As a patent attorney and electrical/biomedical engineer, Derek brings more than 25 years of experience in the field of Intellectual Property (IP). After eight years at a top-tier DC litigation firm, Derek took his career in a different direction to create something for himself. While self-employed as an independent IP litigation consultant, he conceived of and founded Panovia Group LLP. As an attorney, engineer and entrepreneur, Derek now assists others in harnessing their creativity and talent, enabling them to more readily pursue their personal and professional interests.
Derek’s interest in IP began in 1995 while studying electrical engineering and pre-medicine in The George Washington University’s biomedical engineering program. Working for the DC office of a premier NY IP boutique, researching patents and evaluating potential inventions, he became familiar with the patent search facilities of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and their corps of Patent Examiners. He later joined their ranks, evaluating patent applications in such areas as power conversion, complex circuitry, and image processing. He continued working as an Examiner while studying Intellectual Property Law at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA. He later lived briefly in the technology rich Silicon Valley, CA during the .com Internet boom, working primarily in patent prosecution and counseling clients to protect and develop their intellectual property portfolios, before returning back East to complete law school. He graduated from George Mason with a J.D. in 2000.
During his final year of law school, Derek joined a large DC-based international law firm, continuing initially in patent prosecution and counseling, including arguing appeals before the USPTO’s Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. He soon expanded his practice, undertaking most aspects of litigation, with an emphasis on IP defense, including claim construction, invalidity and reexamination. He has extensive experience in complex patent analyses, including defending against the Ronald A. Katz portfolio of telecommunications patents.
Derek is admitted to practice law in California and the District of Columbia (DC), and is a member of the bars of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern District of California (San Francisco, Silicon Valley), the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), and the Eastern District of Texas (Beaumont, Lufkin, Marshall, Plano, Sherman, Texarkana and Tyler).
Derek has traveled frequently to Europe and Latin America, and is proficient in Spanish.
Michael is both an intellectual property attorney and an entrepreneur. In founding Panovia Group, Michael sees the opportunity to share his entrepreneurial passion with the firm’s clients, inspiring them to develop their ideas and talents and take them to market.
As an entrepreneur at heart, in 2003 Michael stepped away from the “corporate world” and co-founded ENEXDI, a DC-area high-end document management company targeting the most discerning clients in the legal and proposal markets. Building a business focused on customer service and a solution-based approach to client matters in a much-maligned industry, Michael helped propel ENEXDI to a multi-million dollar business within 3 years. Today, Michael remains involved at ENEXDI as a primary investor and as a member of the company’s board of directors.
Michael entered the field of IP law in 1994 as an electro-mechanical engineer with a small IP law firm in Arlington, VA. From there, for tenure of nearly six years, he served as a patent examiner for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), examining patent applications in such fields as photography, photolithography, printing, motion pictures, image processing and semiconductor manufacture.
Michael followed his service at the USPTO with over three years of practice at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP and Howrey, LLP in Washington DC. At these large firms his work encompassed all facets of intellectual property law for clients ranging from the sole inventor to several Fortune 100 companies.
Michael strongly believes in always approaching life with a work-life balance, taking the time to understand your ever- changing ambitions, both personal and professional, and living towards their fulfillment. Outside of work, Michael spends most of his time experiencing the world with his three young children.