Detroit Saturday Seminar Speakers
John J. Calvert
Mr. John J. Calvert
Senior Advisor, Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office
John’s responsibilities as senior advisor for the Office of Innovation Development include overseeing inventor, small business, and university outreach initiatives. Following passage of the America Invents Act (AIA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) made outreach and education a high priority due to the increased interest in intellectual property from the business and academic communities. John is also the administrator for the Inventors Assistance Program. As administrator, he has helped create inventor assistance through pro bono and pro se initiatives both inside the USPTO and through working with universities and bar organizations.
John previously served as the Acting Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development. His responsibilities included developing ways to increase the USPTO presence in the independent inventor, small business and entrepreneurial communities; increasing opportunities for new patent holders to access assistance beyond the patent system; and direct responsibility for pro bono initiatives and the Ombudsman program prescribed in the AIA. He also served as acting director for the Office of Independent Inventor Programs and has worked on various details and work assignments during his career at the USPTO.
John graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Textile Technology in May 1971. He worked for 13 years in the textile industry prior to returning to N.C. State University to pursue a Master of Science Degree in Textile Management. In February of 1990, John joined the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as an examiner specializing in textile technology. John became a primary examiner in 1995 and a supervisory patent examiner in 1998. John was responsible for supervising as many as 25 examiners in the areas of textile technology and absorbent products.
John received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service and the USPTO Exceptional Career Award. John completed Syracuse University’s Maxwell School certificate program in advanced public management as well as the Executive Development Seminar sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management.
Ms. Catherine Gase
Business Development Specialist
Michigan District Office
United States Small Business Administration
Catherine Gase is the lead business development specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Michigan District Office, where she has served since 1987. She and her staff develop and implement marketing and public relations opportunities to promote SBA programs and services. She has created and chaired many statewide and regional small business conferences, specifically those targeted to women. She is a frequent speaker at small business events and trains hundreds of business owners each year on starting and financing a business. Catherine is the project officer for the SBA’s Women’s Business Center and Small Business Development Center programs.
Ms. Montia Givens-Pressey
Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
Montia Givens-Pressey is a staff attorney in the Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks. Montia's duties include providing expert information and guidance on law and policy matters pertaining to the federal trademark registration process, maintenance requirements for registrations, and the petition process to both internal and external customers. Montia also drafts petition decisions on a wide range of issues in petitions to the Commissioner for Trademarks, including the review of decisions by examining attorneys and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In addition, Montia provides expert legal support to the Post Registration Unit of the Trademark Office, including developing relevant training materials, reviewing relevant proposed legislation, and responding to day-to-day inquiries about legal issues.
Previously, Montia worked as a trademark examining attorney with the USPTO from 1995-1999, where in addition to examining applications, she also trained newly hired attorneys and assisted in various other management activities. Montia also worked for five years as a trademark associate with a large intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C., where her practice focused on trademark prosecution, client counseling, and advice in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Montia received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.