JONES ROBB, PLLC, a boutique patent law firm located in the Washington, D.C. metro area, enters its 13th consecutive year of national certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). WBENC certification validates a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by women, and is one of the most rigorous certifications of its kind. In addition to its WBENC certification, Jones Robb, PLLC is also certified as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).
The underrepresentation of women and minorities in leadership and partner positions in law firms continues to be a subject of focus for the legal industry, with only small gains occurring despite efforts to address the problem for over two decades. The issue is compounded in the field of patent law, given that in addition to a degree in law, patent lawyers must possess a certain amount of STEM education or training and the STEM fields also suffer from a lack of diversity.
“Jones Robb is proud to be one of the few WBENC-certified law firms specializing in patent law,” said Jones Robb founding and managing partner, Susie Jones. “Given the statistics and hurdles associated with becoming a female leader in patent law, women-owned patent law firms are the proverbial unicorns in the highly male-dominated field of patent law, and particularly so for a patent law firm like ours that specializes in the electrical and mechanical engineering and computer sciences technical areas.”
Founded by women in 2007, diversity and inclusion are in Jones Robb’s DNA, with the firm’s vision being to deliver quality patent legal services using a client-customized approach, while doing so in a model that meets talented attorneys in the variety of stripes and life stages in which they come. From the inception, this meant allowing for flexible work arrangements, virtualization, leveraging technology, and creating an overall culture that ensures seamless internal and external communications, access to information, and knowledge sharing so as to promote a productive and collaborative workforce, all of which are becoming recognized as critical in the post-pandemic world. The guiding values and vision upon which Jones Robb was founded easily translated into the support and adaptability needed by all employees that faced pandemic-related challenges so closely resembling, and in many respects amplifying, the challenges women routinely face in a male-dominated profession.
Clients praise the efforts of firms like Jones Robb that fill a unique void for the procurement of patent legal services from women- and minority-owned law firms and thus take an active role creating more diversity in patent law. “Jones Robb has been one of our trusted outside counsel for over a decade now, helping Sprint and now T-Mobile develop a high-quality patent portfolio,” says Melissa Jobe, Director, Corporate Intellectual Property at T-Mobile. “In addition to the expertise a firm offers, its diversity, equity and inclusion programs and practices are also a priority for us when procuring legal services. The Jones Robb law firm has exceeded our expectations regarding IP legal expertise and law firm diversity.” Gillian Thackray, VP, Associate General Counsel, and Chief IP counsel of Thermo Fisher Scientific, notes, “Women- and minority-owned firms like Jones Robb tend to organically provide an environment that attracts a greater range of backgrounds and personalities, thus inculcating a culture of diversity and inclusion. As such, rare though they are, these law firms are key players in closing the diversity gap in patent law and it is important to ensure the corporate legal supply chain includes them when seeking outside patent counsel. In addition, the purposeful attention given to each client results in creative, client-centric legal services and outside-the-box service delivery models. Being the beneficiary of this type of individualized service and attention, while also supporting the critical role these firms play in promoting diversity and inclusion, is a win-win.”
About Jones Robb
Jones Robb provides a wide range of patent services, including domestic and international patent preparation and prosecution; reissue applications, post-grant proceedings; freedom-to-operate opinions; patentability, validity, enforceability, and infringement opinions; and due diligence investigations. It represents Fortune 500 corporations as well as venture-backed start-up companies in a variety of technologies including biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, physics, and software, among others. The firm’s broad range of experiences in technology and legal services combines to enhance the quality of product provided to its customers. To learn more about Jones Robb, please visit www.jonesrobb.com.