PILT Seminar Speakers and Materials

26th annual Program in Law and Technology (PILT) Seminar: Exploring the Future of Cyber, Technology and Intellectual Property Innovation.

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Featured Profiles

Featured Speakers

Robert Bahr

Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy

Robert Bahr is the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy. As Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Bahr serves as an authority on patent laws, rules, and examining practice and procedure, and provides administrative oversight and direction for the activities of the Office of Petitions, Office of Patent Legal Administration, and the Office of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. Further, he establishes patent examination and documentation policy standards for the Commissioner for Patents.

Prior to serving as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Bahr was the Senior Patent Counsel to the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, where he has been involved in virtually every patents-related rule making since 1995, notably the changes to implement the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. Bahr began his career at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 1984, as a patent examiner, and became a legal advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration in 1994. He has been awarded two Department of Commerce Gold Medals and two Department of Commerce Bronze Medals.

Bahr has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, and a Juris Doctor from George Washington University.

April Besl

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

April Besl is a partner in the Intellectual Property Department at Dinsmore and practices within the Licensing & Enforcement and Entertainment Law practice groups. She focuses her practice on counseling clients with respect to non-patent intellectual property including trademarks, copyrights, social media, Internet law, advertising and trade secrets. She services a large and diverse portfolio of trademarks and copyrights both domestic and worldwide for a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to individual entrepreneurs.

Besl has extensive experience assisting clients with emerging issues related to the impact of social media, the web, and technology on their business and marketing strategies. She helps clients to protect and enforce their trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property from misuse via social networking sites, search engine optimization strategies, and keywords, as well as against misuse on mobile devices and other emerging technologies. In addressing these evolving issues and technologies, April provides a direct, strategic, and thoughtful approach tailored to the culture and goals of each individual client.

Besl frequently appears in Federal Court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to defend her clients’ non-patent intellectual property rights. She has successfully resolved cases in favor of her clients including in multi-million dollar intellectual property trademark disputes, Digital Millennium Copyright Act disputes, copyright ownership disputes, and licensing disputes.

Besl currently serves as the President of CincyIP, an organization made up of intellectual property professionals from around the region based in Cincinnati. She is also a member of the Law Firm Committee with the International Trademark Association. In addition, April serves as the Chair of CincyBrand, a highly successful conference for legal practitioners, marketers, and business owners on the subject of branding and licensing that first debuted in Cincinnati in April 2014.

Charles A. Bieneman

Bejin Bieneman, PLC

Charles Bieneman, a registered patent attorney, is a partner in Bejin Bieneman, PLC, the only intellectual property boutique law firm headquartered in the city of Detroit. Bieneman co-founded Bejin Bieneman after serving as a partner in another Michigan intellectual property firm. Before that, he was a patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where he examined patent applications in the areas of computer software, databases, and the World Wide Web. He also held management positions with two computer software companies and has real world experience as a software developer, consultant, and project manager. Bieneman also served as an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Washington, D.C., office of a national law firm.

Bieneman assists clients in a variety of technologies in a variety of areas, including the automotive, telecommunications, and software industries. Leveraging his backgrounds in the software industry and as a patent examiner in the computer arts, he provides particular expertise to the protection of intellectual property arising from software. A frequent speaker on software intellectual property topics, Bieneman blogs about these issues at The Software Intellectual Property Report. He is a past Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Information Technology Law Section, and is active in the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Bieneman graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1992. He was a Note Editor of Michigan Law Review, 1991-1992, and is the author of Note, Legal Interpretation and a Constitutional Case: Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, 90 Mich. L. Rev. 2534 (1990). Outside of the office, his interests include cooking, fine wine and listening to classical music. Occasionally he exercises.

Robert Carolina

Origin, Ltd., London, England

Robert Carolina is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court England & Wales, and admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and in the State of Illinois. In addition to an undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton, he holds degrees from Georgetown University (Juris Doctor) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LL.M in International Business Law). Following a period in-house with an Internet software development company, he moved to London in 1992 and subsequently worked for two of the world’s largest law firms.

Carolina has represented numerous customer and supplier companies in technology procurement and outsourcing contract negotiations. He also advises on legal aspects of complex e-commerce systems. He is recognized as a leading UK expert on IT law and e-commerce law and regularly presents courses and workshops on legal aspects of technology procurement and e-commerce.

In addition to his legal practice, Carolina currently serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Cyber Security Innovation at Royal Holloway University of London. He has lectured with the University's Information Security Group since 1999, where he delivers a course to post-graduate information security students about legal and regulatory aspects of cyber security.

Scott Conley

Frost Brown Todd LLC

Dr. Conley is a senior associate with Frost Brown Todd LLC.  His expertise is patent prosecution with an emphasis on chemistry and working on complex freedom-to-practice evaluations. He has represented a variety of clients, from small start-up companies to large multi-national corporations to university researchers.

In graduate school, as an NSF Fellow, his research was on the synthesis of natural products in the laboratory of K.C. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute. Prior to joining Frost Brown Todd, Conley spent nine years at the Eastman Kodak Company working as a synthetic organic chemist on small molecules for use as photographic couplers in photographic film and materials for Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). He invented a new material currently in use in commercial OLED panels.  These experiences have provided Conley with an understanding of the process for developing and bringing new products to market.  As a result of his work at Kodak he is an inventor on ten U.S. patents.

He is an avid swimmer and an experienced whitewater kayaker.

Melanie Dougherty


Melanie Dougherty has over 25 years of experience in marketing and communications, beginning at just 17 years old when she worked for the Washington, D.C. affiliate of NBC News. She continued to work in network news for organizations like CNN, NewsLink, Conus, and Fox while earning her BA in journalism from George Washington University. In 1996, Dougherty made the short leap to public relations representing clients in technology, healthcare, finance, homeland security, defense, cybersecurity, data privacy, consumer markets, public affairs, foreign governments, and finance, in both an in-house and firm capacity. Her experience transcends traditional communications, with expertise in strategy, media relations, crisis communications and integrating new media tools to leverage exposure for her clients. She has built in-house communications departments for start-ups, led corporate communications teams for multinational companies, worked for global public relations firms, and served as a consultant across multiple organizations successfully integrating disparate communications needs. Dougherty started Capitol Communications (now Inform) over a decade ago to meet the growing need for highly specialized public relations talent in Washington, D.C. The firm now has nearly a dozen communications veterans, each with over 20 years experience, in Washington D.C., New York, and California. In addition to leading her firm, Dougherty spends a considerable amount of time speaking and blogging about crisis communications and branding.

Steven M. Emmert

RELX Group

Steven Emmert is the Senior Director for Government & Industry Affairs with RELX Group and serves as the global lead for RELX Group for policy development work related to privacy and cybersecurity. RELX Group is a world leading provider of professional information solutions and is the parent company of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, Elsevier, and Reed Exhibitions.  Emmert works on federal and international policy issues in the areas of privacy, data security, cyber security, big data, analytics, cloud computing, identity management, technology policy, and information policy and has been actively engaged in work on the EU/US Safe Harbor agreement, the EU/US Privacy Shield agreement, and the APEC privacy rules. In his previous role as in-house counsel, he worked extensively with privacy oversight and compliance as well as with data and information licensing, data rights acquisition, and rights management. Prior to joining LexisNexis in 1989, Mr. Emmert was in-house counsel with OCLC Online Computer Library Center in Dublin, Ohio.

Emmert is active in policy work through a number of industry trade associations including the Software and Information Industry Association, CompTIA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Consumer Data Industry Association and participates in a number of industry groups focused on global policies including the Global Privacy Alliance, the Center for Information Policy Leadership, and the U.S. Council for International Business. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Emmert earned his J.D. in 1982, and his B.A. in 1979, both from The Ohio State University. He is admitted to the bar of the State of Ohio, and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Ohio and the District of Columbia, the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scot Ganow, CIPP/US

Faruki Ireland & Cox

With ten years of corporate and compliance experience in Fortune 500 companies prior to becoming an attorney, Scot Ganow brings a diverse background to his privacy and security law practice at Faruki Ireland & Cox in Dayton, Ohio. Ganow's practice is dedicated to information privacy compliance, with a focus on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and the FCRA. He works to assist clients in the management of information through all stages of the data life cycle, to include assisting as a data breach coach for those clients dealing with an unauthorized disclosure or acquisition of personally identifiable information.   

A former chief privacy officer for healthcare and pharmaceutical informatics companies, Ganow also holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional certification. In his work as a privacy officer, Ganow has built HIPAA compliance programs from the ground up.  He has presented and written extensively on the topics of data protection and de-identification, and moderated panels on privacy, most recently at the IAPP Global Data Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C.  Ganow also had the privilege to serve as privacy subject matter expert in the early stages of First Amendment litigation which ultimately went to the Supreme Court of the United States as Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc

Ganow attended Baylor University and University Of Dayton School Of Law, completing the accelerated two-year Program in Law and Technology.  He clerked for the University of Dayton General Counsel’s Office and the Cincinnati Reds General Counsel. Scot is admitted to practice in Ohio, the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Benjamin C. Glassman

Acting United States Attorney

Benjamin C. Glassman became the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio in March 2016, after having served since 2005 as an Assistant United States Attorney. During his tenure with the United States Attorney’s Office, Glassman has been the district’s First Assistant, Appellate Chief, Acting Criminal Chief, Professional Responsibility Officer, and Reentry and Prevention Coordinator, among other roles. He has argued more than a hundred appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and has tried multiple cases to verdict. 

Glassman received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Rice University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He began his legal career as a law clerk, first for United States District Judge Susan J. Dlott and then for United States Circuit Judge Ronald Lee Gilman. Glassman worked in private practice in Cincinnati before entering government service.

Kirk Herath

Nationwide Insurance Companies

Kirk Herath is Vice-President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer for Nationwide Insurance Companies and affiliates based in Columbus, Ohio. Herath’s practice group is responsible for all legal issues impacting privacy, information security, technology and information systems, contracts and supply services management, confidentiality and data integrity.  Among other things, he heads up a team that has primary responsibility for corporate privacy policy and implementing privacy across all lines of business. He represents Nationwide’s interests on many industry and business privacy groups and before legislative and regulatory bodies. 

Under Herath’s leadership, Nationwide has been selected as one of the Top 10 Most Trusted Companies for Privacy (number one in the insurance sector) six times by the Ponemon Institute.

Herath is past president and past member of the board of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is still very active within the association. He also served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2011.  He speaks regularly on a broad array of privacy, security and technology issues.

In 2011, Herath edited the privacy practitioners’ bible, “How to Build a Privacy Program”, published by the International Association of Press Photographers.

James D. Liles

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Jim Liles is the chair of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP's Intellectual Property Litigation practice and has been representing clients in litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition, trade secrets and false advertising for more than 20 years. In addition to obtaining highly favorable verdicts for numerous intellectual property owners, he has successfully defended several parties against accusations of infringement of both patent and trademark lawsuits with more than $100 million at risk. Liles also has served as an expert witness in numerous patent and trademark lawsuits.

In addition, Liles is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law where he teaches courses in Patent Litigation as well as Patent Law.

Spencer Timmel, CIPP/US, CIPM, CITRMS


As a member of Hylant’s Executive Risk Practice, Spencer serves as the Privacy Liability and Technology Product Leader. He provides consultation and support to clients for these lines and other Executive Risk products. He has over a 15 years of industry experience.

Timmel speaks regularly on Network Security and Privacy Liability topics. Most recently, he shared his insights with the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, Association for Corporate Growth, Financial Executives International, Risk & Insurance Management Society, Healthcare Financial Managers Association and the NetDiligence Privacy Liability Forum.

Timmel has also been selected to be part of a council of cyber experts with the Federal Department of Insurance. His efforts have taken him to the US Treasury to drive efforts between the Federal government and cyber insurance marketplace.

Prior to joining Hylant, he was an Executive Protection Underwriter for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies and the Cincinnati Insurance Company.

Timmel received his Bachelors degree in Business, Finance from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and his Masters in Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds several internationally recognized data privacy designations with concentrations in US law, privacy management and identity theft.

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