Michael Nornberg, J.D., and Melissa Whorton joined the USC Stevens Center for Innovation team in January. Michael is a Licensing Associate and Melissa is the Contracts Manager, Intellectual Property.

Prior to joining the Stevens Center, Nornberg practiced as a patent attorney, primarily in prosecution, for over 20 years in both law firms and as Sr. In-House Patent Counsel for a major international technology corporation. He received his training at the U.S. Patent Trademark Office, where he was a Patent Examiner.

Prior to embarking upon his intellectual property career, Nornberg was a Systems Test Engineer at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where he was a team member on the Space Shuttle program, participating in mission preparation, launch operations, and landing recoveries.

Nornberg earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in Telecommunications from George Mason University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law.

Nornberg is a bar member of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  He is also registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Trademark Office. He can be reached at nornberg@usc.edu

Melissa Whorton joined the Stevens Center as Contracts Manager, Intellectual Property. She brings more than 17 years of experience in academic technology transfer, commercial contracting, and business development. As the Contracts Manager, Whorton will serve as a central resource for reviewing intellectual property (IP) terms of all contractual relationships involving non-standard IP terms.

Prior to joining USC, Whorton worked at Pfizer Inc. as a Senior Associate for the Worldwide Research Business Development team, supporting Pfizer’s various Research Divisions contract requests. She also worked at The Scripps Research Institute as the Material Transfer Agreement Coordinator and Technology Transfer Representative.

Whorton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies and is an active member of the Association of University Technology Mangers and Licensing Executives Society. She can be reached at mwhorton@usc.edu