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!
The Women in IP Committee