About Sheila Gibson
J.D., University of Southern California School of Law, 2002
USC Law Scholarship; Editor-in-Chief of Interdisciplinary Law Journal; Federal Circuit Bar Association Writing Competition
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1996
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Business and Administration
National Science Foundation Scholar; UCLA Latina Alumni Scholar
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Founder, Aura IP Law
Partner, Hahn Loeser and Parks LLP
Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Senior Associate, Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP
Associate, Knobbe Martens Olson and Bear LLP
Sheila Gibson is the founder of Aura IP Law. She started her career in Intellectual Property (IP) at a nationally recognized IP boutique and practiced at several top-tier law firms over her first 16 years as an attorney. She has worked with clients in many different industries, such as biotech, medical device, cannabis, food packaging, pharmaceutical, green technology, mechanical, sports innovation, beverages, and more. Sheila has counseled clients from the research and development stage to startups to small- and medium-sized businesses to large, publicly traded companies. She has advised her clients in all aspects of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, branding, licensing, IP transactions, IP agreements, opinion work, due diligence, and product launch.
Having always been passionate about the treatment of diseases but feeling drawn toward a career in business she worked in the biotech industry prior to attending law school and pursuing a career in IP. Thus, she brings a unique combination of strong science and IP experience with a solid understanding of her clients’ business needs. Rather than tackling her clients’ IP objectives in a vacuum, she uses her clients’ business objectives and considerations to guide her IP strategy and recommendations in order to achieve her clients’ goals.
In addition, having received exposure to all aspects of intellectual property including some of the most complex prosecution, litigation, and transnational issues at her prior law firms, she learned to approach each matter with big-picture thinking that includes an eye toward global strategy and avoiding possible future pitfalls and/or litigation. Thus, her approach to her clients’ matters is multi-faceted with each facet of every legal issue receiving her careful attention and scrutiny.
Now free from the constraints of Big Law, she is able use her unique skill set and approach to provide more efficient and tailored legal services for her clients.
What’s in a name?
Every brand should tell a story, and here’s ours.
Typically, law firms have gone by the founders' last names. In starting my own firm, I wanted different things than I’ve encountered in big law and that started with one of my very first decisions: the name of the firm. I wanted to give a nod to my dad, who, as an entrepreneur himself, gave me the tools to succeed in my new role as an entrepreneur. My dad was a very talented printer and when I was young he began a side business--Arriola Printing Services. He had saved up enough money to purchase a small printing press and a light table and printed in our garage every day after work.
The surname Arriola is similar to the Spanish word “aureola” which translates to “aura.” Aura is defined as “the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing or place.” When I thought about the word “aura” in terms of an IP law firm, I quickly realized that intellectual property, in particular the brand of a business, is the aura of that business and as an IP attorney, I am protecting that aura.
From there I looked at aura colors and meanings. The yellow aura symbolizes intellect and ideas; a true inventor and innovator. Yellow aura personalities are committed, hardworking and have an ability to learn and a love for study. The green aura symbolizes health, healing, and renewal and is radiated when undergoing a change or transformation and moving onto something better. Green aura personalities are typically very organized and efficient. And the red aura symbolizes courage, strength, and vitality, and indicates the will power necessary to ensure success. Red aura personalities are grounded and centered, passionate about what they are doing, and give 100% in everything. They are direct, to the point, and have no agenda or ulterior motive. Being a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan, I could not get past the yellow and green and it wasn’t until I finally looked at the combination of the three colors together that I realized these aura colors were also the colors of the Rastafari religious movement that has long been associated with cannabis.
And thus, Aura IP Law was born!
What’s in a logo?
In designing the logo, I wanted something that reflected both the firm name and the journey that led me to Aura IP Law. The circle is the aura around the firm.
The double helix DNA represents my journey into and career in intellectual property law. My interest in genetics began when I was 13 years old with the birth of my identical twin brothers. That interest was heightened when at 16 I learned that I had a different blood type than my parents and I had questions! The answers to those questions were found in genetics and the biology teacher who answered them for me recognized an innate curiosity and helped me apply for a National Science Foundation grant to do research with a professor in a local university lab while I was a senior in high school. From there I went on to earn a degree in Microbiology and Molecular genetics, which made me eligible to sit for the patent bar and become a patent attorney following law school. Given that my technical expertise for patents is life sciences/biotech, the double helix on the left is a very large part of Aura IP Law.
The leaves represent my journey from life sciences into the cannabis industry. For 14 years of my IP career, I helped build and prosecute a massive, global IP portfolio for a cancer immunotherapy company. I put literal blood (paper cuts), sweat, and tears (lots of tears) into this portfolio prosecuting hundreds of patents all over the world. Over the years as the company saw successes and failures in clinical trials and after the recession hit and money was tight, hard decisions were made to abandon a large number of patents I had worked so hard to obtain. To avoid becoming desensitized to the importance of the work I was doing in view of the business decisions that were being made, I looked for something outside of patents that would help me remain passionate about my role in finding a cure for cancer. That something came in the form of cancer patient accounts online. At the time, the majority of the patient blogs and accounts were moms of pediatric cancer patients telling their stories. It was here that I came across a little girl who changed my life, Sophie Ryan (@prayersforsophie and savingsophie.org). Sophie’s parents were treating their daughter’s brain tumor with cannabis and their pictures and story told the undeniable truth about cannabis as medicine. As I learned more, I felt called to do my part to help bring this plant back to life using my legal skills to help protect and foster cannabis innovation and protect the brands that will make cannabis available to everyone.
The logo orientation was selected because it resembles the caduceus (the symbol of medicine) with the chakras opening up on top. The splash of red on the right is the red aura, grounding the logo. Our firm logo holds so much meaning on many levels!
The logo and website were designed by my very good (and patient) friends at Inclusive Cannabis.