Hon. Kathi Vidal
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Kathi Vidal serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – America’s Innovation Agency.
As the chief executive of the USPTO, she leads one of the largest intellectual property (IP) offices in the world, with more than 13,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $4 billion. She is the principal IP advisor to the President and the Administration, through the Secretary of Commerce, and is focused on incentivizing and protecting U.S. innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. She leads an agency whose mission is to help American workers and businesses compete and collaborate, especially in ground-breaking technologies and across all demographics. As Director of the USPTO, Vidal is working to expand American innovation for and from all, and to bring more ideas to impact, including serving as the Vice Chair of the Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2), alongside Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo and the Council members.
Director Vidal grew up in a career military family and spent her childhood on military bases in the United States, Panama, Germany, and the Azorean Islands (Portugal). She learned the value of hard work, financial security, and education from her parents, who often held multiple jobs and attended classes at night and on weekends to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Her interest in science led her to attend Binghamton University at the age of 16, where she received her bachelor’s in electrical engineering. Before graduating, she started her career at General Electric (GE) Aerospace (later Lockheed Martin). She was selected into the Edison Engineering Program and pursued her master’s in electrical engineering in Syracuse University’s night program. During her time at GE, she designed one of the first artificial intelligence systems for aircraft, as well as aircraft and engine-control systems that continue to keep our military safe today.
Recognizing the value of innovation, Director Vidal pursued a career in IP. She put herself through law school and obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. After clerking for Judge Alvin Anthony Schall on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Director Vidal joined Fish & Richardson P.C., where she became a recognized expert on IP law, led a litigation group of 270 attorneys in 11 global offices, and served on the firm’s Management Committee. She later joined Winston & Strawn LLP, where she served on the firm’s Executive Committee and was Managing Partner of its Silicon Valley office. Throughout her career, Director Vidal has represented new innovators and startup companies with limited resources. She has also represented many of our country’s most successful and well-known companies.
Director Vidal has helped harness and protect innovation at all levels. Prior to joining the USPTO, she represented both patent holders and defendants in U.S. district courts and the International Trade Commission. She has also been deeply involved in practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), argued numerous Federal Circuit appeals, and led amicus efforts on important cases before the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court. She has received many awards as a top litigator and was inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America, a society of the leading American trial lawyers.
Director Vidal has spent her career championing the importance of mentoring and expanding opportunities to include more individuals from underserved communities. She has played an active role on the advisory board of Chiefs in Intellectual Property (ChIPs), a network of women leaders in technology, law, and policy) and on other boards and committees focused on diversity and inclusion, and has mentored diverse women across the globe as part of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program. She builds on that work today.
Director Vidal lives with her family and rescue dog Oliver.
Hon. Fabian Hoffmann
Federal Judge for the Federal Court of Justice in Germany
Judge Hoffmann was appointed to the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2010. He is a member of the 10th Civil Division (X. Zivilsenat) which has, inter alia, jurisdiction on patent dispute matters. Prior to this appointment, he was a Judge at the Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court) and the Landgericht (Regional Court) in Frankfurt am Main, where he still resides. Before taking the Bench, he worked as an assistant to lawyers admitted to the Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe, drafting submissions on civil law appeals held before the Bundesgerichtshof.
Judge Hoffmann was a member of the Expert Group of European Commission on licensing and valuation of Standard Essential Patents. In this group he contributed several proposals to the report and was especially focused on establishing licensing mechanisms for SEP, the judicial handling of such parents and patents valuation. He continued by providing further support to the legislative processes as an expert to the Legal Committee of the German Parliament with regard to the introduction of a proportionality test for injunctive relief in the German Patent Act.
He studied law at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, where he is now a lecturer teaching patent law.
Legal Director, DVB and Managing Director, Helikon.net
Carter Eltzroth advises on intellectual property, antitrust and other regulatory issues in standards development, licensing frameworks for essential patents, and dispute resolution. His expertise stems from his experience in senior positions within, and representation of, technology providers and standards bodies.
Carter is managing director of Helikon.net, providing legal services to standards development organizations, and to licensors and implementers of standardized technologies. He is Legal Director of the DVB Project, the Geneva-based standards body setting technical standards for digital broadcasting and related fields.
Among other SDOs, Carter has advised the IEEE and the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel on their IPR policies and on innovative frameworks for licensing standard essential patents (patent pools). During 2021 Carter Eltzroth completed an assignment as convenor of holders of patents essential to the next generation video codec VVC as part of a pool fostering initiative organized by the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF).
Carter is an arbitrator with the World Intellectual Property Organization and writes and speaks frequently on legal issues relating to standard-setting and intellectual property. He is a member of the New York bar and a graduate of Oxford University and Columbia Law School. Carter Eltzroth is Senior Member of IEEE and has served as adjunct Professor of Law at American University, Washington.
Director for Legal Affairs and Governance of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
Christian Loyau graduated from the University of Paris in business, corporate and IP law.
After 5 years practicing in law firm in Denmark and France, Christian joined Digital Equipment Corporation, and Cap Gemini in France.
He served for 12 years as Legal Director for International Affairs for the French telecommunication company Matra Communication and was involved in the IPR group of ETSI from 1993 to 1996. He then served as General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of the French IT quoted company Bull for 14 years.
Christian is now Director for Legal Affairs and Governance of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
Program Director of Standards and Intellectual Property Rights for Intel Corporation’s Global Public Policy Group
Earl Nied is the Program Director of Standards and Intellectual Property Rights for Intel Corporation’s Global Public Policy Group. Earl is responsible for Intel’s worldwide policies on Intellectual Property Rights issues relating to Standards. He chairs the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee (IPRPC) and serves on the ANSI Board of Directors. He has served as vice chair of the IPRPC‚ chaired the ANSI Patent Group‚ and received a 2009 ANSI Meritorious Service Award.
He is an active participant in the: International Telecommunications Union Telecommunication (ITU-T) Standardization Sector IPR Ad Hoc Committee and has been heavily involved in drafting the ISO/IEC/ITU Common Patent policy and guidelines; Digital Europe trade association IPR and Interoperability subcommittees; European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) IPR Committee; Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) Standards Setting Committee; and American Bar Association (ABA) Committee on Technical Standardization.
He participated in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Patent Policy Working Group in the formation of the current W3C patent policy. In addition‚ Earl has been a consultant to several international standards development organizations including the Audio Video Coding Standard Workgroup of China (AVS) and the China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI).
Dr. Igor Nikolic
Research Fellow, European University Institute
Dr Igor Nikolic is a Research Fellow at European University Institute, Florence and a Senior Fellow at University College London Centre for Law, Economics & Society. He specialises and writes on IP and competition law, standard essential patents (SEPs), innovation and the digital economy.
He is the author of a comprehensive book entitled Licensing Standard Essential Patents: FRAND and the Internet of Things which was published in late 2021 by Hart Publishing. He is frequently published in academic journals on various issues concerning SEP licensing, the meaning of FRAND commitment, the remedies for the infringement of SEPs, patent pools, and SEP licensing framework in the IoT ecosystem.
Dr Nikolic received a PhD in Law from University College London. He is often invited to speak at conferences on SEP-related matters and holds training courses on 5G and SEPs at the European University Institute. He taught competition law at University College London, King’s College London, and University of Turin, worked on a report by BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre entitled Digital Era Competition: a BRICS View. He frequently works as an external consultant for the World Bank.
Hon. Cathy Ann Bencivengo
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California
Judge Bencivengo was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California by President Barack Obama, and confirmed on February 10, 2012. Prior to her confirmation, she served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District since December, 2005. Judge Bencivengo is a participant in the Southern District’s Patent Pilot Program and a member of the District’s Criminal Justice Act Advisory Committee.
Before joining the bench, Judge Bencivengo was a partner with the law firm of DLA Piper LLP (formerly Gray, Cary), where she specialized in intellectual property litigation and was National Co-Chair of the firm’s Patent Litigation Practice Group. As a patent litigator, Judge Bencivengo represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of technologies, including computer hardware and software, chemistry, immunology, semiconductor chip manufacturing, medical devices and consumer products. She was also the lead trademark and copyright litigation counsel for Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LLP.
Judge Bencivengo attended Rutgers University in New Jersey, earning a B.A. in journalism and political science and an M.A. in political science as a Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude.
Judge Bencivengo is a Master in the J. Clifford Wallace Chapter and the Louis M. Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court. She just completed her term as Chair of the Ninth Circuit Education Committee. She is currently serving as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Ninth Circuit District Judges Association and as a Judicial Advisor for the San Diego Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the Sedona Conference.
Partner, McKool Smith
Warren Lipschitz is a lead trial lawyer focused on high-stakes intellectual property and competition cases.
Warren represents some of the largest standard essential patent holders in the world in their FRAND related disputes. Warren successfully represented Ericsson in the first breach of FRAND jury trial for cellular-related patents. This case was a landmark victory for standard essential patent holders. The jury verdict, upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, endorsed Ericsson’s royalty rate for 4G cellular phones and rejected arguments that would potentially devalue all standard essential patents.
Warren has experience on a wide range of FRAND issues. He has represented clients in breach of contract claims relating to F/RAND commitments, requests for anti-suit injunctions (and anti-anti-suit injunctions), claims that essential patents were unenforceable due to alleged late disclosure, and allegations of anticompetitive behavior premised on FRAND violations. He has litigated these issues in federal court and the International Trade Commission.
Warren graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Northwestern University School of Law. Warren also has undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil and structural engineering, and before becoming a lawyer, practiced in Texas as a licensed Professional Engineer.
IP Partner, Bauz IP Law LLP
Over the course of his twenty-nine year legal career, Thane gained substantial experience with standard essential patents, including on behalf of global companies such as Sony, Boeing, and MediaTek.
He was Lead Counsel in patent cases involving standard essential patents purportedly covering cellular technologies and data compression. On behalf of a global company, he managed IP portfolio analysis teams that identified standard essential patents. In that capacity, he secured licensing opportunities exceeding $500M.
Thane received his LL.M. with highest honors from The George Washington University Law School, was a Centennial Scholar at the Chicago-Kent College of Law where he received his J.D. degree, and obtained his engineering degree with highest honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Thane participated in post-graduate studies at Max Planck Institute in Munich. His research was published in the Creighton University Law Review. Subsequently, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Wilson A. Cowen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2022, he will be published by the Texas A&M University Journal of Property Law concerning patent claim definiteness in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
With twenty-five years of experience in global law firms, Thane founded Bauz IP Law LLP. Thane assists in-house teams with all IP matters including litigation, counseling, and portfolio analysis. He also serves as an in-house consultant.
Kurt M. Kjelland
Vice President, Legal Counsel at Qualcomm Incorporated
Kurt Kjelland is a Vice President, Legal Counsel at Qualcomm Incorporated. Kurt represents the company in antitrust, patent, and licensing matters, including investigations and litigation.
Kurt led the inside/outside counsel team that obtained a full victory in a seminal antitrust case involving standard essential patents, FTC v. Qualcomm, 969 F.3d 974 (9th Cir. 2020). He also managed an antitrust investigation and litigation with Taiwan Federal Trade Commission, including first of its kind settlement after it had issued a written decision.
He is a co-author of a book chapter “FRAND Licensing of Standard-Essential Patents” in Patents and Standards, first published in 2018, and has spoken extensively on on FRAND, SEPs, patent damages, and the interface between patent and antitrust law.
Kurt is a registered patent attorney and admitted to the California Bar. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. He was named Corporate Counsel of the Year in 2021 by Global Competition Review.
Hon. James V. Selna
U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California
Judge Selna was appointed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California in 2003. Prior to his appointment, he served on the California Superior Court for the County of Orange for fours years. Before taking the Bench, he was in private practice for twenty-eight years, and handled complex civil litigations.
On the federal bench, he has presided over numerous complex civil matters, including the multidistrict proceeding In re Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, which involved over 200 economic loss class actions and over 170 individual personal injury/wrongful death cases. In the patent field, he has presided over complex patent trials, including Broadcom Corp. v. Qualcomm Inc., Broadcom Corp. v. Emulex, and Siemens AG v. Seagate Technology. Most recently, he presided over a major FRAND dispute, TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson.
He received his undergraduate and legal education at Stanford University. Judge Selna is a member of the Central District’s Patent Pilot Program.
Dr. Justus Baron
Senior Research Associate, Northwestern University, Center on Law, Business, and Economics
Dr. Justus Baron is a Senior Research Associate at Northwestern University’s Center on Law, Business, and Economics. His empirical economic research focuses on technology standards, patents, and technological innovation.
He earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Mines ParisTech. He has taught at Sciences Po Paris, Universite Paris II Assas, and Northwestern University, and has been a guest researcher at Hitotsubashi University and Berlin University of Technology. At Northwestern University, he has created the Searle Center Database on Technology Standards, and organizes the Annual Empirical Research Roundtables on Standardization.
His scholarly research on patents and standards has been published in leading academic journals, including Research Policy, Antitrust Law Journal, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, and the International Journal of Industrial Organization. In addition to his academic research, he frequently contributes to policy analyses on topics related to standardization.
He is the lead researcher of a consortium assisting the European Commission with an economic impact assessment on Standard-Essential Patents (SEP), he was a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Standard Essential Patents, and he has authored comprehensive studies on SEP licensing and the governance of Standard Development Organizations (SDO) for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Senior Director & Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property (IP), Red Hat
Patrick has thirty years of experience advising innovative clients about IP rights in the software and high-tech sectors. He is a business strategist who proactively supports his client’s worldwide business objectives while helping to manage risk.
Patrick is an IP specialist for collaborative software development projects, including the negotiation and structuring of inbound and outbound licenses. In that role, Patrick has gained insight into the attributes of open collaboration and free public access to software and its source code. He oversees Red Hat’s participation with alliances, such as Open Invention Network, and manages the defense of patent litigation.
Patrick attended Washington State University, where he obtained his electrical engineering degree. Patrick received his J.D. at Georgetown University and is a member of the United States Patent Bar and the Utah State Bar.
Vice President, Wireless Programs & Corporate Development, Via Licensing Corporation
Taraneh Maghamé is an IP business leader recognized for her expertise in strategic IP licensing, government relations, and patent policy issues. She is currently Vice President of Via Licensing where she is responsible for the company’s multi-party licensing programs for wireless and cellular technologies, including the LTE/LTE-Advanced and W-CDMA patent pools. She also represents Via before regulatory, industry and policy-setting organizations around the globe, and has participated in the European Commission Group of Experts on Licensing and Valuation of Standard Essential Patents.
Before joining Via in January 2017, Ms. Maghamé served as Senior Counsel in Apple’s IP and Licensing group, focusing on patent licensing strategy and standards. Her role included representing Apple in global standards-related organizations, including ETSI and ITU. Prior to Apple, she served as Acting General Counsel and Vice President for M&A, Patent Policy and Government Relations at Tessera Technologies in San Jose, California. She also helped found the Innovation Alliance, an organization representing patent holder’s interests before Congress. She has testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Federal Trade Commission on patent-related issues. Ms. Maghamé started her career in global law firms where she specialized in IP licensing, counseling, and litigation.
Ms. Maghamé has held leadership roles in professional organizations such as the Association of Corporation Counsel, Intellectual Property Owners Association and California Women Lawyers. She frequently gives presentations to business and legal professionals concerning intellectual property. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and is admitted to practice in California, Washington State and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Executive Patent Litigation Director, HTC America
Owais Siddiqui is Executive Patent Litigation Director at HTC America, Inc. He manages patent litigation and works on patent licensing and acquisition matters. Before joining HTC, Owais worked at large global law firms, where he focused on litigation for both large and small companies.
He has litigated patents in numerous technologies, including semiconductor manufacturing and design, user interface design, communications protocols, and speech coding. He has over fifteen years of litigation experience, including seven years managing patent litigation and directing litigation strategy and eight years of hands-on litigation work. He has spoken at conferences in the United States and Taiwan.
Prior to his legal career, Owais obtained practical engineering experience in the computer and aerospace industries. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was president of the IP law society and national champion of the Giles S. Rich IP moot court competition. Owais has earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Vice President, Avanci
Marianne Frydenlund is the Vice President of Avanci. She formerly served as the Legal Director and acting Secretary to the Board of Directors at Nordic Semiconductor. Nordic Semiconductor specializes in ultra-low power wireless technology such as cellular modules for internet-enabled devices.
Over the course of her career, Marianne gained a unique in-house perspective on IP-related business practices within the wireless ecosystem. She has shared her insights with peers by giving presentations at legal conferences, including addressing the commercial ramifications associated with the refusal to license standard essential patents.
In 2019, Marianne was elected to the Board of the Fair Standards Alliance in Brussels. The Fair Standards Alliance works to ensure that wireless technology companies of all sizes are given access to standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.
Marianne is on the “GC Powerlist” of the Legal 500. She was also elected to the Board of the Norwegian Company Lawyers Association (NCLA). She has been involved in their mentoring programs aimed at helping women advance in business and technology-related careers.
Marianne graduated from the University of Oslo School of Law and the University of North Dakota. Prior to joining Nordic Semiconductor, Marianne worked for Huawei Technologies and Nexans Norway AS where she focused on legal issues associated with technology-related commercial transactions.
Professor, Department of Economics, Seoul National University, Korea
Sang-Seung Yi is a Professor at the Department of Economics, Seoul National University. Professor Yi received his Ph. D. from Harvard University in 1992. He taught at Dartmouth College from 1992 to 1998 before returning to Korea. Professor Yi is the first recipient of the Kim Taesung Memorial Prize in 1998, awarded annually by the Korean Econometric Society to a Korean economist under 40 for academic excellence. In 1984, while a junior at SNU, he was the youngest successful contestant in the Higher Senior Civil Service Examination. Instead of joining the government when he graduated Summa Cum Laude from SNU, Yi pursued his academic interests in economics.
Professor Yi’s academic research is in the area of applied microeconomic theory and industrial organization. He has published highly-cited papers in peer-reviewed journals such as Rand Journal of Economics, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of International Economics.
Professor Yi’s current research focuses on the economic analysis of competition law, with particular interest in the interface between antitrust and intellectual property laws (e.g., standard setting and FRAND commitments). He has authored numerous papers (including a publication in Competition Policy International) and consulted on key antitrust cases in Korea since early 2000’s when the KFTC began enforcing competition law in earnest, including abuse of dominance (such as tying, refusal to deal and loyalty rebates), mergers, and damages estimation from collusion. In recognition of his contribution to the development of antitrust policy in Korea, the Korean government awarded him the Hongjo Order of Merit in 2017.