Anita Choi is a corporate-patent partner in MoFo’s San Francisco office. Her practice focuses patent prosecution, patent diligence, and patent litigation support across a wide array of technologies. As part of the Diverse in Practice series, we asked Anita about working cross-functionally with the Patent Counseling & Prosecution Group, and how the team’s unique voices and perspectives are driving outstanding client outcomes.
What was it that initially drew you to Patent Counseling + Prosecution law?
I have a technical background in Chemistry, and have a general love and curiosity for science and engineering. When I graduated from law school, I knew I wanted a career that would still heavily draw on my scientific skills and interests. I found that career path in patent law. I get to talk about science and engineering on a daily basis when I work with my clients—whether it be to discuss a new invention or experimental results with scientists and engineers, or to read journal articles and patents directed to various technologies. I also enjoy helping my clients develop IP strategies that bring together their business and R&D goals.
How does the field of Patent Counseling + Prosecution intersect with, or improve upon, similar practice areas?
Although my practice is grounded in patent counseling and prosecution, I have had a chance to explore the intersection of the patent practice with other practice areas, including corporate/technology transactions and patent litigation practices within the firm. The skills and expertise that I have developed from patent prosecution bring value to the other practice areas. For example, I routinely work closely with my corporate colleagues on M&A and investment deals, performing IP due diligence and advising our clients on potential risks associated with transactions. I also support my litigation colleagues, helping them formulate strategies for litigation.
Do you have any advice for the next generation of aspiring diverse lawyers who might be interested in the field?
Be scientifically curious. Be resilient and persistent. Be observant. And don’t be too shy to ask lots of basic questions. A career in patent law is an incredibly satisfying job that merges a strong technical background with legal skills. But it is also an area of law that has a steep learning curve. Taking available patent law classes and passing the patent bar are great first steps, but that’s only the beginning of learning the art of patent prosecution. Find good mentors who will invest time in developing your skills and give you opportunities to work on various types of projects and with a variety of clients.