Welcome to a Brave New (Patent) World!

By: Jeff Rothenberg, Managing Partner

The U.S. Patent system is on the verge of the most significant transformation in nearly 60 years. Congress has passed and President Obama signed into law on September 16, 2011 the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Among many major revisions, this patent reform legislation will shift the US from a “first to invent” to a “€œfirst inventor to file”€ system, establish an absolute novelty standard for patentability (with a limited exception for an inventor’s own earlier publication), and create new mechanisms for reviewing granted patents before the US Patent and Trademark Office.

For more details on the new patent reform legislation, please read the Client Alert published in this issue of our newsletter. As regulations are developed to aid in the implementation of the new law, we will provide guidance to help our clients optimize their patent strategy and portfolio under this new and strikingly different patent regime.

Developments at our firm also continue at a rapid pace:

To boost our international capabilities, we recently added Melvin Li, a patent attorney residing in Hong Kong, and Dmitry Andreev, a patent attorney residing in Moscow, to our professional staff.

Melvin Li is a US patent agent and a UK patent attorney. He has been practicing patent law from Hong Kong since 1998. Melvin has many years of experience in intellectual property law and is particularly experienced in patent law in the US, UK, Hong Kong and the greater China region. Melvin is bilingual in Cantonese and English, and is conversant in Mandarin. He earned a degree in Molecular & Cell Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA degree and an LL.B. degree.

Dmitry Andreev’s practice encompasses patent prosecution in the software and electrical fields, including networking, wireless communications, and image processing. He has over 15 years of information technology experience, most recently at IBM Corp., as an Advisory IT Architect. Mr. Andreev is fluent in Russian and Italian.

We are also delighted to announce the addition of George Blasiak, formerly a partner at a Syracuse IP law firm, as “€œof counsel”€ with our firm. George is working with our Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Design Patents, Medical Products, Trademark and Unfair Competition, and University practice groups. He has over 18 years of experience representing Fortune 500 companies, major research universities and emerging businesses in the acquisition and enforcement of intellectual property rights. George’s practice focuses on client counseling, preparing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, patent portfolio management consultation, negotiating transactions involving intellectual property and on rendering legal opinions. His practice includes a variety of technical areas including computer hardware and software, image sensing devices, image processing systems, electronics, semiconductor design and fabrication, photonics, communication networks, control systems, medical diagnostic systems and mechanical arts.

John Boger, chair of our Medical Products and Technology practice group, has been elected a shareholder of our firm. This is a major career milestone that reflects John’s success in developing an outstanding reputation and strong following in the medical device field. John graduated cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. He also received, cum laude, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah.John is a prolific author and frequent presenter at conferences on IP issues in the Medical arena.

To add to her many honors and client accolades,Susan Farley, a firm shareholder and outstanding IP counselor and litigator, has recently been named among the top 25 women lawyers in upstate New York. In addition to Susan, Nick Mesiti, David Miranda, Brett Hutton and Jeff Rothenberg have been recognized in the 2011 peer reviewed selection of upstate NY attorneys by SuperLawyers Magazine. For several years running, our firm has garnered the highest number of recognized IP attorneys of any upstate law firm.

As the US Patent System modernizes to meet the needs of the 21st century, we will continue to provide the resources for our clients to succeed in the world economy.