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Oblon Spivak Elects Three Partners and Elevates One Senior Associate and Two Associates

Date: 
January 4, 2012

For Immediate Release  
January 4, 2012 

Alexandria, Va. – Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. announces Tia Fenton, Kurt Berger and Zachary Stern have been elected partners and former senior associate Joseph Wrkich has been elevated to senior attorney. In addition, Brian Epstein and Soumya Panda have been elevated to senior associates.

The new partners:

Tia Fenton, a skilled patent litigation lawyer, is a partner in the firm's Litigation and ITC Litigation practice groups.  With a background in chemistry, biochemistry and genetics, she has a deep understanding of the sciences and technologies involved in her clients’ chemical, biochemical, biomedical and pharmaceutical inventions. In addition to litigating cases in district court and before the Federal Circuit, Ms. Fenton advises her clients on litigation procedure and strategies, litigation avoidance, and the overall protection of patent portfolios. Ms. Fenton also has experience in patent interference proceedings and prosecution-related matters in the chemical arts, including the revival of abandoned patent applications. She received her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, and her M.S. in Forensic Science from Marshall University, concentrating in DNA technologies.

Kurt Berger, Ph.D., is a patent attorney in the firm's Electrical Patent Prosecution practice group. Representing a broad range of clients, Dr. Berger prepares and prosecutes patent applications for U.S. and foreign corporations in the fields of electronics, computers, software, networks, telecommunications, optical disc systems, medical imaging devices, and communications systems and standards. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from University of Wisconsin. Dr. Berger received his B.A. in Economics and B.S. in Computer Engineering, summa cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University.

Zachary Stern is a patent attorney in the firm's Electrical Patent Prosecution group. He is experienced in preparing and prosecuting patent applications and reexaminations, providing opinions regarding patent validity and infringement, and counseling regarding International Trade Commission (ITC) litigation strategy and product design alternatives. As an experienced patent attorney, Mr. Stern has represented both foreign and domestic clients of all sizes in protecting a broad array of patents. Mr. Stern received his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland. He also has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Virginia.

The new senior attorney:

Joseph Wrkich, an electrical patent lawyer, is an attorney in the firm's Electrical Patent Prosecution practice group. He appears regularly before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and oversees the prosecution and management of international patent applications in Canada, Europe, Japan, China and Australia. He counsels on patent portfolio management for foreign clients in the U.S. market as well as U.S. clients filing international applications.  He also counsels clients on issues regarding patent infringement, patent validity, patent pools, and reexamination proceedings. He received his J.D. from College of William and Mary School of Law, Order of the Coif and his B.S. in Physics, with Minors in Business Administration and Mathematics, summa cum laude, from California State University, at Fullerton.

The new senior associates:

Brian Epstein is a registered patent prosecution attorney in the firm’s Electrical Patent Prosecution and Pharmaceutical/Medical Devices practice groups.  Mr. Epstein is particularly skilled at enhancing U.S. patent portfolios of Asian and European companies, including several of the world’s top companies. He has prosecuted patents involving a range of technologies, including information technology, analog and digital circuit design, semiconductor fabrication, communications, imaging, and medical devices. Mr. Epstein received his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and his M.S. in Management from University of Florida. He also received his M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Florida.

Soumya Panda is an attorney in the firm's Electrical Patent Prosecution practice group, with a focus on wireless technology. Mr. Panda drafts and prosecutes patent applications for both domestic and foreign clients in a variety of technology areas, including wireless communications and networking, digital signal and image processing, medical devices, semiconductors, fiber optics, and computer architecture. In addition to his patent prosecution work, Mr. Panda prepares invalidity and non-infringement opinions involving wireless communication and digital signal processing technologies. He also has experience with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) post-grant procedures such as ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings and reissue applications. Mr. Panda received his J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law School and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Colorado. He also has a B.S in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Colorado.

Assisting clients for more than 40 years, Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. is one of the largest intellectual property specialty firms in the United States. The firm provides a full range of intellectual property services, including litigation matters in all courts, as well as trademark, copyright and patent interference services.

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