Prior Big Law and In-house Experience
- Hughes & Luce (now K&L Gates)
- Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (now St. Jude Medical)
- Dickinson College, BS Physics, 1987, cum laude
- Naval Nuclear Power and Reactor Prototype School (Engineer Qualified)
- Tulane Law School, JD, 1997, magna cum laude
- Registered to Practice before Patent Office
- Admitted to practice in Texas
- Admitted to practice in Northern District of Texas
Pete grew up with three older sisters and a younger brother in Wheeling, WV, about an hour south of Pittsburgh, PA. During his high school summers, he worked at Ziegenfelder, a local ice cream company and manufacturer of water ice (think Popsicles). Everyone thought that was pretty sweet. Upon graduating from the local military high school, he lived overseas for three years before returning to college to complete his degree in Physics. His overseas experience lead him to join the US Navy’s Submarine Nuclear Power program.
Spending a little over six years as a “Nuc” officer, Pete served aboard two fast attack submarines in various leadership roles and was Officer in Charge of the squadron’s preventative maintenance team. While in the Navy, he saw and heard a lot of “interesting” things that he can’t talk about and some things that he can. For example, submariners are required to wear one-piece blue coveralls called poopy suits. The stars absolutely fill the sky on a clear night in the middle of the ocean, unless a cruise ship, which emits as much light as a small city, happens to come within about 40 miles of your location. Surface sailors called sub guys “bubble heads.” Submariners call surface sailors “targets.”
Just prior to leaving the Navy, a friend suggested that he take the LSAT exam just to keep his options open. Five days later he found himself sitting in a room with a lot of other people doing just that. After a few months, he was out of the Navy and accepted at Tulane Law School. While waiting for school to start, Pete went back to Wheeling to work at Ziegenfelder as one of its sales directors. He succeeded in getting its newly branded frozen water ice pops into Walmart. Over 20 years later, the brand is sold throughout Walmart and has expanded into a national brand sold in just about every major supermarket chain today.
Tulane Law School is a very good school, and New Orleans was a great place to be after 6 years underwater. At school, he discovered a bit to his surprise that he really loved the intellectual challenge and purposefulness of the law. After accepting and completing an additional year as a teaching fellow at Tulane, Pete moved to Dallas to begin his legal career. His practice mix at Hughes & Luce (now K&L Gates) consisted of intellectual property, outsourcing, general contracts and technology law. Pete then was hired by one of his clients, Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, to become its VP of Intellectual Property. ANS at the time was a small, but exciting, $50M medical device public company. Less than three hectic years later St. Jude Medical acquired ANS in a deal valued at $1.4B.
During his 10 years at ANS/St. Jude Medical, Pete grew his division’s patent portfolio from 16 to over 500 worldwide patents. He oversaw various patent and trademark litigations and negotiations. Some of the many other additional responsibilities he had were manufacturing and outsourcing agreements, worldwide trademark and patent defense, M&A, FDA and compliance support, technology agreements and general contracts. In addition to his role as VP of Intellectual Property, Pete gained increasing business responsibilities as a member of the division’s Leadership Team, including leading its strategic and operational planning and divisional business development program.
After St. Jude, Pete used his patent portfolio experience to assist his third party clients in valuing their intellectual property assets. He provided assistance to large and small cap medtech companies in analyzing and determining their portfolio’s value. Additionally, he consulted with his clients on IPR strategies, offensive and defensive patent infringement actions, negotiating strategies, and interacting with the clients’ litigation teams when appropriate.
Pete then decided to indulge one of his passions and opened a triathlon store with his close friend and tri coach of 10 years. He handled all legal work for the enterprise, explored franchising opportunities and traveled to assist in operations of the stores. While he loved his work, he realized three things: those who work in retail deserve enormous respect, he missed the law, and he missed spending time with his family.
In order to get a bit of balance back while he searched for the right firm to join, Pete started R3T Consulting, concentrating on assisting businesses in developing and executing coherent operational and strategic plans. A chance introduction led Pete to Grable Martin Fulton PLLC. He immediately understood how its virtual, low overhead model allows it to pass savings on to a business. He enjoys working with a hub of experienced, high quality former General Counsels and high level in-house attorneys with a business mindset.
Pete lives in Dallas with his wife and two kids, all of whom love travel and the outdoors. He remains involved with Ziegenfelder, as well as other companies as outside general counsel and business advisor.