Virginia Lawyers Weekly is pleased to present the next group of honorees in our program recognizing the leading lawyers in a particular field of law. In this issue, we showcase “Virginia’s Go To Lawyers” for intellectual property law.
The attorneys featured here were nominated by their colleagues and chosen by a panel from Lawyers Weekly. We expect some readers will argue there are some excellent lawyers who should have been included. Let us know! And please nominate them for future lists. Other practice areas — including medical malpractice, from the plaintiffs’ and defense side — are set for future editions of Virginia’s Go To Lawyers.
Please join us in congratulating these outstanding intellectual property law attorneys.
Read each profile below, or click here to read the full section in a separate window.Robert A. Angle
Partner, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders
Whether asserting claims over a COVID vaccine, defending a bourbon distiller, or even representing the world’s largest artificial Christmas tree manufacturer, Robert A. Angle has operated successfully across a wide spectrum of industries.
Since 2019, the University of Virginia graduate has headed Troutman Pepper’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, which includes 63 attorneys. Practicing in the renowned “rocket docket” of the Eastern District of Virginia, the former clerk for U.S. District Court Judge James C. Cacheris is now a Virginia Law Foundation fellow and faculty member of the National Trial Advocacy College.
Angle is past chair of the state bar’s Intellectual Property and Information Technology Section and, in 2018, served as president of the Richmond Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Partner, Bey & Cotropia
It’s safe to say not many IP attorneys cut her teeth conducting plasma experiments at the Naval Research Laboratory. But that unique scientific perspective has helped Dawn-Marie Bey build a stellar reputation in the legal field.
A former patent examiner, Bey spent nearly a decade and a half practicing with international firms before founding her own. Today, the George Mason law graduate assists everyone from individual entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies.
Having prosecuted more than 200 patents over the past decade, Bey has distinguished herself with leadership positions in several IP associations as well as the Federal Circuit Bar Association, where she currently co-chairs the Diversity Committee.
Described by colleagues as effective, efficient and innovative, Bey also gives back to her community, where she started her own nonprofit organization to provide assistance to low-income and homeless women.Elizabeth Burke
Member, Jones Robb
After 30 years in the field, Elizabeth Burke has honed her skills in global patent portfolio development to become an IP stalwart, particularly for venture-backed startups.
Bolstered by a master’s degree in bioengineering from Clemson, Burke previously worked as an examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and was a partner at Finnegan.
Described by colleagues as a powerful advocate for her clients who focuses on practical advice and creative solutions, Burke, who earned her J.D. at night while working days as a student associate, has become an instrumental part of running the summer internship program at Jones Robb, which focuses on introducing diverse high school and college students with an interest in STEM subjects to the world of patent law.
Shareholder, Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney
Shawn Cage’s professional roots in Washington D.C.’s intellectual property scene run deep. He was once a digital designer with a Department of Defense contractor and later became a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, focusing on the image processing arts such as biometrics and image/object recognition.
Before arriving at Buchanan, he was an associate in the Capitol office of a Michigan-based firm where he drafted utility and design patent applications and represented clients in front of the USPTO.
As a member of the Intellectual Property Owner U.S. Post-Grant Patent Office Practice Committee, Cage focuses his practice on a variety of technology areas including RF communication and signal detection, semiconductor devices, nano-scale electrical components, optical disc structures, distributed computing environments, and supply chain processing and management.
Director, Thompson McMullan
Zachary Cohen says that doing IP work requires “an ability to distill an issue down to its core elements” to understand the impact it will have on the client’s business.
Clients have certainly appreciated the impact Cohen has had on their business. Dealing in everything from e-commerce to data privacy, he often advises companies on brand management issues. His work has included prominent cases cited by The Washington Post, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.
An expert in Federal Trade Commission matters as well as telephone and telemarketing consumer protection rules, Cohen has become a valued resource for business clients near and far.
Cohen also drafts license agreements, counsels on IP transactions and deals with right of publicity matters, in addition to representing clients in Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings.
Shareholder, Nixon Vanderhye
Donghua “Dorothy” Deng is not just a patent attorney — she’s a patent holder.
Prior to law school, the Nixon Vanderhye shareholder worked at Juniper Networks, having earned a doctorate in computer engineering from the University of California. Deng has impressed colleagues with a deep understanding of everything from wireless telecommunications to mechanical engineering.
She has presented at numerous technology events and served on technical and organizing committees. She even won an award for best paper at an international conference on networking.
A graduate of William & Mary, Deng interned at AT&T Labs working on network system engineering optimization tools across PSTN and broadband networks. She also authored a chapter in the publication “Advances in Machine Learning Applications in Software Engineering.”
Partner, Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig
An author of numerous books who has also made numerous appearances on national television and radio programs, Thomas Dunlap has established himself as an authority in his field of practice, which ranges from patents and trade secrets to government contracts and entertainment law.
Dunlap, who also has a master’s in biotechnology from the University of Maryland, regularly deals with multimillion-dollar matters that may include anything from robotic fish to hostage rescue phone technology. He’s negotiated sales of scripts to film companies, advised the National Institutes for Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on IP strategy, and worked with a wireless ISP on cell tower leases.
A member of American MENSA since 1998, Dunlap is also the former co-chair of the ABA’s Copyright Litigation Committee and a past president of the Loudoun County Bar Association.
Maya M. Eckstein
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Whether she’s serving as appellate counsel on an international child abduction case or defending a school board from allegations of constitutional violations, Maya M. Eckstein has developed a reputation for success over a wide breadth of legal arenas.
But it is Eckstein’s work on intellectual property matters, representing clients in everything from cable television to home construction, that has drawn much of her focus over two decades of complex commercial litigation and appeals.
A former clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Roger Gregory, Eckstein previously headed her Hunton’s IP practice group and currently sits on its Associates Committee. She co-chairs the Richmond office’s Pro Bono Committee and was named a Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association Woman of Achievement in 2008.
Managing Partner, Harrity & Harrity
As a one-time patent examiner himself, Paul Harrity is well-versed in the particulars of intellectual property. Previous to his time in government, he worked as a troubleshooter at IBM and a design engineer at General Dynamics. After law school, he specialized in patent prosecution and preparation for clients at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.
As evidenced by the work of the award-winning firm he founded in 1999, Harrity’s first-hand experience has helped him gain unique insight into the challenging and constantly evolving area of law that is intellectual property.
Today, he analyzes patent portfolios to identify infringement issues and drafts claims on competitor’s products. His knowledge in computer hardware and software, telecommunications, optical systems and other issues has helped put his firm at the forefront of the field.
Principal, Offit Kurman
From pre-launch startups to Fortune 100 companies, David Johnson has become adept at helping businesses manage complex branding issues through innovative intellectual property strategies.
He recently negotiated a first-of-its-kind influencer merchandising deal with eight-figure guarantees and directed a multinational trademark prosecution and domain acquisition effort for a client covering 10 countries.
Johnson has represented publishers in book deals with celebrity authors; led contract negotiations over influencer licensing; advised fashion, beauty product, and food and beverage companies over IP use issues; and counseled clients on contests and sweepstakes involving user-generated content submissions and third-party IP rights.
More recently, Johnson has advised retired athletes on name, image and likeness concerns in connection with the emerging field of NFTs and metaverse projects.
It would be impressive enough for an IP attorney to lead a team of biologists in sequencing a plant genome. Hean Koo did just that — and later led a team of engineers to design and develop software for storing and managing terabytes of genomic data.
Koo is notable as a contributor and co-author for studies published in major well-respected scientific journals, such as Nature and Science. His practice focuses on patent prosecution in software, medical devices, wireless communication and point-of-sale systems, as well as emerging technology like AI, blockchain, haptic-enabled devices and machine learning.
In addition to USPTO appeals, patent applications, IP reviews and litigation support, Koo counsels clients on a wide range of open-source matters such as source code audits and open-source policies.
Partner, Maier & Maier
It isn’t just Stephen Kunin’s clients who seek out his knowledge of patent law. He is also a highly sought after expert witness on the topic — with good reason, given his nearly half-century of experience in the profession.
During his time at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Kunin rose to be a deputy commissioner for patent examination policy and accumulated a slew of honors, including four gold, four silver and one bronze medal from the Department of Commerce.
Kunin is also the recipient of both the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award and the Vice President’s Reinventing Government Hammer Award, and received the 2013 P.J. Federico Memorial Award from the USPTO Society.
Joshua F.P. Long
Principal, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black
Whether representing a furniture manufacturer in a trade dress infringement case, a wireless solutions provider in an unfair competition matter, or an airport contractor alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, Joshua F. P. Long is adept at handling a broad range of matters across the IP spectrum.
Long’s impressive experience in the sector propelled him to head of the Intellectual Property Group chair at Vandeventer Black, where he also served as co-chair of the firm’s Pandemic Response Team in 2020. Vandeventer Black combined forced with Woods Rogers earlier this year.
In addition, Long is the former president of the Federal Bar Association’s Roanoke chapter.
Dana D. McDaniel
Shareholder, Spotts Fain
From false advertising to trade secret misappropriation, clients have learned to trust Dana D. McDaniel with their most important IP matters.
A former employee in the computer industry, the William & Mary graduate is the founding director of the Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association and has developed wide experience in litigation across state and federal courts alike, dealing with technology contract disputes, patent infringements and licensing issues.
McDaniel has distinguished himself with a litany of multimillion-dollar cases, including as part of the trial team in a recent $20 million award for a patent matter in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Among his other honors, McDaniel has been a fellow of the American Bar Association since 2013.
Stephen E. Noona
Member, Kaufman & Canoles
As a regular on the “rocket docket,” Stephen E. Noona has appeared in more than 125 patent cases in all of the Eastern District’s divisions. A premier IP practitioner for four decades, he is chair of litigation and co-chair of Intellectual Property at Kaufman & Canoles.
Noona has served as a fellow with both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Virginia Law Association, where he is also a board member. He has also held the presidencies of the state bar’s Intellectual Property Law Section, l’Anson-Hoffman American Inns of Court and the Tidewater Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Noona has led the Trial Section at his firm since 2002 and regularly represents both major companies and celebrities in patent, trademark and copyright disputes at the federal level.
Member, Stites & Harbison
With a practice that covers not just trademarks and licensing, but also emerging areas such as technology, privacy and data security, Mari-Elise Paul has established herself as a well-regarded expert in complex issues that define the current intellectual property field.
A committee member of Stites’ Women Investing in our Futures Together Committee, Paul is also active on the Trademark Treaties and International Law Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
In addition to her professional success, Paul is notable for her involvements outside the courtroom. The University of Louisville alumna serves on the Leadership Development Committee of the International Trademark Association and is on the board of trustees for Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation and the board of directors for the Louisville American Heart Association.
Partner, Riebling Law
Peter Riebling has worked in the White House Office of National Service, served as campaign manager in a U.S. Senate election, and offered written testimony to a House subcommittee regarding the Federal Trademark Dilution Act.
The Southwest Law School graduate has done everything from personally negotiating an intellectual property sale with Apple founder Steve Jobs to opining in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief regarding how color might be subject to trademark protection.
Riebling, who has spent more than a quarter-century managing and directing teams for some of the world’s most prestigious brands, is now among Washington D.C.’s most respected trademark lawyers.
Before founding his own firm, Riebling was a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman and an equity partner at Arter & Hadden.
Lucy J. Wheatley
When a brand’s image is on the line and a client needs to be sure they have the best in their corner, Lucy J. Wheatley is a name that repeatedly emerges at the top of the list.
In 2022, she won a $9.7 million verdict for communications giant Sprint, defeating a $20 million counterclaim at the close of a six-day jury trial that was one of the first cases to examine the legitimacy of “reviving” allegedly abandoned brands.
In addition to her work in high-value disputes across a variety of industries, including consumer products, packaged foods, apparel, telecommunications, healthcare and fine furnishings, Wheatley also finds ample time for pro bono work. Not long ago, she successfully pursued asylum for an Afghan family and achieved a favorable settlement on behalf of an individual against a credit union.
Partner and Vice Chair, Williams Mullen
As an officer in the U.S. Navy, Edward White served his country with nearly a quarter-century of active and reserve service. Today, he serves his clients at Williams Mullen with a unique knowledge of clearance, registration and management of intellectual property assets, as well as their licenses, agreements and acquisitions.
An expert in trademark, trade dress, copyright and technology litigation, White brings a wealth of experience to the table in industries from biotech to retail to financial services.
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, White is a former member of the board of directors of the Virginia State Bar’s Intellectual Property Section and past president of the Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association.
In addition to his IP work, he also represents clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the VA Board of Veterans’ Appeals.