Recent Past Presidents 1999-2020
Sarah Sheldon Brooks is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Venable LLP. Ms. Brooks is a registered patent attorney and specializes in intellectual property disputes, including patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright litigation. Ms. Brooks has experience in all aspects of litigation including trial. In 2013, Ms. Brooks served as lead trial counsel in a patent infringement action and secured a jury verdict of willful infringement against the defendant/competitor.
Ms. Brooks received a B.S. in Biology from Tufts University and her J.D. from Tulane University where she graduated magna cum laude and order of the coif was the executive editor of the Tulane Law Review.
Favorite LAIPLA event: Spring Seminar.
Favorite LAIPLA memory: Winning the murder mystery dinner at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Spring Seminar.
Laura Burson is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Sheppard Mullin where she specializes in intellectual property litigation with an emphasis on patent law. She is a registered patent attorney, admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Burson has experience in all phases of litigation, including trials, arbitrations, and appeals involving intellectual property and technology-related matters. She is also active in pro bono matters and has served as a volunteer prosecutor in criminal jury trials. Her clients come from a broad range of technology areas, including medical devices, chemicals and chemical processes, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, computers, and other technologies.
Ms. Burson received her B.A. in Chemistry in 1991 from Hendrix College and her M.S. in Biological Chemistry in 1994 from the University of California, Irvine. She earned her J.D. in 1999 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she was Managing Editor of the Loyola Law Review and National Champion of the Giles S. Rich Moot Court Competition.
Favorite LAIPLA Event: Spring Seminar.
Favorite LAIPLA Memory: Spring Seminar, Las Vegas, 2007.
Mark A. Treitel is an intellectual property attorney in the Los Angeles offices of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP since 2005. He worked on global litigation matters of Qualcomm v. Apple and Samsung v. Apple. Other notable clients include Nokia, Pfizer, IBM, DirecTV, FHFA, PG&E and Parmalat S.p.A. Mark has handled all aspects of jury trials and have extensive experience working in-house for both technology companies and health services industries. A graduate from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, he also holds a Bachelor in Science degree in Biology from Tufts University. He has moderated panels and was recognized as an IP Hero in 2014.
As a Board Member, Mark instituted many of the programming changes that have made LAIPLA one of the nation’s IP powerhouse organizations. From website redesign, instituting a social media presence, creation of the LAIPLA Ambassador Outreach Program, LAIPLA Small Firm Outreach Committee. He is most proud of Founding and chairing/co-chairing the annual LAIPLA and Loyola Law School groundbreaking TechTainment: Technology + Entertainment + Law, now in its fifth year. Mark oversaw a tremendous growth in Membership and increase in programming, doubling the programs prior to joining the board. As a Past President, he continues to stay involved with the organization as it continues to grow.
He and his wife Mindy, have three children, Dana, Jonah and Zachary, all under the age of thirteen. Mark also serves as a board member of his synagogue, B’nai David Judea.
Favorite LAIPLA event: Spring Seminar. Literally is the crown jewel of our organization. I decided to get more involved in LAIPLA after my first Spring Seminar and work my way up to being a Board Member after I co-chaired Spring Seminar.
Favorite LAIPLA memory: Holiday Party at a magical location. Having a social event with colleagues and knowing we are part of a greater community. And literally matchmaking two LAIPLA members.
Bita Rahebi is an intellectual property litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Morrison & Foerster. She has litigated a wide variety of high-technology matters, and provides strategic direction to global clients in U.S. District Courts and before the International Trade Commission. Representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all phases of litigation, Bita has led clients through pre-filing investigations, Markman hearings, summary judgments, trials, and appeal with successful results. In addition to her litigation practice, she advises clients on strategic patent licensing issues. Bita has tried criminal jury matters with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
Bita received her B.A., magna cum laude, in 1996, from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her J.D. in 2000 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was an editor of the UCLA Law Review.
Favorite LAIPLA Event: First Women in IP event, which took place in Santa Monica. We had a fabulous gathering and it was encouraging to see so much interest in the new Women in IP committee.
Scott Hansen has served as a technology attorney at a Fortune 500 electronics company, and as a partner at an international law firm and at a top intellectual property boutique. Since leading an LAIPLA Spring Seminar, he chaired the Sponsorship Committee, giving LAIPLA sponsors special access to an elite audience, and the Monthly Meeting Committee.
Scott is past Editor-in-Chief of New Matter, the journal of the IP Section of the State Bar of California, and a former Chair of the State Bar’s IP Litigation Interest Group. Listed as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in intellectual property law and intellectual property litigation several years, he earned his J.D. (cum laude) from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara, and a B.S. with degrees in Political Science and Applied Mechanics from UC San Diego.
Early in his legal career, the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law in Los Angeles accorded him its Volunteer of the Year accolade. Scott now makes educational policy recommendations as an appointee to the Finance Committee of the Irvine Unified School District. A popular public speaker, he is an Associate Member of The Recording Academy.
Darren M. Franklin is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the Los Angeles office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. Darren is a registered patent attorney with expertise in a broad range of intellectual property matters, including patent litigation, patent prosecution and counseling, patent reexamination proceedings, unfair competition, and IP due diligence. He has represented high technology clients in patent matters in several U.S. District Courts and in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He has a physics degree and works with companies and individuals involved in diverse industries and technologies, including aerospace, computers, entertainment, gaming, lighting, medical devices, office products, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, software, sports products, telecommunications, and video games.
Darren received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2000. At Stanford, Darren was an executive editor of the Stanford Law Review and a member of the Stanford Technology Law Review. Darren received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1997, with a double major in physics and political science. At Berkeley, Darren was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Marsha Diedrich was a member of Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property Group in the Los Angeles office, primarily focusing her practice on patent litigation. Her practice encompassed proceedings before the International Trade Commission, as well as in federal district courts throughout the country, involving a variety of technologies.
Marsha was the president of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association and a past member of the board of trustees of the Los Angeles Copyright Society.
Before joining the courts, Monica Scheetz was a practicing attorney whose focus was intellectual property litigation. She was an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP for seven years, where she concentrated on patent litigation. She also worked as a project attorney on a variety of trademark matters. Monica is now an attorney with the Superior Court of California, County of Orange.
Monica received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002. While at school, she became a Massachusetts-certified mediator. She also served on the board of the Harvard Mediation Program, was an articles editor for the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, was an editor for the Harvard Human Rights Journal, served as secretary for the Student Activities Council, and was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and Harvard Defenders. She holds a B.A. in French from the University of Kansas, where she became a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
Monica has been an involved member of LAIPLA since 2003.
Brian Arnold, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois, is a litigator who assists companies across a wide variety of industries assert their intellectual property rights and defend against accusations of infringement in trial and appellate courts nationwide. For example, Brian recently represented a major corporate client in asserting its patent for a tool to clean automotive engine intake systems. Following a four-week trial, Brian and his trial team obtained jury verdict totaling $5.55 million for willful patent infringement, later enhanced to nearly $9 million.
Brian has litigated patent infringement matters involving a wide variety of other technologies, including medical devices, computer hardware and software, automotive technology, consumer products, electronics, and food products. He also represents clients in trademark, trade secrets, and copyright litigation throughout the country. Brian also facilitates patent portfolio sales, patent and trademark licensing, and trademark registration in various industries.
Brian has been selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer for Intellectual Property Litigation every year from 2014-2017.
Alexander R. Schlee is registered to practice as a German Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney, U.S. Patent Attorney, and member of the State Bar of California. Coming from Germany, Alex founded in the year 2000 as a partner of Viering, Jentschura & Partners the Los Angeles Office that was reconfigured by the end of 2006 into Schlee IP International. He has been representing numerous U.S. clients and International clients before various International Authorities for more than 20 years, particularly in the field of patent and trademark prosecution. Apart from Alex’s involvement with LAIPLA, he is also a former member of the Executive Committee of the International Law Section ILS of the State Bar of California, and chaired the International IP Practice Committee of the Orange County Patent Law Association OCPLA. At LAIPLA, apart from the usual officer responsibilities, Alex has chaired the membership committee, the monthly meeting committee, and the 2009 Judges Night. Additional activities were involvement as a board liaison in sponsorship, and in general marketing the organization and forming some relations with other IP organizations.
Keith A. Newburry is a seasoned IP leader with a global focus. Experience includes:
– Advising S&P 500 CEOs and General Counsels on all aspects of intellectual property
– Leading modernization, reorganization, redesign and creation of IP teams and systems
– High stakes enforcement trials with valuations exceeding $1B (foreign and domestic)
– High stakes defensive trials with valuations exceeding $1B (foreign and domestic)
– Leadership of large global IP operations and portfolios at S&P 500 companies
– Mergers and acquisitions with valuations exceeding $1B
– Leading economic espionage and trade secret investigations and follow on prosecutions with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney
– Financial responsibility for entire corporate legal department
– Highly ranked by employees in internal engagement and management surveys
– Division general counsel of a $400M business
– Private practice experience in all aspects of IP, including litigation at Sheppard Mullin and Pretty, Schroeder, Brueggemann & Clark
– Deep experience in courts across the globe, including USA, Germany, UK, Italy, China
– Deep experience with the USPTO and the European Patent Office
– Southern California Superlawer
– Led creation of best in class corporate IP training, including IP Boot Camp at an S&P 500 company
– Past president of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association
– Inventor on two U.S. patents
– Six sigma certification
– Highly rated speaker at events sponsored by the AIPLA, the LAIPLA, the OCPLA, the PLI, private conferences and law firms.
Jason Feldmar is a partner at Gates & Cooper LLP, an intellectual property law boutique in Los Angeles, primarily focusing his practice on patent prosecution. He has extensive experience representing clients ranging from large institutions to small start-ups in establishing patent programs, developing robust patent portfolios, portfolio management, evaluating patent infringement/validity, trademark prosecution, and advising clients with respect to licensing and non-disclosure agreements. Jason has prosecuted patents in a wide variety of complex technologies including computer software, Internet and business methods, programming languages, distributed systems, graphical user interfaces, nanotechnology, database management and queries, mobile device apps and touch screen gesture interactions, and complex algorithms.
Jason was president of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association from 2008-2009 and served on the board of directors from 2003-2010. Jason chaired a variety of committees including Spring Seminar, Washington in the West, Monthly Meetings, Website, Newsletter, and the Law School Road Show.
Jason received his B.S. in computer science from U.C. Riverside in 1992, his J.D. from Whittier Law School in 1995, and completed the coursework for an LLM in Intellectual Property at the University of Houston in 1996.
Sean M. Kneafsey is an intellectual property and business trial lawyer who has obtained favorable judgments on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. He has litigated patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret matters. He is a Past President of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Association and was previously on its Board of Directors for eight years. He previously served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.
Mr. Kneafsey graduated cum laude from Santa Clara University School of Law where he was in the top 10% of his class. He was Managing Editor of the Santa Clara Law Review, member of the Moot Court Board, received several academic scholarships, and published the comment: The Fourth Amendment Rights Of Probationers: What Remains After Waiving Their Right To Be Free From Unreasonable Searches And Seizures?, 35 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1237 (1995).
Selected Notable Cases:
$5 million settlement in EBS Automotive Services v. Illinois Tool Works Inc.; 20 year injunction and damages for trade secret misappropriation in TPE Associates LLC v. Team Too; Permanent injunction for patent infringement on behalf of Nike corporation.; Permanent injunction for copyright infringement on behalf of jewelry manufacturer and designer; Temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction for trade secret misappropriation of a customer list.; $1.1 million judgment for breach of contract and alter ego liability in Jones v. Summit7 Investments, Inc..; $800,000 judgment for breach of contract and alter ego liability in Byron v. Radly.
Southern California Super Lawyer Rising Star 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
BAR ADMISSIONS: All state and federal courts in California.; Admitted pro hac vice to the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Texas, and District of Minnesota.
Past President, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association; Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Association of Trial Lawyers of America; American Intellectual Property Law Association; Federal Circuit Bar Association; Past President, Irish American Bar Association; Los Angeles County Bar Association; Past Member, Board of Directors, Santa Clara School of Law Alumni Association.
Gary J. Nelson is a partner in the Glendale, California office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP. His practice includes the prosecution and maintenance of large international corporate trademark portfolios, and has managed over 7,000 individual trademark applications/registrations throughout the world. Through his network of foreign counsel, Mr. Nelson is filed and supervised the prosecution of trademarks in over 150 countries.
Mr. Nelson is involved in the enforcement and defense of trademark, copyright and patent rights for his clients, as well as being an expert in trademark, copyright and patent licensing. Mr. Nelson has been lead counsel on over 150 trademark opposition/cancellation proceedings before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board; and has filed nearly 100 UDRP Complaints with the National Arbitration Forum and the World Intellectual Property Organization to force the transfer of ownership of contested domain names.
J.D. Georgetown University, 1996; M.F.A. Cinema-TV Production, USC, 1986; B.A. Economics, magna cum laude, Pacific Lutheran University, 1981;
B.S. Chemistry, magna cum laude, Pacific Lutheran University, 1981
Membership in Professional Bodies
Member, Board of Directors, and Officer, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (LAIPLA) 2001-Present; Member, International Trademark Association (INTA); Member, Patent Bar (Registration No. 44,257); Member, Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), Trademark Office Practice Committee (U.S.)
August 2000: Mt. Rainier, Washington, USA; August 2001: Mt. Grand Teton, Wyoming, USA; August 2002: Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; August 2003: Mt. Shasta, California, USA; December 2003: Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina; June 2005: Mt. Denali Alaska, USA; July 2007: Mt. Elbrus, Russia; February 2011: Mt. Chimborazo, Ecuador; February 2011: Mt. Cotopaxi Ecuador; May 2011: Mt. Everest, Nepal.
Gary and his wife of 34 years, Sherrie, have four wonderful children.
Paul D. Tripodi II is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Mr. Tripodi has been involved in both bench and jury trials as well as proceedings before various international tribunals and the International Trade Commission (ITC). He has litigated patents in wide-ranging technological areas and his litigation experience is complemented by experience in the preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications as well as his continued involvement as an instructor and conference organizer in connection with matters relating to patent prosecution and intellectual property litigation.
Mr. Tripodi received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University with honors and with distinction. Before receiving his J.D., he received a M.S. in Chemical Physics from the California Institute of Technology. As a graduate student there, Mr. Tripodi conducted research into ultrafast chemical reaction dynamics under the direction of Ahmed H. Zewail who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000.
Mr. Tripodi held leadership positions in LAIPLA continuously for almost a decade, serving on the Board of Directors from 1998-2002, Treasurer from 2002-2003, Secretary from 2003-2004, Vice President/President Elect from 2004-2005, culminating in his position as President from 2005-2006. Since his term as President, he has had continued involvement in LAIPLA, serving on the program committee and as a moderator and speaker for several LAIPLA events and seminars.
Brian Berliner is of counsel in O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Practice within the Litigation Department. Brian is also the Chair of the Patent and Trademark Prosecution Subpractice. Chambers USA has repeatedly ranked Brian among the top Intellectual Property lawyers in the country, noting his ability “to explain the byzantine patents process in layman’s terms, which helps [clients] make informed and tactical decisions,” and describing him as “exceptionally responsive,” with “great business sense, which is the perfect recipe in combination with fine legal knowledge.” The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals recognized Brian as among the leading portfolio managers, patent prosecutors and litigators. Brian has also been recognized as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles Magazine and the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers.
Brian is one of O’Melveny’s chief technical lawyers. He focuses his practice on representing high technology companies, particularly with respect to patent and technology litigation and the acquisition, management, enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights. Brian is often called on in high stakes matters to analyze complex and highly technical infringement and validity issues. Brian additionally develops patent portfolios for technology companies, including the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in a wide array of electrical, electromechanical, and computer-related technologies, such as computer hardware and software, analog/digital circuitry, wireless communications, digital rights management, public key encryption, client-server environments, and data processing.
In addition to his technical patent work, Brian also regularly represents and counsels clients in trademark matters, including trademark litigation, clearance and registration, and on transactional intellectual property matters, including licensing and technology transfer agreements and due diligence analysis of intellectual property rights.
Prior to the practice of law, Brian served as a Captain in the US Air Force, responsible for the acquisition and testing of defense satellite systems and subsystems. In that capacity, he had hands-on payload integration responsibilities involving a number of Atlas expendable launch vehicle missions.
Chuck Barquist focuses on business litigation, including patents and other intellectual property, antitrust and unfair competition, and dispute resolution for technology companies.
In the intellectual property field, Mr. Barquist has represented several foreign and domestic companies in patent litigation in U.S. courts and before the International Trade Commission. He has also conducted numerous adversarial licensing negotiations with patent holders in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. In addition, he is experienced in other complex commercial and business litigation, including antitrust, products liability and environmental matters.
Mr. Barquist has represented clients in a broad range of industries. He has handled IP matters on behalf of domestic and international clients, including companies in industries such as satellite TV, medical devices, plasma and LCD displays, computers, semiconductors and other electronics, accounting, telecommunications, toys, and food products.
In a win on behalf of client EchoStar, Mr. Barquist and the Morrison & Foerster team achieved a rare jury defense victory in the Eastern District of Texas, successfully defending EchoStar against a patent licensing company that had sued for alleged patent infringement.
Mr. Barquist is a frequent speaker in the U.S. and Asia on litigation trends and has held numerous leadership positions in professional associations, including past president of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association. He has held leadership positions in a number of organizations, including the U.S. Bar/Japan Patent Office Liaison Council, American Intellectual Property Law Association (Japan Practice Committee), Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the University Of Southern California School Of Law Intellectual Property Institute.
While earning his A.B., Mr. Barquist was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
University of Michigan (A.B., 1975); Harvard Law School (J.D., 1978)
California, New York
Hon. Milton Pollack, U.S. District Court, S.D. New York (1978-1979)
Alan Block is a Principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith Hennigan and specializes in the litigation of intellectual property matters. His practice focuses primarily on patent litigation and advising clients in patent reexamination and reissue proceedings. He has extensive experience in all aspects of intellectual property law, including litigation through trial of patent, trade dress, and trademark matters, the successful prosecution of patents and trademarks, and licensing.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Block was a partner at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly.
Mr. Block has successfully litigated patent infringement (both utility and design patents) matters on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. See Automotive Products plc v. Tilton Engineering, 855 F. Supp. 1101, 33 U.S.P.Q.2d 1065 (C.D. Cal. 1993); Pacific Handy Cutter v. Quick Point, Inc., 43 U.S.P.Q.2d 1624 (C.D. Cal. 1997), aff’d without opinion, 178 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir. 1998). Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Block successfully prosecuted numerous patents in the area of mechanical devices, biotechnology, and chemistry and successfully prosecuted applications for trademark registrations.
While at the firm, Mr. Block has represented numerous clients in complex patent litigation matters against many of this country’s largest providers of satellite and cable television services, a number of Internet companies, including e-retailers and companies providing video content, and software providers.
Professional & Community Activities
President, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Association, 2002-2003
Co-Editor of New Matter, Official Publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California, 2005
Licensed California Real Estate Broker
Active Parent: Gymnastics, Soccer, Cub Scouts
Awards & Recognition
AV Peer Review Rated; Recognized as a leading U.S. patent litigator in the 2012 edition of Legal 500; Southern California Super Lawyers 2009-2011
J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1989; B.S., Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 1986
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Christopher C. Larkin was appointed an Administrative Trademark Judge on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2016 after 36 years in private practice in New York and Los Angeles, in which he focused on trademark litigation before federal courts and the TTAB, domestic and foreign trademark prosecution, and intellectual property licensing, counseling, and transactional matters.
While in private practice, he was recognized by his peers and in-house counsel worldwide for inclusion in multiple editions of the Guide to the World’s Leading Trade Mark Law Practitioners and the World Trademark Review 1000, and was designated as a “Trademark Experts’ Expert” in surveys of leading US practitioners reported in World Trademark Review. He held several leadership positions with the International Trademark Association, including service as an editor of The Trademark Reporter and on INTA’s Amicus Brief Committee, for which he authored INTA’s amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., 514 U.S. 159 (1995), in which the Court agreed with INTA’s position that single colors are eligible for trademark protection.
Larkin received his BA from Stanford University in 1977 and his JD from Columbia Law School in 1980. He has taught Internet Law, Trademark Law, and Trademark Law in Practice at USC Gould School of Law.
• J.D., Columbia University School of Law (1980), Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar B. Smith Prize
• B.A., Stanford University (1977), Phi Beta Kappa, Distinction in Economics
California, New York
United States Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal and Ninth Circuits
Formerly a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP, and partner at other leading law firms including Merchant and Gould, Charles Berman has focused his practice in patent work for more than 40 years. His clients include both major corporations and smaller companies, which he represents within the U.S. and internationally. He has a degree in electrical engineering and a law degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he also started his legal career, concentrating in patent work. In 1978. Charles joined Lyon & Lyon’s Los Angeles office as an associate, and he has remained in the U.S. ever since. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the US Patent and Trademark Offices, the US District Court, Central District of California. From 1996-2000, he served as president, secretary and treasurer of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (“LAIPLA”), and has represented LAIPLA and the California State Bar Intellectual Property Section before the U.S. Bar/European Patent Office- Liaison Council and the U.S. Bar/Japanese Patent Office- Liaison Council since 1990. Charles also has been a member of the Editorial Board of Managing Intellectual Property magazine since 1992. A board member of the American Intellectual Property Association from 1995 to 1998, he was a founding fellow of the AIPLA.