The AST Team
The AST team is made up of highly effective and specialized professionals with deep skills in intellectual property and technology. For patent sellers, the team provides efficient processing of portfolios offered for sale and experience in completing sizable and complicated transactions. For Members, the team provides the tools and information to increase their efficiency and lower costs.
Russ Binns joined AST in 2014 as the CEO and has over twenty years of experience as an intellectual property professional. Since 2016 Russ has been named by IAM as one of the world’s top forty elite IP deal makers, and was named as one of IAM’s top ten IP Personalities of 2016. He has been named in the “IAM 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists” every year since 2014. Most recently before AST, Russ was the Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Avaya responsible for all aspects of Avaya’s worldwide intellectual property operations, including licensing, litigation, and patent procurement, and where he served on the Board of AST since 2009. Russ has an extensive background with patent litigation and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on abusive patent litigation in 2013. Before Avaya, Russ spent almost a decade in private practice as an intellectual property litigator and licensing attorney for Goodwin Procter LLP, and Weingarten, Schurgin, Gagnebin & Hayes, LLP. He has also served as a Board member for the Intellectual Property Owners Association and chaired the Corporate Management Committee. Mr. Binns received his J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, and his bachelor of science in electrical and computer engineering from Clarkson University.
Kerry Hopkin has thirty years’ experience as a CFO, the last 15 of which have been with companies focused on providing intellectual property services. Mr. Hopkin began his career in public accounting where he became a CPA. Since then, Mr. Hopkin has worked as the International Controller of a major airline, as the Controller of a high-tech division of Schlumberger and as the CFO of several venture capital-backed companies. Mr. Hopkin holds a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Ray Strimaitis has over twenty-five years of experience as an intellectual property professional. Previously, Ray served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Yahoo where he led a global team of IP professionals and was responsible for setting patent strategy, monetizing the Yahoo patent portfolio, mitigating patent risk, guiding patent advocacy and overseeing all trademark/copyright matters. Ray established and led a program to monetize Yahoo patents that generated $600 million in patent sales and license transactions. He led the formation of Excalibur IP, LLC – a wholly owned Yahoo subsidiary that was created to further optimize patent value to Yahoo shareholders. Before joining Yahoo Ray served in various legal, management and patent roles at IBM. Mr. Strimaitis received his J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Cleveland State University.
Mihir Patel, VP of Technology and Analytics at Allied Security Trust (AST), is a proven technology leader with 20+ years of track record spanning licensing, monetization, patent analysis and data analytics. He currently heads the technology and data analytics team and manages strategic relationships with the pertinent SMEs and IP data providers. He assists AST members connect with prime patent purchase opportunities, besides comprehensively briefing them about the potential risks posed by the sale of patents in the open market. Prior to AST, Mihir worked at ThinkFire Services driving key initiatives around license development, patent litigation, and brokerage opportunities for the operating companies. He was also a co-founder of PatentFreedom where he led the content research team. Mihir holds an MS degree in Computer Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Andrew Hopkin has over 15 years of experience in finance, consulting, investing, and management. Andrew began his career in management consulting with McKinsey & Co. From there, Andrew worked as a Vice President at Audax Group, a Boston-based private equity firm. Since then, Andrew has served on the board of several private equity-backed companies, has been a business owner, was the CFO for a distribution company, and provided CFO and business advisory services as an independent consultant. Andrew holds a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University.
Tom is a former IBM Master Inventor who joined AST to deliver added insight and value to AST Members. He is responsible for analyzing and reporting on incoming patent portfolios, gleaning beneficial insights from disparate sources of patent information, and communicating those insights directly with AST Members and Staff.
During Tom’s distinguished 37 years at IBM, he honed his technology and patent research and evaluation skills, served as a leader in the IP Organization, and was the lead architect for a set of Artificial Intelligence-based Intellectual Property analytics tools. He has over 25 issued Patents and Published Applications.
Tom received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York, now the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Patricia has more than 20 years of experience in Intellectual Property. She manages the intake process and works with brokers and sellers to process the patent portfolios offered to AST. She performs initial due-diligence including patent family, assignment review, ownership issues, execution of NDAs and manages the patent portfolio listings in AST’s database system. Patricia was a Legal Advisor at a Finance Institution in Lima and specialized in US and foreign patent filing at GE’s Global Patent Operations. Patricia holds a title of Lawyer from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.
Sutton brings over twenty-one years of experience in the fields of product management, user experience and software engineering. He directs the product management and development of AST’s fAST IP, the most comprehensive database and search engine of patent assets for sale in the world. Previously, Sutton has served as CTO and co-founder in multiple startups and he has operated a consulting firm through which he successfully led product creation and development for startups and large enterprises. Sutton has managed web-based product innovation in the fields of e-learning, real estate sales, insurance sales, email marketing, customer support, e-commerce and advertising. Sutton has also led software engineering initiatives for these as well as other software products in the mortgage, wireless service and logistics industries. Sutton holds a BSPH degree in Environmental Science from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Arek has over 18 years of professional experience in software development, engineering and architecture. He has worked for both established firms and startups in the New York City area in varying technology fields, including IPTV, VoIP and building highly scalable web applications. Before joining AST in 2014 Arek worked for SAP on the first 3 major releases of the Hybris Commerce Accelerator as well as Commerce Search, cloud-based Hybris as a Service (YaaS) technologies, and other omni-channel commerce solutions in Munich, Germany. At AST, Arek focuses on improving the functionality of fAST IP.
Courtney has 12 years of experience in intellectual property. She is responsible for organizing and coordinating office operations and procedures and provides support for patent transactions and licensing. Courtney oversees and facilitates all aspects of meeting planning including board meetings and company events. Additionally, she is responsible for marketing and maintaining AST’s website. Previously, she worked at Merrill Lynch as a senior specialist in the commercial lending group and with private banking and investment banking firms. Courtney received a BA in Political Science from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD.
Jamie has over fifteen years of experience in the world of intellectual property. She is responsible for business relations with patent brokers and sellers and ensuring that patent portfolios listed on fAST IP are up-to-date. Jamie has a broad range of technical skills, including database management, patent brokerage services, research and product investigations, and day-to-day operations. She has significant experience with client presentations and contracts, due diligence, and liaison with Fortune 500 clients.
Melissa has over 20 years of experience in intellectual property focusing on patent prosecution. She is responsible for conducting due diligence, preparing Schedules of Assets, overseeing the docket, and working with outside counsel through the acquisition process. Melissa started her patent career at Becton, Dickinson and Company where she worked for over 10 years. Prior to joining AST, Melissa worked at Maldjian Law Group LLC.