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2022 Intellectual Property Law Section Program

7:45        Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:10        Welcome and Introductions

8:15        Intellectual Property and the NC Department of the Secretary of State

Deborah M. Butler, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Raleigh
Ann M. Elmore, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Raleigh

William "Bill" Toole, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Raleigh

This session provides an overview of the Secretary of State's integral role in protecting intellectual property and capital in North Carolina through the registration of state trademarks and safeguarding NC businesses' economic innovation though its criminal counterfeit trademark enforcement.

9:30        Break

9:40        In the Weeds: The Crossover Between Intellectual Property and Cannabis

Katherine A. "Kae" Gruner, McGuireWoods LLP, Atlanta, GA
Corinne S. "Cori" Hockman, McGuireWoods LLP, Raleigh

Receive an overview of the intellectual property law as it applies to two primary groups of cannabinoids in the U.S. — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — and hear creative solutions for how and why cannabis companies should protect their intellectual property rights, including through patent and trademark protection.

10:55      Break

11:05      Waiver of Patent Protection for COVID Vaccines

Ana Santos Rutschman, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO

Explore the intellectual property landscape for vaccines against emerging pathogens, such as the one causing COVID-19. Then discuss the hurdles to the transfer of vaccine technology, particularly during pandemics and other large-scale epidemics, and address mechanisms that have recently been used or proposed to facilitate the licensure of vaccine technology, including patent pools, pledges and the proposed IP waiver.

12:20      Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Meeting

12:30      Lunch Break

1:20        Student-Athlete Name, Image, Likeness: Best Practices for Brand Protection

Bobby L. Robinson. Nexsen Pruet LLC, Charlotte

The topic of student-athlete name, image and likeness (NIL) has commanded national attention and has been the topic of much heated debate in recent months, everywhere from local college campuses to Capitol Hill. This session offers insight into the basics of NIL, reviews the most recent developments, and outlines brand-protection strategies for student-athletes.

2:35        Break

2:45        IP Year in Review

Lance A. Lawson, Burr Forman McNair LLP, Charlotte
Richard T. "Rick" Matthews, Williams Mullen, Raleigh

Review the most significant updates in IP law from 2021.

4:00        Break

4:10        How to De-stress and Be Happy as a Lawyer

Candace A. Hoffman, North Carolina Lawyers Assistance Program, Raleigh

Examine some of the root causes of lawyer distress and factors that the legal profession itself and lawyers' personalities contribute to these conditions. Based on the premise that "work-life balance" is a modern-day fiction, this session focuses on areas of life that lawyers can control in order to increase their happiness and emotional resilience.

5:10        Adjourn

† Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit


The evolving landscape of intellectual property continues to impact a variety of different areas.


  • Deborah M. Butler

    Deborah M. Butler, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Raleigh

  • Anthony P. DeRosa

    Anthony P. DeRosa is an associate at Myers Bigel PA in Raleigh. He focuses his practice on all aspects of patent and trademark prosecution.

    Anthony has experience in the areas of mechanical engineering, chemistry and biotechnology, with particular knowledge in the fields of textile technology, woven and nonwoven fabrics, and polymers. Anthony has been with Myers Bigel since 2002 and worked as a paralegal before and during law school. Anthony also has experience in patent and trademark litigation, which include disputes before various district courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

    Anthony is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Anthony is admitted to practice before the U.S. Districts Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Anthony is a member of the Wake County Bar Association and involved with the North Carolina Bar Association, in which he is currently serving as co-chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section Pro-Bono Committee.

    Anthony received his B.S. in Textile Engineering, with a concentration in product design, from North Carolina State University in 2001 and received his J.D., magna cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law's evening program in 2013.

    Click here for more information about Anthony.

  • R. Brian Drozd

    R. Brian Drozd is a member of the firm and is the Managing Partner of Oliff PLC's Charlotte office. He has been practicing patent law since 2003 and focuses his practice on drafting and prosecuting domestic and international patent applications in a wide range of technologies, including various technologies relating to the automotive industry, RFID devices, home appliances, printers, scanners, cameras, cellular phones, aerospace, power and hand tools, and banking (business method) industries.

    Brian also counsels and supports clients in developing and managing their intellectual property needs and portfolios. In this regard, he regularly assists clients with patent invalidity and non-infringement investigations and opinions, freedom-to-operate opinions, and post grant proceedings. Brian also supports clients with design patent applications, trademark applications, transactional/licensing matters, and litigation matters.

    Prior to law school, Brian worked as an electrical engineering research assistant at Duke University, specializing in electromagnetics and antenna design, and also as an electrical engineer for an industrial microwave company in Research Triangle Park, assisting with the design and development of large industrial microwave applicators for heating and drying various items.

    Brian earned his Bachelor's of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (B.S.E.E.), magna cum laude, from University of North Carolina Charlotte, his Master's of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.E.) with a concentration in Electromagnetics, high honors, from Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, his Master's of Engineering Management (M.E.M.) from Duke University Fuqua School of Business and his J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Brian.

  • Ann McNellis Elmore

    Ann McNellis Elmore is a legal specialist within the Securities Division at the NC Department of the Secretary of State in Raleigh. She focuses on investor protection, business outreach and Advance Health Care Directives Registry awareness. In that role, Ann guides citizens and businesses on how to avoid victimization and make informed choices about investments, registering, and maintaining business registration and trademarks. She also raises awareness of the importance of advance care planning, myriad resources for finding help including the statutory forms available on the Secretary of State's website, and availability of the state registry to make those carefully considered plans available to be acted upon when needed.

    Fueling her fraud-prevention and Advance Health Care Directives Registry outreach efforts is 29 years of working with crime victims while serving as a prosecuting attorney in both Georgia and Florida. Ann was awarded Assistant District Attorney of the Year in 2001 by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia.

    Too often in her work, as well as her personal life, she has seen people caught unprepared for serious injury, illness and death. Most often, there was no advance planning. Occasionally, difficulties resulted from failure to update those plans — or have them readily available. What Ann had observed was reinforced by experiences of medical professionals with whom she served on behalf of Secretary Marshall on the NC Institute of Medicine Serious Illness Task Force in 2019.

  • Katherine A. "Kae" Gruner

    Katherine A. "Kae" Gruner is of counsel at McGuireWoods LLP in Atlanta, GA. She is a food and drug lawyer with a focus on advising pharmaceutical, medical device, cannabis, dietary supplement, food and beverage, and healthcare technology companies. She counsels clients on a range of intellectual property, regulatory, data privacy, corporate, and transactional matters.

    Kae has substantial experience in developing intellectual property and commercialization strategies from bench-to-bedside, as well as in negotiating commercial agreements for life sciences companies. In addition, she counsels clients on compliance and interactions with FDA, DEA, HHS OIG, and FTC as it pertains to manufacture, marketing, and distribution of products regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act.

    In her most recent role as associate counsel for a pharmaceutical company and its subsidiaries, Kae served as the point person for all patent and trademark matters and held significant responsibility for drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts for all company affiliates, as well as policies relating to data privacy, licensing, and FDA regulatory compliance. Her experience gives her a unique insight into understanding both life science company compliance as well as transactions. As an in-house counsel she was actively involved in mergers, acquisitions, and capital acquisition with respect to her company's growth and success.

    Kae frequently speaks and writes about emerging healthcare, business, and technology topics. In addition to her current practice, Kae handles pro bono cases for artists, arts organizations, and early stage small business owners.

    Kae earned her BA, Biology, with honors, and Spanish, cum laude, from Hiram College, her JD, cum laude, and her LLM in Intellectual Property from The University of Akron Akron Law.

    Click here for more information about Kae.

  • Corinne S. "Cori" Hockman

    Corinne S. "Cori" Hockman is an associate at McGuireWoods LLP in Raleigh. She is a litigator who focuses on patent, intellectual property, and complex commercial litigation. Cori uses her technical background and judicial experience to counsel and assist her clients in technology-based matters.

    Early in her career, Cori has already acquired significant courtroom and trial experience and has experience in in-court witness examination, writing dispositive motions and critical briefs, taking and defending depositions, managing discovery, and post-hearing and trial briefing in patent infringement, complex commercial, and civil rights litigation cases.

    Cori has experience representing and counseling clients on an array of intellectual property and commercial matters, including patent litigation, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review proceedings, IP due diligence, trade secret, and technology-based commercial disputes. Cori has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer products, and oil and gas.

    Cori also maintains a robust pro bono practice. She was part of the trial and appellate team for Valentine v. Collier, which obtained the first permanent injunction during the COVID-19 pandemic securing protective measures and testing for elderly inmates in Texas. During trial, Cori took a key role in conducting the direct examination of the inmates' primary medical expert witness. In addition, Cori has represented, counseled, and advised pro bono clients on a variety of legal issues including affirmative and defensive asylum matters, veterans' issues, family, housing, and estate planning matters, and the representation of students with disabilities.

    Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Cori completed judicial internships with Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and with Chief Judge Susan G. Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

    Cori earned her B.A. in Biology and Political Science with Public Policy concentration, magna cum laude, from The George Washington University and her J.D., with honors, from The George Washington University Law School.

    Click here for more information about Cori.

  • Candace A. Hoffman

    Candace A. Hoffman is the Field Coordinator with the North Carolina Lawyers Assistance Program in Raleigh. She is a licensed North Carolina lawyer and recovery enthusiast. As Field Coordinator, Candace assists the Executive Director and clinical staff in LAP volunteer management, in providing administrative support for clinical staff to ensure continuity of care, treatment placement, reporting and program support.

    Candace comes to LAP from the Department of Justice, where she worked in health care, representing the Division of Health Benefits and the Division of Health Service Regulation of the Department of Health and Human Services. She was a litigator and appeared in Superior Court as well as the Office of Administrative Hearings. Her work exposed her to the challenges and complexities of the mental health and substance abuse treatment fields. Before taking this position as LAP Field Coordinator in the spring of 2020, Candace was a LAP volunteer for six years.

    Candace graduated from Meredith College, cum laude, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.

    Click here for more information about Candace.

  • Seth L. Hudson

    Seth L. Hudson is with Clements Bernard Walker PLLC in Charlotte. He was recently a member at Nexsen Pruet LLC in Charlotte.

    Seth is a registered patent attorney with over 17 years of experience in all phases of international and domestic patent matters. His practice includes patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and non-competes. Seth's experience consists of patent and trademark preparation and prosecution before both the United States Patent and Trademark Office and foreign patent and trademark offices in the chemical, mechanical, and electro-mechanical fields.

    Seth regularly litigates complex patent, trademark, and copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation cases. He litigates cases through discovery, trial, and appeal in state and federal courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Georgia, Idaho, and California.

    Seth also works with clients in areas such as data security, trade secret, advertising, and non-competition issues, including best practices to minimize litigation risks. He regularly conducts trade secret audits and advises his clients on strategies to employ to protect their trade secrets and drafts appropriate nondisclosure and nonuse agreements for protected disclosure.

    Seth earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from University of Richmond School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Seth.

  • Lance A. Lawson

    Lance A Lawson is a Partner at Burr & Forman LLP in Charlotte. He is a member of the firm's Intellectual Property practice group. A licensed Professional Engineer with an advanced degree in engineering, Lance is a first-chair litigator with 25 years of experience obtaining outstanding results for his technology clients. He focuses on patent infringement and other intellectual property litigation including trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, and trade secrets, as well as commercial disputes involving technology and licensing.

    Lance has represented companies in intellectual property disputes before the International Trade Commission, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, in U.S. district courts throughout the country, and in appeals to the Federal Circuit and other Courts of Appeal. He also has extensive experience in strategic planning concerning patent and trademark procurement and portfolio management, including acquisition, maintenance, and licensing of U.S. and foreign patent and trademark assets. Lance served over four years on the Executive Committee at his previous law firm before it merged with Burr Forman.

    Lance has leveraged his experience as a licensed professional engineer to advise clients in intellectual property disputes in diverse technologies, including medical devices, mobile phones, air-to-ground communications, Wi-Fi, night vision devices, computer software and disc drives, electric automobiles, navigation systems, lithium batteries, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), cancer screening systems, pharmaceuticals, breathable films, and non-woven fabrics. In addition to his many speaking engagements on intellectual property issues, Lance is a guest lecturer on leadership and international security issues for Senior Executives courses at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University. For his legal work and involvement in his community, Lance recently was the recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association's Citizen Lawyer Award.

    Prior to pursuing law, Lance served nine years on active duty as an engineer officer with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, including three years as chief of engineering and design, and one year commanding in combat an engineer unit in both Iraq and Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Lance later served as a JAG attorney at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves, while performing duties as the general counsel to several military units in the Southeast. During his time in the U.S. military, Lance was awarded the Master Parachutist Badge, the U.S. Army Ranger Tab, and the Bronze Star for actions in combat.

    Lance earned his B.S., with honors, from the United States Military Academy at West Point, his M.S. from Stanford University and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

    Click here for more information about Lance.

  • Richard T. "Rick" Matthews

    Richard T. "Rick" Matthews is a Partner at Williams Mullen in Raleigh. He concentrates his practice on intellectual property matters, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, licensing and related litigation. He has represented companies in intellectual property disputes in over 40 states as a first-chair trial attorney and in bet-the-company litigation. He has extensive experience handling every aspect of litigation through trial and appeal. His cases have spanned federal courts across the country and before the Patent Trial and Board (PTAB), International Trade Commission (ITC), Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, Federal Circuit and Supreme Court.

    While Rick has been practicing patent law since 2003, he is also certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Trademark Law. Rick has been recognized by Chambers USA for Intellectual Property Law (2019). He has also been named among North Carolina's "Legal Elite" by Business North Carolina (2014-present); listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Trademark Law and Patent Law (2017-present); listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers for Intellectual Property Law (2011-2016, 2022); and named among the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in Intellectual Property for North Carolina by the American Society of Legal Advocates. He is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and he is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

    Rick earned his B.S. in chemistry, with a focus in biochemistry, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D. from the Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law and a Masters of Law degree in intellectual property law from the George Washington University Law School. He clerked in the ITC's Office of Unfair Import Investigation, focusing on Section 337 patent cases. In addition, he interned at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for the Honorable Judge Susan G. Braden.

    Click here for more information about Rick.

  • Ana Santos Rutschman

    Ana Santos Rutschman is an assistant professor at the Center for Health Law Studies and Center for International and Comparative Law at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO. She has taught courses in FDA Law and Policy, Emerging Health Technologies, Vaccines and the Law, Patent Law and Property. Her practice areas are in Health Law, Food and Drug Law and Intellectual Property.

    Ana has published and presented widely on topics related to health law, food and drug regulation, intellectual property, innovation in the life sciences, and law and technology. Recent presentations have covered topics related to vaccines and other biotechnologies, healthcare blockchain, e-health and artificial intelligence in medicine. Her legal scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in UCLA Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Arizona Law Review, Yale Law Journal Forum, University of Chicago Legal Forum, Michigan Law Review Online, Annals of Health Law and Duke Law and Technology Review, among others. Her peer-reviewed work has appeared in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, the American Journal of Infection Control and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Her commentary pieces have been published by The Huffington Post and The Conversation and reprinted in Scientific American, Newsweek Japan and newspapers around the U.S., including the Chicago Tribune. Her ongoing book, Vaccines as Technology: Innovation, Barriers and the Public Interest, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

    Ana earned her Law Degree from Catholic University of Portugal, her Master of Laws and S.J.D. from Duke University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Ana.

  • Bobby L. Robinson

    Bobby L. Robinson is a member of the Charlotte office of Nexsen Pruet LLC. He focuses his practice in the areas of corporate and intellectual property law. He assists clients in a wide range of business and IP matters, including but not limited to business formations, commercial agreements, intellectual property registration, namely, trademarks and copyrights, social media advertising campaigns, FTC endorsement/disclosure requirements, and Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) regulatory compliance, as well as serving as outside general counsel.

    Before joining Nexsen Pruet, Bobby founded a boutique law firm focused on business matters, such as strategic & growth planning, commercial contracts, buy-sell of businesses, entity formations, succession planning, and trademark laws. Bobby is a very entrepreneurially focused attorney and passionate about technology and innovation. That said, Bobby also founded a legal technology company, IntellyDoc and is deeply involved in the Charlotte start-up and business ecosystem.

    Prior to founding a law firm and tech company, Bobby has worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors and has a unique professional background that affords him the opportunity to provide practical advice to his clients. He has spent time in local government leading economic development and small business programming and has worked in various corporate settings supporting supply chain teams, risk and audit compliance, litigation/discovery facilitation, and supplier diversity.

    Bobby earned his law degree from the Charlotte School of Law, cum laude, where he was a member of the Moot Court Honor Board and Order of the Crown. Additionally, he served as an Associate Editor of the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Journal and as the Academic Committee Chair of the Black Law Student Associations (BLSA). Bobby has also received a Master of Public Administration, magna cum laude, from Columbia Southern University and a Master of Business Administration/Finance, cum laude, from Everest University.

    Click here for more information about Bobby.

  • William "Bill" Toole

    William "Bill" Toole is a Deputy at North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State in Raleigh. He is charged with oversight of Business Registration, UCC Filing, Charitable Solicitation Licensing, Notary Commissioning and Enforcement, and Land Records Divisions. He provides advice to Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

    Bill was a practicing environmental lawyer for 27 years, focusing on compliance, litigation and stakeholder rights.

    Bill earned his B.A. in English Literature from Haverford College, her Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University Graduate School and his JD/MBA, with distinction, from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Bill.

  • Sarah Wesley Wheaton

    Sarah Wesley Wheaton is an Associate at Dechert LLP in Charlotte, where she is a member the firm's global private equity group. She advises private equity funds, institutional investors, and other strategic acquirers in connection with mergers and acquisitions, asset purchases and dispositions, corporate financing transactions, co-investments strategic collaboration, and general corporate matters. Leveraging a background in intellectual property law, she brings a diverse perspective when helping clients navigate emerging trends and regulations on a local and global scale.

    In the strategic investor and private equity space, Sarah has experience on both buy and sell-side transactions across various sectors, including software and new technologies, infrastructure, distribution and manufacturing, natural gas and regulation markets. She has a particular focus on private equity healthcare and life sciences, having advised on deals involving physician services, autism services, vision services, behavioral health, fertility clinics, pharmacies home health and care, ambulatory surgery centers, telehealth and telemedicine, and health technology.

    Sarah earend her Communications, History and and Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Sarah.

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March 31, 2022
Thu 7:45 AM EDT
NC Bar Center Cary

Duration 9H 25M

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