IP TALK: A WOLF GREENFIELD PODCAST

Conversations about intellectual property-related legal issues, developments and cases of interest. 
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Rob Maldonado

Counsel
Trademark & Copyright Practice

Episode 8: Creating a More Diverse Workplace with Rob Maldonado

Attorney Rob Maldonado is based in Wolf Greenfield’s New York office. His practice is focused on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trademark, copyright, false advertising and unfair competition matters in federal court. But Rob is also passionate about issues related to diversity and inclusion. 

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, we talk to Rob about his decision to switch from an engineering career to law and his extensive involvement with groups like the Hispanic National Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the LGBT Law Association Foundation of Greater New York. Here are a few of the highlights: 

  • 01:05 - The transition from engineering to law
  • 02:21 - Discussing the move to Wolf Greenfield
  • 04:12 - Rob’s extensive work with diversity programs
  • 06:35 - On his mother’s influence
  • 08:24 - How diversity programs have evolved through the years
  • 09:47 - There’s still a great deal of room for improvement
  • 11:38 - The ABA's "Good Guys" program seeks to involved men in the process of including women in positions of power
  • 13:16 - Advice for young people considering a career in law
  • 14:53 - Biggest wish for 2022    

Matt Berg

Chief Information Officer

Episode 7: Cybersecurity - Protecting Sensitive Information and Guarding Against Evolving Threats

Matt Berg has been at the helm of Wolf Greenfield’s information technology initiatives since joining the firm in 2001. As Chief Information Officer, Matt is responsible for strategic technology planning and execution. At the top of his priority list is cybersecurity.

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, Matt describes the firm’s approach to protecting client information and guarding against constantly evolving cyber threats. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • 00:48 - The different approaches for working with existing clients compared to prospects
  • 03:24 - Primary targets that must be protected
  • 04:45 - How has the cybersecurity landscape changed in recent years?
  • 07:13 - Policies for working with third parties
  • 09:26 - The importance of ethical walls
  • 11:55 - Explaining “the human factor” in cybersecurity
  • 16:53 - Protecting against emerging and unknown threats

Christina Licursi

Shareholder and Executive Committee Member,
Trademark & Copyright Practice

Episode 6: Making Diversity and Inclusion a Priority in the Legal Industry

How far must the legal community as a whole—and intellectual property law, particularly—go to achieve ubiquitous diversity and inclusion? According to Wolf Greenfield shareholder and Executive Committee member Christina Licursi, quite a way. However, she’s encouraged by the changes she’s seen in the industry and in IP in recent months.

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, Christina shares her thoughts on creating a more diverse legal workforce and areas where Wolf Greenfield is attempting to affect real change.

  • 01:05 - Diverse hiring is a critical need in the legal industry
  • 03:13 - Christina shares strategies for recruiting and retaining diverse talent
  • 05:40 - Firms must address the return to the office with a balanced approach and improve diversity and inclusion efforts
  • 07:40 - Having diversity doesn’t necessarily mean an organization is being inclusive
  • 09:38 - Christina believes it’s everyone’s responsibility to hold their colleagues and organization accountable for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment
  • 11:29 - The pandemic has had a more significant impact on women
  • 12:35 - Christina shares her three-part approach to promote diversity and inclusion
  • 15:15 - On the difference between transactional leadership and transformative leadership
  • 17:08 - How to make good on promises of diversity and inclusion initiatives

Adam Zeiger

ASSOCIATE,
CHEMICAL & MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES PRACTICE

Episode 5: The Diverse Occupational Backgrounds of IP Law

Career paths aren’t always a straight line, something Adam Zeiger can attest to. The Wolf Greenfield associate has a background in engineering and science, but a chance meeting led him toward the legal profession.

Without question, Adam’s story is not unusual—many have channeled their expertise in a wide variety of areas to pursue a career in IP law. In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, Adam explains why transitioning from science to law made sense and why he finds it so rewarding.

  • 00:53 - Adam shares his career goals before going into IP law
  • 03:47 - There were skills that proved to be applicable in both science and law
  • 05:34 - Adam on areas of the legal industry that required a little more training in getting used to
  • 07:27 - What makes IP law so unique is the diverse occupational backgrounds many attorneys bring to the table
  • 08:47 - Adam talks about the benefits of working in IP

Neil Ferraro

Shareholder, Chair,
Mechanical Technologies Practice

Episode 4: Intellectual Property Advice for Startups

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, Neil Ferraro and Paul Metaxatos offer guidance for protecting an organization’s products and designs.

Neil chairs Wolf Greenfield’s Mechanical Technologies Practice. He works with clients in all areas of intellectual property and represents organizations ranging from startups to large corporations in a wide-range of technologies. Neil joined the firm after serving as an intellectual property attorney with the Ford Motor Company.

Paul is co-founder and principal of Motiv, a Boston-based consultancy that designs products and develops brands for companies of all sizes. Paul is recognized within the retail consumer industry as one of the leading authorities in brand-focused product development, having been associated with many iconic brands, including Keurig, Culligan, and Vitamix.

  • 01:11 - The first steps a startup should do with a new design 
  • 02:58 - Paul’s advice to put a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place 
  • 05:22 - What is the story behind the invention?
  • 06:44 - Developing effective protection strategies
  • 09:42 - The importance of doing consumer research
  • 12:05 - The role of design patents
  • 14:35 - Utility patents are also a powerful option
  • 17:22 - From concept to off-tool, it’s often a long, difficult experience to create a beautiful product
  • 18:54 - Startups must be open-minded
  • 20:15 - Pick the right partners for the entrepreneurial journey

Andrew Pinkard

Technology Specialist,
Chemical & Materials Technologies Practice

Episode 3: Andrew Pinkard on the Value of Diversity in STEM and Law

As a technology specialist, Dr. Andrew Pinkard brings a very impressive background to Wolf Greenfield. He earned a PhD in chemistry from Columbia University and uses that knowledge in assisting the firm with patent prosecution related to both chemistry and materials science. He’s also currently enrolled in the School of Law at Fordham University.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Andrew has a deep dedication to Diversity and Inclusion efforts to help raise awareness and create opportunities for women and minorities interested in the STEM and legal fields.

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, Andrew shares insight into his background and offers thoughts on how the legal industry can promote greater inclusion.

  • 01:03 - What Andrew’s role as a technology specialist entails
  • 01:27 - How a background in chemistry offers context for his current position
  • 02:30 - The ways in which the STEM and sciences fields can attract more diverse candidates
  • 03:20 - On the pressure of being a “trailblazer” and what attracted Andrew to Wolf Greenfield
  • 04:56 - Balancing the responsibilities of promoting diversity and inclusion, while focusing on a significant workload
  • 05:59 - The challenges of attending law school during the pandemic
  • 07:06 - With a remote workforce, it may be easier for law firms to incorporate diversity

John Welch

COUNSEL, TRADEMARK & COPYRIGHT PRACTICE

Episode 2: Keeping Tabs on the TTAB

John Welch has decades of experience representing clients in scores of patent, trademark, copyright lawsuits across the country. 

John specializes in cases before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and speaks and writes frequently regarding that tribunal. His blog, The TTABlog, is highly popular with the trademark community. 

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, John provides a summary of the Board, takes a look at interesting trends and cases and offers a review of the recently enacted Trademark Modernization Act. 

  • 00:49 - An overview of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)
  • 02:22 - Why do parties go to the TTAB instead of federal court?
  • 03:59 - Explaining the high affirmance rate for likelihood-of-confusion and mere descriptiveness cases
  • 04:55 - TTAB trends in 2021
  • 06:19 - Why has there been an increase in failure to function cases?
  • 07:15 - Interesting cases on the horizon
  • 09:32 - Notable elements of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”)
  • 12:39 - John’s TTABlog—keeping tabs on the TTAB since 2004

Chelsea Loughran

Shareholder, Litigation Practice

Episode 1: Practicing Law from Home

Practicing law is challenging and time-consuming under the most ideal circumstances. So it goes without saying that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has required a new way of working to ensure clients are serviced to the fullest extent.

However, for many, juggling work and family demands—all within the same four walls—is an entirely new challenge. Chelsea Loughran, a shareholder in the litigation group at Wolf Greenfield, is a married mom with two young children, and like many of us, she’s navigated the new normal through trial and error. She recently shared her unique perspective on work family balance and working from home on IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield and with Law360.

  • 01:00 - What Chelsea's home and work life was like prior to March of last year 
  • 01:55 - There were a number of home and work-related discussions to prepare for a fully remote environment
  • 04:47 - The challenge of being a work-from-home attorney and a parent
  • 07:19 - One of the clearest challenges has been conducting virtual depositions
  • 09:01 - How Chelsea has adapted to other work duties
  • 11:08 - Chelsea shares a story about an unexpected visit during a webinar
  • 13:51 - The takeaways and benefits she’s noticed over the last year