January 18, 2023 CLE: Overview of USPTO Pro Bono Program, Ethical Duties and Promoting Inventor Diversity for Patent Practitioners

Online registration is closed. We have a few openings left. Please contact us at info@wspla.org if you would like to attend this CLE.


Approved for up to 1.5 hours of Ethics Credit.


An update on professional responsibility and expectations for registered patent agents and attorneys. The conversation will cover OED regulations that govern patent practitioners and selected scenarios from court cases and disciplinary proceedings. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. Speakers include USPTO OED Director Will Covey and Attorney Dahlia George.


Immediately following, a panel will discuss USPTO and Washington based pro bono opportunities. Panelists include Deputy General Counsel and Director for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Will Covey, D. Wayne and Anne Gittinger Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Jennifer Fan, Perkins Coie IP Attorney Homer Hsu, and Microsoft Asst General Counsel Tom Wong. The conversation will be moderated by WSPLA Board Member Julie Akhter.


More about our Speakers:

  • Will Covey | USPTO
  • Dahlia George | USPTO
  • Jennifer Fan | UW School of Law
  • Homer Hsu | Perkins Coie
  • Tom Wong | Microsoft Tom Wong is a patent counsel at Microsoft supporting the Experiences and Devices Team.  In that role, he is responsible for building, managing and utilizing patent portfolios associated with Microsoft’s M365 products.  Tom is an Executive Committee Member of the Washington State Bar Association – IP Section and Co-Chair of the CLE Committee of the Federal Bar Association Western District of Washington.  He also serves as volunteer for the USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program, Microsoft’s MakeWhatsNext Patent Program, and FBA’s Federal Civil Rights Clinic.
  • Julie Kane Akhter | Microsoft Julie Akhter is senior corporate counsel at Microsoft and treasurer for the WA State Patent Law Assn. During her time at Microsoft, she has counseled product groups on IP issues, analyzed and maintained Microsoft’s patent portfolio, led patent licensing and sale negotiations. Julie has also led Microsoft’s IP group’s diversity and outreach efforts with external engineering groups such as Grace Hopper, SHPE, and NSBE for many years and currently leads Microsoft’s internal women inventorship taskforce. The goal of this taskforce is to increase the number of women and minorities in the inventive community. Prior to this role, Julie was a patent attorney at Morrison & Foerster in Silicon Valley and a patent agent at Darby & Darby in Seattle. Julie obtained her B.S. in Mathematics with Computer Science at MIT, an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.