--- intellectual property / trial - patent law
--- course production date: 4/6/2017
--- presented by PATRICIA WERSCHULZ

As trusted advisors, lawyers are asked many questions about legal matters outside their area of practice. One area of law that most lawyers do not have any experience with is patent law, and in particular, the patent process.

The patent process, specifically referred to as patent prosecution, requires a special license which in turn requires an undergraduate degree in science or engineering. Because it is such a specialized area of practice, with about only 40,000 active practitioners in the US, most law schools do not offer much in the way of course work in this area.

However, often lawyers who practice business or corporate law, trusts and estates, tax, bankruptcy and even family law are confronted with issues of invention, patenting and patent ownership. The cost and time of obtaining a patent along with its economic value can figure into many of these matters. Additionally, clients in start-ups are unsure about when or whether they should seek patent protection.

Key course points are:
• Review the statutory requirements for obtaining a patent.
• Learn who may apply for a patent and who may own a patent.
• Learn the pathway from invention to a patent for both US and foreign countries.
• Understand the importance of non-disclosure agreements throughout the process.
• Discover the pitfalls of working with invention companies.

--- presented by PATRICIA WERSCHULZ

Pat Werschulz is an intellectual property lawyer and a registered patent attorney with many years of industrial experience in product development and manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry. She is passionate about intellectual property law because of a long-held fascination with patents and trademarks. After spending decades in the pharmaceutical industry working with patents and trademarks, she wanted to help individuals and startups file applications for patents and trademark registrations.

Pat’s patent practice has not been limited to just life sciences, but also includes a wide range of industrial and consumer products. She has helped clients obtain patents in a wide range of art, from clothing to automobile parts, from baby accessories to sporting equipment. Pat is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey as well as before the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a registered patent attorney.

Ms. Werschulz received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Chatham College of Pittsburgh, her M.B.A from Fordham University and her J.D from Rutgers School of Law–Newark. Ms. Werschulz has a history of academic excellence, receiving the ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in Intellectual Property Law at Rutgers, the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence at Fordham, graduating with the highest G.P.A. in her class and the American Chemical Society Outstanding Senior Chemistry Major as an undergraduate.