LAIPLA DISTINGUISHED PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

2018 Recipients

The LAIPLA presented its 2018 Distinguished Public Service Award to Judge Francie Gorowitz and Judge Lorelei Ritchie of the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the Judges’ Night dinner. The LAIPLA recognized Judge Gorowitz and Judge Ritchie for their service to the IP community and their dedication to the public good, including their individual accomplishments described below.

Judge Francie Gorowitz

Judge Francie Gorowitz of the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Judge Gorowitz started her career in trademark law as an examining attorney. She then spent more than 25 years in the private practice of intellectual property law. Her law firm experience includes 15 years with the Los Angeles office of Ladas & Parry, where she became a partner. She then spent four years with the L.A. office of O’Melveny & Myers, where she created and managed the trademark prosecution practice group. Subsequently, she served as partner at Katten Muchin Rosenmann (Century City) and at Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman (Beverly Hills).

At the TTAB, Judge Gorowitz has authored high-profile opinions, including those involving McDonalds and athletic shoe company Brooks, among others. She was also on the panel of TTAB judges that ruled in favor of Facebook when another company attempted to register “FaceMail.”

In the community, Judge Gorowitz was a long-time member of the Board of Governors and officer of the Century City Bar Association. She participates in educational programs sponsored by the U.S. Trademark Office, such as appearing with Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison at an INTA forum in Silicon Valley in 2016.

Judge Gorowitz is a graduate of the Albany Law School of Union University and earned her bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York.

Judge Ritchie

Judge Lorelei Ritchie

Judge Lorelei Ritchie of the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Judge Ritchie began her career in private practice, working at Skadden, Brobeck, and Arnold and Porter. In 2002, Judge Ritchie commenced working for UCLA as its Intellectual Property Manager, where she managed UCLA’s intellectual property policies. In 2006, Judge Ritchie moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where she was a faculty member at Florida State University, School of Law, specializing in intellectual property, contracts, and alternative dispute resolution. While at FSU, Judge Ritchie was awarded the 2007 Bayh-Dole Fellowship in Public Policy.

In March 2008, Judge Ritchie was appointed as an Administrative Trademark Judge for the TTAB. At the time, she was the first USPTO judge located in California. During her service at the TTAB, Judge Ritchie has authored many high-profile opinions. In recent years, she has authored published, precedential opinions in Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC, 124 USPQ2d 1184 (TTAB 2017), In re Loggerhead Tools, LLC, 119 USPQ2d 1429 (TTAB 2016), Fiserv Inc. v. Electronic Transaction Systems Corp., 113 USPQ2d 1913 (TTAB 2015), and In re Hitachi High-Technologies Corp., 109 USPQ2d 1769 (TTAB 2014).

Judge Ritchie has served her community well. Among other appointments, Judge Ritchie has served as the co-chair for the ABA’s Universities and Intellectual Property Committee and the State of California’s Education Standing Committee. From 2006-2008, she was appointed by Hon. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to the national, 9-member Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and from 2005-2008, she was appointed by the Board of Governors to the 17-member Executive Committee of the State Bar of California, Intellectual Property Section. Judge Ritchie sits on the Executive Committee of the USC IP Institute and previously was a member of the Planning Committee. She works with the Judge Paul R. Michel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, and was presented as an “honored judge” by the Washington, D.C.-based Giles Sutherland Rich Inn of Court.

Judge Ritchie is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law and earned her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University

Judge S. James Otero

2017 Recipient

Judge S. James Otero of the United States District Court for the Central District of California

The LAIPLA presented its Distinguished Public Service Award for 2017 to Judge S. James Otero of the United States District Court for the Central District of California at the Judges’ Night dinner.

LAIPLA recognized Judge Otero for his service to the local IP community as a participant in the Central District’s Patent Pilot Program as well as in numerous events sponsored by the LAIPLA. As a member of the Central District’s “Patent Panel,” Judge Otero has a significant impact on the evolution of patent law in the Central District, a venue with one of the busiest patent dockets in the country. Judge Otero’s service to the community as a member of the Patent Panel, and his willingness to share his perspectives on issues of interest to the IP community, reflect the finest traditions of the judiciary.

Judge S. James Otero became a United States District Judge for the Central District of California, Southern Division, on February 12, 2003. He has sat by designation with the Federal and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He is one of the original six Patent Pilot Program Judges in the Central District of California.

For the vast majority of his career, Judge Otero has dedicated himself to public service. Upon graduating from law school, Judge Otero began working for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where he remained for the next ten years. Following his service in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Judge Otero began a one-year stint as Regional Counsel for Southern Pacific Transportation Company, after which, he took the bench as a Los Angeles Municipal Court judge, from 1988 to 1990, and then a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, from 1990 to 2003. On January 7, 2003, Judge Otero was nominated to a seat on the Central District of California. He was confirmed by the Senate on February 10, 2013, and received his commission two days later.

From a young age, Judge Otero knew he wanted to dedicate his life to public service. His career reflects his dedication and embodies the qualities LAIPLA seeks to recognize through its Distinguished Public Service Award. We are honored this year to extend the award to Judge S. James Otero.

Judge Andrew J. Guilford

2016 Recipient

Judge Andrew Guilford of the United States District Court for the Central District of California

The LAIPLA presented its Distinguished Public Service Award for 2016 to Judge Andrew J. Guilford of the United States District Court for the Central District of California at the Judges’ Night dinner.

LAIPLA recognized Judge Guilford for his service to the local IP community as a participant in the Central District’s Patent Pilot Program as well as in numerous events sponsored by the LAIPLA, OCIPLA and other professional organizations focused on IP law. As a member of the Central District’s “Patent Panel,” Judge Guilford has a significant impact on the evolution of patent law in the Central District, a venue with one of the busiest patent dockets in the country. Judge Guilford’s service to the community as a member of the Patent Panel, and his willingness to share his perspectives on issues of interest to the IP community, reflect the finest traditions of the judiciary.

Judge Guilford became a United States District Judge for the Central District of California, Southern Division, on July 7, 2006. He has sat by designation with the Federal and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. He is one of the six Patent Pilot Program Judges in the Central District of California.

For his entire career before becoming a judge, he was a business trial lawyer with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, handling cases involving a wide variety of issues, particularly relating to intellectual property, unfair competition, finance, and professional liability. As a Regent Scholar, he received his AB degree in economics summa cum laude in 1972, and his JD degree in 1975, both from UCLA, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was an associate editor of the Law Review.

In 2000, he served as President of the State Bar of California, and in 1991 was President of the Orange County Bar Association. He also served on a Supreme Court Task Force examining Multijurisdictional Practice. In 1992, he was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was selected five times by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers. He serves on the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Council of the United States; is a Founder and Past-President of the Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property American Inn of Court; is a Contributing Editor of The Rutter Group’s Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial; and is an Adjunct Professor at the UC Irvine School of Law.

With his strong commitment to community service and as a strong advocate for volunteer legal services for indigents, Judge Guilford served as President of the Public Law Center from 2004 to 2006, and was awarded his firm’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, the State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, and the Poverty Law Center Outstanding Service Award. He served on the State Bar Commission on Access to Justice.

Judge George H. Wu

2015 Recipient

Judge George H. Wu of the United States District Court for the Central District of California

The LAIPLA presented its Distinguished Public Service Award for 2015 to Judge George H. Wu of the United States District Court for the Central District of California at the Judges’ Night dinner. The award is presented each year to an LAIPLA member who has made a significant contribution to the public good.  California Federal and State judges, and judges on the Ninth and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, are ex-officio members of the LAIPLA.

This year, LAIPLA would like to recognize Judge Wu for his service to the local IP community as a participant in the Central District’s Patent Pilot Program as well as in numerous events sponsored by the LAIPLA and other professional organizations focused on IP law.  As a member of the Central District’s “Patent Panel,” Judge Wu has a significant impact on the evolution of patent law in the Central District, a venue with one of the busiest patent dockets in the country.  Judge Wu’s service to the community as a member of the Patent Panel, and his willingness to share his perspectives on issues of interest to the IP community, reflect the finest traditions of the judiciary.

Judge Wu is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Chicago Law School.  Before beginning his career in private practice and on the bench, Judge Wu served as a law clerk for the Hon. Stanley N. Barnes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from 1976-1977 and in 1979.

Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal

2014 Recipient

Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal

The LAIPLA presented its first annual Distinguished Public Service Award to Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal at the LAIPLA Judges’ Night dinner, February 19, 2014 in the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel.  The award is presented each year to a member that has made a significant contribution to the public good.  California Federal and State judges, and judges on the Ninth and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal are ex-officio members of the LAIPLA.

Judge Segal served as the coordinator of the Central District’s pro bono panel – a panel of law firms and attorneys available to serve in civil actions for pro se litigants – from 2003 to 2009.  She currently serves on the Central District’s Pro Bono Committee, and is a valued resource to the Clinic and panel attorneys.  On the bench, she has handled high profile matters, including a 2012 decision heavily reported by the international media and that had impact far beyond the United States.

She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Cornell Law School.  Judge Segal served as Chief of the Civil Appeals division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District before being appointed to the judiciary.