An emerging thought leader on the intersection of artificial intelligence and the law, Jen, a Partner at Rothwell Figg, makes use of her technical background in information science and operations research in her practice focusing on intellectual property and privacy law issues involving cutting edge technology. Her practice encompasses all aspects of intellectual property law including litigation, patent prosecution, transactions, opinions, and counselling. She is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the United States (CIPP/US) and counsels clients on privacy and data security matters. She is selected to the Washington, DC Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list (2018-2021) and is included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (2021-2022), which recognizes extraordinary lawyers who have been in private practice for less than 10 years.
Jen serves a diverse range of clients, ranging from solo inventors and start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, in matters concerning artificial intelligence/machine learning, telecommunications systems, Internet of Things (IoT), “big data” technologies, mobile and website applications, and other digital technology. She represents clients in both federal courts and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. She has significant experience with assisting clients from pre-litigation stages all the way through trial and appeal, as well as experience with the interplay between litigation and post-issuance proceedings. She provides counselling as to the scope, validity, and enforceability of rights of existing patents, and has drafted and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications before the USPTO for domestic and foreign-based clients.
Jen advises clients on data security policies and procedures for protecting trade secrets, along with sensitive and personal information in compliance with state and federal laws. She counsels clients on contractual, technological, and enforcement strategies to protect valuable datasets and business information, while addressing issues such as web scraping or data breaches.
Jen joined the firm full time in 2012 after graduating with honors from The George Washington University Law School. She also graduated cum laude from Cornell University’s College of Engineering with a B.S. degree in Information Science, Systems, and Technology with a specialization in Operations Research and Information Engineering. She is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In the wake of the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the Biden-Harris Administration has suggested major shifts in U.S. policy concerning patent protection. In May of this year, Ambassador Katherine Tai, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the Administration’s support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Most recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins accused Moderna of excluding three NIH scientists as co-inventors of a key patent for the COVID-19 vaccine. This article explores an alternative possibility of the Administration exercising certain rights in the COVID-19 vaccine invention under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act—one day after the bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Bob Dole, passed away—and whether such an exercise of rights is in line with past precedent or would be a violent disruption to the status quo.
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) recently issued its Final Report outlining a strategy for the United States to “win” the artificial intelligence (AI) era. Critically, the Commission argues that the United States government is not currently organizing or investing to win the technology competition in AI against a committed competitor (i.e., China), nor is it prepared to defend against AI-enabled threats and rapidly adopt AI applications for national security purposes. In addition to the potential patent-eligibility and data ownership IP issues noted in the Report, other IP uncertainties unique to AI technology continue to persist, such as machine authorship and machine inventorship of valuable contributions. As part of the United States’ overall strategic interests in winning the AI era, the Commission recommends that the United States adopt IP policies to incentivize, expand, and protect AI and emerging technologies, as well as recognize IP as a national priority. But significant questions remain as to whether U.S. courts will reliably permit IP holders to proceed with AI-focused IP infringement claims against potential offenders, or if patent-eligibility, inventorship, fair use, and other defenses will tip the scales towards trade secret protection.