Past Events

2016/2017 Academic Year
2016 Intellectual Property Symposium and Student Panel

The Student Intellectual Property Society's Intellectual Property Symposium and Student Panel took place on October 28th, 2016.  The Student Panel intoduced William & Mary Law's intellectual property program to undergraduate students in the Virginia area interested in pursuing a career in intellectual property law.  The Symposium incorported a panel of speakers who spoke on the topic of design patents and whether they are necessary in the overarching scheme of intellectual property law.  The Symposium panel speakers included: 

Chris Cotropia

Professor Chris Cotropia is director of the Richmond School of Law's Intellectual Property Institute and Austin Owen Research Fellow. He writes in the areas of patent law, intellectual property, and federal courts. He is the author of numerous book chapters, amicus briefs, and law review articles on these subjects, and his scholarship has appeared in the UCLA Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Yale Journal of Law and Technology, and Berkeley Technology Law Journal, among other venues. Prior to joining the Richmond Law faculty, Professor Cotropia was the C. J. Morrow Research Professor of Law at Tulane University School of Law.

Maya Eckstein

As head of the Hunton & Williams Intellectual Property Practice Group and 3D Printing Practice, Maya Eckstein advises companies and organizations on how to protect their valuable intellectual property rights and address the new legal questions raised by 3D printing. She represents plaintiffs and defendants in intellectual property disputes and has significant experience planning, coordinating and executing the defense of complex litigation involving multiple defendants and jurisdictions. When allegations of infringement arise, or when clients believe that their patent, trade secret or other IP rights have been infringed, Maya collaborates with clients to analyze the situation, assess the extent of potential infringement or damages, and to develop and implement an effective response. In addition to litigation, and when appropriate, Maya investigates and recommends alternative approaches to dispute resolution, including settlements and negotiation of licenses.

Garth Rademaker


Garth Rademaker is a Supervisory Patent Examiner in Art Unit 2911 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  During his eleven years working at the USPTO, Mr. Rademaker has specialized in design patents and has become a lead on examiner training.

Matthew Zacherle


Matthew Zacherle is a Senior Industrial Designer at WestRock where he specializes in packaging design.  During his six years with WestRock, Mr. Zacherle has been the named inventor on numerous design patents and many design patent applications filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Prior to joining WestRock, Mr. Zacherle recieved a B.S. in Industrial Design from Virginia Tech.


Speaking Events 

 Mark Lemley
On September 26, 2016, SIPS hosted Professor Mark A. Lemley of Stanford Law School.  Prof. Lemley is a well-respected legal scholar who write on topics in intellectual property law, and represents clients regularly before the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Prof. Lemley presented his paper “The Surprising Resilience of the Patent System”, in which he argued that the U.S. patent system, and the innovation it is designed to promote, have adjusted well to broad shifts in the law, jurisprudence, and technology areas over the past thirty years.  Prof. Lemley was also kind enough to take lunch and coffee with several students, and answer questions at length.

Claire Wheeler
On October 12, 2016, SIPS hosted Ms. Claire Wheeler of Venable LLP.  Ms. Wheeler is a recent graduate of William & Mary Law School and junior associate with Venable. She was kind enough to join SIPS to speak about her early experiences in IP practice with Venable, including in trademark, copyright, patent, and (surprisingly) advertising.

Peter Van Bergen
On October 18, 2016, SIPS hosted Mr. Peter Van Bergen. Mr. Van Bergen is an alumnus of the William & Mary Law School class of 1986 who practices IP law in downtown Williamsburg. Mr. Van Bergen joined SIPS to discuss his work in trademark and patent and his unique solo career path.

Travis Wheatley
On January 23, 2017, SIPS hosted Mr. Travis Wheatley, a senior trademark examiner for the USPTO and an alumnus of the William & Mary Law School class of 2004.  Mr. Wheatley discussed his career and what brought him into the trademarks field, how a student interested in trademarks should advance her or his own career, how trademark examination works, and what his day-to-day work with the Trademark Office is like.

William Roberts
On February 27, 2017 SIPS, hosted Mr. William Roberts, associate register of copyrights for the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. Mr. Roberts spoke about his experiences with the Copyright Office and its structure and function, and contrasted the Copyright Office with the Patent & Trademark Office.  Mr. Roberts also spoke about proposed changes in the law, and possible shortcomings and challenges in modern copyright law.

Ned Ruffin
On March 14, 2017 SIPS, hosted Mr. Ned Ruffin, Vice President and General Counsel for Kaléo and alumnus of the William & Mary Law School class of 1989.  Mr. Ruffin discussed his career path, working in the pharmaceutical industry, and innovation in biomedical sciences.