meet the people empowering innovators

Esmael Dinan

Founder and CEO

Esmael has more than twenty years of research and development experience with tech firms such as WorldCom, Bechtel Communications, Sprint, and Clearwire. He led research and development projects in areas of wireless and wireline networking technologies that included LTE Advanced, Evolved Packet Core, 5G New Radio, and 5G Core Networks. While leading and inspiring the Ofinno team, he never stops his own research — he has over one thousand granted or pending patent applications in his name. Esmael received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia in 2001.

Steve Gion

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Steve is responsible for overseeing Ofinno’s Business Operations teams. Steve rejoined Ofinno in 2021 after serving as the company’s Operations Director from 2018-2019. Prior to Ofinno, Steve worked at some of the world’s leading companies such as Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS) where he ensured operational excellence in multiple capacities. Steve is also a U.S. military veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Steve graduated from the University of Idaho with a BS in Finance and holds an MBA from the University of Maryland. Personally, Steve is a father to two wonderful daughters and enjoys outdoor activities like mountain biking and orienteering.

Kavon Nasabzadeh

Chief Intellectual Property Officer

With over a decade’s experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications, Kavon leads Ofinno’s patent portfolio management and prosecution efforts. He has shepherded hundreds of patent applications to issuance in a wide variety of technical areas including key underlying technologies found in 3GPP and Wi-Fi standards — MIMO, precoding, forward error correction, multiple access schemes, and wireless network architectures. Kavon also has experience in inter partes review and reexamination proceedings at the USPTO, as well as district court and ITC litigation matters.

Prior to joining Ofinno, he worked at a leading IP boutique firm and as an engineer in the telecommunications industry developing state-of-the-art test and measurement systems. Kavon has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Lafayette College, an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, and a JD from the George Washington University.

Ali Cagatay Cirik

5G/6G Director

Ali’s primary research interests include 5G new radio and MIMO signal processing. Prior to joining Ofinno, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Oulu, Finland, the University of Edinburgh, UK, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver/Canada. Formerly an industrial postdoctoral researcher at Sierra Wireless, Richmond/Canada, his industry experience includes internships at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Cambridge/MA, and Broadcom Corporation, Irvine/CA. Ali has authored more than 50 publications in refereed international journals and conferences including more than 20 IEEE Transactions papers, and served on the Technical Program Committee for several major IEEE conferences. Ali holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Riverside. He earned his B.S and M.S. degrees in Telecommunications engineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul/Turkey.

Willis Chang

Senior Patent Agent

Willis has experience in preparing and prosecuting applications in diverse computing technologies from cloud computing, wireless networks, and video streaming to virtual reality and computer hardware. Having worked at a leading IP boutique firm and a global IP litigation powerhouse, he has also served as a technical lead in support of inter partes review and other litigation proceedings involving video decoding standards, wireless network standards, and computer power management. Willis received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Brett Gardner

Senior Patent Attorney

Brett serves as a Senior Patent Attorney at Ofinno in the Radio Access Network (RAN) team. Prior to Ofinno, he was at a large general practice law firm where he drafted and prosecuted applications in diverse technologies and for a range of clients including top Fortune Global 100 corporations, research and development institutes, and start-up companies. He also worked as an engineer designing and testing electrical systems for rockets. Brett earned a JD from UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Utah State University.

Kelly Greer

Senior Manager of People Operations

Bringing years worth of experience as a senior manager of people operations, Kelly is responsible for overseeing the true strength of Ofinno: our people. With aPHR and SHRM-CP certifications, Kelly has a passion for promoting a collaborative environment, strong culture, and supportive atmosphere for the people at Ofinno. Prior to joining Ofinno, Kelly was a manager of people operations at ControlCase, the pioneering and largest provider of Compliance as a Service (CaaS) services and a leading provider of PCI DSS compliance services internationally. At ControlCase, Kelly handled immigration paperwork and created an employee engagement team that spanned across multiple countries and regions. Kelly received her master’s degree from George Mason in 2012 and is a mother to two wonderful twins.

Chloe Grewe

Patent Paralegal

Chloe is currently a patent paralegal with Ofinno. Prior to joining Ofinno, Chloe worked at Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. as a formalities specialist for U.S. National Phase filings. Chloe received her B.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University and her A.A.S in Paralegal Studies at Northern Virginia Community College. During her free-time she enjoys writing for an online fashion magazine, playing piano and exploring the DC Metro area with friends.

Emily Hershorn

Docketing Department Manager

As Docketing Coordinator, Emily brings nearly a decade of IP paralegal experience to Ofinno’s Legal Team. Emily received her BA in English and Paralegal Certificate from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Prior to joining Ofinno in 2020, Emily worked for seven years as a patent and trademark paralegal at a boutique DC-area IP firm.

Bing Hui

Senior Research Scientist

At Ofinno, Bing’s research spans the 3GPP NR 5G systems, NR V2X, and mmWave based mobile relay networks. Prior to joining Ofinno, he was a senior researcher in ETRI, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, and before that a postdoctoral research fellow in the Electrical Engineering Department of Inha University. Bing received his BS degree in communication engineering from Northeastern University, Shenyang, China, and his MS degree and PhD at the Graduate School of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Inha University, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Sheryll Jenkins

US Filing Coordinator

Sheryll brings 28 years of patent experience to Ofinno, including accounting and IP paralegal expertise. Prior to working at Ofinno, LLC she was at Oblon, McCelland, Maier & Neustadt and BSKB. On weekends, Sheryll enjoys crafting and being with her family.

Hyoungsuk Jeon

Inventor, Radio Technologies

Hyoungsuk works primarily on 3GPP air interface and backhaul transmission and reception, focusing on message signaling down to message format design for the procedures in PHY/MAC layers such as initial access, beam management, power control. With broad experience in patent applications including the patent drafting, prosecution, and analysis stages, he is an inventor of over one hundred granted or pending patent applications. Prior to joining Ofinno, Hyoungsuk developed automation algorithms such as self-healing, load-balancing, and capacity and coverage optimization for self-organizing networks, commercially tested and deployed in live networks of major cities. His experience ranges from database design, normalizing major network vendors’ management data such as configuration management (CM), performance management (PM), key performance indicator (KPI), and call trace (CT) down to design of automation algorithms operating with the database in real time.

As a researcher in the field of wireless communications, Hyoungsuk has authored over forty journal and conference papers. Two of his journal papers were nominated in IEEE’s Best Readings in Communications and Information Systems Security. Hyoungsuk earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Dongguk University and his M.S and Ph.D in Information and Communication Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Sachin Kandhari

Senior Patent Attorney

Sachin is a registered Patent Attorney, with an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Virginia, and a law degree from George Mason University. Sachin recently joined Ofinno after 10+ years in the law firm setting, where he counseled corporations, startups, and solo inventors in patent strategy and innovation. At Ofinno, Sachin leverages his IP counseling experience and deep technical knowledge to ensure that Ofinno’s patent portfolios are robust and focused on solving the most important problems. Sachin is also an accomplished public speaker, songwriter, and yoga instructor.

Leonardo Lanante

Senior Technical Staff - IEEE Standards Expert

Leonardo works as a Senior Technical Staff focusing on IEEE wireless LAN standards related technologies. His research interests include network analysis and optimization both in Physical and Medium Access Layers. He has authored several journals and conference papers on technologies such as Multi-user Beamforming, Multiple Input Multiple Output Schemes and Random access improvements for IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax, and IEEE 802.11be based WLAN.

Prior to joining Ofinno, Leonardo worked as an Assistant Professor in Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan for 7 years where he also got a PhD in Computer Science and Systems Engineering.

Young-Yoon Lee

Principal Scientist/Researcher - Video Compression

Young-Yoon Lee is currently a principal scientist in Ofinno, Reston, VA. Before joining Ofinno in Sep. 2020, he was a senior engineer and a principal engineer in Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., South Korea from 2008 and 2017, respectively. From 2014 to 2015, he was a visiting scholar with MediaX, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. He has published more than 20 journals and conference papers. His current research interests include image and video processing, computer vision, machine learning applications, and optimization.

Huifa Lin

Senior Technical Staff, 5G/6G

As a senior technical staff in Ofinno, Huifa's research interests span 5G/6G physical layer technologies including NR-U, high frequency operation, AI/ML for air interface, and V2X. After receiving the B.E. degree in information engineering from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (China), he worked as a RAN optimization engineer at Motorola China for five years. Then he received the M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in information and communication engineering from The University of Electro-Communications (Japan). After that, he worked on 5G NR standardization and patents in Sharp Corporation for four years before joining Ofinno.

Jake Mangan

Senior IP Counsel and RAN Team Portfolio Manager

Jake serves as Ofinno’s Senior IP Counsel and Radio Access Network (RAN) Team Portfolio Manager as well as supports Ofinno’s patent transaction efforts. Prior to joining Ofinno, he was a partner at an IP boutique law firm in the DC metro area.

Jake earned his JD and LLM in Intellectual Property from UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law. During law school, he was on law review and worked as a law clerk at the International Trade Commission (ITC) assisting investigative attorneys in Section 337 patent litigation. Jake holds two BS degrees from Virginia Tech and a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, where he focused on digital signal processing and communication systems.

Elizabeth McGuirk

Internal Business Manager

As Ofinno’s Internal Business Manager, Elizabeth is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Ofinno office and plays an integral role in the recruitment and onboarding of new Ofinno employees. Prior to joining Ofinno in 2021, Elizabeth served as Regional Community Ambassador for Mission BBQ where she oversaw grassroots marketing for the Northern VA region and led community outreach to veterans and first responders. Prior to Mission BBQ, Elizabeth was involved in the development of a non-profit organization and regularly published a blog.

Elizabeth is also a mother to four wonderful children and enjoys reading, planning parties, and spending time with her friends and family.

Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Christendom College.

Yasser Mourtada

Senior IP Counsel & WiFi Team Portfolio Manager

A dual-qualified U.S. and European patent attorney, Yasser manages the development and prosecution of Ofinno’s patent portfolio of IEEE-related technologies, including technologies related to the IEEE 802.11 family of standards.

Prior to joining Ofinno, Yasser worked in private practice at leading IP law firms in Paris, France and in Washington, DC, where he represented clients in a wide range of technologies in front of both the United States Patent & Trademark Office and the European Patent Office. He also served as in-house counsel of a wireless technology research and development company, where his responsibilities included multi-jurisdictional patent portfolio development and management as well as supporting the company’s licensing program of standard-essential patents.

Yasser holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa, a PhD in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from Cornell University, and a JD from Georgetown University.

Brandon Norris

Marketing Director

As Marketing Director, Brandon is responsible for the strategy, development, and execution of all Ofinno marketing activities. Brandon joined Ofinno in 2021 and is dedicated to growing the Ofinno brand as one of the world's leading R&D labs in 5G,6G, IEEE 802.11, and video compression technologies. Prior to joining Ofinno, Brandon worked as a Marketing Program Manager at DLT Solutions, a leading government IT solutions aggregator and wholly owned subsidiary of TD Synnex.

Brandon graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Public Relations and enjoys spending his free time exploring local breweries with his wife and daughter.

Ericka Paneitz

Patent Filing Department Manager

In addition to managing foreign prosecution at Ofinno, Ericka assists with social media, marketing, public relations, and accounting. A native of New Jersey, she received her BA in Political Science and Public Policy from The George Washington University here in Washington, DC, and studied law at the University of Westminster in London, England. During her free time, you can find her playing board games with her husband, hanging out with her dog, or working on a new creative project.

Kyungmin Park

Technology Research and Development Chair

Kyungmin focuses on research and development of radio access network procedures for 5G, 6G, and LTE. Prior to joining Ofinno, he held a senior research position at LG Electronics and participated in 3GPP standardization activities. Kyungmin is an inventor in over five hundred granted or pending US patent applications. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea in 2011.

Gautham Prasad

Senior Technical Staff, 5G New Radio

Gautham’s research interests include 5G/6G terrestrial and non-terrestrial communications and applications of AI/ML to communication networks. Prior to joining Ofinno, Gautham was an industrial postdoctoral research fellow at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC and Sierra Wireless, Richmond, BC. He has authored dozens of publications in peer-reviewed IEEE journals, conferences, and workshops, including papers that have won multiple IEEE best paper awards. Gautham has also served as an invited reviewer for over 100 journal and conference paper submissions and on the technical program committees of various major IEEE conferences. He holds a PhD from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, and an MS from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, both in electrical and computer engineering.

Weihua Qiao

Senior Technical Specialist

Weihua Qiao has 19 years of experience researching and developing communication systems, from 3G to 5G, with a particular focus on the core network. He is an expert on Policy (e.g. QoS) and Charging Control, Network Slicing and Data Communication. Weihua has 10 years of experience on 3GPP standardization and has served as 3GPP CT3 Chairman for four years.

Nazanin Rastegardoost

Wireless Technology Specialist

Nazanin joined Ofinno as a wireless specialist immediately after she received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University in 2018. In 2015, she was as an Intern with Bell Labs, Stuttgart, Germany, contributing to beyond 100G optical transmission systems. She has 17 patent applications and about 10 published international papers, covering topics on PHY and MAC layer developments of wireless technologies and radio access protocols, with an emphasis on channel access and procedures in unlicensed spectrum, including LTE-U, 5G NR, and NR-U.

Damian Ruiz Coll

Principal Scientist/Researcher - Video Compression

As the Principal Scientist/Researcher on Ofinno’s Video Compression team, Damian primarily works on video compression standards as VVC, HEVC, and AV1, focusing on intra prediction optimization, screen content coding algorithms, and computational complexity reduction using Machine Learning models. Damian is an author of over 30 journals and conference papers in the field of image and video compression and five patent or provisional patents.

Before joining Ofinno, he was a professor at the Signal Processing department of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and a researcher at research labs from Polytechnic University of Valencia and Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain. He was invited to research stay at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida, U.S. Damian has also directed more than 10 Bachelor and Ph.D. Thesis and was Principal Investigator in six competitive R&D projects of both private and public funding. In his stage in the industry, he was a member of international technical committees at the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting), the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), and the DigiTAG (Digital Terrestrial Television Action Group).
Damian holds a B.S. and M.S. in Telecommunications from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in Spain and a Ph.D. in Technology information from the Castilla La-Mancha University.

Phil Smith

Senior IP Counsel & Core Team Portfolio Manager

A lawyer and an engineer, Phil joined Ofinno for the opportunity to work side-by-side with inventors during the patent process. He earned a degree in electrical engineering from Penn State and began his intellectual property career at the United States Patent & Trademark Office, where he examined patent applications in the field of electronic surgical endoscopes. While fulfilling his duties as a Primary Examiner, Phil earned a juris doctor from George Mason University with a concentration in legal & economic theory. Later, he worked in private practice at the law firm of Muncy, Geissler, Olds, & Lowe, drafting and prosecuting patent applications relating to wireless communication systems, satellite positioning, and optical data transmission devices. Phil has been working at Ofinno since 2019, and currently manages Ofinno’s patent portfolio of core network technologies, including network slicing, internet of things, time-sensitive networking, satellite communication, and aerial vehicles.

Peyman Talebi Fard

Senior Research Scientist

Prior to joining Ofinno, Peyman worked with Ericsson Research in Montreal, Canada and the Huawei Research and Innovation Center in Santa Clara. He has served as a technical committee member and reviewer for ACM, IEEE, Elsevier, Springer, and other journals, as well as published and presented his own research at international conferences and in journals. Peyman has mentored and supervised students at the undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels. Peyman received his PhD and MASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, and his BEng from Carleton University in Ottawa, with high distinction and receiving the Senate Medal for high academic achievements.

Vinod Malamal Vadakital

Principal Scientist, Video Coding Research

Vinod Kumar Malamal Vadakital received the B.E. degree in computer science and engineering from Bangalore University, Bengaluru, India, in 1998, and the M.S. degree in information technology and the Ph.D. degree in signal processing from the Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland, in 2005 and 2012, respectively. He is currently a Principal Scientist with the Video Coding Research Team of Ofinno LLC. His research interests lie in the area of video signal processing, computer vision, and XR technologies. Dr. Malamal Vadakital has previously been an Editor of the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) version 1 specification. He is currently a Vice-chair of the MPEG Immersive Video ad-hoc group within ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 4, MPEG Video Coding.

Satomi Wolf

Docketing Paralegal

Satomi is a docketing paralegal with seven years of experience in the field. Before joining Ofinno, Satomi worked at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC and at an IP firm in Reston, Virginia. Satomi received her BA in Linguistics from Kobe City University of Foreign Studies in Japan.

Kai Xu

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Kai Xu is a senior research scientist working for Ofinno Technologies LLC. He is currently working on 5G NR system design and solutions in the areas of MIMO, Beam Management, NR-U, Mobility Enhancement, V2X, High Frequency and more. Prior to Ofinno, he worked in 3GPP standard, research, and system design for 14 years at Motorola Labs, the Fujitsu R&D Center, and the Huawei Standard Department. His 4G LTE projects covered several areas of the wireless communication system for standardization, including FD-MIMO, Carrier Aggregation, EPDCCH, Small Cell enhancement, D2D, 3D BF, MIMO, CoMP, and LAA technologies. He also worked on the LTE system architecture and design, LTE baseband algorithms, IEEE 802.16e/m baseband algorithm, LTE/WiMAX link and system level performance simulation and evaluation, and Content Delivery Network. He has published and been granted with more than three hundred of patents in wireless communication area in U.S., Europe and China, and many of them are standard essential patents (SEPs). He received Ph. D degree in Wireless Communication in 2005.

Hua Zhou

Wireless Technology Specialist

Hua’s research areas cover radio access network technologies/procedures for IEEE 802.16, LTE Advanced, LTE Advanced Pro, and New Radio for 5G. Prior to working for Ofinno, he held a research expert position at Fujitsu and participated in IEEE and 3GPP standardization activities. He is an inventor of more than 300 US patents on wireless communications. He received his Ph.D. in communication and information systems from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

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