Kathy Ott and Laura Hupp Named to Leadership Council on Legal Diversity

Monday, March 4, 2019

Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce that attorneys John T. Winemiller, Ph.D., and Loretta L. Freeman have been selected as members of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 2018 Class of Fellows and Pathfinders, respectively.

“It’s a well-deserved honor for John and Loretta to be recognized for their leadership potential in connection with LCLD’s Fellows and Pathfinders programs,” said Brian H. Batzli, CEO and Managing Director of Merchant & Gould, as well as an LCLD Member.  “We are extremely proud of them both and are excited about their participation in these programs.”

Kathleen E. Ott

Kathy is a partner in our Denver office, she thoroughly enjoys using her background in science and technology to help her clients push the envelope with their cutting-edge innovations.

Kathy's practice is concentrated on patent prosecution and analysis. She focuses on drafting and prosecuting patent applications in a variety of technology areas from software to medical device technologies. Her practice also involves providing non-infringement and invalidity opinions regarding patents and products from a broad spectrum of technology areas, including pharmaceuticals to medical devices to radio frequency (RF) transponders. Kathy has experience counseling clients regarding patentability analysis, product clearance, validity analysis, and infringement analysis. 

In addition to her emphasis in patent prosecution and opinion work, Kathy has experience prosecuting and litigating trademarks. Specifically, she has counseled clients regarding trademark portfolio strategies and has negotiated a trademark dispute through settlement in favor of her client. Kathy also provides general litigation support, including drafting motions, briefs, and other documents, and aiding in case strategy. As a member of the Technology Transfer Practice Group, Kathy has experience in drafting and evaluating licensing agreements involving intellectual property.

Believing strongly in public service, Kathy provides pro bono legal assistance to immigrant victims of domestic violence through the Denver Center for Crime Victims. An active participant in her community, Kathy volunteers with Girls, Inc., an organization designed to support young girls with limited resources. She gives of her time to work with girls on the organization’s initiatives, which includes an educational focus on math and science opportunities. She is also on the Advisory Board of Girls, Inc. Eureka!® at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

Outside of work, Kathy loves exploring new recipes and cooking techniques with her husband and two children.

According to LCLD President Robert J. Grey, Jr., the LCLD Fellows Program offers participants “a year-long, in-depth program devoted to relationship-building, in-person training, peer-group projects, and extensive contact with LCLD’s top leadership and the best teachers in the business.”

Laura L. Hupp

Laura is an experienced patent attorney at Merchant & Gould’s Minneapolis office. She focuses on chemical and life science intellectual property law. For five years, she has used her unique background in biotechnology and software patenting to assist her clients in understanding the patent process and how it relates to science.

Understanding the languages of biotechnology, software and patents, she translates between them all, streamlining the patent process for inventors and start-ups.

SERVING THE INVENTOR, THE BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY AND THE SMALL BUSINESS

Laura works with inventors of software, biotechnology software developers and small businesses who strive to patent their products. In these areas, she focuses on preparing and prosecuting domestic and international patent applications. Laura’s experience includes patents for:

  • Genetically modified plants
  • Animal vaccines
  • Industrial cleaning and sanitizing products
  • Smartphone applications
  • Data analytics software

Laura understands that the patent process is grueling, often unknown to those who’ve never experienced it before. With her experience, she skillfully guides inventors, developers and businesses through the process, providing clarity and reassurance. Laura has been involved in several notable patent prosecutions in categories such as consumer goods, chemical and software.

LEADING WITH A UNIQUE COMBINATION OF NECESSARY TECHNICAL SKILLS

Laura’s background sets her apart from the rest. With a formal education in biochemistry and molecular biology and work experience in software patenting, the three languages of biotechnology, software and patents come together into a unique combination of necessary technical skill.

During her time in law school, Laura assisted researchers at the University of Iowa Research Foundation in commercializing their inventions and to raise funding for spin-out companies. Also involved in biology studies during graduate school, she studied molecular biology, immunology, genetics, and gene and cell therapy. Her expertise in biology and law is invaluable to biotechnology and software patents alike.

As a client, you don’t need to search for an attorney for each facet of your patent. Instead, Laura handles all patent matters from start to finish. Streamlined services, lower financial cost and a lower time involvement are all benefits of taking advantage of Laura’s expertise. Her strategy involves the assistance of Merchant and Gould, a large team working together towards your business goals.

FARM GIRL TURNED LAWYER, WITH AN ARTISTIC FLAIR

You always wonder who the person behind the practice is. With Laura, there’s no wondering. An open book, she does her best to be as flexible, easy going and laid back as possible. This approach likely stems from her childhood growing up on a farm, where she learned many of the values she carried with her today. Initially drawn to science and biotech, Laura eventually was pulled toward intellectual property law. She’s never looked back.

Her free time is full of activity, from participating in triathlons to painting of all forms, from watercolor to acrylic. Her evenings are filled with super nerdy conversations with her wife, who happens to be a trademark attorney.

According to LCLD President Robert J. Grey, Jr., the LCLD Pathfinder Program offers participants “intensive in-person training, online experiential learning, and opportunities to network with peers and esteemed LCLD Fellows in small group gatherings.”

“We believe it’s a program that can help catapult a person’s career forward.”

Merchant & Gould is proud to be an LCLD Member Firm.

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

Founded in 2009, LCLD is a growing organization of more than 285 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. The LCLD Fellows program, which has trained more than a thousand mid-career attorneys since 2011, is one of LCLD’s most important initiatives. The LCLD Pathfinder Program is now in its third year as a full-scale program, having been piloted in 2015 among a select number of LCLD Member law firms and corporations. It is an initiative that has filled a gap in LCLD programming, targeting junior associates and the youngest members of corporate law departments. For information, visit www.lcldnet.org.

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