Career Chemistry: Engineering interest serves attorney well


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Saleha Mohamedulla’s favorite high school class was chemistry.

“I loved to see how one material changed into another that was totally different, and watching the chemical reactions which make this happen,” she says.

Now an attorney with Howard & Howard in Royal Oak, Mohamedulla earned an undergrad degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law where she was on the intellectual property law track.

“I always had an interest in policy and current events and how they interacted with each other,” she says.

She acquired invaluable insight into the patenting process as a patent examiner in the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C., gaining an inside perspective of issues considered by patent examiners when determining the patentability of an invention. She examined patent applications in the chemical and semiconductor processing arts, including integrated circuits, chips, photoresists, photolithography and other chemical processes.

“The most memorable patent applications were ones that tried to claim perpetual motion machines,” she recalls.

Her first job after law school was as an associate at a prominent general practice law firm in Washington, D.C., where she prosecuted patent applications relating to liquid crystal technology and electrical and mechanical devices for Korea-based LG Chem Ltd., and LG Display Co., the world’s largest LCD panel maker. She also prepared non-infringement, invalidity and product clearance opinions.

Mohamedulla enjoyed life in the nation’s capital.

“I started refining my legal skills here,” she says. “D.C. is a great town. The scene changes every year, and there are always new and exciting events to go to and restaurants to try out.”

Prior to joining Howard & Howard in 2010, Mohamedulla was in corporate practice at Dow Chemical Co. where she was patent counsel for films technology. She prepared and prosecuted patent applications, advised business groups on global intellectual property development, prepared transactional business arrangements and managed outside counsel.   

Named among Michigan Rising Stars, Mohamedulla concentrates her practice in IP law, focusing primarily on patent prosecution and patent infringement litigation in chemical and mechanical technologies.

“IP law is a perfect combination and balance of both technology and ever changing policy concerns,” she says.

A native of Holt, near Lansing, Mohamedulla now makes her home in Troy, where in her leisure time she enjoys reading, riding her bicycle, and taking long walks.