Do you want extensive patent training from some of the most prominent female patent lawyers in the country?  Harrity is excited to host Harrity for Parity™, our 8th Annual Women’s Patent Workshop.  A select group of women will participate in this free four-day long program geared towards an introduction to the practice of patent law, patent skills, and career training.  The next program will take place virtually in May 2025, and is open to female science and engineering students, law school students, recent graduates, and practitioners who wish to launch their careers in patent law.

The participants of previous workshops rated the quality of the program as 9.5 out of 10!

The Harrity for Parity™ Women’s Workshop includes:

  • Guest Speakers (Prominent women in the patent field)
  • Patent Law Introductory Training
  • Patent Preparation Skills Training
  • Patent Prosecution Skills Training
  • Writing Skills Training by Writing Expert, Julie Seitz
  • Resume and Interview Preparation Workshops
  • Law School Career Mentoring
  • Patent Attorney Q&As
  • Patent Bar Preparation
  • Networking Opportunities

DEADLINE 4/30/24


The application window for Harrity for Parity™ 2025 is now open!

Eligibility Requirements:

Candidates Must:
1. Be in good standing as a science/engineering student or law student at an ABA accredited school, or be a recent engineering or law school graduate of an ABA accredited school;
2. Demonstrate a record of academic achievement;
3. Have a sincere interest in Harrity and practicing patent law; and
4. Have or be obtaining a background in a technical field (e.g., B.S. in Electrical Engineering, B.S. in Computer Science, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering or like such); Now open to Life Science degrees!
5. Be eligible to sit for the United States Patent Bar and reside in the U.S.


Elaine Spector, Diversity

Elaine Spector

Elaine Spector is a patent attorney with over 20 years of experience in intellectual property law and is Harrity’s first female Partner.  Her current practice consists primarily of prosecuting patent applications with a focus on electromechanical technologies. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Elaine worked in private practice for over 15 years handling various intellectual property matters, including patent application drafting and prosecution, trademark prosecution and enforcement, as well as litigating complex patent cases in federal courts. Elaine’s extensive litigation experience provides her with a unique perspective in prosecuting patent applications. Most recently, Elaine worked in-house for 6 years at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, where she managed over 500 matters in medical and software related technologies.

Elaine is passionate about fostering diversity and inclusion in the legal field. She serves as Co-Chair of the Harrity Diversity Committee, Vice Chair of the IPO Diversity Committee, and Chair of the
IPO D&I Committee Outreach Subcommittee. Elaine is also serves on the board of the equal opportunity non-profit Patent Pathways®. Elaine hosts weekly diversity-focused vlogs, Driving Diversity, and regular diversity and inclusion webinars in the Diversity Dialogue series, both part of the Harrity Diversity Channel.


Ceyda Maisami

Ceyda Maisami is VP, Interim Chief IP Counsel at HP. She leads HP’s global IP team, which consists of Patent Development, Trademark and Marketing, IP Transactions including monetization, and IP Operations teams. She also works very closely with and provides support to IP Litigation and M&A groups. In her previous roles at Finnegan and Chadbourne & Parke, Ceyda worked on high profile patent prosecution and litigation matters, in addition to a host of opinion work related to computer hardware, software, wireless communication devices, and financial services.  Before her career in intellectual property law, she was an electrical engineer at Osram Sylvania (the lighting division of Siemens).

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith is a Partner at Sughrue Mion PLLC. Having started her legal career with Sughrue in 1997, Ellen provides extensive patent counseling for clients ranging from large multi-national corporations to small business ventures. Her counseling includes freedom-to-operate, infringement, and validity opinions.

Ellen’s dedicated experience in the patent space for over 15 years has provided her clients with respected strategic advice for developing and protecting their intellectual property portfolios, including developing strategies for establishing, protecting, preserving and enforcing those patent rights in the U.S. and abroad.

Her practice encompasses the entire period of prosecution of a patent, from the initial drafting of the application to conducting oral hearings to the Board of Appeals. Her technical experience in the broad spectrum of mechanical arts ranges from fiber-optic connectors to athletic shoe designs to off-shore oil rigs. Examples of Ellen’s diverse technological prosecution experience includes medical devices, semiconductors, aircraft structure and operation, underground mining technologies, vehicle system management and devices, farm and construction equipment, cosmetic packaging, waste recycling management and oil/petroleum technologies.

Barbara Fiacco

Barbara Fiacco is Partner and Co-Chair of the Patent Litigation Practice at Foley Hoag LLP and represents life sciences companies and research institutions in complex intellectual property and patent litigation matters. Her practice focuses on the biomedical field, including gene therapy, epigenetics, sequencing technology, recombinant DNA technology, therapeutic antibodies, small molecule compounds, drug delivery, molecular diagnostics, and medical devices.

She has represented leading pharmaceutical and life sciences clients in significant patent infringement lawsuits that have resulted in summary judgment or other favorable outcomes for her clients. Barbara also represents these clients in trade secret, inventorship, and technology transfer disputes as well as other commercial litigation.

Barbara is a Past President of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and a Past President of the United States section of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI-US), serving from 2019 to 2020. She has held a number of leadership roles in AIPLA and has represented this premier intellectual property law association in testimony on behalf of AIPLA before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property as well as in amicus briefs to the Supreme Court.

Molly Kocialski

As the Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), since January 2016, Mollybeth (Molly) Kocialski carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for leading the Rocky Mountain regional office. Focusing on the nine states within this region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Kocialski ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Ms. Kocialski brings more than 20 years of intellectual property experience to the USPTO. Most recently, Ms. Kocialski was the Senior Patent Counsel for Oracle America, Inc., where she was responsible for managing an active patent prosecution docket and was also responsible for all of the post-grant procedures and patent investigations for Oracle and its subsidiaries. Prior to Oracle, she worked at Qwest Corporation and was also in private practice in both New York and Colorado focusing on intellectual property litigation for multiple high-tech companies while maintaining an active prosecution docket.

Ms. Kocialski is a recognized IP leader in the Rocky Mountain region. Ms. Kocialski currently serves on the Colorado Federal Executive Board’s Executive Committee. Ms. Kocialski is the President of the Colorado IP Inn of Court and was previously the Chair of the Planning Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado IP Inn of Court. Further, Ms. Kocialski is a member of the Planning Committee for the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property Institute, an annual two-day conference on intellectual property that attracts over 500 attendees. She was the Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Colorado Bar Association and served on the Colorado Bar Association’s Board of Governors. Ms. Kocialski served as the head of the IP Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and served on the National IP Committee of the Association of the Corporate Counsel. In 2015, Ms. Kocialski was recognized by ManagingIP magazine as one of its North America Corporate IP Stars.

Ms. Kocialski is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico. Ms. Kocialski is a registered patent attorney and is admitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the New York and Colorado state bars as well as to the United States Courts in those jurisdictions.

Kamaram Munira

Kamaram Munira, Ph.D., is an engineer-turned-attorney working at Banner Witcoff, a leading boutique intellectual property law firm, where she specializes in drafting and prosecuting utility patent applications and post-issuance proceedings at the USPTO. She has over seven years of experience in utility patents, working with clients across various industries and technology areas, such as telecommunications, solar technologies, cloud computing, Internet of Things, financial technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, semiconductor devices, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, 3D memories, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.


Kamaram has also been selected for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder Program. The Pathfinder program was developed with early-career attorneys in mind to train in critical career development strategies, including leadership and building professional networks.

Teresa Stanek Rea

Teresa “Terry” Rea is a consultant with Rea Consulting LLC.  She is an expert on patent practice and prosecution and has testified on many matters.  She also consults on IP strategy.  She was previously a partner in the Intellectual Property Group of Crowell & Moring LLP in their Washington, DC office and was a director with C&M International, Ltd., the international trade and investment consulting firm affiliated with Crowell. Prior to joining Crowell, she served as Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, and Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  She worked for Ethyl Corporation from 1980 through 1984. Terry is the former president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and a past president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She is a licensed pharmacist. Terry obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University and her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. Terry was an active member of The Sedona Conference for seven years. Managing IP identified her as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property (2013). IAM Strategy 300 selected her as one of The World’s Leading IP Strategists (2015). She was also named one of Law360’s Top 25 Icons of IP (2016). In 2018, she received the Patent and Trademark Office Society’s Pasquale J. Federico Memorial Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the patent and trademark systems of the United States. She has also been recognized for the last 15 years in The Best Lawyers in America in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice.

Mercedes Meyer

Mercedes Meyer, Ph.D., is a Partner at Banner Witcoff, represents leading life science and technology companies maintaining an extensive biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent management, prosecution, opinion and due diligence practice. With a doctorate in virology and degree in chemistry, Mercedes has a deep understanding of complex biotechnology and scientific research, which is key for advising life science clients on commercializing and protecting product innovations as well as performing diligence for investing in new technologies, particularly in corporate joint development projects. Mercedes advises on developing patent strategies, managing the intellectual property rights, and making associated investments and acquisitions. Mercedes also handles patent reexaminations and inter partes matters.

Julie R. Seitz

Julie Seitz is owner of Seitz Effective Tutoring & Coaching, LLC and serves as a professional tutor and coach for attorneys and law school students. Julie is a writing coach for Harrity & Harrity and facilitates the improvement of attorney’s writing skills particularly in the area of patent application drafting. Julie has an interest in diversity, equity and inclusion policies and programs and serves as a writing coach for Harrity & Harrity’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Her prior work as an attorney was in the field of labor law and education law with responsibilities including prosecuting employee discipline litigation, student misconduct hearings, drafting collective bargaining agreements, and policy writing for school districts, towns and municipalities. Julie has been in the field of education for over twenty-five years which included homeschooling her four sons and then going on to serve as a Professional Tutor for the State University of New York Educational Opportunity Program and TRiO Student Support Services Program at Dutchess Community College. Currently, Julie serves as an Academic Coach for the SUNY Educational Opportunity Program at Dutchess Community College. Julie earned her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and is admitted to the New York state bar.


Marie Weiskopf

Marie Weiskopf is an Associate General Counsel at Meta on the Patents, Licensing, and Open Source legal team.  Marie manages the patent strategy for a number of key technology groups at Meta, including multiple research groups and the Facebook App.  Marie is also a co-founder and steering committee member of and has been passionate about DEI since the start of her career, having experienced what it’s like to be the only woman in the room too many times.  Marie graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and began her legal career at the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a patent examiner, examining patent applications in data processing for navigation and vehicle control systems.  Marie also worked as a law clerk at an IP Boutique firm while attending The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  After graduation, Marie practiced patent law at both IP boutique law firms and general practice law firms before joining Meta.

Maeve Carpenter

Maeve Carpenter is Counsel, IP Law at IBM. Ms. Carpenter manages a large group of patent professionals involved in a variety of patent procurement work. In addition, Ms. Carpenter is a case manager for U.S. patent procurement operations in several technology areas, and provides legal support for IBM product clearance and mobile applications. Ms. Carpenter received her undergraduate degree from Villanova University, and her J.D. from Tulane Law School. She is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is a member of both the New York State Bar and the Massachusetts Bar.

Judy Yee

Judy Yee is Vice President and Head of the North America Market Unit at Avanci.  Before joining Avanci, Judy was Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft, where she led several teams of patent professionals and advised the business on all aspects of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and SEP licensing impacting internal and external stakeholders.  Prior to Microsoft, Judy practiced law at Perkins Coie LLP and worked as an engineer at Intel.  Judy is a founder of ADAPT, a nonprofit that aims to increase diversity in the patent bar.  When she is not working, Judy enjoys spending time with her family or in the gym as a founding member of Seattle’s first competitive adult gymnastics team, the Seattle Seals.

Laura Zager

Laura Zager serves as Director, IP Counsel for Software and Artificial Intelligence at Thermo Fisher Scientific, after 13 years in private practice.  Laura holds undergraduate degrees in engineering and mathematics from Swarthmore College, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a law degree from Harvard University.  Laura and her family live in Portland, Oregon.

Lisa Mueller

Lisa Mueller is a shareholder at Casmir Jones and splits her time between the Chicago and North Carolina offices.  For over thirty years, Lisa has provided strategic counsel on complex patent issues to clients in the plant, food, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemistry sectors. She brings an in-depth knowledge and extensive experience to her work advising clients on the global patent protection, freedom to operate and validity of blockbuster drugs they aim to produce and distribute.


A thought leader on pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical patent law, Lisa speaks frequently to legal and industry groups, and publishes widely. She was the author of an award-winning blog, BRIC Wall, which provides unique insights on patent law developments in the life sciences industry in Brazil, Russia, India and China.  Lisa is currently the author of the blog, BRICS & Beyond ( which provides unique insights on patent law developments in the life sciences industry not only in Brazil, Russia, India and China but in other countries outside of the United States.


Lisa also edited and authored a chapter in the book entitled, “Global Patent Protection and Enforcement of In Vitro Diagnostic Inventions” published by Wolters Kluwer, available November 2019.


Lisa is also the host of the podcasts – AUTM on the Air and Inclusion Evolution.

Laura Mitchell

Laura Mitchell is the Director of Intellectual Property Managers at Johns Hopkins University Technology Ventures (JHTV). Over the past fifteen years, she has held various roles at JHTV including Technology Licensing Associate and Technology Analyst.  Laura is a former U.S. Patent Examiner in a life sciences art unit.  Laura received a B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor from Salisbury University in Maryland and earned a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Molecular Biology from the Louisiana State University System. Laura grew up in Maryland, and enjoys living in Baltimore City with her husband and spoiled dog.

Nichole M. Valeyko

Nichole M. Valeyko is a registered U.S. Patent Attorney and has acted as IP counsel for over 15 years. She is currently a Director in the IP Legal group at Merck & Co., Inc. in Rahway, New Jersey, where she is the Committee Chair for the Merck Legal Network Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee and head of the IP U.S. Practice Committee. Nichole holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech, a law degree from Seton Hall School of Law, and a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins. She is a member of the New York and New Jersey State Bars, and is a registered patent attorney of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Prior to joining Merck, Nichole was in private practice at several IP boutiques based in New Jersey, where she handled prosecution, litigation, and opinion matters. At Merck, she has a broad-based intellectual property practice involving patent prosecution, patent counseling and procurement, transactional matters, and due diligences.

2024 Women's Patent Workshop Schedule

Photos from the

Previous Harrity for Parity™ Workshops