WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 1, 2016) – Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C is pleased to announce the election of four attorneys to the firm’s directorship effective January 1, 2016.

“Sterne Kessler’s new directors exemplify the depth and diversity of talent that addresses so effectively the complex IP matters facing our clients today,” said Managing Director Michael B. Ray. “I offer congratulations and welcome each of them to the directorship.”

The following attorneys are Sterne Kessler’s new directors.

Ross G. Hicks, Ph.D., is a director in the Electronics Group. He draws upon his extensive engineering and management experience to assist clients in obtaining patent protection for their inventions. Dr. Hicks prepares and prosecutes patent applications in a broad variety of technical fields, including high-frequency electronics, RF and microwave electronics, electronic design automation software, telecommunications, semiconductor design, lithography, fingerprint capture and analysis, and business methods. He also maintains an extensive contested proceedings practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO that includes inter partes reviews (IPR) and covered business method reviews (CBM). By leveraging his vast technological experience, he provides a formidable advantage that has led to an impressive track record for representation of both patent owner and petitioner in these contested proceedings. He is also active in International Trade Commission (ITC) litigation. Dr. Hicks received his B.E. (Elect.) from the University of Queensland, his MBA from Northeastern University, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Queensland, and his Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center).

Joseph E. Mutschelknaus is a director in the Electronics Group. He prosecutes patent applications and post-issuance proceedings at the USPTO. His approach to patent application drafting is technology-focused, working with inventors to identify specific metes-and-bounds of the subject matter sought to be patented. Mr. Mutschelknaus has particular expertise in using expedited procedures, such as the Patent Prosecution Highway and the Patent Office’s Track I program, to build large, multifaceted patent portfolios quickly. In addition, he practices before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO, handling inter partes review (IPR), covered business method review (CBM), and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings. Mr. Mutschelknaus received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School.

Bonnie Nannenga-Combs, Ph.D., is a director in the Biotechnology/Chemical Group. She has a practice focused on the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and foreign patent applications in the areas of biotechnology and cellular and molecular biology. She also handles the preparation of validity, infringement, freedom to operate and patentability opinions. Dr. Nannenga-Combs received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Hope College, her doctorate in molecular and cellular biology from Baylor College of Medicine, and her Juris Doctor from Seattle University School of Law.

Uma N. Everett is a director in the Litigation Group. She has represented clients in patent cases in federal courts and before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries. Ms. Everett has extensive experience representing clients in the pharmaceutical industry in litigation arising under the Hatch-Waxman Act and is experienced in the development of all aspects of case strategy and the efficient management of complicated electronic discovery issues. She has served as trial counsel in multiple proceedings and is experienced in all aspects of litigation from pre-suit investigation through trial and appeal. Ms. Everett has also handled appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal and Third Circuits. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

About Sterne Kessler

Founded in 1978 and based in Washington, DC, Sterne Kessler is dedicated exclusively to the protection, transfer, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Our team of approximately 162 attorneys, registered patent agents, students and technical specialists include some of the country’s most respected practitioners of intellectual property law. Most of our professionals hold an advanced level degree, including approximately 55 masters degrees and over 55 with a doctorate in science or engineering — credentials wide and deep enough to fill the faculty of a science-oriented university.