Detroit Saturday Seminar Speakers
Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.
Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.
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 doctorate 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.
Vice President, Economic Development - New Developement Strategies
Detroit Regional Chamber
Benjamin Erulkar is vice president of economic development for new development strategies at the Detroit Regional Chamber and leads the Chamber’s effort to refocus its strategic priorities on economic development, education and regional collaboration. In this role, Erulkar oversees the Chamber’s investor development program, entrepreneurship initiatives, education and talent portfolio, and other programs including the Pure Michigan Business Connect strategic partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, InnoState Consortium and Translinked programs.
Erulkar joined the Chamber in 2011 after two decades of working at all levels of domestic and international economic development in the public and private sectors. During the George W. Bush administration, he served in the U.S. Department of Commerce as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development from 2005-2009. In this position, Erulkar directed operations of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). He also represented the U.S. at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and led the Commerce Department’s response to the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Erulkar served as EDA’s Chief Counsel, managing EDA’s legal practice and policy. Before joining EDA in 2003, Erulkar was an attorney in private practice from 1992-2003. He maintains an active bar membership within the District of Columbia.
Erulkar also served as senior advisor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he directed the Corporate Community Investment program for more than 100 Fortune 500 members of the Business Civic Leadership Center. He also served as an external advisor for the Capital Region of Denmark, helping develop a five-year regional economic growth program for Copenhagen and its surrounding municipalities.
Erulkar holds a degree from Harvard University (AB), a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He and his wife have two children.
John D. Hopkins
John D. Hopkins
Chairman of Jackson Inventors Network and
Michigan Inventors Coalition
John D. Hopkins is the founding chairman of the Jackson Inventors Network, active for 4 years & helping many inventors from idea to market. He is also the chairman of the Michigan Inventors Coalition, a group to help grow & sustain Michigan’s economy by facilitating education, collaboration, & cooperation among Michigan inventors, inventor groups, maker groups, & Michigan Economic Development Groups. The CEO of Medical Innovative Products & Health Care Concepts. The winner of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce 2013 “Entrepreneur Vision” award he is involved in the chamber, Jackson Area Manufactures Association (JAMA), Jackson 2020, Jackson Citizens for Economic Growth, the Microenterprise Network of Michigan, and the MichBio device committee. John holds 3 patents for medical device, one is for a surgical instrument cleaning system that cleans 10 million cells per cell left, on surgical tools, has a dozen or more products in the market, consulted more than a dozen companies into new markets. He has a BS Architecture, been NCARB intern, has a minor in Structural Engineering, & Urban Planning, Michigan residential builders license for 30 years, a city of Lansing building inspector, designed over 100 medical facility projects from nursing units to doctors offices to surgical suites.
Founder and CEO
I grew up and went to school in Plymouth-Canton area. I studied Nursing at Madonna University completing 80% of my clinical classes.
After working in the SICU and Intensive Care while I was in school, I decided to not work as a nurse but then just pursue a BS. I have also done medical sales for a company Biomet where I had instructed nurse techs and doctors on the latest procedures in orthopedic surgery. I have also cared for a man that was quadriplegic and worked with developing his motor skills. At first they told me he had none. I proved them wrong and was able to connect with him in ways his mother never knew possible. I have been an entrepreneur for nearly 20+ years and have had several businesses. One that I wish I would have stuck to other than getting back into book publishing, was my business called “Home Mobility Services”. This I had only done for several months but the business focused on making the home adaptive for everyday living.
After learning of the dangers and health risks involved in using non-stick Teflon coated pans, and running out of propane in the middle of January 2011, I said to my father, there has to be away to grill indoors and do it healthy. My Father has been a tool designer engineer for 40+ years and began working on the design through various software programs like AutoCAD. I then had a prototype made where I began testing the heat conduction/ transfer to making the product work properly. After many trials and errors I had finally perfected the product and then needed to find a manufacture to make it. Little did I know there was only one cast iron cooking foundry in the USA; Lodge.
Making this product in the USA was extremely important to me for several reasons. Through my research of cookware, more than 95% of was made oversea. They have no EPA or FDA regulating or controlling the products they supply the U.S or the rest of the world. They are spraying the cookware with toxic chemicals that get released at 200 degrees F.
So how did I get one of the worlds largest and best green mining practices cast iron cookware companies to make my product? It started with a phone call to Lodge and asking if they do any OEM work for companies. They said they did but it's very limited. I put my dad in touch with their head engineer and rest was history. My dad and I have visited their foundry for the first time last year May. These people felt like family to us way prior to our visit. They explained in detail and scientific terms the chemical properties and make-up of how they do what they do so well. They have been doing what they do best since 1896 and have been grandfathered in and allowed to operate in our country because of their green mining practices.
Since Lodge makes the PAN Grill-it, I then became a distributor and seller of their products. It made sense. I needed their products i.e. cast iron skillets, griddles and presses to help facilitate the movement of mine. I then began doing grilling demos in many stores and health markets, supplying them for all of the products.Well, I could go on for longer but I would rather say, I was born to do what I do.
Resource Supervisory Patent Examiner
Elijah J. McCoy Detroit Satellite Office
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Dean Reichard is currently serving on a detail as Resource SPE for the sixth (July 15, 2013) class of new examiners at the Elijah J. McCoy U.S. Patent Office in Detroit MI, after previously serving as a SPE trainer for the second (August 27, 2012) and sixth classes in Detroit as well. Since entering employment at the USPTO in April of 1990 as a patent examiner, Dean has examined in both mechanical and electrical areas, including classes 187, 221 and 174. Dean became a Primary Examiner in 1996 in TC 2800, then was selected as an SPE in TC 2800 in late 2000, and has been serving as a TQAS in TC 2800 since the fall of 2009. Prior to his employment at the USPTO, Dean obtained an engineering Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Detroit MI and worked as a (civilian) engineer for the US Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton OH. Dean also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The George Washington University in Washington DC
Patrick Schweihs is Founder and President of CopyMark LLC, which specializes in online intellectual property investigations. A mechanical engineer and lawyer, Patrick works with many high-end Luxury Brands to protect their intellectual property on the internet. This relatively new type of online infringer presents unique challenges due to the anonymity of the perpetrator. CopyMark’s sophisticated software and identification techniques allow Luxury Brands to take the fight to the infringer. We can then assist the Brand with any legal action by providing legal evidence and expert testimony.