Cantor Colburn LLP is proud to announce the addition of intellectual property attorneys Samantha Burch; Tam Dinh, Ph.D.; Steven McHugh; Alex Starkovich; and Peter Thompson; and patent agent Helena Lovick, Ph.D.

“These professionals are a noteworthy addition to the firm,” said Phil Colburn, Co-Managing Partner. “Clients will benefit from their years of experience in industry, academia, in-house, and in private practice, which invaluably inform their counsel. All have exceptional insight into client needs.”

“This is a great group, experienced in a wide variety of technologies who are adept in the most sophisticated aspects of IP practice,” said Michael Cantor, Co-Managing Partner. “Clients come to us for top legal and technical talent. It’s one of the key reasons for our sustained growth.”

About the Attorneys

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 a JD is 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 amedicinal 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.

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 U.S. 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, semi-conductor wafer fabrication, pick and place surface mount technology systems, product safety and micro-processor 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.

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 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.

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.

About Cantor Colburn LLP

Cantor Colburn LLP is one of the largest and most productive full-service intellectual property law firms in the country, with 100 attorneys and agents providing counsel to clients around the globe from offices in Hartford, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit. In addition to being recognized by Best Lawyers, the Legal 500 USA, IP Stars, The Patent Lawyer, The Trademark Lawyer, and Super Lawyers, Cantor Colburn has recently been ranked as:

  • #4 for U.S. Utility Patents, IP Law360, Ant-like Persistence
  • #5 for U.S. Design Patents, Ant-like Persistence
  • #8 for U.S. Trademark Registrations, Ant-like Persistence
  • #2 Best Alice Allowance Rate, Juristat


Cantor Colburn is ranked in all U.S. Patent and Trademark Office technology centers, and tops the list in several of these categories, including:

  • #1 in Transportation, construction, agriculture, licensing and review
  • #3 in Mechanical engineering, manufacturing and products
  • #5 in Chemical and materials engineering
  • #7 in Communications
  • #9 in Semiconductors, electrical and optical systems, and components


Exceptionally well-versed in a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, the firm’s clients are leaders in a broad spectrum of industries, including software, computer science, telecommunications, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical devices, consumer products, manufacturing, energy, entertainment, and more. For more information, please visit

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