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Spotlight on Keiko Ichiye - A True Scholar Scientist

Updated: Apr 25

Keiko is one of the most brilliant yet humble and unassuming people I know. A veteran of BigLaw and in-house roles, she currently focuses her attention on patent preparation and prosecution in technologies including ophthalmological surgical systems, medical devices, telecommunications, electro-optical systems, wireless devices, software, Internet services, and semiconductors. Armed with a M.A. and Ph.D. in the History & Philosophy of Science (she did research on spacetime in general relativity theories) and an undergrad degree in mathematics and philosophy, she is easily the smartest person in any room. Fulton Jeang (FJ) is fortunate to have her on our team.

FJ: What influenced you to become a lawyer?

KI: I grew up in a family of scientists, so I thought I would become one. However, most scientists specialize in a specific field, and my interests lie in various fields. I became interested in patent law when I realized I could learn about several fields instead of limiting myself to only one.

FJ: What legal areas do you love to work on?

KI: I enjoy patent drafting and prosecution. When writing a patent application, I get to learn how something works. The inventors are excited about their invention, and I share their enthusiasm. In many cases, I am probably one of few people who want to hear about every detail of their invention. When prosecuting a patent application, I enjoy crafting arguments to show my client deserves a patent. The arguments tend to be technical and direct, relying on reason instead of emotion, and I find that extremely satisfying.

FJ: One of the most surprising things I learned about you years ago is your extracurricular activities on stage. How do your lawyering skills translate to your more artistic expressions?

KI: Drafting patent claims requires describing the essence of an invention in a clear, concise manner. I use this skill to write standup comedy that is lively and punchy, as well as song lyrics that drive the message home.

FJ: What brought you to Fulton Jeang?

KI: At Fulton Jeang, I get to work from home with flexible hours, which allows me to provide excellent service to my clients and have a full life.

FJ: In addition to writing comedy and music lyrics, what else do you do for fun?

KI: I play bass guitar in a couple of informal bands and have started taking voice lessons. I am also learning how to draw, which is a fun way to observe and record your life. In addition, I enjoy hanging out with my senior dogs.

FJ: What is your Six Word Memoir?

KI: Working hard. Enjoying life. Plus, dogs!

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