Russ Weinzimmer has over twenty four years of experience in patent law, which includes seven years of experience doing complex patent preparation and prosecution in demanding law firm environments, seven years as management in a leading corporate environment, and over ten years in private law practice. Corporate and entrepreneurial experience prior to his career in law enables him to better understand the needs and objectives of his clients. Russ presently advises a variety of start-up ventures.
At Cognex Corporation, as Chief Patent Counsel, Russ was the first full-time in-house attorney at the company. Cognex is a global public company in the machine vision industry with more than $150 million annual revenue. Cognex Corporation won its law suit against Jerome Lemelson's limited partnership, and invalidated his machine vision patents that were used to extract millions in license fees from larger companies such as Ford and Motorola. Cognex was founded by three MIT graduates. Russ grew the patent portfolio from two issued patents with two patents pending, to over 115 issued patents with 133 patents pending, within seven years. Russ worked closely with engineers to strategically identify patentable technology. He personally prepared and filed eight new patent applications per year , working directly with world-class company founders/inventors.
Prior to joining Cognex Corporation, Russ was primarily involved in the preparation and prosecution of highly technical patent applications in a law firm environment full-time, while he attended law school in the evening. In particular, he prepared and prosecuted patent applications relating to computer software, and computer hardware, communications, medical devices, speech recognition algorithms, semiconductor devices, signal processing, database algorithms, advanced computer systems, high-temperature superconductors, image processing, high-speed modem algorithms, medical imaging and analysis, optical devices, and computer disk storage devices. He also rendered patent infringement and patent validity opinions.
Prior to entering patent law, Russ was a co-founder of a software start-up, and was involved in various aspects of technology marketing in a corporate environment. He brings the perspectives gained through these business experiences to his practice of Strategic Patent Lawsm.
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Robert Strawbrich has over 20 years of experience as a practicing Intellectual Property Law attorney, along with over 8 years of industrial work experience as both a Design and Product Management Engineer in the Semiconductor industry. He has prepared and prosecuted well over 150 patent applications, in a broad spectrum of technologies, including server and computer networking technologies, semiconductor circuits, semiconductor processing and semiconductor materials technologies, microprocessor and memory architectures, software methods, data communication algorithms, DSP, fixed and mobile wireless networks and circuits, television broadcast, broadband circuits and systems, electric motors, chemical processing, down-hole oil well equipment and Internet software and business methods.
Robert also has extensive experience providing patent litigation support, performing IP portfolio valuations and IP due diligence in support of corporate mergers and technology acquisitions, drafting and negotiating technology licenses and development contracts, as well as counseling clients regarding the establishment of in-house IP development and protection programs. Robert has been licensed to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office since 1992 and has been licensed by the Bar of the State of California since 1991. He holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University's College of Engineering (1980) and graduated with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1991.
James Zak graduated from the University of Minnesota with B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, he developed computer models of the synaptic and biochemical events underlying learning and memory in humans. In addition to machine learning and artificial intelligence, he is knowledgeable in the fields of pharmacology, biochemistry, biotechnology, applied chemistry, and medical, mechanical and electrical devices.
Zak received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. While in law school, he completed the course work necessary for an M.S. in Pharmacology, and developed software to analyze images of cells acquired by the use of confocal laser microscopy.
Zak has extensive experience in strategically patenting inventions to protect the invention s in global markets. He has served as In-House Counsel for an ultrasound medical device start-up where he aligned patent strategies with business objectives and FDA compliance. In private practice, he has secured and protected global markets for Fortune 500 companies, industry leaders, and startups in a diverse range of technologies. He brings this knowledge and experience when working with our clients to align intellectual property strategies with their business needs and objectives.
Walter S. Stevens, Ph.D.
Dr. Walter S. Stevens has more than 25 years experience providing intellectual property legal services to multinational corporations, government agencies, small business entrepreneurs and individuals. He also practiced intellectual property law at a Department of Defense research laboratory, at which time he held a top secret security clearance.
Dr. Stevens has extensive expertise in various technologies, including nuclear reactor systems, nuclear fuel management, utility power generation systems, naval weapons systems, nondestructive testing, robotics, inkjet printer design, and computer software, as well as other technologies. His practice areas include patent preparation and prosecution, trademark registration, copyright counseling, trade secret protection, licensing, technology transfer agreements, joint research and development agreements, confidentiality agreements, noninfringement and invalidity opinions, intellectual property audits and prior art searching.
Dr. Stevens holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Nuclear Engineering; a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering; a Master of Business Administration; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering, all from the University of Missouri. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Stevens is admitted to the Pennsylvania and New York State bars. He is also a Registered Patent Attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California. He is a recipient of seven U.S. patents.
Eric Bram is a patent attorney with 18 years experience in the practice of patent law in both corporate and law firm environments. Eric has served as Senior Intellectual Property Counsel for two major international corporations, including the Caterpillar corporation and Philips Electronics North America, where he managed major patent portfolios. He is expert in both US and foreign patent prosecution. Eric is also experienced in intellectual property portfolio management, product clearance, IP value evaluation, client guidance, infringement and validity analysis, design around, attorney mentoring and supervision, due diligence for acquisitions, contracts, licensing, and other transactional matters.
Eric has prepared and prosecuted patent applications in the technical areas of: physics, optics, mechanical and electrical engineering, medical and scientific devices, fiber optics, laser technology, automotive, computers (hardware and software), musical instruments, and signal processing. Eric has published nationally, has taught patent professionals internationally, and has served as a member of the United States Patent Law Committee of the IPO (Intellectual Property Owners Association). He received his doctorate in law in 1993 from Hastings College of Law, University of California, following a successful career in science and engineering. He has also recently donated his time as an Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at a local college.
Michael Steir has an extensive and diverse business background which includes experience and achievements in strategic business development, finance and accounting, international tax planning, mergers & acquisitions, development of distribution channels, offshore sourcing, and joint venture start up and management. His 40+ year career includes management positions in both industrial and high tech corporate environments, including Norton Company, DuPont Co., and GCA Corporation.
More recently, Michael established, staffed, and managed an international legal department for Cognex Corporation, a major NASDAQ- listed company. As Vice President of Legal Affairs, he was responsible for all legal matters, including intellectual property due diligence and agreement preparation and negotiations with respect to merger & acquisition activity, all commercial contracts, and intellectual property and corporate legal matters. Among his many achievements, he successfully managed the five year litigation effort resulting in the shut down of the now infamous Jerome Lemelson machine vision patent trolling effort by invalidating 14 patents being asserted world wide against major corporations. Michael also successfully managed patent assertion litigations against patent infringers.
Currently, Michael is consulting to early stage companies by providing business development services, commercial contracts preparation and negotiations, technology licensing agreements, and intellectual property litigation management. Michael is in a unique position to combine real world practical business experience with legal services to help companies realize their full potential without having to hire full time business and legal professionals, or resort to high cost law firms. His current clients include Xenith LLC, Advanced Electron Beams, and MOAEC, Inc.
Michael has extensive overseas business experience in Europe, China, South East Asia, Japan, and Korea, including a three year expatriate assignment in Australia. Michael received his Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College, and his Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Massachusetts.
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Joe Carlen has over 12 years of experience preparing in-depth Market Analyses and Commercialization Plans for inventors, entrepreneurs, and companies across a wide range of industries. Mr. Carlen has worked for global industry leaders such as Westinghouse Energy, AOL, and Banana Boat(sun care), small-midsize companies, and a large and varied selection of individual inventors and entrepreneurs. He has served clients in industries relating to consumer goods, electronics, high tech/software, medical devices, healthcare, child care, pet care, automotive, energy, manufacturing/quality control, online services, agriculture/food processing, entertainment, education, and many others.
Joe earned a Master's degree in Information Systems Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, with various additional certifications in Business, Marketing, and Technology. Mr. Carlen offers a rare combination of technical knowledge, business acumen, and superb research, analysis, and writing skills. His Invention Market Analysis and Commercialization Services are valuable resources for inventors that are committed to maximizing the commercial potential of their inventions. Joe Carlen provides the clients of Russ Weinzimmer & Associates, PC with the "missing link" that helps inventors make progress from a great idea to the successful commercialization of their intellectual property.
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Bob Stepha is currently engaged in the preparation of complex patent applications as a Technology Specialist with the firm. Bob Stepha has unique technical qualifications, including more than a decade of integrated circuit (IC) design and fabrication experience, in addition to over ten years of software engineering and computer science experience. Bob Stepha has a BA in Physics, and a Masters in Electrical Engineering, with additional graduate work in Materials Science.
In chip design, Bob has extensive experience in all phases of chip design and development, including circuit design, logic design, systems architecture, system simulation, high level design specification, high-level and low-level logic modeling, library development, CAD tool development, CAD process flow, circuit timing optimization, power modeling, device simulation, device layout, device modeling, statistical yield analysis, and fabrication.
In software engineering, Bob has extensive experience in software development, with application to a wide variety of problem domains including numerical methods, user interface design, graphics, language design, real-time simulation, analog signal processing, digital signal processing (DSP), machine learning, neural networks, data modeling, data interpretation, and statistical analysis.
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