Palak concentrates her practice on intellectual property, with an emphasis on patents, and privacy and data security matters. She drafts utility patent applications and oversees the application’s prosecution, including management of responses and participation in interviews with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Palak also counsels clients on a variety of HIPAA-related issues, including drafting business associate agreements, complying with requirements for protected health information (PHI), and determining when to report breaches. Palak’s substantial previous experience with patent litigation and proceedings before the USPTO complements her prosecution, privacy and data security practices and allows her to bring a litigation perspective to drafting freedom-to-operate opinions or drafting business associate agreements.
Intellectual Property Experience
Palak’s technical knowledge in the field of computer engineering allows her to provide clients with effective and persuasive strategies for obtaining and defending patent rights in an ever-changing digital landscape. Palak manages prosecution of patent applications across a variety of industries and technologies, including multifactor authentication, e-commerce, database management, virtualization and distributed computing systems, among others. Alongside prosecuting patents, Palak also drafts freedom-to-operate opinions, determines potential infringement liability, and guides clients in developing efficient intellectual property management programs.
Complementing her prosecution practice, Palak gained invaluable experience and knowledge as a part of the Intellectual Property Litigation team at Shook for the first four years of her career. During litigations involving two-factor authentication to electronic health record software to video game technology, Palak analyzed source code, provided complex, technical infringement and invalidity analysis, drafted motions and argued in federal court hearings. She was an integral part of patent and trade secret litigation teams and litigated several patents before the USPTO. Her prior focus on litigation allows her to understand the pitfalls of potential litigation and mitigate risks for her clients. Likewise, her experience in litigation also gives her a keen eye for offensively protecting a client’s patent portfolio.
Privacy and Data Security Experience
Palak counsels clients on their duties and obligations under domestic and international privacy and data regulations as a member of the Privacy and Data Security Team at Shook. With certifications in the U.S. and Europe from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and strong technical experience in software, Palak brings a unique blend of technical and legal knowledge to advise clients.
Palak’s compliance experience includes:
- drafting and revising privacy policies, terms and conditions, and vendor contracts for companies transacting with covered entities under HIPAA;
- advising medical device manufacturers on how to harmonize fragmented HIPAA programs across multiple business units;
- evaluating the applicability of HIPAA’s breach notification rules for a small-scale data breach;
- counseling medical device manufacturers on their roles as business associates and the corresponding HIPAA compliance requirements;
- advising health care providers and other covered entities regarding the storage of health-related information with respect to workers’ compensation claims and COVID-19 screening results;
- managing response efforts to data breach incidents; and
- representing medical device manufacturers in state court against privacy claims.
Palak developed her ability to understand complex software concepts working on her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, and her ability to explain those complicated concepts plainly during her leadership positions and advocacy work in law school. In college, Palak wrote software code and worked on large engineering projects. Her senior design group created a cloud-based file storage system, and Palak designed and maintained the back-end server for the system using software script-based languages. She has also designed and produced a printed circuit board (PCB) as a college project.
Starting as a champion of diversity in engineering in college as an officer with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Palak has built on her diversity efforts while at Shook. She spearheaded a diversity initiative in the Houston office and continues to develop programs to engage attorneys and staff in cultivating diversity and inclusion. Palak is currently serving as Shook’s Diversity Advocate for the Houston office. She continues to advocate for diversity in engineering and serves as a member of the Corporate Advisory Board for the SWE section of her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin.
Privacy and Cybersecurity in the Time of COVID, Association of Corporate Counsel, South Florida Section, Webinar, April 8, 2020 (with Al Saikali and Ben Patton).
Patent Litigation: Emerging Trends from the Plaintiffs' Bar, Secret Sauce IP BBQ CLE, Kansas City, Kansas, September 14, 2018 (with Aaron Hankel).
Ethical Issues in Intellectual Property Practice and How to Address Them, Tackling Changes in IP: A Practical Blueprint, Houston, Texas, April 25, 2018 (with Sharon Israel).
The Best Kept Secret in Engineering: Why You Want a Patent on Your Resume, Society of Women Engineering Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, October 2014.