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Wed, May 15



Virtual Panel: Unveiling AAPIH Excellence: Personal Stories of Professional Achievement

Celebrate AAPIH Month in May with our dynamic panel. Hear inspiring stories of Asian American and Pacific Islander excellence, highlighting diverse journeys and impactful contributions to the professional landscape.

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Virtual Panel:  Unveiling AAPIH Excellence: Personal Stories of Professional Achievement
Virtual Panel:  Unveiling AAPIH Excellence: Personal Stories of Professional Achievement

Time & Location

May 15, 2024, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM



About the Event

Join us in May for a dynamic AAPI Heritage Month panel celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander excellence. Hear inspiring stories of professional achievement from our distinguished panelists, highlighting diverse journeys and impactful contributions. Engage with stories that resonate and celebrate the remarkable impact of AAPI individuals on the professional landscape.


Vice Chief Judge Michael Kim, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The Honorable Michael W. Kim serves as a Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge for Operations at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Judge Kim was appointed as an Administrative Patent Judge on April 24, 2011. Prior to his appointment, Judge Kim was a patent attorney for the PTAB. In addition to his management responsibilities, which include managing the PTAB’s workload inventory and overseeing the PTAB Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee, Judge Kim has conducted hundreds of inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews under the America Invents Act (AIA) and reviewed over a thousand adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents. He works primarily in the business methods, mechanical, and electrical technology areas.

Before joining the USPTO, Judge Kim was a patent attorney at Finnegan, where he focused on patent prosecution and client counseling, before spending a year traveling the country on a presidential election campaign.

Judge Kim received his law degree from the Duke University School of Law, where he was a founding member of the Duke Law and Technology Review, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also holds concentrations in Economics, Political Science, and Writing.


Sonya Arora, Branch Chief, IT Systems & Services, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Sonya Arora joined the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) in 2021 and serves as the Branch Chief for IT Systems and Services.  Sonya leads a team of IT Specialists in web content development, IT helpdesk and application support, and product development.  Sonya’s background and expertise is in systems engineering, project management, and intra-agency collaboration. Prior to joining the PTAB, she worked at the National Science Foundation where she served as a Senior IT Project Manager leading multiple large modernization initiatives.  She is most noted for her work in leading the Proposal Submission Modernization effort delivering significant functionality and substantially increasing the proposal submissions in  Before joining the federal government, she worked as a senior consultant at ICF International where she managed multiple large multi-million-dollar software development contracts. Sonya lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children and enjoys traveling.

Janet Bruins, 

Janet Bruins holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Engineering from Purdue University.  With over 15 years of experience as a Professional Engineer, she is a strong advocate for STEM education and seeking out global experience opportunities for young professionals.  Janet mentored engineering students, connecting them with underserved communities in Honduras, India, and the Philippines to address local climate change challenges.

The birth of her daughter sparked a transformative shift in Janet’s life.  Seeing the overwhelming focus on maternal responsibilities and the lack of personal fulfillment for mothers, she now dedicates herself to empowering women to pursue their aspirations.  Cultivating personal growth and ambition among women has become her primary mission. Janet also holds an MBA from Georgetown University and now works in corporate finance.

Franklin Chu, Senior Associate at Gemini Law, LLP

Franklin Chu is a senior associate at Gemini Law LLP. Franklin is a patent attorney with experience in both patent litigation and patent prosecution. His patent litigation practice focuses on proceedings before the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). He has represented both petitioners and patent owners in challenging and defending patents. He has experience with a wide range of technologies including biosimilars, gene editing technologies, medical devices, and surgical equipment. Franklin’s patent prosecution practice focuses on helping clients build international patent portfolios and navigating prosecution strategies with imminent or co-pending litigation. Franklin also advises clients on freedom-to-operate strategies and conducts IP due diligence on behalf of potential acquirers, investors, and strategic partners.

Prior to joining Gemini Law LLP, Franklin was an associate in the PTAB Practice Group of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Seattle, WA) and an associate in the intellectual property group of Baker McKenzie (Dallas, TX). Franklin holds a Chemical Engineering degree from The Cooper Union (New York, NY) and is licensed to practice in Washington, Texas, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Franklin is conversational in Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese.

Saurabh Gupta, Senior Associate, Groombridge Wu Baughman and Stone, LLP

Saurabh has represented patent clients before federal district courts, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and the Federal Circuit.

He is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He has litigated patents in a wide variety of technical areas, from pharmaceuticals to consumer electronics to social media applications.

Saurabh received his J.D. from Georgetown Law, where he was a Founding Staff Editor of the Georgetown Law Technology Review. Saurabh received his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT, his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton, and his Bachelors in Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology.

In 2010, Saurabh’s Ph.D. thesis was awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges research award of $600,000, as one of the five most innovative solutions to pressing global health problems that year. It involved designing and delivering genetic circuits (including CRISPR) to tackle microbial infections.

Jessica Nguyen, Chief Legal Officer at Lexion

Jessica Nguyen is the Chief Legal Officer of Lexion, the AI-powered legal intake and contract lifecycle management system – helping attorneys manage tasks and contracts in one place. Jessica plays an integral role in managing Lexion’s legal function and product and go-to-market strategy while also building a platform advocating for General Counsels, legal professionals, and women with over 15,000 LinkedIn followers and speaking events/webinars that regularly have hundreds or thousands of registrants. She has an extensive in-house legal career at companies of various sizes and stages and has been the first legal hire that build out the legal function of a company 3 times. Prior to Lexion, she was the General Counsel and first in-house attorney of PayScale, a Microsoft Office 365 attorney, and the first in-house attorney at Avalara. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law and is an award-winning General Counsel, including, the: 2023 Washington State Bar Association Legal Innovation Award, 2020 “Startup GC of the Year” by Corporate Counsel magazine, 2019 Top 100 Legal Influencers by The Business Journals, 2019 Best Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and 2018 Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40.

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