All ChIPs Panel at NAPABA

An all-ChIPsters panel presented at the 2016 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) on “Pushing to the Top: Women Attorneys in High-Tech Culture.” The Panel spotlighted the barriers women attorneys face in tech, and specifically highlighted the extra barriers women of color face.

From left to right: Ching-Lee Fukuda of Sidley Austin, Yuri Mikulka of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Sarita Venkat of Apple, Hope Shimabuku of the USPTO,
Hogene Choi of Baker Botts and Emily Ward of Calla Nava.

Ching-Lee Fukuda, Partner at Sidley Austin, moderated the panel. “ChIPs and NAPABA are my top favorite legal organizations. Many impressive IP women attorneys I know are active in both organizations, and the variety of experiences shared by these impressive women all were inspiring.”

The audience was engaged with the panel, and Sarita Venkat’s favorite question came from a father in the audience, who asked, “‘What advice should I give my daughter, who is just as stubborn and aggressive as all of you seem to be?’ I learned the most about my awesome co-panelists when they answered this question. The answers ranged from allowing young girls to be self sufficient, self aware, and giving them the freedom to pick their own destiny.”

Hope Shimabuku, Director of the USPTO Texas Regional Office, made sure to highlight both the data and individual experiences of the panelists. “Each one of the panelists have a unique story on how they got to where they are. There isn’t one right formula to the solution, but sharing how we got to where we are is a start.”

She also emphasized the data, saying, “Females are listed in only 18.8% of the patent applications, and, out of the 18.8%, females are listed as the primary inventor in 7.7% (or 1.4% in aggregate) of the patent applications” (IWPR analysis of Delixus, Inc. and National Women’s Business Council (2012) and United States Patent and Trademark Office).

Congratulations to ChIPsters Emily Ward, Hogene Choi, Hope Shimabuku, Sarita Venkat, and Yuri Mikulka for their work advancing women in law, technology, and regulatory policy.