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16th Annual Independent Inventors Conference | Speakers

16th Annual Independent Inventors Conference. August 15-16, 2014. USPTO, Alexandria, Va.

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Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino

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Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino
Commissioner for Patents
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino is Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She was appointed to this position in January 2012. She previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Patents, providing administrative oversight to nine Patent Technology Centers and coordinating the activities of patent application examination and reissues of patents.

In her role as Commissioner, Ms. Focarino manages and leads the Patent Organization as the chief operating officer. She is responsible for the management and direction of all aspects of this organization which affect the administration of patent operations, examination policy, resources and planning, and budget administration.

Ms. Focarino began her career at the USPTO in 1977 as a patent examiner. She was promoted to the senior executive service in 1997. She received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal for Leadership in 2010 for leading a joint union and management task force that developed and implemented the first significant changes to the patent examiner work credit system in more than 30 years.

In May of 2013, the Partnership for Public Service named Ms. Focarino a finalist for the Service to America Medal in the category of Management Excellence and in 2012, she was named one of Managing Intellectual Property’s  Most Influential People in the World of Intellectual Property. She was the 2010 recipient of American University’s School of Public Affairs Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership.

Ms. Focarino received her undergraduate degree in physics from the State University of New York, and a Certificate in Advanced Public Management from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

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Tanya Amos

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Tanya Amos
TEAS Administrator, Legal Policy Office, Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office

 

Tanya Amos is a staff attorney in the Legal Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks. Tanya administers the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and assists in maintaining legal documents on the USPTO’s Internet and intranet websites. She provides expert policy guidance and support to employees on legal and procedural matters related to the filing and prosecution of trademark applications.

Tanya began working for the office in 1999 as an examining attorney where, in addition to examining applications, she mentored newly hired attorneys and participated in an electronic commerce work project to help automate the office. Tanya received her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Macalester College.

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Richard Apley

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Richard Apley
Patent Agent

 

Dick Apley received his B.S. degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his law degree from the University of Baltimore. Dick is a patent agent registered to practice before the USPTO. He worked for the USPTO for 35 years. For 18 of those years, Dick was a supervisory patent examiner, and for two years he was Director of the Office of Independent Inventor Programs. As chief patent officer in his current position, Dick supervises patent attorneys, agents, and technical writers. In his spare time, Dick enjoys playing golf, watching movies, and reading.

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Clara Asmail

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Clara Asmail
Senior Technical Advisor
Manufacturing Extension Partnership
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Clara Asmail joined the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as senior technical advisor in July 2010. She is responsible for developing approaches to provide small R&D and manufacturing businesses with services and access to resources that can help them grow and improve their productivity. She works closely with federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs and their awardees to cultivate partnerships with the MEP network and enhance the commercialization of SBIR research results. Prior to this, Clara managed the SBIR program at the NIST since 2001. She was also responsible for marketing NIST technologies. In those roles she proposed, designed, and implemented an innovative NIST-wide technology transfer program that facilitated the transfer of federal technology to industry by leveraging the SBIR program for seed funding along with access to federal research assets. This SBIR technology transfer approach is currently being implemented or considered by several other agencies. As a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) and licensing officer at NIST from 1998 to 2002, Clara executed a dozen licenses, more than 50 CRADAs, and conducted more than 30 commercialization assessments on inventions disclosed by NIST labs.

Previously, Clara was project leader for optical scatterometry research in the Physics

Laboratory at NIST. She published 19 peer-reviewed articles and established bidirectional reflectance distribution function metrology competency at NIST. She was actively involved in standards committee work in her area of research, cooperating with Sematech, the American Society for Testing Materials, the International Organization for Standardization, and other federal agencies. Clara also patented a measurement methodology that was licensed by NIST to a small company, which was later bought by a large corporation. That license holds the record for longevity and royalty revenue at NIST.

Clara holds two Master of Science degrees, one in optical sciences from the University of Arizona and the other in physics from Tulane University. She received a Bachelor Science degree in physics from Fordham University. 

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Catherine Pace Cain

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Catherine Pace Cain
Staff Attorney, Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Catherine Pace Cain is a staff attorney in the Trademark Legal Policy Office and is the editor of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure. She provides expert guidance and training on all aspects of the federal trademark registration process to both internal and external customers. Catherine also drafts rules, notices, and guidelines on trademark policy matters and has drafted final agency decisions in petitions to the director. As the legal policy liaison to the office’s pre-examination units, Catherine provides policy guidance and support to employees on legal and procedural matters related to the filing and prosecution of trademark applications. 

Before joining the commissioner’s office in 2006, Catherine worked as an examining attorney for six years, trained new attorneys, and performed other management functions, such as publication review of approved applications. Prior to attending law school and joining the USPTO, she worked in the publishing industry at John Wiley & Sons Inc. in New York; Little, Brown and Company in Massachusetts; and as a freelance copy editor.

Catherine received her law degree from the New England School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Marymount Manhattan College.

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Dana Robert Colarulli

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Dana Robert Colarulli
Director, Office of Governmental Affairs
United States Patent and trademark Office

Dana Colarulli is currently the director of the Office of Governmental Affairs and a member of the executive management team at the USPTO, which he joined in December 2009. He has 18 years of experience working in and with the federal government and the U.S. Congress in various roles. Through various positions, Mr. Colarulli has facilitated discussions addressing a wide range of substantive and operational issues related to intellectual property law and policy and to the U.S. government. While in his current position, Mr. Colarulli coordinated USPTO personnel and resources to support enactment of legislation that increased the USPTO's spending authority by $129 million. He also facilitated discussions within the agency and with Capitol Hill related to various reforms of the patent system, including enactment and effective implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and, on more recent proposals, to address abusive patent litigation.

Before serving at the USPTO, Mr. Colarulli spent seven years as Director of Government Relations for the Intellectual Property Owners Association, a national trade association representing owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, supporting domestic legislation and facilitating international advocacy efforts. Prior to this position, Mr. Colarulli served on Capitol Hill as an assistant legislative counsel in the office of Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington State, where he addressed technology and IP issues.

Mr. Colarulli also worked at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard McPherson & Hand (now a part of DLA Piper Rudnick) in the Federal Affairs and Legislative Practice Group where his clients included small Internet startups, associations, and large corporations with intellectual property and Internet-related interests. Prior to this position, he served in the federal government for five years in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families in various positions.

Mr. Colarulli was born in Rhode Island and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He received a Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

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Elizabeth Lea Dougherty

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Elizabeth Lea Dougherty
Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition 
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements, and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. She also coordinates the agency’s ombudsman program for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as mandated by the America Invents Act of 2011. Elizabeth has spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments, and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States. She oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and underserved communities.

Prior to her current assignment at the USPTO, Elizabeth served in various executive service roles, most recently as Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration. In this capacity, she was responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and staff assisting the Patent Examining Corps in matters of legal policy. Having begun her career at the USPTO as a patent examiner, Elizabeth examined patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing.

Elizabeth is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, about the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Elizabeth received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996. She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George’s County Historical Society.

Elizabeth enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.

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Andrea Hence Evans

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Andrea Hence Evans
Patent Attorney
Principal, The Law Firm of Andrea Hence Evans

Andrea Hence Evans is the principal of The Law Firm of Andrea Hence Evans. Attorney Evans’ career path is unique because she worked at the United States Patent and Trademark Office for approximately five years as both a patent examiner and a trademark examining attorney after graduating from law school.

She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga., where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, respectively. She participated in a 5-year dual degree engineering program.

In 2011, she was awarded the 2011 Nation’s Best Advocate from the National Bar Association and IMPACT. She is also the founder of KidGINEER LLC, a hands-on STEM program for children.

Andrea Hence Evans is a member of the Texas Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She is also a registered patent attorney. Her firm currently represents independent inventors; entrepreneurs; and small, medium, and Fortune 100 clients in multiple states and multiple countries with patent, trademark, and copyright issues.

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Anthony Knight

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Anthony (Tony) Knight
Acting
Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Tony is a graduate of Drexel University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1985. Upon graduation he joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office as an examiner in pipefittings technology. While working at the USPTO, Tony attended George Mason University School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 1990. From 1990 to 1992, he was in private practice and prosecuted applications for various technologies through out the USPTO. In 1992, Tony returned to the USPTO. After achieving the grade of primary examiner, he was promoted to supervisory patent examiner in 1998 and supervised examiners in such diverse fields as hinges and hardware to computer controls.

In 2007 Tony was named to the position of supervisor in the Office of Petitions and in March 2010 became Director of the Office of Petitions. In June 2013, he was asked to serve as the Acting Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development.

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Andrew Koenig

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Andrew Koenig
Supervisory Patent Examiner, TC 2400
United States Patent and Trademark Office

 Drew joined the USPTO in 2001 after graduating from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In 2008, he became a primary examiner for applications relating to video distribution systems. He has also worked on an international harmonization reclassification project and provided training for examiners. Drew is currently a supervisory patent examiner in Technology Center 2400, where he supervises examiners in the same technology area that he examined.

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Daniel Lockney

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Daniel Lockney
Executive, Technology Transfer Program
NASA

Daniel Lockney is the Technology Transfer Program Executive at NASA Headquarters, responsible for agency-level management of NASA intellectual property and the transfer of NASA technology to promote the commercialization and public availability of federally owned inventions to benefit the national economy and the U.S. public.

NASA has had a long history of finding new, innovative uses for its space and aeronautics technologies, and Lockney is the agency's leading authority on these technologies and their practical, terrestrial applications.

Lockney studied American literature at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to working for NASA, Lockney taught journalism and technical writing in Baltimore, where he resides.

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Gene Quinn

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Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney
Founder of IP Watchdog

Gene Quinn is a U.S. patent attorney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam.

Gene’s particular specialty as a patent attorney is in the areas of strategic patent consulting and patent application drafting. He primarily works with startup businesses throughout the United States and around the world. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus, he finds himself frequently assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses with software, computer implemented methods, business methods, and Internet innovations. He also does work with electrical and mechanical inventions as well.

Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. The American Bar Association has recognized IPWatchdog.com as one of the top 100 legal blogs four years in a row, from 2009 through 2012. In both 2010 and 2012 readers of the ABA Journal voted IPWatchdog.com the top intellectual property law blog on the Internet.

Between 2003 and 2007, Gene wrote a monthly column for Patent World and served on the Patent World editorial board. He has also previously taught a variety of intellectual property courses at the law-school level, including patent law, patent claim drafting, patent prosecution, copyright law, trademark law, and introduction to intellectual property. Between 1998 and 2008 Gene taught at Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University School of Law, The University of Toledo College of Law, Franklin Pierce Law Center, and Whittier Law School. He is currently an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School where he teaches a course on patent rules and practice.

Gene is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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Judge Michael Tierney

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Judge Michael Tierney
Patent Trial and Appeal Board
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Lead Judge Michael Tierney was appointed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in July 2000. Judge Tierney helps oversee AIA administrative trials, including inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, and covered business method reviews.

For the implementation of the AIA, Judge Tierney led the board’s comprehensive effort on the trial rulemakings. Judge Tierney worked closely with USPTO executive officials, trial judges, the patent community, and other members of the public to develop the trial rules. Judge Tierney has given numerous presentations that educate the patent community on statutory provisions, proposed rules, and final rules for the AIA administrative trials.

Judge Tierney received a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Washington. He is a member of the Washington State and District of Columbia bars.

Prior to joining the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Judge Tierney was a senior patent associate in private practice, and he has also worked as a patent examiner in the chemical arts.

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Edith Tolchin

Edith Tolchin

Edith Tolchin
Product Safety Expert
EGT Global Trading

Edith G. Tolchin, “The Sourcing Lady” (SM), “invented” EGT Global Trading in 1997, with a goal to link U.S. inventors with Asian manufacturers, to provide an exclusive import service for sourcing, quality control, production testing and safety issues, manufacturing, international financing, air/ocean shipping, customs clearance arrangements, and dock-to-door delivery. Edie began her career in import and international trade, fresh out of New York University, with a New York City importer of frozen fish and bicycles. She has worked with both large and small importers, handling commodities from salted nuts to chemicals and waxes, to wearing apparel and toys. Ms. Tolchin holds a prestigious U.S. Customs Broker License, and has extensive experience with U.S. Customs and customs brokers in various products and issues, including binding rulings, duty protests and drawbacks. She is an expert in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s requirements for product safety issues, the General Conformity Certificate and Tracking Labels. 

Ms. Tolchin is co-author of Sourcing Smarts:  Keeping it SIMPLE and SAFE with China Sourcing and Manufacturing, along with Don Debelak and Eric Debelak. Edie is Contributing Editor and freelance writer for Inventors Digest Magazine. She has over 35 years of international trade experience, and has worked exclusively with factories in China and Taiwan since 1990.

EGT Global Trading specializes in offshore manufacturing services for inventions of textiles and sewn-items, bags, baby and fashion accessories, unique arts & crafts items, and household inventions. Edie Tolchin regularly provides pro bono presentations for inventors’ organizations and trade shows throughout the U.S.A. on topics such as “Importing Basics for Inventors™,” “Offshore Manufacturing for Inventors™, and on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

Edie is very proud to have created a new book due to be released in September 2014, “Secrets of Successful Inventing: From Concept to Commerce,” with a little help from her friends!

 

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Lawrence J. Udell

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Lawrence J. Udell
Director, California Invention Center and
Intellectual Property International Ltd.

Lawrence J. Udell serves as executive director of both the California Invention Center and Intellectual Property International Ltd. He has created and taught "New Ventures and Entrepreneurship" courses for over 25 years, as well as a special course on "Technology Marketing" at the Cal State Hayward School of Business and Economics.

He has served as a lecturing professor at the University of California, Berkeley teaching a course on technology transfer and commercialization, plus other universities in the United States and Canada. He is an active member of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and is co-founder and managing director of the Silicon Valley Chapter of LES. He also serves as senior consultant to General Patent Corporation of Suffern, N.Y.

Founder of over 30 corporations, he provides consulting to both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He lectures frequently at inventor, corporate, and government functions throughout America and for the USPTO, as well as in other countries for the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization.

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Todd A. Vaughn

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Todd A. Vaughn
Attorney at Law
Jordan IP Law LLC

Todd A. Vaughn is an experienced attorney concentrating on patent matters with an emphasis on patent procurement, enforcement, licensing, and rendering opinions concerning patentability, clearance, infringement, and validity. He also has extensive experience conducting personal interviews at the USPTO.

Mr. Vaughn counsels clients in worldwide acquisition, prosecution, and policing of patents in the mechanical, electrical and electro-mechanical arts. His prosecution expertise includes vehicle battery systems, vehicle drive trains, vehicle roof modules, vehicle engines, household appliances, consumer goods, industrial machinery and equipment, medical devices, printers, sporting goods, food processing, nano technology, and semiconductor devices.

Mr. Vaughn was formerly a patent examiner at the USPTO, where he evaluated patent applications for patentability in the mechanical arts, including industrial tools and hand tools. He also was formerly an adjunct professor at The George Washington University, teaching the fundamentals of litigation in the College of Professional Studies.

Mr. Vaughn received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from Texas Southern University School of Law. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Texas, and U.S. Supreme Court bars

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Aaron Watson

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Aaron Watson
Attorney Advisor for Policy and International Affairs
United States Copyright Office

Aaron Watson is currently an attorney advisor for the Office of Policy and International Affairs in the U.S. Copyright Office. He previously worked for several years as a senior registration specialist in the Copyright Office’s copyright registration program, where he examined hundreds of copyright registration applications as part of the performing arts and motion picture teams.

Aaron earned a Juris Doctor from the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, R.I., in 2008. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, Calif., and a master’s degree in music performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Mass., where he studied double bass. Following law school, Aaron worked as a municipal law clerk before coming to the Copyright Office.

Prior to studying law, Aaron worked as a freelance musician and teacher.

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