Community Day

Woodworking – Ocean themed Whale Cutting Board

Wanna try something new during the mandatory telework program? KAIPO members present an indoor activity you can enjoy at home. Thank you Sang K. Kim for sharing with us how to make Ocean themed Whale Cutting Board. 

Community Day Get to Know Series Konnect

Get to Know… James Lee!

James J. Lee is KAIPO’s Secretary in 2020, and a new SPE in TC3600.

James Lee (second from left) with Director Andrei Iancu, Commissioner Drew Hirshfeld, and President of AIPLA Sheldon Klein at 2019 AIPLA Award Ceremony.

Q: Tell us about your background. (i.e., Where is your hometown? If you immigrated to the US, how were your first several years in the US?)

I have a unique background in that I have moved between countries and across different states almost every four to five years since I was born.  My birthplace is New Jersey which is where my father was working overseas at the time.  My family moved back to Korea when I was about four years old and I spent most of my youth in Korea.  Seoul is where I still consider to be my hometown and I try to visit every year.  When I was about to enter my Middle school in Korea our family had yet another opportunity to live in another country, and our destination at that time was Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  I have great memories living in foreign country and especially befriending international students from all around the world.  After four years in Kuala Lumpur, my parents moved back to Korea once again, but this time I decided to study abroad in United States with the support of my family.  I moved to Connecticut for High school, New York for college, and then to Rhode Island and Massachusetts for my first job out of college.  I am currently living in Northern Virginia with a family of my own. 

Q: How did you learn about the patent examining career at the USPTO? When did you begin your career at the USPTO?

I started my career at the USPTO in July 2012.  Prior to that I was an engineer at Raytheon in the Greater Boston area.  I remember chatting with a senior engineer in the lab and asking him about the patent plaque he had on his office wall.  Many months after that conversation, I randomly googled “patent” and learned about USPTO and the career as a patent examiner.  Living near the capital of United States was on my bucket list at the time and I was intrigued by the four months training offered by the Patent Training Academy so I decided to apply and give it a go. 

Q: What opportunities or experiences enriched your career as a Junior or Primary Examiner? How did they help?

As a junior examiner, I wanted to help out the Art Unit and at the same time do something in addition to examining patents.  My supervisor gave me an opportunity to serve as a classifier for my Art Unit and review the USPC symbol put on applications by the contractors prior to the applications being docketed to the examiners.  Over time, I got to initiate and respond to transfer inquiries and also had multiple opportunities to coach other classifiers.  The experience I gained from these opportunities led me to work on the CPC Cross Walk project in 2015 and I assisted my Art Unit as a CPC Quality Nominee ever since.  After becoming a primary examiner in 2017, I served on a detail to the Office of International Cooperation as a Classification Quality Specialist and had a unique chance to meet delegates from IP5 Offices and also travel to Korea to give training to a group of examiners and contractors at KIPO.  Looking back, it is quite amazing to see what how a small contribution I made as a junior examiner has led me to an opportunity to engage with the international IP community.  

Q: Congratulations on recently becoming a SPE! What inspired you to become a Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE)?

Thank you!  I am very excited and I feel very fortunate to be serving as a SPE.  Quite frankly, I did not have a particular goal set in mind to become a supervisor when I was a junior examiner or even when I became a primary examiner.  My number one goal has always been to stay engaged with the changes going on at the Office and to stay connected with the people.  These two goals seem to have aligned well with the duties and responsibilities of a supervisor and I naturally gravitated towards pursuing related roles such as Training Assistant or GS-14 Trainer to gain experience working with the people.  I enjoyed developing people professionally and more importantly establishing good working relationships and trust while doing so.  I felt that I was ready to pursue the next step at the time and I am glad that I took the leap.   

Q: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for fellow Examiners who seek to grow professionally and advance in their career?

There will be times when small or big opportunities come your way during your career at the Office.  Always be ready to seize those opportunities and rise to the occasion.  Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking up the challenges that are of unfamiliar ground to you will help you expand your boundaries and gain new perspectives.  But most importantly, have a positive mindset and enjoy the experience!

Q: What does KAIPO mean to you?

KAIPO is very special to me because it was found on the basis of the common mission, vision, and value I shared with the leaders of KAIPO.  We all envisioned KAIPO serving as a community where people can connect, share ideas, have fun and grow together as professionals.  I see great potentials in what the members can gain from KAIPO and more importantly how the members can serve and help others through KAIPO.  I hope we can all share the excitement and anticipation for the legacy that we are carrying and passing on to the next generation of leaders and members of KAIPO.

Q: What is something that the KAIPO members may not know about you?

Instead of giving it away here, let’s get connected and get to know each other.  That’s what KAIPO is all about!  We will be introducing an online platform and offering virtual events throughout the year so come join us and get to know our members.

Community Day Konnect

Tee Time with Tae-Sik Kang: Same but Not Equal Golf Swing

Cobra Hill Tae-Sik Kang, Chairman of GoKAP (Golf Korean-American Patent Examiner)

Golf is a game where you hit a ball into a hole with a club. Unlike other sports, when playing, your opponents do not interrupt you and you play only a stationary ball. Therefore, it can seem really simple and easy for someone who does not play golf. However, there are twelve different directions of wrist movement when you hold a club with your hand and swing it to hit the ball, and numerous body rotations, such as waist rotation, shoulder rotation, and arm rotation, must be harmoniously coordinated to hit the ball correctly.  With so many combinations of body movements, a full golf swing can be completed, therefore, it is not easy to find a single full swing pattern that can be applied to everyone with different body conditions simultaneously. Even pro golfers such as Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Matthew Wolf, Choi Ho-sung, and Im Sung-jae also have distinctly different golf swings.

There are 7 steps in golf swing; Address, Take Away, Top of Swing, Down Swing, Impact, Follow Through, and Finish. Among the various swing methods, the impact section of the ball can be considered to be the same, but the other 6 steps can be significantly different. Nowadays, even if you don’t take golf lessons directly from teaching pros, there are so many opportunities to learn over the Internet. However, since each teaching pro teaches with various swing theories and methods, it is important to find out the most suitable swing method to you after listening to various lessons. It could be also fun to research and develop your own unique swing method.

Three of the most avoidable movements for beginner golfers during a golf swing are: the right arm’s Flying Elbow during the back swing, the Over the Top movement during the downswing, and the left arm’s Flying Elbow after the impact. The movement of the right arm elbow out of the body during the back swing is called the Flying Elbow, which causes a sliced ball and causes loss of flight distance (FIG. 1).

Fig. 1. Flying Elbow (L) v. Good Swing (R). Right arm’s Flying Elbow can result during a back swing. Source:

During the downswing, the Over the Top movement creates an out-in swing trajectory of your club head from outside to inside, so that the ball is cut and sliced, and the flying distance is significantly reduced (FIG. 2).

Fig. 2. Over the Top (L) v. Good Swing (R). Over the Top movement can occur during a downswing. Source:

Also, if you give too much force to your arm when swinging, you will not be able to throw the club forward after impact, so the left arm will be pulled towards your body and another Flying Elbow will result in your left elbow (FIG. 3). This action also results in loss of distance. Therefore, it is thought that avoiding the above three movements will help you improve your golf swing.

Fig. 3. Chicken Wing (L) v. Good Swing (R). The left arm’s Chicken Wing can result after an impact. Source:

By GoKAP (Golf Korean-American Patent Examiner) Chairman, Cobra Hill Tae-Sik Kang


제목: 같지만 같지 않은 골프 스윙

골프란, 클럽으로 공을 쳐서 홀에 넣는 게임으로,  다른 스포츠와는 달리 플레이할 때 상대의 방해를 받지 않으며 정지해 있는 공을 플레이 합니다.  따라서, 골프를 하지 않는 사람한테는 정말 단순하고 쉬워보일 수 있습니다.  하지만, 손으로 클럽을 잡고 휘둘러서 공을 맟출 때의 손목 동작만 해도 12가지의 서로 다른 방향이 있으며, 허리 회전, 어깨 회전, 팔 회전 등 수 많은 몸통회전 동작들이 조화롭게 움직여야만 공을 올바르게 보낼 수 있습니다.  이렇게 많은 신체 동작들의 조합으로 골프 스윙이 완성 될 수 있으니, 신체 조건이 각각 다른 모든 사람에게 동시에 적용할 수 있는 하나의 풀 스윙 패턴을 찾기란 쉽지 않습니다.  아놀드 파머, 타이거 우즈, 짐 퓨릭, 더스틴 존슨, 매튜 울프, 최호성, 임성재 등 프로 골퍼 선수들도 제각각 확연히 다른 골프 스윙을 구사하고 있습니다.

              골프 스윙은 단계 별로, 어드레스 (Address), 테이크어웨이 (Take Away), 탑 어브 스윙 (Top of Swing), 다운 스윙 (Down Swing), 임팩트 (Impact), 팔로우 스루 (Follow Through), 피니쉬 (Finish), 총 7 단계로 나눌 수 있습니다.  여러 가지 스윙 방법들 중에서, 공의 임팩트 구간은 서로 같다고 볼 수 있으나, 다른 6 단계는 확연히 다를 수 있습니다.  요즘, 티칭 프로로 부터 직접 골프 레슨을 받지 않더라도, 인터넷을 통해 배울 수 있는 기회가 정말 많습니다.  다만, 각각의 티칭 프로마다 다양한 스윙 이론과 방법으로 가르치고 있기 때문에, 다양한 레슨을 들어본 후 본인 한테 가장 적합한 스윙 방법을 찾는게 중요합니다.  또한, 본인 만의 독특한 스윙 방법을 연구, 개발하는 것도 하나의 재미라 할 수 있습니다.

             골프 스윙 시 초보 골퍼한테 가장 많이 나타나는 피해야 하는 동작들 중 3가지는, 백 스윙시 오른 팔의 치킨 윙 (Flying Elbow) 동작, 다운 스윙시 엎어치는 (Over the Top) 동작, 그리고 공을 임팩트한 후 왼 팔의 치킨 윙 (Flying Elbow) 동작입니다.  백 스윙시 오른팔 팔꿈치가 몸통 바깥으로 심하게 나가는 동작을 치킨 윙이라 하며,  이 동작은 슬라이스를 유발하고 비거리에 손실을 줍니다.  다운 스윙시 엎어치는 (over the top) 동작은 클럽 헤드를 바깥에서 안쪽으로 들어오는 아웃-인 (Out-In) 스윙 궤도를 만들어 공이 깎여맞아 슬라이스가 나고, 비거리가 현저히 줄어 들게 됩니다.  또한 스윙 할때 팔에 힘을 너무 많이 주게 돼면, 공을 임팩트한 후 클럽을 앞으로 던져주지 못해 왼 팔이 몸 쪽으로 당겨지고 왼팔 팔꿈치가 몸통 바깥으로 심하게 나가는 또 다른 치킨 윙 동작이 만들어집니다.  이 동작 또한 비거리 손실을 가져옵니다.  따라서, 위의 세가지 동작들을 피하면 골프 스윙을 향상시키는데 많은 도움이 되리라 생각됩니다.


GoKAP (Golf Korean-American Patent Examiner) 회장, 코브라 힐 강태식

Community Day Konnect

How to Help My Child Succeed in School: The Personal Side

EDITOR:  After recent Dr. Jeong’s recent webinar, many audiences requested to hear more about personal experiences and feelings as a first generation immigrant parent. This article is a follow-up article on those topics.

By Dr. Youngsul Jeong

I wanted to follow up on my seminar to write about a virtue I regarded highly in helping my son for his schooling years and his life after: establishing a relationship.

I am a first-generation immigrant parent. I attended elementary, middle, high school, and college in Korea. My first and only personal experience with an American education was graduate school, so when it came time for my son to start his schooling, his entire school curriculum, from pre-school to college, and the philosophy of American schooling was all new to me. As I experienced the American education system indirectly through my son’s eyes, it came with a mix of culture shocks and envy. For example, it was shocking to see teachers and students have a mutually-respectful, more mentorship-like relationship, rather than the hierarchical teacher-student relationship that was more prevalent in Korea. I was envious that the students here got to be exposed to and be a part of various sports programs for each season and extracurricular activities at school, which I believed resulted in raising a more well-rounded student.

Since I received most of my schooling in a local city in Korea from the 1970s to the 1980s, I felt that between the cultural and generational differences, my schooling advice may not be very practical or relevant for my son. Not only is there a generation gap between us, but there is also a cultural difference between us. I grew up Korea. He’s growing up in the United States as a “generation Z” child. Furthermore, the education system of Korea back in the 1970s-1980s and the education system of the United States in the 2000s and onwards is not only culturally different, but also philosophically different. Taking all of this into consideration, I decided to remain an “observer” rather than a “coach” with regards to my son’s education. This decision not only gave me the opportunity to learn more about my son, but it also played an important role in establishing a healthy relationship with my son.

In my generation, parents and teachers were more akin to “coaches”. Their advice were generally thinly veiled “commands”. I didn’t want this kind of relationship with my son. I believe that “coaching” is not always the right approach, and that is why I never passed down to my son the advice I got from my parents and teachers with regards to schooling. To be honest, I was afraid of passing down my own and my generation’s preconceptions and prejudices to my son, which I believed could result in unintended, negative consequences of their own later in his life. Therefore, I became more an “observer.”

So what are the actions of an “observer”? Let’s take time management as an example. As an “observer,” I did not put into place a curfew or put restrictions on his video gaming and social-network web browsing. Rather, I patiently watched how he managed his time and worked. That way, he was given the opportunity to practice managing his own time, take accountability for the consequences that followed, both good and bad, and learn to adjust his life style accordingly. As with anything, time management takes practice, and it is a skill that is person-dependent. What works for me won’t necessarily work for him, so by me taking on an “observer” role, he was able to practice and master his time management skills as he was growing up.

However, I want to make clear that taking on an “observer” role does not mean that you neglect your duties as a parent. On the contrary, it may actually require you to invest more time and energy as a parent, which was the case for me. For example, when my son came across a problem, I would watch him go through his process of problem-solving, all while in the background, I was preparing alternatives for him in case things did not go well. This takes more time, energy, and patience on my part compared to just immediately giving him the answer or direction on how to solve the problem from my perspective, but as with time management, problem-solving and critical thinking skills takes time and practice to develop. Speaking frankly, it wasn’t always easy suppressing my temptation to become a “coach”. However, the rewards of doing so were worth it in the long run. It led to a father-son relationship with consistent communication, open dialogue with willingness to listen on both our parts, and mutual respect; and it ultimately led to raising a son who is able to think critically and become a responsible, well-adjusted adult.


Community Day Konnect Spotlight on Members

Spotlight on Members: Seong-ah A. Shin

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My office is in: Crofton, Maryland (Annapolis/Baltimore area)
What made you want to hotel from there? To spend more time with my family, and I am not big fan of the 495 traffic.
Favorite restaurant/scenery: Best Restaurant – Thames Street Oyster House @ Fells Point, Baltimore; Best Scenery – Severn Inn and Mission BBQ both in Annapolis
Favorite coffee spot: City Dock Coffee and Starbucks both @ Annapolis City Dock
Favorite Friday night spot(s): Rams Head Tavern and Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge both @ West Street, Annapolis
Can’t miss for visitors: 1) U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) – Noon Meal Formation, a tour of USNA, and Formal Parade, and
2) Maryland World War II Memorial – a nice scenery
What is your motto? (Specially during current pandemic) “Just keep swimming!” – Dory from Finding Nemo

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