10th Year Anniversary of Leber IP Law
Updated: Apr 1
This year marked the 10th Year Anniversary of Leber IP Law. From 2011 to the present, founder Celia Leber has grown Leber IP from a solo practice with one client and no staff, to an IP-focused law firm of 8 patent and trademark attorneys and 5 IP paralegals, serving over 400 clients in 20 countries.
As a sole practitioner serving as IP counsel for a startup company, Celia missed the variety of work, wonderful professional friendships, and backend support that are part of working in private firm practice. This drove her to envision and found Leber IP Law, despite the challenges involved in starting her own firm from scratch, and to seek out teammates who share her passion and the values that are central to the firm:
“The first few years were nerve-wracking. I had no experience in running a business, and no business education to draw from. Like most patent attorneys, my college and post-college work was in engineering and law, with nary a course in business or accounting. It was a steep learning curve!”
Over time, new hires made all the difference. In 2015, Celia hired life sciences patent attorney Shelly Fujikawa, an experienced biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent practitioner from Darby & Darby in New York City, beginning the growth towards the truly collaborative and integrated team that Leber IP would become. Over time, other experienced patent and trademark practitioners joined her, each bringing unique perspectives, expertise, and humor to the group. She acquired a fantastic team of experienced senior patent clerks with many years of big law experience, adding exceptional depth and operational capability to the firm. By 2018, Celia found herself with a growing team of IP professionals who cared deeply about the well-being of each other, the firm, and its service to clients, and, “That has made all the difference!”
Over the past three years, Leber IP has really hit stride. With the support of her team, Celia was able to effectively lead Leber IP through the loss of a major client and the slowdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, and keep the firm thriving and looking ahead to a positive future:
“The loss of major client and the pandemic forced me to up my business development game. To my amazement, I’ve come to enjoy business development, and see it as a fun opportunity to meet new associates around world, many, like me, striving to attract new clients, and to provide high quality legal service in a challenging economic environment.”
In 2021, Celia transitioned the firm from a Sole Practitioner/Founder model to a multiple shareholder model:
“Sharing the management of the firm for its long-term sustainability and growth is a great relief. I remain as Founder Shareholder and President. I am now joined by attorney Shareholders Sarah Gates, Vice President; Shelly Fujikawa, Secretary; and Dave Robertson, Treasurer. The Leber IP Team of paralegals and attorneys continues to work virtually from home offices across the U.S. and Canada. Our commitment to securing and maintaining patents and trademarks worldwide for our clients is unwavering.”
For the future, in 2022 and beyond, Celia hopes for continuing joy in her practice, made possible by her fantastic team at Leber IP and the collaboration and support of her clients and colleagues around the globe. Together we will continue to meet the changes ahead with optimism and enthusiasm, recognizing in those changes, the opportunities for us to grow in positive, and sometimes unexpected ways.