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Attorney Spotlight

Learn about Richard Arnholt's diverse government contracts practice and why he chose to pursue a career in the legal field. Read more>

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Experience Spotlight

In June 2017, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNFP) closed a $1.9 billion merger with BNC Bancorp (NASDAQ: BNCN) pursuant to which BNC merged with and into Pinnacle. With the completion of the transaction, Pinnacle becomes a Top 50 U.S. Bank. The merger will create a four state footprint concentrated in 12 of the largest urban markets in the Southeast. 

Bass, Berry & Sims has served Pinnacle as primary corporate and securities counsel for more than 15 years and served as counsel on the transaction. Our attorneys were involved in all aspects related to the agreement, including tax, employee benefits and litigation. 

Read more details about the transaction here.

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Thought Leadership

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Thought Leadership Spotlight

Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

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Janelle D. Waack

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As co-chair of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group, Janelle Waack brings with her more than 20 years of experience focused on the strategic, cost-effective management of IP litigation, patent procurement and specialty proceedings before the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Her clients span technology sectors, including pharmaceuticals, chemistry, agricultural products, biotechnology, medical diagnostics, medical devices, genetically engineered crops, stem cell technology, veterinary products, retail, omnichannel marketing, software and unmanned vehicles. She is a registered U.S. patent attorney with a degree in chemical engineering and served as a former Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the biotechnology, medical diagnostics and medical device art units.

As co-chair of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group, Janelle Waack brings with her more than 20 years of experience focused on the strategic, cost-effective management of IP litigation, patent procurement and specialty proceedings before the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Her clients span technology sectors, including pharmaceuticals, chemistry, agricultural products, biotechnology, medical diagnostics, medical devices, genetically engineered crops, stem cell technology, veterinary products, retail, omnichannel marketing, software and unmanned vehicles. She is a registered U.S. patent attorney with a degree in chemical engineering and served as a former Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the biotechnology, medical diagnostics and medical device art units.

Janelle has managed IP due diligence reviews for corporate, product, and patent portfolio acquisitions of up to $2.6 billion, providing patent related opinions and advising clients on the strategic development and licensing of patent portfolios. She has served as lead counsel for numerous contested cases before the PTAB and prevailed in complex, multi-party and multi-jurisdiction disputes including actions before district courts and the Federal Circuit. She has extensive experience in patent interference matters, representing clients on issues of patentability, priority of invention, inventorship, and ownership. She also handles derivation proceedings, inter partes reviews, post grant reviews, and the post-grant correction of patents via reissue and reexamination procedures. Her work on the reissuance of a key patent in the agriculture biotechnology industry and associated trial testimony recently led to a $1 billion verdict for her client.

Her practice includes:

  • Patent Litigation – Representing clients in patent infringement, trade secret, patent validity and contract disputes in district courts and the Federal Circuit, and coordinating concurrent or multiple proceedings in the USPTO related to the same patents.
  • PTAB Contested Cases – Serving as lead counsel in interferences, derivation proceedings, inter partes review, and post grant review, and coordinating those proceedings with concurrent district court litigation and Federal Circuit appeals.
  • Patent Prosecution – Assisting clients in developing worldwide intellectual property protection strategies, including preparing and filing patent applications with the USPTO and coordinating counterpart filings throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
  • Intellectual Property Portfolio Review – Conducting due diligence reviews of patent and other IP assets and advising clients on the strategic worldwide development and licensing of patent portfolios.
  • Regulatory and Compliance – Monitoring ongoing developments in emerging technologies and advising clients on regulatory requirements in areas such as biologics and biosimilars, genetically engineered crops, as well as omnichannel marketing and unmanned systems (including FAA Section 333 exemptions).

Before joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Janelle worked as a Patent Examiner in the biotechnology, medical diagnostics and medical device art units at the USPTO, as a partner at national and IP boutique firms in Texas, and as a patent agent at a Washington D.C. law firm.

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Memberships

American Bar Association

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)

Federal Circuit Bar Association

Arkansas Bar Association 

Houston Intellectual Property Law Association

Northwest Arkansas Technology Council 

News

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Past Events

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Media Mentions

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Additional Thought Leadership

Articles:

Speaking Engagements:

  • "The Supreme Court Rocky Horror Picture Show: Myriad and Mayo," Texas Life Science Forum at Rice University, Houston, Texas (May 20, 2015)
  • "Patent Strategies for Emerging Biotechnology and Medical Device Companies," Texas Life Science Forum at Rice University, Houston, Texas (February 20, 2014)
  • "New Inter Partes Review and Interplay with Litigation," Texas Bar CLE and Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas 9th Annual Advanced Patent Litigation Course, Albuquerque, New Mexico (July 25-26, 2013)
  • "New AIA Regulations – Panel Presentation by USPTO Patent Reform Coordinator and Practicing IP Attorneys," 28th Annual Houston Intellectual Property Lawyers Association and University of Houston Law Center Fall IP Institute, Galveston, Texas (October 4-6, 2012)
  • "Patent Reform Under the America Invents Act and Other Developments in Intellectual Property Law and Policy," BioFlorida 14th Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida (October 23-25, 2011)
  • "Leahy-Smith America Invents Act – What Does It Mean for Biotech?" BIO Houston Seminar, Houston, Texas (October 19, 2011)
  • "Patent Reform: What are the Implications of the Enactment of the America Invents Act?" Bio / Medical Technology Club of Houston Seminar, Houston, Texas (September 6, 2011)
  • "Statutory Subject Matter and Obviousness Problems in Patent Law," 27th Annual Houston Intellectual Property Lawyers Association and University of Houston Law Center Fall IP Institute, Galveston, Texas (October 6-8, 2011)

Accolades

Best Lawyers in America® — Litigation: Intellectual Property (2016-2018)

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