Mark T. Stephenson
MARK T. STEPHENSON is a partner in Taft’s Intellectual Property group where he concentrates his practice primarily in the area of patent preparation and prosecution. Mark has in-depth experience in all stages of the patent application process, including searching for prior art, providing patentability search opinions, interviewing inventors, drafting applications, prosecuting Office Actions and appealing adverse rejections at the Patent Office. He works closely with clients to balance the scope of potential patent coverage against the cost of obtaining and maintaining that coverage.
In addition to his experience in U.S. patent law, Mark also has extensive experience in filing Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications and prosecuting foreign patent applications. He has coordinated patent portfolio coverage and directed foreign counsel in various jurisdictions around the world. Representative countries/regions in which Mark has experience include Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, China, India, Brazil and Singapore. Mark has also served as U.S. counsel for applications in-bound to the U.S. from foreign-based clients. As part of that effort, Mark has successfully petitioned the U.S. Patent Office to grant retroactive foreign filing licenses to assist a client in resolving inadvertent foreign filing activities.
Mark has experience in assisting clients to assess competitor patent properties as part of freedom-to-operate efforts, as well as infringement opinion activities. He has been involved in the review and drafting of intellectual property provisions contained within purchase and nondisclosure agreements. Mark has reviewed intellectual property provisions in a joint venture agreement related to the sharing of intellectual property and has audited the intellectual property holdings related to a company spin-off.
Mark is capable of handling a wide variety of subject matter areas, including mechanical, aerospace and some electrical related technologies. His areas of technical experience include medical devices, internal combustion engines, including diesel and gas turbine engines, lubrication systems, lighting systems, locks, door closers, refrigeration systems, composite structures, nozzle systems, fuel injectors, fuel cells, turbochargers, bearings, coatings, aircraft structures, safety devices, automatic controls, software, actuation systems and targeting systems.
Prior to private practice, Mark worked for several years as an aerospace engineer at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center located at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. While at NASA, he gained experience with a variety of feedback control system architectures, control system design techniques, fault detection and failure accommodation, linear and nonlinear model development and analysis, simulations and V&V activities including hardware and aircraft-in-the-loop. Mark worked on a variety of flight projects while at NASA either as a project engineer or as a technical reviewer. For many years he worked on the autonomous X-43A hypersonic vehicle, during which he served as NASA Dryden's Lead Flight Controls Engineer.
While at Purdue University, Mark was a member of the Tau Beta Pi, National Engineering Honor Society and Sigma Gamma Tau, National Aerospace Engineering Honor Society.
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