Featured Speakers

linn2xHon. Richard Linn

Keynote Speaker

Senior Circuit Judge
United States Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit

Richard Linn was appointed by President William J. Clinton in 1999 and assumed the duties of the office at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 2000. Prior to his appointment, Judge Linn was a Partner and Practice Group Leader at the Washington, DC law firm of Foley and Lardner from 1997 to 1999. He was a Partner and head of the intellectual property department at Marks and Murase, L.L.P. from 1977 to 1997, acting as first chair in over 30 litigations in intellectual property and entertainment law matters. Prior to that, Judge Linn served as Patent Advisor, United States Naval Air Systems Command from 1971 to 1972, was a Patent Agent at the United States Naval Research Laboratory from 1968 to 1969, and served as a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent Office from 1965 to 1968. He was a member of the founding Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Section on Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law and served as Chairman in 1975.

In 2000, Judge Linn received the Rensselaer Alumni Association Fellows Award. He was honored in 2006 for dedication, service, and devotion to justice by the Austin Intellectual Property Law Association.  Judge Linn was awarded the 2009 New York Intellectual Property Law Association Leadership Award. He also received the 2009 Jefferson Medal from the New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association “in recognition of meritorious and outstanding contributions in support of the Constitution of the United States of America and furtherance of a fundamental principle thereof—‘to promote the progress of Science and useful Arts.’” In 2010, Judge Linn received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. In 2011, he was awarded the inaugural Mark Banner Award by the American Bar Association for his contributions to intellectual property law and the A. Sherman Christensen Award by the American Inns of Court Foundation for distinguished, exceptional and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement.  He was also recognized by the Howard University Law School Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice for his leadership, guidance, and inspiring example in promoting progressive development, professional diversity, and social justice in intellectual property law and practice. In 2012, Judge Linn was awarded the Outstanding IP Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association, and in 2013, he received the Distinguished Judicial Service Award from the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago.  He served as an Adjunct Professor and Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University Law School from 2001 to 2003, and served on the Law School’s Intellectual Property Advisory Board from 2001 to 2012. Judge Linn is a past president of the Giles Sutherland Rich American Inn of Court, a member of the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, a visiting member of the Hon. William C. Conner American Inn of Court, and an honorary lifetime member of the Benjamin Franklin American Inn of Court. He received a B.E.E. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969.


hirshfeld2xAndrew Hirshfeld

Featured Morning Speaker

Drew Hirshfeld is Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He was appointed to this position in July 2015.

As Commissioner for Patents, Mr. Hirshfeld manages and leads the patent organization as its chief operating officer. He is responsible for managing and directing all aspects of this organization which affect administration of patent operations, examination policy, patent quality management, international patent cooperation, resources and planning, and budget administration.

In his previous role as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Mr. Hirshfeld served as an authority on patent laws, rules, and examining practice and procedure, and provided administrative oversight and direction for the activities of the Office of Petitions, Office of Patent Legal Administration, and the Office of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. Further, Mr. Hirshfeld established patent examination and documentation policy standards for the Commissioner for Patents.

Prior to serving as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Mr. Hirshfeld was the Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. Mr. Hirshfeld began his career at the USPTO in 1994 as a Patent Examiner. He became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 2001, and was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2008 as a Group Director in Technology Center 2100, Computer Architecture and Software.

Mr. Hirshfeld received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.


meier2xMarkus Meier

Markus is the Assistant Director in charge of the Federal Trade Commission’s Health Care Division in Washington, D.C. He leads an office of thirty-five lawyers who investigate and litigate possible violations of antitrust law by pharmaceutical companies, physicians and other health-care professionals. Since November 2015, Markus also has been serving as the Acting Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, where he helps oversee more than 270 lawyers and other professionals. Markus joined the FTC in1990.

In addition to his work at the FTC, Markus has been in private practice, where he worked on antitrust litigation and represented clients before the FTC and Department of Justice. He has served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting criminal cases. And he was a resident advisor to the Indonesian Competition Commission in Jakarta in 2001.

Before joining the FTC, Markus served as an officer in the United States Army. He is a graduate of the George Mason School of Law, has a master’s degree in public administration from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.


kelley2xNathan Kelley

Nathan Kelley became the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor in November 2013 and was reappointed to that position in May 2016 after serving as the Acting Chief Judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board from July 2015 to May 2016. As Solicitor, he defends the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the USPTO and the agency in court proceedings relating to intellectual property issues.

As Deputy Solicitor and an Associate Solicitor, Mr. Kelley spent seven years defending the USPTO’s decisions in federal court, briefing and arguing numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has defended the USPTO on a wide range of legal issues, from specific patentability determinations to broader issues involving the USPTO’s statutory examination duties. He has also provided advice and guidance to the agency regarding various intellectual property issues, including the development and scope of rulemakings undertaken to implement the America Invents Act.

The Office of the Solicitor provides legal counsel to the Under Secretary and Director and the Commissioners for Patents and Trademarks on intellectual property matters. The office’s primary responsibility is to defend decisions of the Under Secretary and Director, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and examiners in patent and trademark cases. The office also represents the Under Secretary and Director at depositions of USPTO employees, provides legal advice on proposed regulations and correspondence, and monitors publication of USPTO decisions. The Solicitor’s Office, in coordination with the Department of Commerce, also provides representation for the Under Secretary and Director in the interagency deliberations on intellectual property matters.

Before joining the Solicitor’s Office, Mr. Kelley worked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, first as a member of its permanent legal staff, and later as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Randall R. Rader. Earlier, he was an associate at an intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C. His career began as a patent examiner at the USPTO, where he examined patent applications directed to integrated circuits and discrete semiconductor devices. Mr. Kelley received both a J.D. magna cum laude and a B.S. in electrical engineering from George Mason University.