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Patent Public Advisory Committee Members Biographical Information


Louis J. Foreman

Mr. Foreman is the founder and chief executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm. Mr. Foreman has created five successful start-up companies in the last 25 years and is the inventor of nine United States patents. He is the entrepreneur-in-residence at the McColl School of Business and adjunct professor for innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the executive producer of the Emmy Award winning PBS series, Everyday Edisons, and publisher of Inventors Digest magazine. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois. Mr. Foreman is currently serving his second term as a PPAC member.

Clinton H. Hallman, Jr., Esq.

Mr. Hallman is currently chief patent counsel for Kraft Foods Group, Inc., one of the two companies formed from the split of Kraft Foods, Inc. in October 2012. He has responsibility for all patent matters at Kraft. His past experience includes both private practice, as well as in-house positions, at Mobil Oil Corporation and The Altria Group. His background includes managing patent prosecution, opinion work, complex technology transactions, client counseling, and litigation. Mr. Hallman received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the United States Naval Academy; and his law degree from the George Mason University School of Law. Mr. Hallman 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.

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

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 first term as a PPAC member.

Valerie L. McDevitt

Ms. McDevitt is currently the assistant vice president for research at the University of South Florida (USF). In her role as assistant vice president for research, she is responsible for developing and directing all programs, services, and activities for the USF Division of Patents and Licensing, which is the contact point for industry partners and start-up companies interested in intellectual property licensing and transfer. Prior to joining USF, Ms. McDevitt served as assistant patent counsel and research chemist for Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals in Tampa, Florida. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Siena College; her master's in chemistry from the University of Florida; and her law degree from the Emory University School of Law. Ms. McDevitt is currently serving her first term as a PPAC member.

A. Christal Sheppard, Ph.D.

Dr. Sheppard is an assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she co-founded a concentration in Intellectual Property Law, and where she teaches patent, international intellectual property, science and law, and legislation and the political process. Prior to joining the University of Nebraska, Dr. Sheppard was the chief counsel on patents and trademarks for the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives. Dr. Sheppard was also employed at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President; the law firm of Foley & Lardner, and served in the Office of the General Counsel of the United States International Trade Commission. Dr. Sheppard received her bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the University of Delaware; her master's and her doctorate in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan; and her law degree from the Cornell University Law School. She also completed Harvard's Kennedy School of Government's Executive Education Program for Senior Managers in the Government. Dr. Sheppard is serving her 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 first 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.

Union Representatives

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


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Last Modified: 3/1/2013 10:47:26 AM