23 episodes

This limited podcast series hosted by Kilpatrick Townsend Partner April Abele Isaacson and Associate Kate Geyer features today's leading women and other underrepresented groups in the patent bar. Each of the episodes is a candid conversation between groundbreaking legal practitioners about their career paths, the obstacles they overcame in reaching success, and the steps we as a profession must still take to close the gender and diversity gap in intellectual property law and the patent bar.

Sidebars Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

This limited podcast series hosted by Kilpatrick Townsend Partner April Abele Isaacson and Associate Kate Geyer features today's leading women and other underrepresented groups in the patent bar. Each of the episodes is a candid conversation between groundbreaking legal practitioners about their career paths, the obstacles they overcame in reaching success, and the steps we as a profession must still take to close the gender and diversity gap in intellectual property law and the patent bar.

    Courtney Dabbiere: How To Be An Ally

    Courtney Dabbiere: How To Be An Ally

    In this episode, hosts April Abele Isaacson and Kate Geyer welcome fellow Kilpatrick Townsend patent litigator Courtney Dabbiere for a conversation about allyship.

    Courtney’s litigation practice, which includes cases in both federal court and the ITC, encompasses patent matters in a wide range of technologies, including telecommunication systems, electrical and mechanical systems, pharmaceutical products, textile products, athletic footwear, oil drilling software systems and medical device technologies as well as design patents. She has experience in many aspects of litigation, such as infringement and validity analyses, motion practice, claim construction, expert discovery, pre-trial and trial practice, and appellate briefing. Courtney is also a Registered Patent Attorney before the USPTO. She has prepared and prosecuted patent applications in a variety of technologies and has represented companies in inter partes review proceedings. In 2022 and 2023, Courtney was recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch” for Intellectual Property Law by The Best Lawyers in America®.

    While attending Emory University School of Law, Courtney was Managing Editor of the Emory International Law Review. She also participated in the TI:GER® Program, a collaboration between the law school and Georgia Institute of Technology which focuses on technology commercialization in a multidisciplinary context.

    In this conversation, April, Kate, and Courtney discuss what it takes to be a true ally for women in the legal field. Using their personal experiences as well as the trends they see in the industry, they highlight the difference between being an actually meaningful ally and merely having good intentions. This episode, sparked by the recent remarks of Douglas Emhoff, Vice President’s Kamala Harris’s husband and a partner at DLA Piper (currently on leave), identifies the practical aspects of how men can support women and the roadmap to building a welcoming place for everyone through impactful allyship.

    Highlights include:
    From pre-med to heart devicesReal-life experience leads to the reevaluation of a career in biomedical engineeringRealizing that the law – and litigation – is not just for loud, outgoing peopleHow to think about being a good ally for womenAllowing women to determine for themselves the type of support they needRecognizing one’s limitations and others’ strengthsBeing a good ally may mean setting one’s ego aside A supportive communication style when providing opportunities goes a long way A proactive approach to allyship Recognizing that some people are born on third base while others must work to get there The disparate impacts of parental leave on the careers of women vs. menAllies who help decode the unspoken rules of the old boys’ clubBuilding strong teams, not just checking boxesBeing willing to risk political and social capitalBeing your authentic self, not a show pony

    **The opinions expressed are those of the attorneys and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or its clients. This podcast is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

    • 59 min
    The 2022 Mental Health Special Episode: Burnout in the Legal Profession

    The 2022 Mental Health Special Episode: Burnout in the Legal Profession

    In this special episode, hosts April Abele Isaacson and Kate Geyer are joined by Kasey Koballa, an Associate from the Kilpatrick Townsend Raleigh office. Kasey’s practice focuses on patent litigation in federal courts and before the ITC in matters relating to a wide variety of industries, including video games and footwear and sport apparel. In 2015, Kasey received a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Biotechnology from North Carolina State University, where she graduated summa cum laude, was the valedictorian of her class, and received the Top 10 Scholar Athlete Award for her achievements in soccer. In 2018, she received her law degree from William & Mary Law School with an Intellectual Property Concentration.


    With three very different backgrounds and life journeys, April, Kate, and Kasey discuss the issue of burnout in the legal profession, and particularly in the hard-charging, high-stakes world of patent litigation. They share their first-hand experiences and their earned wisdom about building resilience and thriving in such a pressure-filled environment. In this important conversation, April, Kate, and Kasey use compassion and humor to tackle a serious problem that continues to claim many promising legal careers far too early. They also provide a glimpse into what it takes to work at the highest levels of patent litigation while keeping burnout at bay.

    Highlights include:


    Broadening career options Definition of burnout Why attorneys are particularly susceptible to burnout The struggle to say “no” Why women are more likely to suffer burnout than men“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” The signs of reaching your limit Navigating the post-COVID hybrid work environment for greater productivity and better work-life balance The critical importance of recognizing early signs of burnoutRecruiting your support systemTiny recharging breaks can make a huge difference Rethinking proactive management of work assignments to reduce overworkLaw-firm mentors as a first line of defense against burnoutSurprising reasons why burnout is a major threat to talent retention The availability and value of external resources like employee assistance programsDestigmatizing the use of therapy and other mental health support Recognizing that blocking off time for self-care is not an indulgence but a tool to becoming a better lawyer**The opinions expressed are those of the attorneys and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or its clients. This podcast is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

    • 1 hr
    Taylor Pfingst: Glass Ceilings Are Meant to be Broken

    Taylor Pfingst: Glass Ceilings Are Meant to be Broken

    In this episode, hosts April Abele Isaacson and Kate Geyer welcome a special cohost—fellow Kilpatrick Townsend patent litigator Taylor Pfingst—to discuss recent data on how law firms are doing on diversity, equity and inclusion, with particular emphasis on gender equality. 
    Taylor, a native Californian, is an Associate in Kilpatrick Townsend’s Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on patent and trade secret litigation as well as other intellectual property disputes. She represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of industries, including technology, entertainment, and medical devices. Taylor was a key member of trial teams in high-stakes cases that resulted in more than $100 million in jury verdicts for the client. Every year since 2019, Super Lawyers magazine has recognized Taylor as a Northern California “Rising Star” for Intellectual Property Litigation.
    Prior to joining the firm, Taylor served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Charles R. Breyer in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and as a law clerk in the Public Rights Division in the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General. She received her BA in political science from UC Santa Barbara and her JD from UC Hastings College of Law. While attending law school, she was the Executive Notes Editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.
    In a candid conversation, April, Kate, and Taylor identify the seismic shifts that have taken place in the legal profession since the days when Taylor’s mom became a trial attorney, and the hurdles that still remain today. They discuss the recently published Law360 2022 Glass Ceiling Report: Women In Law, which provides statistical proof of how the profession has changed and how much still needs to be done. 
    Through personal anecdotes and insights, April, Kate, and Taylor weave the experience of three generations—Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials—into a cohesive timeline that speaks of the progress and setbacks on the road to greater diversity and inclusion. 
     Highlights include:
    Destined for life in the law (1:24)Seeing how an earlier generation of women balanced work and family obligations, and were taken seriously as a lawyer (4:25)How not to be a mentor (11:18)Working mothers as role models for both men and women (18:07)Working while female; there is no excuse not to mentor (19:49)Good news in the pipeline (25:56)The value of not being the only woman in the room (28:04)Sobering statistics about women in leadership in the legal profession (37:46)A silver lining to the COVID pandemic (40:07)An invisible burden of proving everyone wrong (41:48)The inclusion tax (43:32)The surprising origins of wanting to do everything for everyone (49:33)The luxury of being disorganized (53:09)Capitalizing on the momentum generated by greater numbers of women partners (59:51)Demystifying the path to partnership (1:07:04)**The opinions expressed are those of the attorneys and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or its clients. This podcast is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Amanda Brouillette: Taking Charge

    Amanda Brouillette: Taking Charge

    In this episode, we interview patent litigator Amanda Brouillette, a Senior Associate in the Atlanta office of Kilpatrick Townsend. Amanda has defended a wide range of clients accused of patent infringement through all stages of litigation, including at trial. Her cases encompass a variety of technical fields, including telecommunications, medical billing, pharmaceuticals, and mechanical systems. In 2022 and 2023, Amanda was recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch” for Intellectual Property Law by The Best Lawyers in America®.

    Amanda has a B.S. in physics and a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia, where she graduated summa cum laude, highest honors. She earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School with pro bono distinction for her work with the Stanford Domestic Violence Pro Bono Project. During law school, Amanda served on the Stanford Technology Law Review, first as a Lead Editor, then as Editor In Chief.

    From an early age, Amanda thrived on learning new things. Her decision to double-major in Physics and English proved a perfect recipe for never being bored or feeling like she was stagnating with her studies—and it turned out to be the perfect gateway to patent litigation, too.

    Amanda is a firm believer in taking charge of her own professional destiny and creating her own opportunities, including by actively developing connections with other patent law practitioners. Her brilliance, can-do attitude, and sunny disposition, which she brings to any task set before her, have helped her build strong relationships with mentors and sponsors within the firm, with clients, and with more junior attorneys whom she now supervises.

    In this episode, Amanda shares her insights about what it takes to build a successful career as a patent litigator. She also discusses the importance of communication and relationship-building for professional development. And she talks about the two-pronged approach that firms—and individuals—can take to accelerate the creation of a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

    Highlights include:
    A chain of happy accidents leads to a career in patent law (1:49)Thriving on the feeling of success (4:33)The theater bug as translated into litigation (6:48)Taking deliberate steps toward more diversity in hiring (11:33)The cultural cues that may discourage women from pursuing a patent litigation career (12:55)Mentorship vs. sponsorship (19:09)How to find sponsors and build relationships with them (20:34)Bonding in a personal way for increased work productivity (27:59)Motivating factors (30:24)Managing up and managing down (32:05)Developing a leadership style (37:57)A personal professional highlight that demonstrates the importance of sponsorship (39:09)A collaborative approach to better serving clients through diverse teams (44:34)A two-pronged approach to diversity and inclusion (46:56)The paradox of emphasizing female mentoring for junior women (50:15)**The opinions expressed are those of the attorneys and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or its clients. This podcast is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

    • 56 min
    Roger Wylie: Leadership Matters

    Roger Wylie: Leadership Matters

    In this episode, we welcome Roger Wylie, the Managing Partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Roger was the Co-Managing Partner of Townsend and Townsend and Crew prior to its merger with Kilpatrick Stockton. 
    Roger is a registered patent attorney with over 20 years of experience in a variety of technologies, including software, business methods, consumer goods, complex machinery, and medical devices. He focuses his practice on patent prosecution and counseling, advising start-up and established corporations, venture investors and other intellectual property stakeholders with regard to all aspects of patent prosecution and acquisition, counseling, licensing, and litigation. He also counsels clients on a wide range of trademark, copyright, trade secret and other IP-related issues.
    Roger has obtained or assisted in the procurement and management of hundreds of U.S. and foreign patents, many of which have been successfully litigated and enforced. Much of his current work involves product clearances and freedom to operate analyses, Inter Partes disputes in the patent office, infringement and validity analyses for litigation settlement evaluation, and acquisition due diligence.
    Growing up in southern Georgia in a family of teachers, Roger was exposed to a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. From an early age, he internalized the values of equity and inclusion emphasized by his grandfather and his mother. As a patent attorney, Roger saw that others, including his wife—who is also a patent attorney—faced career obstacles that he did not have to overcome because he was a White male. His upbringing and his ability to see other perspectives have made him a determined leader in leveling the playing field in the legal profession.
    In this episode, Roger tells us about his career path from studying material science to becoming a leader in the IP world and the Managing Partner of Kilpatrick Townsend, and he explains his philosophy of management and leadership. He also explores the strides made to date by the legal profession in general and Kilpatrick Townsend in particular to make the profession more welcoming to underrepresented groups as well as the work that still needs to be done to achieve greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    Highlights include:
    Learning about diversity at the dinner table in southern GeorgiaBeing married to a patent attorney and seeing the patent bar from a woman’s perspectiveThe importance of making people feel like they belongFitting right in as a young lawyer while seeing women and visible minorities having a harder time An undercurrent of change rippling through the legal profession, partly due to client demands for greater diversityThe value of having women role models in managementSeeing diversity in broader terms than just gender and race How to open your horizons and gain new perspective through volunteering and pro bono workManaging a successful legal practice sometimes requires getting out of the team’s wayLeading by asking questionsExamining the entire pipeline, from grade school to law-firm partnership for opportunities to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusionThe chicken-and-egg problem of representationMaking paternity leave more acceptable as a means of helping retain legal talent The definition of successCreating seats at the leadership table for diverse voicesThe satisfaction of seeing colleagues build their careers at the firm and move up through the ranks

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Rachel Rebouché and Paul R. Gugliuzza: Shining the Spotlight On Gender Inequality in Patent Litigation

    Rachel Rebouché and Paul R. Gugliuzza: Shining the Spotlight On Gender Inequality in Patent Litigation

    In this episode, we welcome Temple University professors Rachel Rebouché and Paul Gugliuzza, authors of a forthcoming paper in the North Carolina Law Review titled, “Gender Inequality in Patent Litigation” —a data-rich paper that touches on many of the central themes in Season 2.
    Rachel is a leading scholar in feminist legal theory, reproductive health law, and family law. She is the Interim Dean of Temple University Beasley School of Law, the James E. Beasley Professor of Law, and a Faculty Fellow at Temple’s Center for Public Health Law Research. Rachel is an author of Governance Feminism: An Introduction and an editor of Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field, a co-author of the sixth edition of the casebook, Family Law, and the editor of Feminist Judgments: Family Law Opinions Rewritten. Rachel received a JD from Harvard law school, an LLM from Queen's University Belfast, and a BA from Trinity University. 
    Paul is an award-winning scholar, a sought-after author, and a teacher who specializes in civil procedure, federal courts, and intellectual property law with a particular focus on patent litigation. He has testified before both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on topics of patent law, and his scholarship has been cited in over a dozen judicial opinions across all levels of the state and federal courts.  A summa cum laude graduate from Tulane University School of Law, Paul clerked for Judge Ronald M. Gould of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced in the Issues and Appeals group at Jones Day prior to his academic career.
    In this episode, Rachel and Paul discuss the shocking gender disparity that continues to persist in private-practice patent litigation and the much more equitable distribution of legal work in government agencies. They also highlight the mechanisms that militate against greater equity in law firms.
    Rachel’s and Paul’s paper shows unequivocally that gender disparity is neither a generational issue that will be resolved by the passage of time nor is it a pipeline issue due to insufficient female STEM lawyers. Through their research, we gain a greater understanding of how law firms must change their economic incentives and entrenched, unconscious cultures if they are to foster true gender equity. 
    Highlights include:
    • Studying the experience of women patent litigators from two different perspectives (4:37)
    • Data-driven insight about gender disparity in the private sector vs. public sector (7:50)
    • Why the government seems to do better on equality (9:36)
    • Do client-created carrots and sticks actually nudge firms to improve gender equality? (17:26)
    • Pulling the ladder after you climb it (24:48)
    • Highlight, add women & stir (28:59)
    • Unconsciously perpetuating exclusionary practices (31:37)
    • The myth of not having enough women in the patent litigation pipeline (38:06)
    • The arc of history is not inevitably leading to greater equity (43:00)
    • Objective metrics as a means to track progress and propel further improvements (50:01)

    Further Reading:
    • Overqualified and Underrepresented: Gender Inequality in Pharmaceutical Patent Law
    • Extraordinary Writ or Ordinary Remedy? Mandamus at the Federal Circuit
    • @TempleLaw
    • @RRebouche
    • @prgugliuzza

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Lisa Marie H. ,

Setting the Bar

I am obviously biased, but until a parent, no on can truly get the sense of pride and success we feel from our daughter, Mary Hannon. Yay! We did it! All of our girls are successful and we are proud of them all. As a side note, yes mom was concerned when she made Mary cry over the MCAT books, but it was short-lived, and you are correct in that it was an epiphany and served a purpose in directing her journey. Also yes, we still have the tapes the girls made in dad’s law office on his dictaphone. Proud mama here! This is amazing!

Yertlesoup ,

Beyond Promoting Women in STEM

This is a great conversation between two fabulous women talking about their experience being patent attorneys. We hear a lot about women in the sciences and engineering, but not much about how women fare in other careers that require a technical background, particularly those that require an advanced degree. I’m excited to hear what Kim and April discuss in this series and maybe it will inspire some women to join the patent bar!

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