14th Annual Independent Inventors Conference - Speakers



Mr. David KapposMr. Stephen Key
Mr. Matthew AndersonMr. Anthony Knight
Mr. Richard ApleyMr. Michael Lee
Ms. Cheryl Lynn BlackMr. Terry Lee Melius
Ms. Catherine Pace CainMs. Karla Perkins
Mr. John J. CalvertMs. Jessie Roberts
Ms. Elizabeth L. DoughertyMr. Thom Ruhe
Mr. Louis J. ForemanMr. Robert M. Spear
Ms. Montia Givens-PresseyMs. Joyce Ward
Mr. Don Kelly

Mr. David Kappos
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Mr. David KapposDavid Kappos is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. In this role he advises the President, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Administration about intellectual property matters.

Over a 20-year career, David Kappos has accrued deep knowledge of the patent system and broad respect from professionals across the field – including the biotech, life sciences and high tech sectors. Most recently, he was the vice president and assistant general counsel for intellectual property at IBM. Specifically, Kappos managed IBM’s patent and trademark portfolios – protecting and licensing intellectual property worldwide.

He takes control of an office that provides incentives to encourage technological advancement and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and safeguard against deception in the marketplace. The office continues to deal with a patent application backlog of more than 770,000, long waiting periods for patent review, information technology systems that are regarded as outdated and an application process in need of reform.

Recently, Kappos has served on the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and the International Intellectual Property Society. He also has been the Vice President of the Intellectual Property Owners Association. He has held various leadership positions in intellectual property law associations in Asia and the U.S. and has spoken widely in Asia, Europe and the U.S. on intellectual property topics.

Kappos received his bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California-Davis in 1983, and his law degree from the University of California Berkeley in 1990. He joined IBM in 1983 as a development engineer and has served in a variety of roles before taking his current position, including intellectual property law attorney in IBM’s Storage Division and Litigation group, IP Law Counsel in IBM’s Software Group, assistant general counsel for IBM Asia/Pacific, IBM Corporate Counsel and assistant general counsel.

Mr. Matthew Anderson
Supervisory Patent Examiner, Technology Center 2600
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Mr. Matthew AndersonMatt joined the USPTO in 1999 after graduating from Case Western Reserve University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. Until 2006, he was a Primary Examiner in TC 2100 where he examined applications related to computer memory and was extensively involved in the training of junior examiners. Matt is currently a SPE in TC 2600 where he supervises examiners in the radio and satellite communications area. Throughout his career at the USPTO, he has received numerous awards including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal.

Mr. Richard Apley
Patent Agent

Mr. Richard ApleyDick Apley received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his law degree from the University of Baltimore. Dick is a registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent agent. He worked for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for 35 years. Eighteen of those years, Dick was a Supervisory Patent Examiner, and 2 of those 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.

Cheryl Lynn Black
Trademark Attorney

Ms. Cheryl Lynn BlackCheryl Lynn Black practiced trademark law with the United States Patent and Trademark Office until 2006. During her 15-year tenure at the USPTO, Cheryl participated in every aspect of the trademark operation. She examined thousands of trademark applications, wrote numerous briefs and won cases on appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, drafted federal trademark regulation, wrote agency decisions, Office policy and procedure, trained examining attorneys and support staff, and served as legal expert and liaison to several divisions of the Trademark Operation. Cheryl was also instrumental in helping to ensure United States compliance with the Trademark Law Treaty and the Madrid Protocol.

As a private practitioner, Cheryl counsels and represents clients in U.S. and foreign trademark matters. Her practice includes trademark counseling, searching, prosecution, licensing, and maintenance. Domain name registration and enforcement. Copyright counseling, registration, and licensing. Publishing contracts and negotiations. We represent individuals and businesses and assist law firms and corporations as a service provider for the intellectual property needs of their clients and organizations.

Cheryl is an adjunct professor at Virginia State University where she teaches Media Law & Ethics.

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

Ms. Catherine CainCatherine Pace Cain is a Staff Attorney in the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before joining the Commissioner’s office in February of 2006, Catherine served as an Examining Attorney with the USPTO for six years. Prior to attending law school and joining the USPTO, she enjoyed a lengthy career in the publishing industry, working at John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in New York and Little, Brown and Company in Boston, and as a freelance copy editor.

Ms. Cain received a BA in English from Marymount Manhattan College and a JD from the New England School of Law.

Mr. John J. Calvert
Supervisory Patent Examiner, Technology Center 3700
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Mr. John J. CalvertSince October 1998, John has been responsible for supervising as many as 21 examiners in the area of textile technology in Art Unit 3765.

John graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Textile Technology in May 1971. He worked for Milliken and Co. and J. P. Stevens in various management positions including Division Director of Human Resources Development before 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 in Group 240 specializing in textile technology. In February 1995, John became a Primary Examiner. Since then he has worked on detail as a Petitions Examiner. John also was selected for work assignment in the Search and Information Resources Administration where he worked in PALM as liaison between the Office of Patent Legal Administration and SIRA instituting changes reflective of changes in patent rules and formulating changes in the manner in which OIPE communicates with the customer. He also served as Sr. Project Manager for the Office of Electronic Patent Application Processing dealing with changes in the patent application format bringing a standard application format into compliance with US practice, the Patent Law Treaty and PCT.

As the former Acting Director for the Office of Independent Inventor Programs, John remains actively involved with the ongoing campaign to educate inventors about invention promotion firms and will continue to expand the outreach initiative to the inventor community.

Mr. Calvert has received numerous achievement awards, including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for superior Federal service and the United States Patent and Trademark Office Exceptional Career Award. Mr. Calvert completed studies in the Syracuse University, Maxwell School certificates program of Advanced Public Management and completed the Executive Development Seminar sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management.

Ms. Elizabeth L. Dougherty
Supervisory Patent Examiner
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ms. Elizabeth L. DoughertyElizabeth Dougherty is a Supervisory Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office currently serving on a special long-term assignment to the Office of the Commissioner for Patents as the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner for Patents. Previously, Ms. Dougherty served as a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a petitions attorney in the Office of Petitions, as an Executive Advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Lawrence J. Goffney, and as a patent examiner.

Ms. Dougherty received a Bachelors Degree in Physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctorate from 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 and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Mr. Louis J. Foreman
Inventor - Founder and Chief Executive

Mr. Louis J. ForemanLouis Foreman is founder and Chief Executive of Enventys® (www.enventys.com), an integrated product design and engineering firm with offices in Charlotte, NC and Taiwan. Louis graduated from The University of Illinois with a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics. His interest in starting businesses and developing innovative products began while a sophomore with his first company founded in his fraternity room. Over the past 20 years Louis has created 9 successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. A prolific inventor, he is the inventor of 10 registered US Patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of well over 400 more.

The recipient of numerous awards for entrepreneurial achievement, his passion for small business extends beyond his own companies. Louis volunteers his time teaching small business classes at various Colleges and Universities. He received the 2007 Instructor Achievement Award for his teaching at Central Piedmont Community College, and in 2009 was named Entrepreneur in Residence at The McColl School of Business at Queens University. He is a frequent lecturer and radio / TV guest on the topics of small business creation and innovation, and is frequently invited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and national trade associations to be a featured speaker on the topic of innovation.

In addition to being an inventor, Louis is also committed to educating others on the topic of intellectual property. Louis is the creator of the Emmy® Award winning PBS TV show, Everyday Edisons and serves as the Executive Producer and lead judge. The show is in its third season and appears nationally on PBS. In 2007, Louis became the publisher of Inventors Digest, a 20 year old publication devoted to the topic of American Innovation. In July of this year, his first book, The Independent Inventor’s Handbook, was published by Workman Publishing.

Louis was a founding member of The Inventors Network of the Carolinas, a non-profit organization that empowers inventors through education, support, and networking opportunities. Louis currently serves as a board member for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Council at Queens University, and the Central Piedmont Community College Small Business Advisory Board. In 2008 he was appointed by United States Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez to serve for a three year term on the nine-person Patent Public Advisory Committee of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Committee was created by Congress in 1999 to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office on matters relating to the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent operation.

Ms. Montia Givens-Pressey
Staff Attorney, Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ms. Montia Givens-PresseyMontia 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 Office from 1995 to 1999, where in addition to examining applications, Montia 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.

Mr. Don Kelly
Patent Agent

Mr. Don KellyDon Kelly is founding principal of Intellectual Asset Management Associates, LLC. (IAMA), a full service patent agency and commercialization consultancy based in Alexandria, VA. Don is a mechanical engineer and registered US Patent Agent licensed to practice patent law before the USPTO. He recently was honored by designation as a Certified Licensing Professional.

Prior to establishing IAMA, Don Kelly was CEO of the prestigious Academy of Applied Science and served as adjunct professor at Franklin Pierce Law Center. With a BS-ME from VA Tech University, Don began his intellectual property career as a Patent Examiner, advancing through agency ranks to Technology Center Director and USPTO Chief of Staff. He was founding director of the USPTO’s popular outreach programs supporting independent inventors and is credited as the architect of the USPTO’s award winning initiative introducing inventive thinking curricula into America’s K-12 schools.

Widely recognized as a champion of inventors and entrepreneurs, Don Kelly is frequently quoted in the news media and more recently consulted by the USPTO, SBA and the current Administration on intellectual property issues affecting American innovators. Don Kelly often is called upon to keynote inventor convocations and expositions, and currently serves as a member of the Licensing Executives Society professional development faculty. As explained at www.PatentAgentPlus.com, Don Kelly’s lifelong objective is Adding Wings to Great Ideas®

Mr. Stephen Key
Successful inventor

Mr. Stephen KeyStephen Key is a successful, award-winning inventor who has licensed over 20 ideas in the past 30 years and holds 12 U.S. Patents. Several of his products have been endorsed by celebrities such as Michael Jordan and Alex Trebek, and sold in retailing giants such as WalMart, Walgreens and Disney stores and theme parks worldwide. Stephen is a Disney licensee and has a product in stores featuring his patented Spinformation rotating label technology with Hannah Montana and Cars. Spinformation is also featured on a children’s medication product called Accudial which shows parents how to accurately dose the medication to their child based on their weight. Accudial has been featured on NBC, CBS and Fox News and will be hitting over 9000 stores in the U.S. & Canada in October 2009.

Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen founded inventRight.com, a company dedicated to teaching inventors and entrepreneurs easy, cost saving ways of licensing their ideas. Stephen lectures around the world, sharing his experiences and knowledge. Recognized as an outstanding leader in the field of innovation, Stephen was a consultant for the first season of the hit ABC reality-show "American Inventor” and has been an expert guest on the Dr. Phil show and the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Stephen has been featured in the LA Times, Newsweek, Money Magazine, CNN.com, ABC News and other media outlets.

Mr. Anthony (Tony) Knight
Supervisor, Office of Petitions
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Mr. Anthony KnightTony is a graduate of Drexel University, where he earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1985. Upon graduation he joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office as an examiner in the technology of pipefittings. While working at the USPTO, Tony attended George Mason University School of Law and earned his Juris Doctorate in 1990. From 1990 until 1992, he was in private practice. Tony has 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 has supervised examiners in such diverse fields as hinges and hardware to computer controls. In 2007 he was named to the position of Supervisor in the Office of Petitions.

Mr. Michael Lee
Vice President Elect
Licensing Executives Society

Mr. Michael LeeMichael Lee is a patent attorney and Director with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, an IP firm in Washington, DC. Mr. Lee is an experienced licensing attorney, and has been awarded Certified Licensing ProfessionalTM status. He works with clients of all sizes to strategically protect, leverage and license their intellectual assets to support and further their business objectives.

Mr. Lee earned his law degree from Georgetown University, and holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in electrical engineering from the Universities of Maryland and Virginia, respectively.

Mr. Lee is a Trustee and Vice President-elect of the Licensing Executives Society. He served as Meeting Chair of the LES Winter Meeting 2007 in San Francisco, and is currently Program Chair of the 2008 LES Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.

Mr. Terry Lee Melius
Quality Assurance Specialists, TC 3600
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Mr. Terry Lee MeliusTerry is one of the Quality Assurance Specialists (TQAS) in Technology Center 3600 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before becoming a TQAS, Terry was the Supervisory Patent Examiner in the same TC. Terry joined the Patent and Trademark Office in 1985. Prior to coming to the Office, Terry was a computer programmer for a large chain store corporation. While being an Examiner, Terry worked mostly in the oil well and harvesting technologies. Terry received a Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 1983 and also has two years of computer science training from the York Campus of the same university. Terry received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in 1995 for Superior Federal Service in recognition of his work as a Primary Patent Examiner.

Ms. Karla Perkins
Senior Staff Attorney, Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ms. Karla PerkinsKarla Perkins joined the USPTO in 1997 and served as a trademark examining attorney for almost nine years. She currently works as a senior staff attorney with the Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training where her responsibilities include reviewing the work of examining attorneys to verify compliance with the USPTO's quality standards, training new trademark examining attorneys, and developing training modules concerning trademark operations. Karla is a 1995 graduate of Howard University 's School of Law. Before joining the USPTO, Karla worked in a public interest law firm specializing in addressing the needs of small business entities.

Ms. Jessie Roberts
Administrator for Trademark Identification Classification & Practice
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ms. Jessie RobertsJessie N. Roberts received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1972; she went on to earn her MFA from Brandeis in 1974. In 1980, she received her JD from Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT and began working at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Washington, D.C. in January of 1981 as an Examining Attorney.

In 1984 Jessie was promoted to the position of Senior Attorney in the USPTO and in 1987 she became the Petitions and Classification Attorney in the Office of the Director of the Trademark Examining Groups. In that capacity, she represented the United States in meetings of the Preparatory Working Group and the Committee of Experts for the Nice Agreement held at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. She took a two year leave from the USPTO from 1992 until 1994 during which time she worked for WIPO in Switzerland as the Classifications Officer in the International Trademark and Industrial Design Classifications Section. Upon her return to the PTO, her position had been renamed as the Administrator for Trademark Identification, Classification and Practice and realigned under the Office of the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks.

Ms. Roberts is the author of the book, Guide to the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services, published by Oceana Publications, Inc. The second edition that addresses the new service classes as well as other changes implemented in the 8th edition of the Nice Agreement was released in 2002.

Mr. Thom Ruhe
Director of Entrepreneurship

Mr. Thom RuheThom Ruhe is director of Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In addition to managing a joint venture between the Foundation and the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, focused on leveraging America’s entrepreneurial leadership to advance national and global economic growth, he likewise facilitates collaborative projects between the Foundation and other innovative groups such as the National Inventors Hall of Fame, The Entrepreneurial Learning Institute, and China Invests in America.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ruhe was the founding chief marketing officer for JumpStart, a nonprofit economic development organization and seed stage investment fund created to invest in and accelerate the growth of high-potential, early stage companies in Northeast Ohio.

Formerly, Ruhe was president of Optiem LLC, where he led the growth of a nascent marketing practice to a nationally recognized interactive marketing, communications and public relations agency. Earlier in his career, Ruhe held positions in technology integration, marketing, finance, sales, and management. His experience spans several entrepreneurial endeavors as well as working with Fortune 500 companies.

Ruhe serves on the board of directors of the Holden Arboretum, one of the nation’s largest arboreta and OneCommunity; a nonprofit organization that serves Northern Ohio by connecting public and nonprofit institutions to a next-generation fiber-optic network.

About the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Information about the Kauffman Foundation is available at www.kauffman.org.

Mr. Robert M. Spear
Supervisory Patent Examiner
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Photo Not Available

Robert M. Spear is a Supervisory Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, working in the area of design patents. Rob joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1993 and began examining design patent applications in the textile, packaging, tire and advertising arts. He was most recently a Design Practice Specialist and Training and Quality Assurance Specialist.

Rob is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U. S. Army reserve, having served a successful career as a military policeman, guitar player, combat engineer officer and medical architect. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati, and is a registered architect in the District of Columbia. He lives in Burke, Virginia with his wife, Debbie, and until recently with their two adult children.

Ms. Joyce Ward
National Inventors Hall of Fame

Ms. Joyce WardNational Inventors Hall of Fame Joyce Ward is the intellectual property attorney for the National Inventors Hall of Fame (known as NIHF). She is also a manager for Business Development at NIHF and works out of the Washington, DC office of the organization. Before coming to NIHF, Joyce worked as an attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office where she served for several years in a law office dedicated to examining trademark applications in the medical, pharmaceutical, chemical and computer technology and information systems fields. While working at the agency, she developed a trademark curriculum used by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to teach students about the role of trademarks.

Joyce received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987 and her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC in 1991.


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