Published September 18, 2023

September 11, 2023 – Cantor Colburn LLP, a leading, full-service intellectual property law firm, proudly announces the expansion of its legal team with the hiring of 11 new attorneys and patent agents. This strategic move reinforces our commitment to providing exceptional legal services and further strengthens our position as a premier intellectual property law firm.

The newly appointed attorneys and agents bring a wealth of experience and expertise in various facets of intellectual property law, including global intellectual property portfolio management and development, patent preparation and prosecution, and trademark and copyright protection. Their diverse backgrounds and deep industry knowledge will enhance our ability to serve our clients effectively in this rapidly evolving field. The strengths of their technical backgrounds are as impressive as they are varied.

“We are excited to welcome these talented professionals to our team,” said Cantor Colburn Co-Managing Partner Michael Cantor. “Their dedication to innovation, legal acumen, and client-focused approach align perfectly with our firm’s values and mission. This expansion allows us to provide even more comprehensive and tailored intellectual property solutions to our clients.”

“We strongly believe that our clients deserve the very best in legal representation, and that’s precisely what this expansion represents,” said Cantor Colburn Co-Managing Partner Phil Colburn. “Adding these 11 talented attorneys and agents to our team is not just a measure of our growth; it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to our clients.”

The 11 new attorneys and agents joining Cantor Colburn are:

Samantha Burch joins the firm as Counsel. She has more than 15 years of patent experience, particularly in patent drafting and prosecuting in electrical controls, circuits, mechanical systems, and computer systems and software, including neural networks and machine learning systems. She has prepared a substantial number of applications related to gas turbine engines, automotive vision systems, machine learning systems, and neural network/machine learning based applications.  In addition, she has cultivated a subject matter expertise in post-Alice patentability issues under 35 USC 101. Ms. Burch has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mathematical Sciences from Michigan Technological University and earned a JD from Ave Maria School of Law.

Tam Dinh, Ph.D. joins the firm as Counsel. He has more than 15 years of experience in domestic and foreign patent drafting, prosecution, and counseling. His patent practice focuses on small molecules, proteins/polypeptides and polynucleotides, and he is also experienced with polymers, medical devices, and analytical instruments. He was previously employed in his own private practice and in-house at IntegenX, Elixir Medical, and BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Prior to becoming a patent attorney, he was a medicinal chemist at pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Dinh has Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from UCLA, and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Helena Lovick, Ph.D. joins the firm as a Patent Agent, working on patent drafting and prosecution services.  The focus of her doctoral work in organic chemistry was organocatalysis and new reaction development and her post-doctoral research was directed to stereoselective, organometallic catalysis. Before joining Cantor Colburn, she worked as a research scientist in the medical device and tissue banking fields. As a research scientist, she developed experience in a range of technologies and is a named inventor on multiple patents. She has previously worked as a scientist at Xtant Medical, as a postdoc at Montana State, and as a graduate research assistant at the University of Washington. Dr. Lovick has a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Washington.

Steven McHugh has been practicing intellectual property law for more than 20 years. During this time he has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Supervising Patent Attorney at the University of Connecticut School of Law and he owned and operated a small intellectual property law firm in Middletown, Connecticut. His practice includes all areas of intellectual property, including patent, trademark, and copyright prosecution, enforcement, defense, and licensing, as well as infringement, due diligence, right to use, and validity studies and opinions. He has drafted and prosecuted US and international patent applications relating to electrical, computer, and mechanical systems, including computer hardware/software, laboratory instrumentation, micro-fluidic devices, etching processes, signal processing, automotive power systems, vision inspection systems, medical imaging systems, LASER applications, metallurgy, compressor systems, medical devices, product dispensing systems and exercise device/communication methods and systems.  Prior to practicing law, he held electrical engineering positions at United Technologies Corporation Sikorsky Aircraft Division, Timex Corporation, and Dictaphone Corporation, where he gained extensive experience with EMC/EMI dissipation/protection, avionics systems, laser and radar systems, antenna transmission systems, PCI/ISA plug-in printed circuit board design, embedded and non-embedded programming, semiconductor wafer fabrication, pick and place surface mount technology systems, product safety and microprocessor design, testing, and evaluation. Mr. McHugh has a JD from Quinnipiac University School of Law and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut.

Koichiro Nakamura has more than 18 years of experience in intellectual property, including performing and managing patent prosecution, IP counseling, invalidity and non-infringement opinions, and clearances for both domestic and international clients in a broad range of industries. Mr. Nakamura concentrates his practice in the mechanical and electromechanical fields and has experience handling technologies including automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, medical devices, oilfield, desalination, manufacturing, 3-D printing, and sporting equipment. He is fluent in Japanese, and has extensive experience handling patent applications originating from Japan, and has represented both Houston Intellectual Property Association and the Carolina Patent Trademark Copyright Law Association as delegate in annual meetings with the Japan Patent Office. Prior to joining Cantor Colburn, Mr. Nakamura practiced patent prosecution at two different IP boutique firms and worked as in-house IP counsel for Techtronic Industries Power Equipment. He has a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan, and a JD from University of Houston Law Center.

Kerry A. Nicholson advises domestic and international clients in trademark clearance, prosecution, monitoring, and enforcement. She is involved in drafting cease and desist letters and settlement agreements resolving trademark disputes. Ms. Nicholson further assists clients in trademark licensing, assignments, and consent agreements. As a former Trademark Examining Attorney at the US Patent and Trademark Office, Ms. Nicholson has experience in ex parte examination of applications for the registration of trademarks.  She has also prepared cases and drafted briefs for ex parte appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  Ms. Nicholson is an active member of the State Bar of Georgia, American Bar Association (ABA), Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), and International Trademark Association (INTA). She has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Mercer University, magna cum laude, and a J.D. from the Tulane University Law School. At Mercer, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Farzad Panjshiri concentrates his practice on all areas of trademark prosecution, enforcement, and litigation before the US Patent and Trademark Office and numerous intellectual property offices worldwide with the help of a substantial network of foreign partners. He counsels individuals, small and midsize businesses, as well as large multinational companies on clearance and availability of marks; formation, maintenance, monitoring, and enforcement of marks; resolution of intellectual property disputes; IP licensing and transactional matters; and all aspects of copyright law. He is an active member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), European Communities Trademark Association (ECTA), and Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG). Mr. Panjshiri is a German and US attorney. He has a German Juris Doctor (First State Examination) with a minor in European and International Law from University of Hamburg; the German Bar Examination (Second State Examination) at the Appellate Court Hamburg, Germany; and an L.L.M. in Intellectual Property Law from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Joseph Romagnano, Ph.D. has extensive global patent prosecution experience in bioreactors, medical imaging technology, avionics, data display, power transformers, power plants, locomotives, and gas turbines. His particular focus is on biotechnology, plant patents, and small molecule pharmaceuticals. His further experience includes assisting counsel in litigation with topics including matters involving design rights and questions of inventorship.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Dr. Romagnano worked with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and at the Global Patent Operations center of General Electric. Dr. Romagnano holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Humanities and Arts from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. While an undergraduate, he also studied elemental analysis of sediment cores at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. As a Master’s student in Biotechnology, also at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, his thesis focused on comparing the effects of different modes of nutrient delivery systems on root hypoxia as a part of the NASA-led Advanced Life Support System Initiative. He received a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology with a Concentration in Crop Science as a member of the Crop Physiology Laboratory at Utah State University and was a Fellow of the NASA Graduate Student Research Program. He has a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Patrick Sandoval is a registered patent agent with extensive experience in drafting and prosecuting patent applications for electrical, electromechanical, computer science fields. A former Patent Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Mr. Sandoval leverages his years of experience in all phases of the patent drafting and prosecution process on behalf of US and international clients, with a great familiarity of approaches for expediting patent prosecution, reducing the amount of unnecessary non-prior art rejections, and securing a broader claim scope for his clients. His clients’ technologies have included mobile device applications, multimedia communication, medical treatment programs and healthcare management, medical devices and systems (surgical tools, robotic assisted surgery, computer vision and object tracking, imaging, software programs and GUIs), network security (threat analysis and detection, data encryption, and system analysis), scalable architectures for web functionality, sensors and performance monitoring, workforce management platforms, automotive electronics and vehicle diagnostics, electronic gaming machines, GPUs, DPUs, networking architectures and protocols, user/device authentication in association with financial transactions, telecommunications (5G, LTE, WLAN, D2D, V2X) and telecommunications standards (3GPP), satellite systems, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning applied to various applications. Mr. Sandoval previously worked with a leading intellectual property law firm in South Korea for five years, where he assisted with drafting and prosecution matters for both their overseas and patent departments and provided counseling and in-house training sessions to Korean patent attorneys regarding US patent prosecution. In addition to his patent experience, he worked as a hardware engineer with a high-speed satellite internet service company, specializing in analog ASIC design, fabrication, and testing. He has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University.

Alex Starkovich is an intellectual property attorney with more than 16 years of experience in patent prosecution and litigation support. He has extensive experience in preparing and prosecuting domestic and foreign patent applications, patent and trademark litigation support, developing intellectual property protection strategies, and preparing software and technology licenses and contracts. He is experienced with patent matters in numerous technologies, including business methods and software (including social media, search engines, augmented/virtual reality and artificial intelligence), electronic devices, semiconductors, manufacturing processes, medical devices, and complex mechanical systems. Before becoming an attorney, he was a software engineer specializing in embedded systems at companies including Orbital Sciences Corporation and Intel. Mr. Starkovich has a Bachelor’s in Computer Systems Engineering from Arizona State University and a JD from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Peter Thompson joins the firm as an Associate. He has extensive experience in patent preparation and prosecution across a wide range of technologies, including augmented and virtual reality, avionics, clean energy, complex software and IT, cryptocurrencies, e-commerce, electronics, machine learning, networking and signal processing, optics, semiconductors, and streaming services. In addition to his patent experience, he has several years of programming experience, and has worked as a legal consultant for IBM, where he analyzed software for compliance with open-source copyright licenses. Mr. Thompson has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University and a JD from New York University School of Law.

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