John Sotomayor is a Patent Attorney and former Patent Examiner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), specializing in software methods and software driven products, electrical, electro-mechanical, medical and other devices.
Prior to co-founding Sotomayor IP Consulting in 2014, John grew and managed the IP portfolios for Digitalsmiths, prior to their acquisition by TiVo, and Integrian, Inc., both headquartered in North Carolina.While attending law school, he was Of Counsel to the law firm Woodcock Washburn (now Baker Hostetler) where he prosecuted over 150 patents for Microsoft.For additional legal clients, he prosecuted patents for Sony, Alcatel, Becton Dickinson, and Braun USA.
Prior to his tenure with the US Patent & Trademark Office, John held corporate management roles with a variety of technology firms to include a software support partner to Apple, a sub-contractor to the CIA, where he held a top-secret, secure compartmented information (TS-SCI) security clearance, EDS, and NEC America.
At the beginning of his career, John worked as a software engineer for Arizona Public Service, IBM, and General Dynamics.
John holds a J.D. from North Carolina Central University and a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from New Mexico State University.
Admitted to practice before the USPTO
Admitted to the Wisconsin Bar
John is an avid science fiction reader, and has written a science fiction novel and several short stories!
Krissa is a certified personal chef!
Krissa Johnson - Sotomayor
Krissa is the team’s strategic thinker. Driven by curiosity, information, and a genuine desire to help people, she is known as the “connector” in the startup community.
Prior to co-founding Sotomayor IP Consulting, Krissa spent 15 years in retained executive search, spanning several major national and international firms, serving clients in a variety of industry sectors.
Krissa’s business development and organizational skills have contributed to our ability to grow from a solo practice to a boutique firm, dedicated to serving the startup and emerging growth community, both nationally and internationally.
William “Bill” J. Piazza
Bill is a registered Patent Agent and came to our team with over 35 years of applicable industry experience at IBM and Lenovo.
During his tenure with IBM, he was presented with over 28 formal and informal awards, including Outstanding Technical Achievement, Outstanding Innovation, and Division Excellence Awards.
He was recognized as a Master Inventor at both IBM and Lenovo, and he is named as an inventor on over 60 U.S. and foreign patents (unfortunately, we can’t list them all here!).
Bill holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Miami.
Bill is a licensed amateur radio operator (KB4QVY)!
Admitted to the 10th Judicial District Bar.
Taylor invents toys!
L. Taylor Arnold
Taylor is an attorney who practices in the areas of patent, trademark, entertainment, and copyright law.
In addition to helping clients protect their innovations, Taylor is also an inventor!
He is inventor of record on:
U.S. Patent 5,802,889: Rapid Securing Bicycle Lock;
U.S. Patent 6,312,183: Device and Method for Retaining and Displaying a Collection of Folded Cards;
U.S. Patent 6,555,979: System and Method for Controlling Electrical Current Flow as a Function of Detected Sound Volume,
U.S. Patent 7,137,862: System and Method for Controlling Multiple Model Vehicles and
U.S. Patent 9,683,807: Magnus Effect Cylindrical Projectile and Launcher.
Taylor is also an author:
A Practical Primer for North Carolina Paralegals and co-author of “Origin, Prominence, Profit, and Consumer Confusion: An Analysis of the Global Debate on Geographical Indication Protection Systems”, Wake Forest Intellectual Property Law Journal, 4 (2), 68-103 (reprinted in Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law, Series Editor Robert P. Merges, Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., 2015).
Additionally, he authored the magazine articles “Inventors May Be Overlooking a Valuable Tool: Copyright,” Inventors’ Digest, April/May/June 2005, 27-29 and “Know These Licensing Lessons,” Inventors’ Digest, October/November/December 2006, 25.
And, Taylor was an instructor:
He taught contract, intellectual property, and corporation law for the Duke University Paralegal Certificate Program.In addition, he was a volunteer with the Wake Forest University Elder Law Clinic at Baptist Medical Center.
“TAN” (The Amazing Natalie) is Legal Assistant to John Sotomayor, and organizational whiz for the rest of the team and our clients. She is responsible for assisting in the preparation and filing of USPTO documents, invoicing, client communications, and matter file management.
Early in her career, Natalie was employed with BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s largest law firms, with offices around the world. During her twenty year tenure, she held several support positions, and had the benefit of working in many areas of law.
Before teaming up with Sotomayor IP Consulting, Ltd., Natalie served as the Event Coordinator and Pass Manager for Artsplosure Raleigh. One of her responsibilities was the coordination, set up, and management of all ticket entry points for First Night Raleigh, the annual New Year’s Eve party, attended by over 50,000 people (can you imagine?!). She also served as Student Art Exhibit Coordinator for the Artsplosure Arts Festival, a two day arts festival held every May in downtown, Raleigh. She was responsible for all aspects of the Student Art Exhibit which displays over 500 pieces of artwork from students all over Wake County.
She was also involved with several local charities, including Special Spaces of the Triangle, where she served as a fundraiser responsible for soliciting donations of food, goods and money to benefit families of children with terminal illnesses in the Raleigh area.