About Us

Gary Smith

Managing Director and Program Faculty

Founder and Managing Director, Gary Smith served in the United Nations diplomatic corps as the Director of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) at The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland from 1995 through 2002. Mr. Smith directed 500 staff from over 50 countries carrying out the legal, operational, administrative, and developmental activities of the treaty. During this period Mr. Smith oversaw reform that made the PCT system more user friendly and cost efficient. In addition, he lectured extensively and presented numerous workshops to patent offices and patent practitioners throughout the world on the use of the PCT system, including India, China, Singapore, Korea, The Philippines, Russia, Australia, Mexico and Brazil.

After leaving WIPO at the end of 2002, Mr. Gary Smith returned to the United States where he continues his work in intellectual property. In addition to founding the PCT Learning Center in 2008, he completed consultancies to the Turkish Patent Institute, the Serbian Intellectual Property Office, the Egyptian Patent Office, INDECOPI in Lima, Peru, and the IP Office in Colombia. He also provides expert advice in litigation and opposition proceedings related to the PCT. He is a patent agent, registered to practice before the USPTO.

Prior to his appointment at WIPO, Mr. Smith served 25 years at the USPTO as a patent examiner, Supervisory Primary Examiner, and Director of the PCT International Division.

Carl Oppedahl

Seminar Faculty for Selected Programs

Carl Oppedahl presents as a consultant for the World Intellectual Property Organization.  He is a partner in Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC, an intellectual property law firm in Westminster, Colorado.  He is chair of the PCT Issues Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.  Carl was the first ever to e-file a PCT patent application in USPTO’s then-new e-filing system, and he was the first to e-file a PCT application in WIPO’s then-new ePCT e-filing system.  His firm has handled thousands of PCT applications, including new filings and entries into the US national phase.  He is a frequent speaker on international practice using the of PCT, the Hague Agreement, and the Madrid Protocol.

Ann Bardini

WIPO – Seminar Faculty

Ann Bardini is Senior Business Analyst at the World Intellectual Property Organization where she has worked since 1990. Ms. Bardini headed the PCT Functional Support Section responsible for the specification of the business requirements, process re-engineering and deployment strategy for the International Bureau’s electronic processing system (“E-Dossier”) that lead to a fully paperless processing environment for PCT Operations at WIPO.

Since 2009, Ms. Bardini has worked in the PCT Business Development Division, leading the business requirements for the design and implementation of the ePCT system, including a major redesign of the graphical user interface that was unveiled in March 2017.

Carol Bidwell

Technical Advisor

Ms. Carol Bidwell was a consultant on PCT matters for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from January 2006 until December 2015. Prior to accepting this position, she had been employed at the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office as a patent examiner in the Biotechnology Group, a special programs examiner in the PCT Special Programs Office and finally as the supervisor of the Office of PCT Legal Administration from March 1997 until she left the federal service in December 2005. Over the last twelve years, Ms. Bidwell lectured extensively on PCT practice and procedure to audiences throughout the U.S. as well as teaching PCT seminars in Canada and Mexico.

During her career at the USPTO, Ms. Bidwell was awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for development of U.S. regulations and international standards for the submission of sequence listings in patent applications and a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for developing and implementing the PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines.