Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 14, 2014, 11:30am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - President Barack Obama has nominated a partner at a Washington, D.C., intellectual property law firm to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


The Federal Circuit handles all U.S. patent appeals.

On Wednesday, Obama nominated Kara Farnandez Stoll, of Virginia, to the court. She currently is a partner at Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett and Dunner LLP.


According to the White House, she has “extensive experience” in patent litigation, serving as lead counsel on a number of cases before the Federal Circuit.


Among those cases: Consumer Watchdog v. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.


In June, the Federal Circuit dismissed Consumer Watchdog’s appeal.


The not-for-profit public charity asked the court to reverse a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision affirming the patentability of WARF’s U.S. Patent No. 7,029,913, as amended during reexamination.


Consumer Watchdog argued that WARF’s “broad and aggressive” assertion of the ‘913 patent put a “severe burden” on taxpayer-funded research in California, where the group is based.


Consumer Watchdog said it also was concerned the patent gives WARF the potential to “completely preempt” all uses of hES (human embryonic stem) cells, including particularly for scientific and medical research.


Stoll represented WARF as lead counsel on appeal.


Obama said in a statement this week that Stoll has displayed “exceptional dedication” to the legal profession through her work, and knows she will be “diligent, judicious” and an “esteemed” addition to the bench.


Stoll received her undergraduate in electrical engineering from Michigan State University and her law degree from Georgetown University Law School.


After graduating from college, she worked as a patent examiner at the PTO, from 1991 to 1997.


From 1997 to 1998, she clerked for Judge Alvin Schall of the Federal Circuit.


She joined Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett and Dunner in 1998.


Her practice focuses on patent litigation, primarily in the consumer electronics, computers, software and medical devices industries.


Specific technologies at issue have included memory devices, printers, RF transmitters, electronic gaming systems, digital set-top boxes, implantable heart stimulation devices, stents, and various operating system and application software.


She also has served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School since 2008, and previously served as an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law from 2004 to 2008.


Stoll also currently serves as co-chair of the Rules Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association, and she previously served as vice chair of the Rules Committee from 2012 to 2013.


She replaces former Judge Randall Rader, who stepped down as chief judge in May and announced his retirement -- in the wake of a self-admitted ethical breach -- from the Federal Circuit in June.


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