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Roberta A. Young

Roberta is a high-technology IP counsel and litigator with Shook, Hardy and Bacon.  Her decades-long practice in intellectual property law focuses on helping technology companies actively grow assets, acquire other companies, license new products and protect their IP assets.

Roberta’s career began in engineering, where she created her own patent (U.S. Patent 4,963,425). As an IP attorney, she draws on her experience and passion as an innovative creator to successfully secure patent applications for her clients. Roberta knows firsthand that both companies and individual inventors contend with the “race to the patent office” to file a newly created invention application quickly, thoroughly and concisely within the scope of protection. With her deep engineering experience, Roberta’s technical acumen coupled with her business and legal insight enable her to quickly understand, describe and advocate for cutting edge innovations, offering a critical competitive advantage to clients. Roberta has drafted patent applications in 5G, 4G and 3G wireless technologies, 3D holograms, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and semiconductor physics.

Additionally, Roberta advises on strategy and risk management for patent and trademark issues. She directs clients on significant patent portfolio transactions, both acquisitions and divestitures, with each involving thousands of patents. She’s built a 1000+ patent portfolio, supported licensing revenues of more than $20 million, and completed a $1 billion merger. An industry expert and thought leader, Roberta advises technology managers, outside counsel, stakeholders and executives and provides innovative solutions for technology patents through claim charting, due diligence and assessments for offensive and defensive use. She is adept at navigating the legal nuances of patent preparation, enforcement, IP management and litigation for clients ranging from domestic and foreign multinational companies, to technology startups.

Roberta is a passionate advocate for new technology and licensing that technology to create better lives and build businesses. As an example, Roberta was retained by a small hologram company to draft the first patent on 3D holograms. She quickly prepared and filed a patent application and recommended the company debut the technology at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The “patent pending” technology quickly started trending and was featured on all three major news networks’ evening broadcasts, which led to significant initial product orders and business revenue.

Recent Articles by Roberta A. Young

A Third Option: Limited IP Waiver Could Solve Our Pandemic Vaccine Problems

In the early days of the vaccination efforts, Americans were anxiously online trying to register for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Reports of success at 1:30 am and 2:30 am made the rounds as new appointments dropped onto websites. Also common were stories of vaccine elitism and discussions of which vaccine is “the best.”  News reports continue to show a steady uptick in the percentage of vaccinated Americans. Elsewhere in the world though, the story is very different, and a darker picture is emerging. In Africa, many countries have vaccinated less than 2% of their population. While vaccine distribution is difficult in many regions of the developing world, this is a hurdle that medical assistance groups, such as Doctors Without Borders, are accustomed to handling. The challenges are known. What is most difficult in combating COVID-19 is obtaining the vaccines in the first place. Some argue that IP rights are the key problem and should be waived, while others claim they are the only solution and that waiver would be catastrophic. This article suggests a third option, somewhere between voluntary vaccine donation and a full waiver of IP rights, that may offer a way forward.