About Us

John White – Managing Director and Program Faculty for Selected Programs

Recognized as one of the top patent educators in the United States, John White has over 35 years of experience in all phases of the patent field. As a Director of the PCT Learning Center, he is responsible for program planning and outreach to the IP Law community.

John began his IP career as a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and later as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Patents. After leaving the USPTO, he founded what would become the largest dedicated patent searching, documentation, and technical translation entity in the United States, supplying the needs of clients across the globe. He founded the patent law firm, Berenato & White, and a patent education company, now part of the Practising Law Institute (New York).

Since 1995, John has taught over 28,000 fellow patent practitioners in preparation for the Patent Office registration exam. He has also taught more than 400 U.S. Patent Examiners patent law and evidence, and has been qualified as a Patent Procedure Expert in several Federal District Court lawsuits. In addition, John has served as an Adjunct Professor for the University of Virginia School of Law, and John Marshall Law School (Chicago) and has created numerous patent education programs and publications.

John has examined, written, and prosecuted thousands of patent applications, including PCT applications, in the United States and around the world.

John graduated in Civil (Structural) Engineering from Virginia Tech and obtained his law degree from George Washington University. He regularly speaks and publishes on a host of patent topics. He is registered to practice before the USPTO and a member of the bar in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

Gary Smith – Director Emeritus and Program Faculty for Selected Programs

Founder and Director Emeritus, 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 from 2004 to 2016. In 2017-18 Mr. Smith completed a consultancy for Jamaica, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago. 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.

Charles Pearson – Hague Seminar Faculty

Charles Pearson is the Director of the International Patent Legal Division at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Pearson came to the USPTO in 1980 and has served as a Patent Examiner and Special Program Examiner in the Examining Corps. In 1989, he was appointed as a Legal Examiner in the International Division and in 1993 was named Administrator of the PCT Legal Office. He has also served as the Patent Legal Administrator and the Director of the Office of Petitions at the USPTO. Mr. Pearson is a two time recipient of the Department of Commerce Gold Medal for his work on international patent matters.

Mr. Pearson has made many presentations on intellectual property topics and represented the United States at numerous meetings at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Pearson holds a Juris Doctor from the Syracuse University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar Association.

Boris Milef – Hague Seminar Faculty

Boris Milef is a Senior Legal Examiner in the International Patent Legal Administration (IPLA) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Mr. Milef has been with IPLA since 1999 and handles matters relating to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Mr. Milef was the principal drafter of the U.S. regulations implementing the Hague Agreement in the United States and frequently represents the United States in international meetings concerning the Hague Agreement. Prior to joining IPLA, Mr. Milef was a primary patent examiner in the sheet feeding, dispensing, and sorting arts and also worked as a patent attorney in private practice. Mr. Milef is a recipient of the Department of Commerce bronze medals for his work on the Patent Law Treaty and on the implementation of the Hague Agreement. Mr. Milef has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University National Law Center.

Mr. Quan-Ling Sim – Hague Seminar Faculty

Quan, a national of Canada, joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2003.  He is currently the Head of Operations (Hague Registry) where he is responsible for the filing, examination, renewal, and centralized management of international registrations under the Hague System.  Before joining the Hague Registry, Quan managed outreach initiatives, training activities and user relations for the PCT System.  Prior to WIPO, Quan held various functions with the Government of Canada.  Quan has a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc), cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa and is a registered Professional Engineer with the Province of Ontario.

Pascal Piriou – ePCT/DAS Seminar Faculty

Pascal Piriou is a Customer Service Assistant in the PCT eServices Unit at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva where he has worked since 1996. He was a formality examiner of PCT applications until 2013 when he joined the PCT eFiling team. He now mainly provides support to applicants and Offices worldwide on ePCT, PCT-SAFE, WIPO Digital Certificates and WIPO DAS (Digital Access Service). He also trains colleagues in the PCT Operations teams on ePCT from creating a WIPO Account to filing an application and managing it until the end of the international phase. Pascal has been involved in the ePCT development and testing from the beginning, becoming a true ePCT expert.

Michael Neas – Seminar faculty for Comprehensive Seminars

Michael Neas is the Deputy Director of the International Patent Legal Administration (formerly PCT Legal) at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Mr. Neas’ staff provides training on the filing and prosecution of PCT and U.S. national stage applications to inventors, applicants, patent practitioners and paralegals. His staff also provides training on the PCT to patent examiners and paralegals at the USPTO and provides direct assistance on PCT and U.S. national stage applications via the PCT Help Desk. Mr. Neas’ duties also include resolving legal issues involving the PCT, including petitions to the Commissioner in PCT and U.S. national stage applications. Mr. Neas also participates in international meetings and projects such as PCT Reform, PCT Working Group, Meetings of International Authorities, Patent Prosecution Highway and Trilateral and IP5 Cooperation. Mr. Neas has spoken extensively on the PCT to organizations such as the AIPLA, local bar associations and foreign IP Offices. Mr. Neas came to the USPTO in 1989 as a patent examiner. He became a Special Programs Examiner in PCT Legal in 2000 and took his current position in 2006. Mr. Neas has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Carl Oppedahl – Seminar Faculty for Comprehensive Seminars

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.

Tamara G. Fischer-White, PhD – Program Administrator

Tamara has worked in the IP field since 1988. She served as the Administrator of an IP Law Firm for 15 years. During her tenure, she supported the creation and sale of a Patent Education entity having ongoing and expanding operations in the United States and abroad. She has consulted in the creation and implementation of software systems across a broad range of business sectors, including the largest online patent legal advisory and self-help service in the United States. At PCT Learning Center, Tamara continues providing her administrative and organizational expertise to deliver high-quality educational programs and content directed to the wider IP field.

Victoria Soukup – Technical and Marketing Project Manager

Victoria has spent her early career consulting at the USPTO, driving large scale IT modernization with robust business analytics, agile development, and ideation methodologies. Her next step was working in the financial services industry specializing in marketing analytics and advertising. Through this, she has honed her craft – exceptionally communicating the value of tying business metrics to business objectives and outcomes. Victoria is excited to bring her expertise in marketing, brand, and joy of analytics to PCT Learning Center.