The Women in IP Committee of the AIPLA is pleased to announce THERESA STADHEIM as a Woman to Watch!

stadheimtheresaslw-070_57cropThe Women to Watch Series was established by the Women in IP Committee as an avenue to recognize women within the AIPLA community for excellence and accomplishments. Through a peer-nomination process, the Women to Watch Series strives to honor women who have created their own paths, who lead through strong examples, and who are achieving successes as a result of their choices and leadership, but who may not be widely known in the AIPLA community.

 We are pleased to introduce Theresa Stadheim, in her own words:

Years working in IP:

6 years

Years with current organization:

4 years

Current location:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Current role:

Associate at Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner (SLW)

What I do:

I prepare and prosecute patents in the electrical, computer, and mechanical arts, with a focus on telecommunication patents and more specifically on standards-essential patents.  I speak on various patent law topics through AIPLA and am Co-Editor in Chief of a book to be published through AIPLA regarding standards and standards-essential patents.  I am also involved in the Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association and I chair the women’s committee of that organization. 

Previous roles:

Before law school, I was an electrical engineer at leading companies in the automotive industry and the printer industry, including John Deere, Datacard, HP ColorSpan and Case New Holland.

Years and involvement with AIPLA:

I have been involved with AIPLA since 2012. I went to the Annual Meeting that year and became active on the Program Planning Committee.  From there I got involved in drafting speaker papers for several of the AIPLA speakers.  Then, Iris Mok got me involved with the IP Practice in Europe Committee, through which I was able to speak on various topics both in Europe and at the 2015 Spring Meeting.  Also, through the Program Planning Committee and through Brad Forrest, I met Michael Drapkin and became involved in my book project involving Standards and Standards-Essential Patents. 

Q.  What was the best professional decision you ever made?

Taking a risk to leave engineering to go to law school.  Engineering was a secure, well-paid field to be in, but I knew I’d like patent law even better.  

Q.  What was the worst professional decision you ever made?

Taking the first engineering job I could find after graduating, rather than holding out for what I really wanted.  Luckily, I was able to meet and get help from people who could get me my dream engineering job, but it would have been easy to get bogged down or become complacent rather than seeking what I really wanted. 

Q.  What would you consider your greatest professional achievement so far?

Being involved on my book project.  A lot of people never get a chance to be involved on such a high-visibility project, but through personal achievement and through connections, I am able to realize that dream. 

Q.  In your opinion, what could women be doing better to advance their careers?

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  The first time you try it, you might feel like you’re being too aggressive but it is important to remember that others can’t read your mind.  Sometimes speaking up is the only way to let others know what is important to you.  I recall having a talk with one boss about something I was interested in doing, and he said he had no idea that I was interested in such a project.  I got put on that project right away!

Q.  What is the best advice you have received?

Never be ashamed to ask for help.  People will remember the good things you accomplished, and you will avoid getting behind on things by delegating tasks that others can perform just as well. 

More about Theresa:

If they bottled my personality, the label would read:

Warning: Contagious Energy and Enthusiasm Enclosed!

Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway:

Managing the work of others.  This is something I never did as an engineer and something I thought I wouldn’t like, but I’ve recently started doing this at my firm.  I’ve learned a lot and been through trials and tribulations (probably with more to come), but it has been personally and professionally rewarding!

One thing people are surprised to find out about me:

I am a ham radio operator (call sign NS9C).  I used to be involved in the local ham radio club as a volunteer examiner, general technical consultant, and FEMA organizer, though I haven’t had time since becoming an attorney.  I’ve been a ham since high school and it is what got me interested in electrical engineering as a profession.   

The Women in IP Committee of the AIPLA is pleased to announce LISA FERRI as a Woman to Watch!

The Women to Watch Series was established by the Women in IP Committee as an avenue to recognize women within the AIPLA community for excellence and accomplishments. Through a peer-nomination process, the Women to Watch Series strives to honor women who have created their own paths, who lead through strong examples, and who are achieving successes as a result of their choices and leadership, but who may not be widely known in the AIPLA community.

We are pleased to introduce Lisa Ferri, in her own words:

Years working in IP:

25

Years with current organization:

7 1/2

 Current location:

 Mayer Brown LLP

1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY

Current role:

 Partner and Head of the NY Intellectual Property Group of Mayer Brown LLP; Co-Chair of the Mayer Brown Women’s Leadership Committee

 What I do: 

I am a litigator and trial attorney representing global pharmaceutical companies in high stakes patent litigation before various courts throughout the country.  I help these companies protect new technologies and life-saving products for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, cancer and autoimmune diseases, to name just a few.  I also have administrative roles within my law firm, heading up the New York IP group, which has experienced explosive growth in the past several years, and serving as co-chair of both the New York office’s Women’s Forum and the global Women’s Leadership Committee.  I am also an adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, where I teach Patent Litigation.

 Previous roles:

 I have been practicing law for over twenty-five years.  Prior to entering private practice I clerked for Chief Judge Edward Re of the U.S. Court of International Trade.

 Years and involvement with AIPLA:

 I have been a member of AIPLA (on and off) throughout my career.  I was very proud to have one of my partners, Sharon Israel, serve as the President recently.  Our firm has sponsored a number of AIPLA events and we were able to boost our Mayer Brown enrollment.

What was the best professional decision you ever made?

 I began my career as an associate in the litigation group of a large New York City law firm working on various corporate and securities related litigations. When a patent litigation came into the office involving the early HIV/AIDs drug AZT in one of the first patent challenges brought under the Hatch-Waxman statutes, I jumped at the chance to work on it.  I quickly followed that up with another patent case involving nicotine patches.  I enjoyed the challenge presented by the necessity to distill, for a non-technical judge or jury, the complexity of the science and substantive patent law so much so that I left the firm and joined a small IP boutique in order to specialize in this field.

I’m now working on cutting-edge pharma and biotech patent litigation and have been on the front lines of defining the law in the area of biotechnology patent law by helping to protect new antibody therapies. Biologic therapies are the new frontier in the life sciences field, with many of the largest pharmaceutical companies expanding into this key market.

I’m very happy that I explored a different path, as it has turned out to be a very rewarding career.

What was the worst professional decision you ever made?

Professionally speaking, I have very few regrets—I am very fortunate to have a wonderful career.  One thing that I might do differently, however, is to begin building my practice earlier in my career.  As a young lawyer, I believed that it was important to build my experience and competency first, and then the business would follow.  I now know that you need to start developing your network of potential business contacts from the very beginning of your career as it takes years to build a relationship that may grow into business.

 What would you consider your greatest professional achievement so far?

 As a partner: building a successful and wide-ranging life sciences practice, representing some of the worlds’ largest innovators in the bio-pharmaceutical field.  As a Practice Leader:  cultivating a diverse and collaborative IP office, with equal numbers of men and women associates and partners.

 In your opinion, what could women be doing better to advance their careers?

I think that women should begin building their “brand” and network early in their careers.  Frankly, women should begin while they are in law school to maintain friendships and relationships and build from there throughout their careers.  Your classmates, colleagues and contacts may one day become clients, so it is never too early to start building relationships that may grow into a future business opportunities.

What is the best advice you have received?

 Create your own path to success—you don’t need to follow the same route as others in your field. This is particularly important for women litigators, as there are many styles and ways to be effective. It’s more important to be true to yourself.

 More about Lisa:

If they bottled my personality, the label would read:

 Zen-like surface masks an ambitious, indefatigable advocate at core.

 Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway:

 Teared up for days when my first child left for college.

 One thing people are surprised to find out about me:

I spent a college semester in Jordan studying Arabic.

 

The Women in IP Committee of the AIPLA is pleased to announce SANGEETA SHAH as a Woman to Watch!

The Women to Watch Series was established by the Women in IP Committee as an avenue to recognize women within the AIPLA community for excellence and accomplishments. Through a peer-nomination process, the Women to Watch Series strives to honor women who have created their own paths, who lead through strong examples, and who are achieving successes as a result of their choices and leadership, but who may not be widely known in the AIPLA community.

We are pleased to introduce Sangeeta Shah, in her own words:

Years working in IP: 23 Years

Years with current organization: 23 years

Current location: Southfield, MI

Current role: Shareholder, Co-Chair Post-Grant Proceedings, Chief Diversify Officer

What I do: I wear many hats at Brooks Kushman. As the Co-Chair of the firm’s Post-Grant Proceedings Group I work with clients on devising and implementing business-centric, litigation strategies that employ post-grant proceedings.  As the Chief Diversity officer for Brooks Kushman, my efforts are focused building and nurturing a firm culture that is focused on inclusion. I also manage patent portfolios for clients in the food and beverage, automotive and life science industries.

Previous roles: Throughout my career at Brooks Kushman, I have managed to maintain a diverse practice. For the first several years of my career, I learned the art of patent prosecution.  Then, after working on my first litigation in 1995, I was hooked and worked almost exclusively on litigation matters for over a decade.  As my daughter grew older, I chose to reduce my litigation practice and shifted my focus to client counseling, patent prosecution and opinion work.  

Years and involvement with AIPLA: On and off for 10 years

Q.  What was the best professional decision you ever made?

A.  Delving into unchartered territory and developing expertise at the onset of the AIA post-grant proceeding roll-out.  I have enjoyed putting to use my litigation, prosecution and client counseling skills in this new practice area with its ever-changing landscape.

Q.  What was the worst professional decision you ever made?

A.  To handle a multi-pronged IP strategy for a start-up that I later learned had a pattern of running up legal bills and avoiding payment

Q.  What would you consider your greatest professional achievement so far?

A.  Staying true to myself and my varied interests which has led me to pursue all facets of IP, take part in firm management and adopt a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives that have improved our firm culture, cohesiveness and ability to hire and retain diverse professionals.

Q.  In your opinion, what could women be doing better to advance their careers?

A.  Women (and men) should seek out mentors all through their careers to help them grow their professional and practice-related skills.  Such mentors serve as champions for new opportunities and advancement and help us become an effective advocate for our clients and ourselves.  And, don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, pave the path that you seek.

Q.  What is the best advice you have received?

A. In your life, if you do not do what you cannot do, it is not a problem. But if you do not do what you can do, your life is a tragedy.

More about Sangeeta:

If they bottled my personality, the label would read:  Passionate, caring and intelligent with a touch of daring

Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway:  Taking on more roles and responsibilities, I can’t seem to resist. . . 

One thing people are surprised to find out about me:  My passion for charitable work which led me to start a non-profit, Retooling Detroit, to help inner city children obtain the basic reading and math skills needed to reach their potential.

Click here to link to Sangeeta’s profile.

 

Stay tuned for our next Woman to Watch!

Regards,

The Women in IP Committee

The Women in IP Committee of the AIPLA is pleased to announce CYNTHIA GILBERT as a Woman to Watch!

The Women to Watch Series was established by the Women in IP Committee as an avenue to recognize women within the AIPLA community for excellence and accomplishments. Through a peer-nomination process, the Women to Watch Series strives to honor women who have created their own paths, who lead through strong examples, and who are achieving successes as a result of their choices and leadership, but who may not be widely known in the AIPLA community. 

 

We are pleased to introduce Cynthia Gilbert, in her own words:

 

Years working in IP: 11

 Years with current organization: 5.5

 Current location: Cambridge, MA

 Current role: Owner, Patent attorney at Hyperion Law

 What I do: Educate clients on how patents can advance their business objectives, develop and execute patent strategies, and empower clients to better understand and leverage their patent portfolios.

Previous roles: Associate at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP; Associate at Lahive & Cockfield, LLP; Member of Technical Staff, Verizon Labs (formerly GTE Labs).

Years and involvement with AIPLA: 11

 

Q.  What was the best professional decision you ever made?

A.  Deciding to start my own law firm.  It is worth all of the risk and uncertainty and effort I put into the business to have the privilege of serving clients I genuinely believe in.

 

Q.  What was the worst professional decision you ever made?

A.  Getting lost in other people’s expectations for what my career was “supposed” to look like and losing perspective on what was really important to me.  Once I was able to identify the type of work that mattered to me and the kind of environments that would support those priorities, I became a stronger lawyer (and a happier person!).

 

Q.  What would you consider your greatest professional achievement so far?

A.  Accomplishing my goal of building a successful legal career, sustaining my career during particularly tough economic times, and creating a thriving law firm.

 

Q.  In your opinion, what could women be doing better to advance their careers?

A.  I think many of us struggle with “good girl” syndrome – with finding (and listening to) our own voices, and putting other people’s expectations in perspective.  We are not often encouraged to do the intense, soul searching work of honestly identifying what we really want to accomplish in life, and to make the necessary changes so that we are acting in a way that furthers those goals and to do that work over and over again over the course of our lifetimes, so that we stay in sync with our changing circumstances.  But the mentors and role models I know (men and women) who invest in this effort benefit not just by advancing their careers but by becoming better professionals and people.

 

Q.  What is the best advice you have received?

A.  Remember that no one else is going to ask you if you’re happy, if you’re accomplishing your goals, if you’re finding fulfillment in your job.  Make an appointment twice a year with yourself and ask yourself these important questions.

 

More about Cynthia:

 

If they bottled my personality, the label would read: Intelligence, ambition, curiosity, passion.

 

Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway:  Become an entrepreneur.  I always thought running a business was something my clients did – until I started my own law firm and realized I loved being an entrepreneur myself.

 

One thing people are surprised to find out about me:  How passionate I am about both business (especially organizational design / culture) and science (especially astrophysics and neuroscience).

 

Stay tuned for our next Woman to Watch!

Regards,

The Women in IP Committee

Hope to see you at the Women in IP Law B

Hope to see you at the Women in IP Law Breakfast 6:45-8:45am Fri. Oct 23: “Perspectives of Women on the Judiciary” #WomeninIP

Women in IP Law Breakfast 7-9am Fri. Jan

Women in IP Law Breakfast 6:45am-8:45am Fri. Oct 23 at the Annual Meeting for “Perspectives of Women on the Judiciary.” #WomeninIP

Women in IP Law Breakfast 7-9am Fri. Jan

Women in IP Law Breakfast 7-9am Fri. Jan. 30 at the Annual Meeting

“Perspectives of Women on the Judiciary” : In this panel, women will discuss their careers on the judiciary, including challenges they face, as well as their appointments and the backgrounds that led them to their current positions.
Moderator: Denise DeFranco, incoming AIPLA President, Partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Panelists:
Judge Kimberly Moore of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington, D.C.)
Judge Laurie J. Michelson, E.D., Michigan (Detroit)
Judge Joy Flowers Conti, Chief Judge, W.D. Pennsylvania
Judge Lorelei Ritchie, USPTO, (Los Angeles, CA)
Sponsor: Lee & Hayes

#WomeninIP”