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Christina Sperry

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[email protected]

+1.617.348.3018

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Christina is a seasoned patent attorney who has deep capabilities around drafting and prosecuting patents related to the electrical, mechanical and electro-mechanical fields. She represents companies and academic institutions across the medical technology spectrum as well as a variety of other technology companies. She helps patent innovations related to medical and surgical instruments and devices, mechanical products and processes, digital health and other technology apps, computer hardware, and software. Providing opinions on infringement, validity, and right-to-use is also integral to her practice.

Christina is an experienced patent attorney whose clients are focused in the medical technology space, from start-ups to large corporations and academic institutions. She advises on patent preparation and prosecution and provides opinions on infringement, validity, and right-to-use for clients in the US and internationally.

The areas of technology in which Christina is particularly focused include mechanical, electrical, and electro-mechanical technical fields such as medical and surgical instruments and devices including endoscopic, soft tissue, and spinal technologies; printer and imaging technology; wireless technology; semiconductors; computer hardware; computer network technology; software such as database management systems, communication protocols, and graphics interfaces; financial services; cell sorting technology; and radar technology.

While in law school, Christina served as the executive editor of the Journal of Science & Technology Law.

Education

  • Boston University School of Law (JD)
  • University of Texas - Austin (BS, Electrical Engineering)

Experience

  • Represent private equity-owned Wayne Fueling Systems, formerly a division of General Electric, which manufactures fuel dispensers for petroleum retailers and commercial fleets, and compressed natural gas fueling pumps. Mintz handles worldwide patent and trademark strategy and prosecution, and enforces those protections in the US and abroad. The firm's relationship attorney serves as outside patent counsel and sits on the patent review committee, working directly with the company's stakeholders in developing patent strategy.
  • Advised medical device client on developing and implementing a post-litigation strategy. Having lost a patent litigation (in which they were represented by another law firm), Mintz attorneys helped the company assess whether they could keep their product on the market during the appeal process. We then provided advice on how to create possible design-arounds for the product to ensure it was clear of infringing the patents at issue, in the event that the appeal was unsuccessful.

Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list (2016 – 2018)

Involvement

  • Member, Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
  • Member, Boston Patent Law Association
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Board of Directors and Chair of Website and Internet Communications Committee, Friends of Christopher Columbus Park

Viewpoints

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Patent Application Declarations for Unavailable or Uncooperative Inventors

September 14, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Mark Hammond

Increased employee mobility, health challenges, and the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic may result in more inventors than usual being unavailable to sign declarations for patent applications as required by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for all applications. 
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USPTO Weighs in on IT Modernization in CXOTalk Interview

August 31, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Paul Brockland

How does an important U.S. government agency modernize its operations, especially during a global health crisis? What IT modernization approach can U.S. patent and trademark practitioners expect from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)?
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Strategic Considerations for Obtaining a Foreign Filing License in China

April 27, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Mark Hammond

As more U.S. businesses employ inventors abroad, the need for foreign filing licenses increases, especially if patent rights are first sought domestically.  Obtaining foreign filing licenses may present financial and linguistic obstacles, potentially jeopardizing the priority date of your application or patent rights within the foreign country. 
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An Informative PTAB Decision on Patent Eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101

January 30, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Justin J. Leisey

The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) recently designated its decision in Ex Parte HANNUN (Appeal 2018-003323) (“HANNUN”) as being informative regarding the application of the latest 2019 revised guidance on patent-eligible subject matter. 
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Year in Review: The Most Popular IP Posts of 2019

January 6, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

As 2020 begins and intellectual property (IP) strategies are being developed for the new year, it is a good time to reflect on what IP issues were prominent in 2019.  According to many readers, hot topics included § 112 written description, prosecution history estoppel, and venue in the wake of TC Heartland.
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In July 2019 the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) newly designated four decisions as informative to highlight the PTAB’s general consensus on issues considered in these cases.  All four cases involve the PTAB applying the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s January 2019 guidance for determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  The decisions focus on whether claims integrate a judicial exception into a practical application so as to be subject matter eligible. 
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The decision whether to issue a Restriction Requirement during patent prosecution lies with the patent examiner, not the patent applicant.  A Restriction Requirement can nevertheless trigger prosecution history estoppel that limits the scope of an applicant’s issued claim.  The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in UCB, Inc. v. Watson Laboratories Inc. helps show how this situation can happen and how applicants can help prevent an examiner’s decision from adversely affecting patent scope.
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Patent practitioners, inventors, in-house counsel, and patent examiners alike have been clamoring for more guidance on computer-implemented functional claim limitations invoking § 112(f) since the Federal Circuit’s en banc Williamson v. Citrix decision in 2015. To help answer some of those pleas, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Federal Register notice on January 7, 2019 to address issues under 35 USC § 112.
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Understanding Antedating of a Prior Art Reference for a Patent

April 17, 2019 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

The Federal Circuit’s decision in ATI Technologies ULC v. Iancu (April 11, 2019) highlights the proper standard to use in evaluating whether a claimed invention was reduced to practice before the effective date of a prior art reference.
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The general rule is that a patent claim’s preamble does not limit the claim unless the preamble gives life, meaning, and vitality to the claim.  The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Arctic Cat Inc. v. GEP Power Products, Inc. (March 26, 2019) considers the situation where a patentee wants a preamble to be a required claim limitation, unlike the more typical situation where a patentee does not want a claim preamble to be limiting, such as in Pacing Technologies v. Garmin International previously discussed HERE.  The court deciding in Arctic Cat that the preambles at issue were not required claim limitations highlights important considerations for patent application drafting and for crafting post-issuance arguments.
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