President and CEO
Wendy Verlander is a founding member of Blackbird Technologies. She has more than 20 years of experience working with technology-focused companies at all stages of development and growth, from start-ups to well established corporations. She has successfully litigated cases in a wide range of technologies. Ms. Verlander was most recently a partner at a global firm renowned for its patent litigation practice. While there, she litigated cases for some of the largest technology companies in the world in federal district courts and at the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Vice President and Head of Litigation
Chris Freeman is a founding member of Blackbird Technologies. In his nearly 10 years of experience working with technology-focused companies, he has litigated patent cases in a wide variety of technologies in front of U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Mr. Freeman honed his skills at some of the top IP Litigation law firms in the country before bringing his litigation expertise to Blackbird Technologies in July 2014.
Senior Litigation Counsel
David Gerasimow is Senior Litigation Counsel at Blackbird Technologies. He is an experienced patent litigation attorney, having previously practiced for seven years at Fish & Richardson, one of the nation’s leading intellectual property law firms. Mr. Gerasimow has successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in patent infringement cases, and has litigated cases across a vast array of technologies, including wireless communications, semiconductor fabrication and testing, and natural language processing. He has successfully argued dispositive motions, and has obtained favorable jury verdicts in both patent and trade secret cases.
Senior Litigation Counsel
John Handy is Senior Litigation Counsel at Blackbird Technologies. Prior to joining Blackbird, he spent nearly ten years as a patent litigator at the international law firms of White & Case and Greenberg Traurig. He has extensive experience before federal courts and the International Trade Commission, representing high-tech and financial Fortune 100 companies in matters involving Internet and mobile applications, operating systems, network communication protocols, relational databases, e-commerce and SSL/TLS encryption, real-time multimedia streaming, medical instruments, and personal navigation devices. Mr. Handy has a broad and diverse technical background, having worked for five years in the dot-com industry. As a result, he is skilled at translating complex technical issues into concepts that are understandable and compelling to courts, and highly effective at strategizing and collaborating with engineers and experts.
Senior Litigation Counsel
Sean Thompson is Senior Litigation Counsel at Blackbird Technologies. He is an experienced intellectual property litigator from the law firms of WilmerHale and Cravath. Mr. Thompson has represented clients in complex patent disputes involving a variety of technologies, including semiconductors, voice-over-IP telephone services, and pharmaceutical products. He has experience handling all phases of litigation in state and federal courts, the International Trade Commission, and international arbitral tribunals. In addition, Mr. Thompson has experience with proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, including inter partes reviews involving patents in the semiconductor and pharmaceutical fields.
Senior Litigation Counsel
Deborah Yates is Senior Litigation Counsel at Blackbird Technologies. She has more than eight years of experience managing high-stakes patent litigation from case development through resolution. Ms. Yates has extensive experience litigating in various technology fields, including semiconductors, internet-based applications, and pharmaceuticals. Most recently, Ms. Yates served as Counsel at the law firm WilmerHale, a general practice firm with a leading intellectual property litigation practice. At WilmerHale, Ms. Yates coordinated closely with in-house counsel of major corporations to develop litigation strategy for and manage “bet the company” litigation.
Patent Analysis Group
Dan Harris is Counsel in the Patent Analysis Group at Blackbird Technologies. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Harris worked as a law clerk for a Boston based patent firm, where he prosecuted patent applications in a variety of technologies, including mechanical, biomedical and electronic devices. Mr. Harris received his JD from Suffolk University Law School, where he graduated with distinction in the intellectual property concentration. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont. Prior to law school, Mr. Harris was a Project Engineer for a telecommunications company.
John Gendi is a Patent Analyst at Blackbird Technologies. Before starting at the company, Mr. Gendi worked to develop a web-based technology startup while in Nice, France attending an innovation accelerator. Mr. Gendi has a diverse background of expertise in technology and business. He developed an iOS application to be used with an iPhone breathalyzer case. Mr. Gendi received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Technology Innovation from Boston University in 2016. He is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Management Studies from the BU Questrom School of Business. During his time at BU, he was a student mentor for BU’s Entrepreneur Club and aided students in the biannual startup challenge.
Ashley Hartman is a Patent Analyst at Blackbird Technologies. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Before starting at Blackbird, Ms. Hartman worked as a Technology Consultant Intern at Paytronix and a Validation Engineering Intern at Secant Medical. Ms. Hartman is currently working at Boston University’s Biomimetic Materials Engineering Laboratory with Dr. Joyce Wong to determine a method for developing stronger cell sheets. She has also performed research in optics in coordination with BU and Saudi Aramco to develop rock mimics for experimentation. Ms. Hartman is a Dean’s Host for the BU College of Engineering, serves as a student mentor in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and completed a study abroad program in Madrid, Spain.
Megan McKnelly is a Patent Analyst at Blackbird Technologies. She is currently an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Departments of Chemistry and Brain and Cognitive Science. While at MIT, Ms. McKnelly conducted research in several fields. She was an undergraduate researcher in the Nedivi Lab in the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory where she investigated the signaling mechanisms of candidate plasticity gene-15. She also interned at Imperial College London’s Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology where she researched the mechanoreceptors providing cutaneous inputs to prosthetic hand users. In addition, she conducted research for MIT’s Innovation Initiative in London, England to elucidate the role of universities in the development of an international hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Ms. McKnelly is also an MIT freshman advisor, a representative on the steering committee for undergraduate advising, and a competitor on MIT’s Varsity Sailing Team.
Vineet Vallam is a Patent Analyst at Blackbird Technologies. Before starting at the company, Mr. Vallam worked in the pharmaceutical industry as an intern at Boston Biomedical, a fully integrated oncology drug research and development company. Mr. Vallam has an extensive background in biomedical research. He conducted research at Boston University’s Grinstaff Laboratory and at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories where he investigated new chemical polymers for future viscosupplementation treatment options and new applications for microbial biosensor technology. Mr. Vallam received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2016. During his time at BU, he served on the executive board for the university’s first professional engineering fraternity, Theta Tau. He was also a student mentor for BU’s Biomedical Engineering Society and a member of the College of Engineering’s student government.
Tammy Wu is a Patent Analyst at Blackbird Technologies. She is currently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Prior to working at the company, Ms. Wu held several positions across varying industries. She was a Research Associate for the MIT AgeLab, which aims to understand emerging generational lifestyles and innovative product design for improving quality of life of the elderly. She also worked as a Finance and Operations Associate for a nonprofit focused on education and a Business Development Intern for a fast-growing startup in Palo Alto. Ms. Wu is also extremely involved with the Theater community. She has acted in two productions and serves as the Publicity Chair for Dramashop, the only student-run theater group that collaborates with the MIT Theater Faculty.