Advocates and Pioneers Take Stage at ChIPs NextGen

Infoblox General Counsel Wei Chen spoke with Melissa Ruiz of Steckler Wayne Cherry & Love at the ChIPs NextGen Summit.

More than 170 women early in their careers attended ChIPs NextGen Summit 2022 and heard from pioneers and advocates advancing women in diversity in tech, law and policy. The October 26 event in San Francisco kicked off ChIPs Week, three days of events that included the ChIPs Global Summit, Hall of Fame Dinner and General Counsel Boot Camp.


The one-day conference began with a candid and eye-opening fireside chat with former U.S. Judge Kathleen O’Malley of Irell & Manella. She was interviewed by Heather Burke, partner at White & Case and ChIPs NextGen co-chair.

“I wanted to be a federal judge from the age of 13,” O’Malley told the audience, recounting the career decisions that led her to achieve her then-unusual goal. She said, “Women have to work twice as hard. There was definitely luck and a lot of help.” Asked to recount her most significant case, she pointed to an innocent man she had helped free after 16 years of imprisonment. “That really made a difference in that man’s life, and every year on the anniversary, that family calls me.”

Breaking barriers

Meredith Price, associate general counsel at Intel moderated “Advanced Advocates Who Shatter Glass Ceilings.” The panel featured Laurie Charrington, director of patent litigation at Netflix; Sarah Piepmeier, partner at Perkins Coie; and the Hon. Melissa Haapala, vice chief administrative patent judge, Patent Trial and Appeal Board at USPTO. The trio discussed what attracted them to IP law and how to advance in the male-dominated profession. Haapala said, “Don’t miss those pro bono opportunities.” Charrington said, “The best way to get opportunities is to give opportunities.” The panel discussed microaggressions, diversity and how to help the next generation of women attorneys. Piepmeier said, “Never pass on an opportunity to credit a junior colleague and be specific.”

A powerhouse panel of outside and in-house attorneys discussed how to get and keep clients, develop relationships across the legal ecosystem and collaborate with integrity.

The panel was moderated by Heather Burke of White & Case and featured Esha Bandyopadhyay, principal at Fish & Richardson; Carolyn Herzog, chief legal officer of Elastic; Sharre Lotfollohi, partner at Kirkland & Ellis; and Cindy Rosser, head of privacy, IP and regulatory affairs at DocuSign.

Keynote Speaker Wei Chen

Workshops included “ReThinking Stress,” presented by Dr. Alia Crum, associate professor of psychology at Stanford University. Crum explained how to leverage stress for positive results. “Brand, Network, Connections” was led by social media expert Jessica Aries and featured two lawyers who have developed their professional brands online, Deanna Kwong, senior IP litigator and director of the Office of Operations, Legal, and Administrative Affairs for Hewlett Packard Enterprises, and Janice Brown, principal in the Labor and Employment Practice at Mayers Nave.

Wei Chen, general counsel of Infoblox and founder of the innovative Atticus Project, counseled confidence and kindness in a fireside chat with Melissa Ruiz of Steckler Wayne Cherry & Love at the end of the NextGen Summit 2022 in San Francisco. “There’s never a finish line, you just have to keep going,” she said.

Executive Director Joan Toth and ChIPs Board Member Dorian Daley opened the event. Daley said, “We’re all in this together, and we all share a mission.” She emphasized the importance of mentoring and said, “You don’t have to be my vintage to be a mentor.“

ChIPs Board Chair Katherine Minarik of Coinbase started the program, noting, “Years ago we decided we needed a whole day for NextGen to provide the things that weren’t there for us, especially networking.” ChIPs has launched a new NextGen Community online to facilitate engagement and provide content and updates. Next generation members of ChIPs can join now.

Don’t forget to review our MCLE content and submit your MCLE forms for the NextGen and Global Summits (contact Monica Phillips if you need assistance). For information on partnership and sponsorship activities and future opportunities, contact Bridget Johnson.