Paul S. Angello (EE’72) is a retired partner of Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Penn, he went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Southern California in 1981 and joined Stoel Rives in 1985, where he founded and built the firm’s patent practice. While practicing, Angello leveraged his engineering foundation in patent prosecution and litigation matters, including patent infringement lawsuits. He also secured for clients hundreds of patents on inventions relating to numerous engineering and technical disciplines. Angello’s gifts to the School include the Stephen J. Angello professorship, named for his father and currently held by Professor Cherie Kagan in Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE), and the Dorothy M. Angello administrative suite in ESE, which he named for his mother. He is also active in supporting Engineering Annual Giving.
What drew you to engineering and eventually to Penn Engineering?
The influence of my dad — he never let me buy anything; I always had to build it. Automobile engine analyzers, electric guitar amplifiers, transistor radios, you name it. I was always mechanically and electrically oriented and felt that engineering lent itself to my natural abilities. My dad was also a graduate of Penn Engineering and was very Penn-centric, so I grew up coming to campus with him.
Why did you decide to go into law?
While I was working as an engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company, I started to recognize things about my skillset: I was a good writer and had a detective side to me that I wanted to pursue. After working with patent attorneys to patent my own inventions, I became interested in patent law.
How did Penn Engineering contribute to your success as a patent attorney?
The foundation, the focus and the ability to relate to inventors and technical expert witnesses. Many attorneys in my field characterize themselves as attorneys who happen to be engineers, but I’m the opposite: I’m an engineer who happens to be a patent attorney. I’ve set up electrical labs for demonstrations to opposing counsel to cause dismissal of patent infringement lawsuits and used my knowledge of engineering and science fundamentals to solve patent law problems with technological solutions rather than by primarily arguing over patent case law.
What would you like to say to current students?
Penn Engineering has remained consistent in its high-quality faculty and resources. Take full advantage of these while on campus and, after you graduate and you are in the place to do so, think about what was made available to you at Penn and contribute to the cause so other students coming behind you can have those opportunities as well. I chose to honor my mother and my father in my giving because they were instrumental in helping me to get to where I am, but I encourage all alumni to find a way to give that is meaningful and keeps them connected to the School and its future success.
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