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In Conversation with Mary Fox, Co-Founding Partner of Fortem IP


Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mary Fox, Co-Founding Partner of Fortem IP to get her take on leveraging MaxVal’s search solutions.

Elisa Cooper: Mary, can you tell us about your background and how long you’ve been working in the field of intellectual property (IP)?

Mary Fox: My background is in biomechanical engineering, both for my undergrad and grad school degrees. Initially, I considered a career as an engineer when I moved to the Bay Area but quickly became interested in patent law. During law school, I worked at a medical device incubator called The Foundry, as well as a few of their Newcos, including Ardian and Miramar, where  I delved into patent work. That was about 13 or 14 years ago.

Elisa Cooper: So, your journey into IP began at The Foundry. Could you share more about your early experiences working with patents?

Mary Fox: Certainly. I essentially worked as a technical advisor/patent agent during my time at The Foundry, then transitioned to Perkins Coie in Seattle after law school. At Perkins, I focused on medical device patents, although I worked generally in the mechanical group, and did a significant amount of work in the semiconductor space. Eventually, I, along with a close colleague, Matt Lincicum, started our own firm, which has steadily grown over the last six years to 18 members.

Elisa Cooper: How did you first come across MaxVal, and what role do they play in your firm’s operations?

Mary Fox: While I used MaxVal occasionally during my time at Perkins Coie, it was mostly as a supplement as I was trained to conduct my own searches during my time at The Foundry. When we started Fortem, The Foundry became an early client and they specifically requested we use MaxVal for some important searches in preparation for an upcoming financing round.  After that, I started using MaxVal for all of my clients and began recommending them to my partners. Now our entire firm primarily uses MaxVal for our searches.

Elisa Cooper: Can you tell us about your firm’s specialization and how it has evolved over time?

Mary Fox: We are a boutique patent prosecution firm. We started with a significant focus on medical device work but we’ve since diversified covering a wide range of fields.

Elisa Cooper: Mary, what do you like about working with MaxVal, and how has the experience been for your firm?

Mary Fox: There are several aspects I appreciate about MaxVal. Firstly, their communication is excellent. Mike, our primary contact, is highly responsive and ensures a clear understanding of the project scope. The pricing is reasonable, and they consistently deliver on time. Moreover, the quality of the search results is commendable, and any occasional discrepancies are promptly addressed and corrected.

Elisa Cooper: In your opinion, how does MaxVal compare to other search providers, and what advice would you give to someone looking to choose a search provider?

Mary Fox: In head-to-head comparisons, which I’ve had the opportunity to conduct, MaxVal consistently outperforms other providers in both results and pricing. My advice would be unequivocal—choose MaxVal. I’ve recommended it to colleagues as our firm has grown, and they have all found the service worthwhile.


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