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2013 Legal Elite profile: Intellectual Property

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Marshall M. Curtis

Whitham, Curtis, Christofferson & Cook PC

Title: President
Birthplace: Charlottesville
Education: Washington University in St. Louis, bachelor’s degree; Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, law degree
Spouse: Eileen D. Curtis
Children: Erin Melissa Curtis-Legate, J. Alexandra Curtis, Caitlin Elisabeth Miles
Hobbies or pastimes: Cooking, photography, music
First job as a lawyer: Senior Primary Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Recently read book: “Atlantic” by Simon Winchester
Career mentors: “Law: Thomas A. Robinson and C. Lamont Whitham; engineering: Harvey Carpenter Jr., Dr. Lloyd R. Brown, Dr. R.J.W. Koopman and every inventor I have represented.”

What insight does your background as a patent Examiner with the USPTO give you in your practice?
“Having been an Examiner for over 20 years, I believe I can think like an Examiner in my writing of applications, drafting claims and presenting persuasive arguments to Examiners.  Being able to anticipate, to a degree, how an Examiner will approach particular subject matter or react to the way it is described and claimed can often expedite prosecution of patent applications and result in better patent protection for clients’ inventions.”

Do you expect China to overtake the U.S. in the issuance of “invention” patents?
“I expect that closely approaching U.S. numbers is more likely than greatly exceeding
them. The number of issued patents will be a percentage of applications filed which will include a large number of foreign origin, including the U.S. Increased numbers of applications filed in a given country is, in turn, an indicator of worldwide perception of increased ability to enforce patents, licensing value of patents and likelihood of infringement in that country.”

Click here for the Legal Elite list of Intellectual Property attorneys.

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