Patent Public Advisory Committee Members Biographical Information


Mark E. Goodson, PE

Mr. Goodson is the founder and principal engineer of Goodson Engineering in Denton, Texas, where he leads a team of professional engineers with specialties in electrical, mechanical, fire protection, and forensic engineering. Mr. Goodson is a consultant for public sector agencies, including police departments, District Attorney’s offices, morgues, prisons and crime labs. He is experienced in electrical death and injury analysis, carbon monoxide death analysis, and mechanical fire causation. His work has been published in numerous industry journals. He was the first engineer to serve on the State of Texas Electrical Board. He is a peer reviewer for the Fire & Arson Investigator Journal, and is the engineer serving on the Texas Fire Marshal’s Science Advisory Workgroup, where fire-related criminal convictions are being reviewed for accuracy of scientific evidence. In 2014, he was appointed to the NIST panel on forensic sciences (NIST –OSAC). He has testified in excess of 450 instances as an expert witness. Mr. Goodson holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Texas A&M, and attended UT Southwestern where he studied forensics. He is a licensed engineer in 15 states and holds four patents, with several more pending. Mr. Goodson is currently serving his first term as a PPAC member.

Paul S. Jacobs, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacobs is the founder and president of Jake Technologies, Inc., a technology service company focused on strategic technology development, product evaluation, and advising corporate counsel and law firms on issues related to intellectual property. Prior to founding Jake Technologies, Inc., Dr. Jacobs held leadership positions as chief technology officer, Primus Technology Solutions; president and chief operating officer, and chief technology officer, AnswerLogic, Inc.; managing vice president, electronic commerce, director of product marketing, and director of media information technologies, SRA International, Inc.; president and chief executive officer, IsoQuest, Inc.; and as a computer scientist at General Electric. Dr. Jacobs received his bachelor's and master's degrees in applied mathematics at Harvard University; and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently teaches Information Architecture at the University of Maryland in College Park. Dr. Jacobs is serving his first term as a member of the PPAC.

Marylee Jenkins, Esq. (Vice Chair)

Ms. Jenkins is a partner and leads the Intellectual Property Group in the New York office of Arent Fox LLP. Her practice focuses on counseling and litigation for computer and Internet matters, including e-commerce; licensing and co-branding; advertising; domain name disputes; portfolio management; patent applications and enforcement; and bankruptcy. She has experience with hardware and software industries; electrical and electromechanical systems; the information and financial sectors; consumer products; medical devices; and various computer-related technologies. Ms. Jenkins is the past chairperson of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Intellectual Property Law, and a former president of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. She currently serves on the ABA Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems. Ms. Jenkins received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science; a bachelor's degree in physics from Centre College of Kentucky; and her law degree from New York Law School. She is serving her first term as a PPAC member.

Esther M. Kepplinger (Chair)

Ms. Kepplinger is currently the director of Patent Operations at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. Her responsibilities include serving as the firm's liaison to the USPTO. She served for five years as the deputy commissioner for patent operations at the USPTO. During her tenure at the USPTO, she assisted in the development of policy for the patent examining corps, played an active role in Trilateral meetings and projects, and she led several international negotiations working with other patent offices and the World Intellectual Property Organization to draft agreements, rules, and standards. She has 36 years of experience in intellectual property protection, spending 32 years at the USPTO. She received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Kepplinger is currently serving her second term as a PPAC member.

Dan H. Lang, Esq.

Mr. Lang is vice president, intellectual property, and deputy general counsel at Cisco Systems located in San Jose, California. He leads a team responsible for Cisco’s intellectual property program, including portfolio development, patent licensing and acquisition, and policy.  He has overall responsibility for leading a telecommunications industry portfolio of over 11,000 U.S. patents. Mr. Lang is also registered to practice before the USPTO. Mr. Lang is serving his first term as a PPAC member.

Wayne P. Sobon, Esq.

Mr. Sobon is currently associate general counsel and director of intellectual property for Accenture, where he is responsible for the global management of Accenture's intellectual property matters, including: patent procurement; portfolio management; trademark prosecution; licensing; client negotiations and contract shaping; dispute resolutions and litigation; and related intellectual property issues. Mr. Sobon received a bachelor's degree in physics and a bachelor's degree in German studies from Stanford University. He received his law degree and master's in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Sobon is currently serving his second term as a PPAC member.

Peter G. Thurlow, Esq.

Mr. Thurlow is a patent attorney and partner at Jones Day law firm in New York. He has significant experience in all aspects of domestic and international patent prosecution, including post-grant reissue, ex parte, and inter partes reexamination proceedings. As a patent prosecution attorney, his experience includes drafting, filing, and prosecuting United States patent cooperation treaties and international patent applications. Mr. Thurlow provides litigation support for patent litigation in the District Courts, the International Trade Commission, and before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Thurlow is the current chairperson of the Patent Law Committee for the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA). Mr. Thurlow has been active in the implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), representing the NYIPLA's views before the USPTO. Mr. Thurlow received his bachelor's degree in marine engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy; his master's in business administration from Pace University in New York; and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Mr. Thurlow is serving his first term as a PPAC member.

P. Michael Walker, Esq.

Mr. Walker is Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel in DuPont Legal.  He began his legal career in a law firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1986, and joined DuPont in 1990.  Since joining DuPont, he has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in the patent organization, including manager for the European patent organization in Geneva, Switzerland.  He was named Associate General Counsel for Intellectual Property in 2001, and became Chef Intellectual Property Counsel in 2003.  He became a Corporate Officer in 2008, and in additional to intellectual property, he has had responsibility for legal matters related to the Production Agriculture business of DuPont.  As Chief Intellectual Property Council, Mr. Walker is responsible for all legal issues and policy matters related to DuPont patents and related intellectual property, including patent application preparation and prosecution, client counseling, patent opinions, and intellectual property aspects of transactions.  He oversees a patent estate of about 24,000 patents and 20,000 applications, and a global patent organization of more than 200 people. Mr. Walker is serving his first term as a PPAC member.

Union Representatives

  • Robert D. Budens
  • Catherine Faint
  • Vernon Ako Towler