About Us

Our Team

Dale C. Hunt, PhD, JD

FOUNDER & SENIOR ATTORNEY

Dale C. Hunt, PhD, JD, provides guidance and expertise on patents and intellectual property matters. Dale has extensive experience with patent protection, with a technical emphasis in life sciences (cellular biology, genetics, genomics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmaceuticals, protein engineering, stem cells, transgenics and vaccines); environmental technology (alternative energy, carbon-emissions credits and exchanges, oil and gas technologies, solar energy, natural products and water purification systems); materials and manufacturing (filters and filtration systems, metal fibers and alloys); medical devices and procedures (nucleic acid diagnostics, sensors and instrumentation and surgical devices and methods); and plants (agriculture, plant genetics, plant patents and plant-variety protection). Dale also has experience with patent portfolio management and strategy advice, international intellectual property matters, right-to-practice and product-launch opinions, intellectual property due diligence, and licensing.

Dale also started a Cannabis IP practice to aid clients in establishing strong intellectual property protection for their legal marijuana strains, products and businesses. The approaches to such protection include U.S. plant patents and utility patents; state and common-law trademark strategies, protection, and enforcement; and federal trademark protection for federally legal allied products and services. His expertise also extends to other forms of protection for Cannabis businesses, including licensing of intellectual property, which can encompass protection of know-how and trade secrets related to cultivation and processing techniques; international plant breeders’ rights and related commercialization and enforcement strategies; as well as various other approaches that have been successful for his clients in the fruit and floral markets but which Cannabis companies have yet to attempt.

Having started as a botanist and plant geneticist, Dale continued his study of plant biology at the cellular and molecular level, completing a PhD at UC San Diego. Dale then went on to UC Berkeley for law school.  In addition to his diverse patent practice as described above, he has worked his entire career helping clients protect and commercialize their proprietary plant varieties in the U.S. and over 20 foreign countries. Dale has spoken on IP protection at the Marijuana Business Convention in Washington, D.C.  He has also been interviewed for and quoted in numerous news articles and by national media outlets on the topic of marijuana and patenting.

Education:
JD, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Intellectual Property)
PhD, University of California, San Diego (Molecular & Cellular Biology) 
MS, Brigham Young University (Plant Genetics)
BS, Brigham Young University (Botany)

Professional History:
Partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2015-2019
Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 2008-2015
Partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, 2007-2008
Partner, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, 2001-2007; Associate, 1996-2000

Katherine M. Falkenhagen, PhD

SENIOR PATENT AGENT

Katherine M. Falkenhagen, PhD, prosecutes domestic and international patent applications in biotechnology, biochemistry and life sciences. She has extensive research experience in various scientific fields, including molecular biology, endocrinology, neurobiology, physiology and proteomics.

Katherine also has expertise in the evaluation of patentability and commercial market potential for biotechnology, biochemical and life sciences inventions, as well as assisting with negotiations and contract drafting of biotechnology licenses.

Education:
PhD
, University of California, San Diego (Doctor of Philosophy, Biomedical Science)
BA, Willamette University (Biology, Chemistry)

Professional History:
Patent Agent, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2015-2019
Patent Agent, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 2012-2015
Office of Technology Development Intern, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2011-2012
Graduate Student Research, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Peptide Biology Laboratory of Dr. Wylie Vale, 2007-2012
Research Assistant II, Oregon Health & Science University, Casey Eye Institute, Laboratory of Dr. James Rosenbaum, 2003-2006

Juanita M. Mendoza, JD

ATTORNEY

Juanita’s practice focuses on corporate and intellectual property transactional matters.  She has assisted clients across a variety of industries with IP licensing and protection, copyright and trademark registration, commercial agreements, and other general corporate matters.  During law school, Juanita externed at a Chinese law firm in Beijing where she focused on entertainment, media, Internet, and international intellectual property law.

Education:
JD, Whittier Law School (Intellectual Property)
BA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Psychology)

Taylor Hopkins

PATENT SCIENTIST

Taylor is a patent scientist with Plant & Planet Law Firm. With a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Taylor’s background allows her to support attorneys and agents in the prosecution of domestic and international patent applications. In addition, Taylor acts as a client liaison and develops, implements, and maintains Plant & Planet’s office processes and staff schedules to ensure organizational and team efficiency. She is currently taking a gap year to explore intellectual property while applying to law schools. She hopes to pursue a J.D. at a California institution before returning to San Diego to practice.

Education:
BS, University of California, Santa Barbara (Biological Sciences)