Five Alston & Bird attorneys and the firm itself have been recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their leadership in assisting financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses.
Awarded the USPTO’s 2018 “Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate” were Alston & Bird attorneys:
- Chris Lightner: Intellectual Property – Mechanical Patents Team
- Russell Blaise: Intellectual Property – Electrical, Software & Computer Science Patents Group
- Lauren Burrow: Intellectual Property – Biotechnology, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Team
- Tyler McKendrick: Intellectual Property – Mechanical Patents Team
- Nick Tsui: Intellectual Property Litigation Group
For Lightner, this is the second year in a row he has been recognized with the award.
“As we’ve witnessed time and again, innovations spring from all walks of life. The recipients of this award generously alleviate the economic barriers that many inventors and small businesses face,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. “I commend these dedicated professionals for embodying our national ideals of fairness and equality. Their work not only helps inventors fulfill their dreams, it facilitates advancements in science, technology, and economic growth.”
In addition to the individual attorney honors, the USPTO recognized Alston & Bird’s patent pro bono leadership with its 2018 “Law Firm Achievement Certificate,” a new honor created by the organization.
For 2018, 83 volunteer patent practitioners and 21 law firms were recognized with the award for reporting 50 or more hours of patent pro bono service to a regional patent pro bono program. The regional patent pro bono programs for Alston & Bird are Georgia PATENTS and NC LEAP.
In addition to the USPTO award, Alston & Bird was also designated the 2018 “Firm of the Year” by Georgia Lawyers for the Arts for its pro bono volunteer efforts. Georgia Lawyers for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and educational programming to artists and arts organizations in Georgia.