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Our Attorneys and Staff

As a boutique IP firm, we combine our legal and professional experience with the latest data about USPTO Examiners to strategically plan each step during patent prosecution. As professionals with technical backgrounds across the technical spectrum, we draft patents on just about every type of innovation under the sun. Our experienced trademark professionals handle everything from new trademark filings to litigation before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) and appeals to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Our Attorneys

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Dianne Amberson, Paralegal
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Biography

About Dianne Amberson

Dianne was born and raised in Bournemouth, England and spent three years living in Ludwigsburg, Germany. After moving permanently to the United States, Dianne began her career in intellectual property (IP) working in a boutique IP law firm in the Phoenix area. Over the next 21 years, Dianne expanded her knowledge and expertise in the intellectual property arena working with numerous domestic and foreign clients in many countries of the world including China. Dianne is skilled in trademark prosecution, trademark infringement, patent prosecution, patent litigation, and foreign patent and trademark prosecution. Her passion and expertise lie with assisting clients from around the world with their global IP needs. When not at work, Dianne enjoys travel, martial arts, writing, and volunteering in the community, but her favorite activity is spending time with her family.

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Kevin Hawkes, Patent Attorney
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Biography

About Kevin Hawkes

As a registered patent attorney, Kevin’s innate ability to understand how things work and to understand how to solve problems has proven critical in securing valuable intellectual property rights before the USPTO. A firm partner, Kevin has been involved in the successful prosecution of hundreds of patent applications across a wide range of technologies. A chemist prior to becoming a patent attorney, he has extensive experience working with anything from simple mechanical devices to complex computer-network systems.

Kevin has had the unique opportunity to study and review thousands of decisions issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). This has provided Kevin with unique insight into examiner behavior and which arguments and strategies succeed in obtaining a patent, allowing him to make better decisions when prosecuting patent applications, translating into cost savings and better patents for his clients.  

In addition to patents, Kevin works extensively in trademark prosecution and enforcement-related matters. Kevin has been involved in the successful cancellation of trademark registrations as well as the defense of trademarks involved in cancellation proceedings before the TTAB. Kevin has also been involved in preparing and arguing trademark matters before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prior to joining the firm, Kevin worked in-house with the intellectual property legal department of Fortune 500 semiconductor manufacturer, onsemi (formerly ON Semiconductor). Here he experienced first-hand how to strategically protect a multi-national company’s intellectual property on a national and international scale leveraging the intellectual property for success. Kevin uses this experience on a daily basis in helping other companies whether publicly traded companies or start-ups meet their goals and aspirations.  

Kevin obtained his law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. During law school, he was an editor for Jurimetrics, the journal of the American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law. He was a Center Scholar for the school’s Center for Law, Science, and Innovation, president of the Intellectual Property Student’s Association, and member of the Lisa Foundation Patent Law Clinic, which provided hands-on experience in prosecuting patent and trademark applications while obtaining his law degree.  

When not working, you can usually find Kevin chasing any one of his four children or lost in the desert on his mountain bike.  

Kevin is licensed as an attorney in Arizona and Utah and is admitted to practice before the USPTO, in federal court in the District of Arizona, and at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

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William F. (Bill) Smith, Patent Agent
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Biography

About William Smith

Bill’s first career included serving over thirty years at the USPTO, the last nineteen of which were as an administrative patent judge at the now Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). While serving as an administrative patent judge, Bill was responsible for reaching final agency decisions in interferences and on ex parte appeals involving original and reissue applications and reexamination proceedings. The cases assigned to Bill involved diverse technologies including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical devices. While at the USPTO, Bill taught at the Patent Academy, developed and presented seminars on appeal practice, appeal conferences, and claim construction to patent managers and examiners.

In his practice, Bill assists clients with complex prosecution matters and consults as an expert in patent litigation on patentability, PTO practice and procedure, claim construction, and inequitable conduct issues as well as in AIA post-grant trials. Bill has also served as a special master for a district court for claim construction purposes and as a third party neutral in an interference proceeding. Bill is also experienced in consulting as an expert on issues in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Bill draws on his extensive knowledge of patent prosecution law, practice, and procedure to develop innovative plans for moving patent applications that are “stuck” in the USPTO forward in a positive direction. Bill makes appropriate use of examiner interviews, petitions, and appeals, as well as modern patent prosecution data analytics profiling the patent examiner and art unit in these efforts to provide cost-effective counseling.

Bill frequently addresses bar and professional associations on appeals before the PTAB and other topics. Bill received a BChE degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a J.D from the University of Baltimore and was admitted to practice in Virginia (now on retired status). He is currently a patent agent before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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Adam Stephenson, Patent Attorney
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Biography

About Adam Stephenson

Super LawyersAs founder and managing partner of the firm and a serial entrepreneur himself, Adam is no stranger to the challenges of starting new and innovative businesses—and the benefits of constantly innovating. An Arizona Super Lawyers’ attorney (Thomson Reuters 2017–2020), Adam’s journey from starting the firm in half of his son’s bedroom to representing Fortune 25, Fortune 500, and other publicly traded companies has been a blessed one. Along the way, his experiences have ranged from successfully issuing a software patent in 11 months using Track 1 examination to obtaining final rejection of a publicly-traded conductive energy weapon company’s patent via ex parte reexamination. Adam has written and been involved in the prosecution of hundreds of patents across the entire spectrum of technology.

Adam has the experience and intellect to practice in a wide variety of technical areas. At 19, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University. Joining Intel in 2000, Adam spent six years in various semiconductor fabrication, package assembly, programming, and path-finding engineering roles. After receiving his master of science in engineering degree (ChE) from Arizona State University, he began work on his law degree at Phoenix School of Law (Arizona Summit School of Law). Just prior to law school, Adam became a registered professional engineer with proficiency in chemical engineering with the state of Arizona. Adam began his IP career as a registered patent agent and law clerk with Booth Udall, PLC (now Booth Udall Fuller PLLC) before starting the firm in 2010.

Adam’s passion for patent data and analysis began in law school where he authored a law review article that collected and used patent prosecution data to predict the effects of proposed USPTO rules on patent prosecution in Semiconductor Class 438. As co-founder of Anticipat, Inc., Adam worked to develop analysis tools for his own and other patent practitioner’s practices that permit decisions on patent applications to be data-informed using examiner data and ex parte appeals data rather than just coming “from the gut.” Anticipat was acquired by LexisNexis IP in January of 2021 and its data and technology are now being included in its PatentAdvisor® product.

Adam has been an invited speaker in numerous venues and by organizations around the country. He was a panel speaker on obviousness at the 2018 AIPLA Annual Meeting and co-presented on ex parte appeals at the 56th Annual Conference on IP Law sponsored by the Center for American and International Law in Plano, Texas. In March 2019, he co-presented on IP legal ethics at the Arizona Bar’s Intellectual Property Law Section annual CLE in the Garden meeting in Phoenix. After speaking on patent data in patent prosecution to the IP Section of the Dallas Bar in May 2019, he was asked to present various findings and proposals regarding the current status and use of ex parte appeals data to senior USPTO leadership in September of 2019. He spoke on legal technology innovation at the Utah State Bar’s IP Summit in February of 2020 having previously moderated a panel at AIPLA’s Spring 2020 meeting on AI technology for use in patent practice. He was also invited as a panelist on webinars on legal technology for practice innovation in patent practice by AIPLA’s Practice Innovation Committee in 2020 and CLE for considerations for use of ex parte appeals for Strafford in 2021. Most recently, he was invited to be a panelist at the AIPLA 2021 Spring Meeting addressing ex parte appeals and was faculty for the class on ex parte appeals and petitions at the 2021 AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp. Previously, Adam taught patent law and drafting courses as an adjunct professor of law at Arizona Summit School of Law in 2011 and 2014.

Adam’s personal interests are as varied as his professional experience. Co-inventor of U.S. Patent No. 7,312,152, “Lactate-containing corrosion inhibitor” for work done at Intel, Adam is also co-inventor on a number of related patents in various foreign countries, including Germany, Great Britain, Taiwan, the People's Republic of China, and South Korea. Adam is a co-inventor on a pending US patent on a device for reuse of HVAC system water condensate for watering plants. An Amateur Extra licensed Ham radio operator (call sign AG7UH), Adam enjoys 3D printing, building his own computers, genealogical research, and designing and building electronic devices from wirelessly powered lamps and drones to Cal Tech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open Source Mars Rover with his children. If he went back to school, Adam would get his PhD in statistics and become a statistician.

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Dee Wilson, Senior Paralegal
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Biography

About Dee Wilson

Dee‘s IP career spans over 30 years in the corporate arena. Starting her career as a legal assistant at Baxter Healthcare Corporation in Deerfield, Illinois, Dee expanded her knowledge in the IP world for the next 21 years doing legal research, claim charting, competitor analysis, generic drug research, and assisting with domestic and international patent litigation. Along the way, she went back to school attending Roosevelt University to obtain her paralegal certificate with honors. After retiring from Baxter and moving to Atlanta, GA, Dee joined Panasonic Corporation’s Automotive Division handling all the patent prosecution for the division for several years. After moving from Atlanta to the northern Virginia-D.C. area, she joined Hewlett-Packard Company (later Hewlett-Packard Enterprise following the company’s split) managing a variety of domestic and international patent prosecution activity for several years. Tired of the cold, Dee moved to Arizona looking for warmth and a change in her career, joining the firm to expand her expertise into trademark prosecution in the private firm setting for the first time. Dee brings her years of corporate and IP experience to the firm, helping the attorneys know what issues matter most to corporate legal departments and has been instrumental in establishing the firm’s rigorous docketing processes and procedures.

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