical, software and electromechanical arts as well as in all aspects of corporate IP practice, including patent technology licensing, IP due diligence for M&A transactions, open source software matters, and litigation. Prior to joining Danaher he was a member of the corporate law departments at Molex and Motorola. Before that he was with the private IP firm of Fitch Even Tabin and Flannery. Romi’s technical experience includes engineering positions at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Cummins Engine Company.
Anne Burkhart has been registered before the USPTO since 1992. Anne earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Cincinnati and a Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall Law School. Anne provides IP portfolio management and evaluation services for Medela. A key aspect of Medela’s success is a relentless focus on research-based medical technology. Medela produces products and innovations related to Breastfeeding and Medical Vacuum Technology. Medela was founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson. Since then, the company manufactures its key products in Switzerland and the USA and has further subsidiaries in Europe, North America and Asia. The company employs over 1000 people worldwide.
Aaron Weinzierl is Counsel, IP at United Airlines. Prior to joining United, Aaron spent 10 years as Senior Counsel at Foley & Lardner LLP. Aaron obtained his Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law. Additionally, he holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois.
Brad Lawrence focuses his practice on intellectual property (IP) counseling including the protection of clients' inventions through carefully planned patent procurement, integrated with other strategic considerations, including development of licensing strategies and analysis of the IP and product positions of others. Brad also devotes a significant amount of time to performing product clearances in the form of non-infringement and/or invalidity opinions. He also has significant prior litigation experience that includes many aspects of patent, trademark, and trade secret litigation as well as licensing and other extrajudicial resolution of IP disputes.
Ivan Kirchev is a Senior IP Licensing Counsel with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Ivan has significant experience in all areas of IP including licensing and IP transactions, patent acquisitions and divestitures, standards licensing, portfolio development and strategy, IP litigation, and legal opinions.
As a member of HPE’s IP Licensing team, Ivan is responsible for extracting value from HPE's intellectual property by executing all activities around identifying, analyzing and closing various IP related transactions. He is heavily involved in the negotiating and drafting of various IP agreements and licenses (e.g., cross-licenses, outbound patent licenses, technology transfers, software license agreements, joint development agreements, NDAs, etc.). He works closely with the rest of the IP team and the businesses to provide strategic IP-related counseling to different internal groups related to products, patents, and competitors to identify, analyze, and advice on IP issues and opportunities. Ivan also works on divestitures, patent acquisitions and sales, and standards licensing. He counsels various business units and the M&A team in transactions involving HPE’s patents, trademarks, and copyright. Ivan also collaborates with the IP litigation team to handle third-party patent demands, to prepare for and participate in litigation disputes involving HPE’s patents. He regularly identifies valuable IP technologies (e.g. know-how, patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.) in the company and derives value from this IP, either by protecting exclusivity or licensing.
Ms. Benkers joined Plano Synergy as the company’s General Counsel in May, 2015. Ms. Benkers is a member of the company's Executive Committee and is responsible for overseeing the Plano Synergy companies’ legal affairs including litigation, intellectual property, and corporate matters.
Prior to joining Plano Synergy, Ms. Benkers was a partner at Quarles & Brady LLP where she specialized in the areas of general commercial and intellectual property litigation. At Quarles & Brady, Ms. Benkers handled a wide variety of commercial disputes including patent infringement, trade secret, copyright infringement, trademark, false advertising, breach of contract, fraud, UCC claims, insurance coverage, breach of restrictive covenants, real estate, employment, licensing and various other business disputes. Outside of the litigation context, Ms. Benkers counseled clients on business practices on a number of fronts, including securing and protecting their intellectual property, advertising, regulatory and environmental issues, document retention issues, and other general business advice.
Josie obtained her Juris Doctorate, cum laude from the University of Wisconsin. She also obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree, magna cum laude, in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Psychology.
Christine is Assistant General Counsel, IP Legal at Astellas, where she supports commercialization of pharmaceutical products in international markets. In addition, she provides strategic patent portfolio management and supports M&A activity and commercial contract negotiations for pharmaceutical products currently in development. She also serves as the IP delegate to Astellas’s government affairs group. Prior to joining Astellas, Christine spent 15 years in private practice representing IP clients covering the full range of a drug’s lifecycle, ranging from NIH and startup operations through generic-side Hatch Waxman litigation. She graduated from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Chicago.
Sandra Frantzen practices a broad range of intellectual property law focusing on patent litigation and patent portfolio consulting and management in the medical device, pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries.
Ms. Frantzen is a trial attorney and litigator who focuses on assisting clients with resolving worldwide intellectual property disputes. Serving as lead trial counsel on behalf of a wide range of clients including both start-up and Fortune 500 companies, Ms. Frantzen's work for clients has ranged from small cases to cases involving damages in the hundreds of millions. Ms. Frantzen participates in all aspects of dispute resolution from pre-litigation consultation to trial and appellate work. Her work as lead trial counsel includes assessing and reviewing the legal issues surrounding clients’ technologies, formulating litigation and dispute resolution strategy, appearing and arguing in court, preparing for and participating in jury trials and arbitration proceedings, and spearheading mediation and settlement sessions. Ms. Frantzen has appeared on behalf of clients in federal courts throughout the country and has also managed worldwide litigations alongside OUS counsel. One client from an international biotechnology company stated, “Sandra was absolutely instrumental in the successful defense and resolution of this case that was, quite literally, ‘bet-the-company' litigation. This experience led my company to work with Sandra on multiple other matters, and she has never failed to deliver. Having worked with and against some of the best lawyers our profession has to offer, I can unequivocally say that Sandra is among the elite of the elite. As a client and as a professional colleague, this is one lawyer that I definitely want on my side of the table.”
A member of the Patent Bar and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office, Ms. Frantzen is well-versed in handling proceedings with the U.S. Patent Office and has been lead counsel in several inter partes review proceedings including multiple favorable decisions after full trial on the merits.
Ms. Frantzen also regularly advises clients on strategic IP development, acquisition, protection and enforcement with a focus on value. Among other things, she has experience evaluating patents and patent portfolios, drafting and negotiating license and manufacturing agreements, consulting regarding licensing matters, performing due diligence review and analysis of intellectual property rights for corporate acquisitions and mergers, and assisting clients in obtaining patents, copyright, and trademark registrations. Ms. Frantzen has also served as lead IP counsel assisting clients in corporate acquisitions.
Ms. Frantzen graduated from Iowa State University with high distinction with B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Science, and received her law degree from The University of Chicago Law School in 1999, where she also graduated with honors. Ms. Frantzen has been recognized by SuperLawyers and was recognized in the Law Bulletin’s list of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40.”
Thaddeus is responsible for enterprise-wide IP strategy and global management of the Brady intellectual property portfolio and staff. Brady Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect premises, products and people. Its products help customers increase safety, security, productivity and performance. Brady's products include high-performance labels and signs, safety devices, printing systems, customer focused software, and precision die-cut materials. Founded in 1914, the company has operations in 20+ countries, 400+ patents, 1000+ trademarks and millions of customers in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, education, medical and a variety of other industries. Some of his duties and activity include: serve as a key member of Legal and R&D Global Director/Senior management teams, develop and implement strategies across all business units and global regions to enhance Brady’s technological and competitive position, guide overall patent and trademark portfolio development for future licensing and enforcement, partner with marketing and design teams to develop high impact products and brands.
Megan Rimovsky, (Cannabistry Labs) has directed the intellectual property strategy and management at Cannabistry Labs, an IP licensing company, since August 2016. Cannabistry Labs’ intellectual property portfolio includes the technology and know-how to commercialize and scale a diverse array of product, manufacturing and packaging technologies and the trademarks to brands that effectively communicate with targeted consumers. Megan is both the Director of Intellectual Property and in-house legal counsel, which gives her a unique perspective in an emerging industry where the law has not yet caught up to the practice. In addition to her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Megan has a Master’s in Intellectual Property Markets & Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She has previously worked in financial services in the IP department of the leading futures and options trading platform and in the legal departments for financial institutions.
Leslie F. Spasser handles complex technology and related transactions for clients in the media and entertainment, communications health care, automotive and financial services industries. Leveraging eight years of in-house experience as well as her work as outside counsel, Leslie provides practical counsel and guidance to clients on complicated technology and privacy issues. She works closely with their business and legal teams to understand and help them achieve their key objectives.
Typical transactions that Leslie handles involve one or more of the following: Cloud computing/hosted services; technology and media licensing; video programming distribution; outsourcing; advertising and new technology development and deployment. Leslie also provides counseling on privacy and data security issues and compliance with applicable privacy and data security laws as well as industry self-regulatory guidelines (such as for Internet marketing, direct marketing, and mobile marketing).
Spencer Wood is a technology transactions attorney who helps clients seeking to exploit and protect intellectual property rights. As part of his tech licensing practice, Spencer develops and negotiates R&D deals for companies in advanced manufacturing, robotics and other high tech industries. He helps clients from term sheet stage through execution of cross-border joint development and collaboration agreements as well as long-term purchase, sale, distribution and reseller agreements.
Spencer also helps advertisers with sponsorship, joint promotion, and marketing agreements, as well as media purchasing, product placement, and branded entertainment deals. He counsels media companies entering into copyright licenses, appearance releases, and production agreements and advises on matters of fair use, clearances and publicity rights.
His clients have included private equity firms, consumer products manufacturers, apparel and textile manufacturers, media production companies, banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, e-commerce website operators, Internet security firms, defense contractors, steel manufacturers, warehouse systems manufacturers, cultural and educational institutions, and industry trade associations. He has represented start-up companies, as well as multi-national organizations.
On a pro bono basis, Spencer regularly represents individuals and nonprofits in relation to media rights and intellectual property licensing issues.
Mr. Mehta is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Gogo LLC, the leading provider of in-flight connectivity. In his role at Gogo, Mr. Mehta oversees the IP portfolio and is responsible for establishing the company’s innovation initiatives. In addition to handling IP matters, Mr. Mehta regularly negotiates IP and IT related transactions with airlines, airframe manufacturers, satellite capacity providers, and other key partners for Gogo. Prior to joining Gogo, Mr. Mehta worked as a senior attorney at IBM, and before that, in the IP transactions group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Mr. Mehta started his career in patent prosecution and litigation at Leydig Voit & Mayer Ltd.
Erika S. Wilson is a business attorney with 20 years domestic and international corporate counsel experience across multiple technology and industrial sectors. She is currently the Global Chief Intellectual Property Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary at Cabot Microelectronics. At Cabot Microelectronics, she is responsible for the worldwide capture, protection, and commercialization of Cabot Microelectronics’ intellectual property, as well as defining and promoting the best IP practices and processes for the company.
Prior to joining Cabot Microelectronics, Ms. Wilson worked as legal counsel for Honeywell International, Pfizer Inc. and ExxonMobil. Prior to moving in-house, she was a litigation associate with the Jones Walker law firm.
Ms. Wilson is a graduate of Tuskegee University’s Chemical Engineering program. She is also a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, Illinois and the United States Patent & Trademark Office. She resides in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband and daughter.
Christopher Carroll is an Intellectual Property partner based in the Firm's Boston office, with a dual practice in London. He concentrates his practice on providing strategic patent advocacy and is licensed to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the UK High Court. He provides advice and develops strategies for clients on patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Christopher's engineering background enables him to focus on the areas of mechanical, electrical, software and communications engineering including wireless protocols, Internet protocols and information security. His clients include software, telecommunications, medical and Internet companies.
Christopher's experience involves drafting and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications and advising on patent portfolios for clients located all over the world. He regularly prepares legal opinions regarding patent validity, infringement and freedom-to-operate, provided due diligence opinions related to intellectual property, and drafted technology-related license agreements. He also has extensive experience handling Opposition and Appeal proceedings at the European Patent Office.
Prior to joining White & Case, Christopher was Counsel at an international law firm. In his earlier career prior to attending law school, Christopher supervised research related to wireless communications network security at Verizon and GTE Laboratories. He also developed Mobile IP cryptographic key distribution procedure used by Verizon Wireless in its 3G data service. His background also encompasses service in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force as a nuclear reactor operator. Christopher is an inventor of eight U.S. patents related to wireless security.
Ms. Chowdhury is an experienced Seasoned Senior IP Counsel with years of a complete spectrum of strategic global IP experience prosecuting, litigating, licensing, conducting due diligence, & assessing patentability/freedom to operate to support business objectives. She developed and supervised strategic global IP portfolio of companies in line with business objectives considering competitor presence, legal enforceability, and detectability in cost effective manner by saving over $500,000 per year. As first and only in-house patent attorney for last 8 years, established and implemented international trade secret protection plan and managed global IP portfolio of companies. Advised CEO, R&D leaders, and upper management on freedom-to-operate, due diligence investigations, collaboration agreements, in- and out-license deals, joint ventures, and MA matters to assist with business needs.
Kirk Goodwin leads the Whirlpool global patent team as well as the global legal team for Whirlpool's Global Information Technology.
Kirk studied Biomedical Engineering in his undergrad and graduate school at the University of Iowa and remains a devote Hawkeye fan. Kirk received his JD (with honors) from Drake University and is admitted to the USPTO, Iowa, Georgia and Michigan bars.
Kirk lives on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan in idyllic Saint Joseph in southwest Michigan and enjoys spending time with his wife Bonnie and two children, Ella and Justice.
Edward H. Rice is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex commercial litigation and, in particular, intellectual property disputes. For more than 30 years, Ed has safely navigated clients through challenging lawsuits by presenting difficult concepts in simple, clear and compelling terms.
Ed began his career at a large national law firm, after which he clerked for a federal judge in Chicago. He then honed his trial skills at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he defended the federal government in patent disputes and other intellectual property claims asserted by defense contractors and others.
Since returning to law firm practice, Ed has led successful trial teams in all of the major courts in which patent cases are tried: the federal district courts, the International Trade Commission (which addresses infringement disputes over products that are imported into the U.S.) and the Court of Federal Claims (which addresses the government's unauthorized use of patented technology). Ed also has successfully argued many cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, including an en banc rehearing. His cases have encompassed a wide range of technologies, including medical devices, integrated circuits, pharmaceuticals, internet methods and consumer electronics, to name just a few.
As much as Ed enjoys trial advocacy, he takes even greater pride in applying creative strategies that bring cases to a swift and efficient conclusion. He recently won a patent case on a non-infringement argument that he framed within an initial motion to dismiss. The strategy saved the client from spending money and resources on discovery, claim construction proceedings and trial. Ed later applied this same strategy for another client, again shooting down an infringement claim with a threshold, rifle-shot motion.
Ed's experience also extends beyond patent litigation. He has represented clients in trademark infringement cases, trade secret litigation and copyright disputes—including a copyright trial over the movie Twister, in which Ed represented Stephen Spielberg, Michael Crichton and the studios. In addition, Ed has counseled clients who have faced intellectual property issues arising in a wide range of legal and business matters, such as bankruptcy proceedings, insurance litigation, merger and acquisition negotiations, licensing activities and employment disputes.
Michael J. Bonella has extensive experience as a litigator, as well as a patent prosecutor. Michael has argued cases before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. For example, Michael successfully represented Biosig Instruments against Nautilus at the Federal Circuit, where the appellate Court reversed the District Court’s invalidity finding. Michael further developed Biosig’s strategy for the Supreme Court proceedings in which the Supreme Court essentially adopted the indefiniteness standard proposed by Biosig in the landmark case decided last year.
In addition, Michael has been the lead lawyer on a number of district court litigations, representing both plaintiffs and defendants and is well-versed in all aspects of district court litigation. For instance, he was the primary force behind a settlement valued at $45 million for TruePosition. He is also well-versed in post-grant proceedings (e.g., reexamination, opposition, and Inter Parties Review (IPR)) before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Michael is one of the few attorneys who has an LLM in Trial Advocacy and is also a registered patent attorney. In complex litigation, Michael’s strategy is to focus on trial from the onset of litigation and to maintain that focus throughout the case. By focusing on trial from the outset, Michael states that the “entire case can be managed strategically and with specific purposes and goals.”
Michael also has experience managing patent portfolios and counseling clients on intellectual property issues. He emphasizes strategies aimed at protecting the client’s core business with an eye towards client’s competitors. Michael focuses on understanding the client’s business, the client’s products, and the competition the client faces in the market place to develop patent strategies that are tailored to each individual client.
When asked about his formative technological experiences, Michael mentioned the flexibility he showed in the U.S. Naval Submarine program. Although Michael’s undergraduate degree was in mechanical engineering, Michael was certified as a nuclear engineering by the U.S. Navy and received advanced training in electrical engineering from the U.S. Navy. Basically, he notes, this background helps in learning each clients’ technology, whether it is medical device, telecommunications, software, or electrical hardware technology. He has extensive experience in all of these areas.
Companies and individuals work hard to create business opportunities to build on a successful business. Understanding this, Ross helps them protect their business and realize the gains of their efforts by developing the proper IP strategy. “It’s important to understand the goals of each business, and focus the business’ IP strategy in a direction that helps meet those goals,” Ross says. “When I’m advising larger financial services or medical device clients, I have a different approach than, say, smaller tech startups.”
In successfully prosecuting utility patent applications, design patent applications, and trademark applications for his clients, Ross has gained valuable experience in both foreign and domestic prosecution. After the patents or trademarks have been obtained, Ross also works with clients to develop the proper licensing or litigation strategy for protecting their rights. In fact, Ross has spent nearly 10 years supporting litigation and licensing efforts.
Ross has valuable experience formulating and executing post-grant strategy on behalf of his clients as well. “Due to your limited opportunity to convince an adverse party of your position, whether it be an Examiner in a reexam or a company in litigation, going in with the proper strategy is 90% of the battle,” Ross reminds his clients. “Preparing the proper initial strategy for success to drive the variables toward improving your position in litigation or licensing discussions is always fact intensive. You have to spend the right amount of time upfront.”
Ross understands the technological, legal, and business aspects of inventions that leverage electrical and computer systems. For example, he is familiar with computer hardware and software, mobile devices (e.g., apps, cell phones, tablets, etc.), medical devices, wired and wireless networking systems (e.g., Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Zigbee, etc.), telecommunications systems, load control systems, and manufacturing systems. Having been exposed to a substantial breadth of industries, including financial services, software development, home automation, medical device, and telecommunications, Ross has the ability to tailor strategies to specific market segments.
Prior to practicing law, Ross worked as a software developer and technical support expert to learn the ins and outs of the technology he helps protect today. While in law school, Ross was an Executive Editor of the Syracuse Law Review and Associate Editor of the Syracuse Science and Technology Law Reporter.
Todd R. Walters is the Chair of the firm’s Patent Office Litigation practice and Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property section. He is a current Vice Chair of IPO U.S. Post-Grant Patent Office Practice Committee. He is the past Chair of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Trial Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the past Chair of the USPTO Post Grant and Inter Partes Practice Committee of the American Bar Association-Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL) section. He has previously served as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, and Executive Management team and Co-leader of the IP Section. He has previously served as Chair of the Interference Committee of the AIPLA. He has also served as Vice-chair of the Interference Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) association for approximately ten years.
Mr. Levitt’s 30 years of legal experience centers in the corporate sector where he has been at the forefront of intellectual property changes. As Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Dow Corning Corporation, Mr. Levitt led a global team of more than 25 employees to advance and protect Dow Corning’s diverse technologies and markets. Previously, Mr. Levitt served as corporate counsel at DuPont and General Counsel of Solae, LLC, a joint venture by DuPont and Bunge.
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.