Shumaker Expands IP Practice by Hiring Experienced Patent Practitioners

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Shumaker is expanding its Intellectual Property (IP) practice by hiring two patent practitioners with years of experience in new technologies and patent work. The firm is pleased to announce that Dr. Brian MacDonald and Dr. Samantha Summer are the newest additions to the team.

“Brian and Samantha have extensive backgrounds in helping clients protect their innovations by writing patent applications,” Patrick Horne, Shumaker’s Intellectual Property and Technology Regional Service Line Leader, said. “Both of them have extremely impressive PhDs from highly respected schools. Their top level of expertise will certainly be an asset to help clients grow their businesses.”

Dr. MacDonald, an experienced patent agent, began his career as a U.S. Patent Examiner. He has since served on the client-service side of patent work for more than 15 years. Renowned as an expert in his field, he is sought after as an occasional speaker at the Charlotte Hacker Space and the Inventor's Network of the Carolinas. 

“It is an honor to join the prestigious Shumaker team. I look forward to helping innovative companies develop in North Carolina by guiding businesses through the patent process,” Dr. MacDonald said. 

Brian earned his PhD from Georgia Tech through research in experimental nuclear physics conducted at many U.S. national laboratories, traveling with international teams of scientists. At Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), Brian assembled, calibrated, and operated complex arrays of gamma-ray and particle detectors. He worked directly with the world’s first segmented germanium clover array and helped commission the Recoil Mass Spectrometer (RMS) of ORNL, the most advanced heavy-ion mass spectrometer of its time. He also worked extensively with high-vacuum systems and nitrogen and helium cooling systems. Prior to these experiences, Brian manufactured radioactive calibration standards, automated electron-beam welding procedures for their manufacture, and coded software for controlling robotic remote manipulators.

Dr. Summer, a chemistry specialist who is patent bar eligible with registration pending, will help clients in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She joins Shumaker as several industries are expanding in the Charlotte area, including Energy, Chemical, Tech Transfer, Higher Ed, Communications, and Pharma.

“Patent law is the backbone of growing industries,” Dr. Summer said. “For example, North Carolina is becoming one of the top places in the world for the Pharma industry. If companies want to produce the medicines of tomorrow, they need to ensure their inventions are protected. That’s where we can help.” 

Samantha holds a PhD in Chemistry from Emory University, where she was an intern at Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer. In addition, she was a Technology Transfer Trainee at Washington University’s Office of Technology Management. Samantha has practical experience in drug discovery, pharmacology, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, biomaterials, and biomedical engineering.