Conversations with members of the Harvard and Radcliffe Class of 1992.
Hosted by Will Bachman.

Episode: 89

Anastasia Fernands, Patent Litigator

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Anastasia Fernands has been practicing law since graduating from NYU. She started practicing in Boston at Hutchins, Wheeler and Dittmar, which was the oldest continuously running firm in Boston at the time. Anastasia has since moved to New York and now practices at Quinn Emanuel. Anastasia’s career primarily focuses on intellectual property litigation, particularly patent litigation since the mid to late 90s. At that time there were two schools of thought on patent litigation: technical people who understood technology and those who were litigators by trade. There was a shift for litigators who weren’t necessarily experts in technology to be more involved in patent litigation.


The Initial Stages of Patent Litigation
Patent litigation starts after someone has received a patent from the patent office. If the patent owner thinks someone is infringing, they might reach out in a friendly business manner, send a cease and desist letter, or immediately file a complaint. Litigation begins when a complaint is filed, and sometimes even a motion for preliminary injunction is filed to try to enjoin the competitor from selling the accused infringing product. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are local patent rules in many jurisdictions. Once the complaint is filed, there is an answer, a scheduling conference, and, in jurisdictions that have patent rules, a number of specific deadlines. The preliminary phase involves exchanging information about how to interpret the patent, exchange documents, take depositions, and have expert discovery where experts give their opinions on infringement and invalidity, as well as other issues.


Statutory Damages Limitation and Prosecution Latches
In patent litigation, damages are limited by statute to only six years before filing of the complaint. Prosecution latches is based on delay in patent prosecution. If a party continues to file follow on applications with the patent office, prosecution latches could kick in, if they get new claims 10-12-15 years into prosecution.


A Discussion on High-profile Litigation Cases
Anastasia talks about her involvement in Samsung versus Apple and Apple vs. Samsung. Her role was to be a member of the team in various trials and appeals, and she was on the team from the beginning of the case through trial for one of the Northern District of California litigations. Anastasia also shares her experiences in pharmaceutical and biologics cases, highlighting the challenges of patent law. She discusses Section 101, which determines whether a patent claims patent-eligible subject matter. Invalidity can occur due to the nature of the subject matter, such as if something is naturally occurring or a law of nature. The bargain between the patent office and patentee is that the patentee must advance the art to obtain exclusive rights for their invention. A patent must provide adequate written description and sufficient information for a skilled person to recreate it. Anastasia reflects on her understanding of the world and how it has changed over the years as a patent litigator.


Misconceptions about the Patent System
Anastasia discusses the misconceptions people have about the patent system, particularly regarding the concept of patentable ideas. She explains that just because an idea is great doesn’t mean it meets all the requirements for statutory patentability. She discusses the difference between trademark, copyright, and patent, and the different types of intellectual property rights each covers. Anastasia cites the Supreme Court case of the Myriad, which revolved around a link between the BRCA gene and breast cancer. She also discusses the concept of section 101, which determines whether a subject matter is patentable. Section 101, concerning not patentable subject matter, has been a hot topic in law over the last 10-15 years. As advancements in science and the human genome continue to link specific genes to specific conditions, there is a tension between the remarkable advancements in identifying genes that correlate with specific conditions and the notion that a naturally occurring gene cannot be patented.


Patenting AI Generated Ideas
The conversation turns to the possibility of patenting an AI-generated idea using Chat via Chat GPT. They discuss the potential for a computer-assisted story to be copyrightable and the question of whether using technology to assist in idea formulation does not prevent patentability. They also discuss the possibility of independent AI agents submitting ideas to the patent office. Anastasia explains that patents currently have humans identified as inventors, and they discuss whether AI programs could also be considered as inventors.


Influential Harvard Professors and Courses
Anastasia talks about why she chose to pursue a career in patent litigation and who influenced her decision. At Harvard, some of the courses that resonated with her include Shakespeare, The Early Plays, Eckehard Simon’s Medieval Court, and Michelangelo, and the tutor for her Sophomore History Tutorial, Rachelle Friedman.



03:49 Patent litigation stages and latches

08:59 Patent law and litigation involving smartphones and pharmaceuticals

13:55 Patent law and its applications

21:21 Patentability of natural gene discoveries and AI-assisted inventions

26:43 Patent law and AI inventorship

32:15 Harvard experiences



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  1. Anastasia Fernand


Anastasia Fernands, Will Bachman


Will Bachman  00:02

Hello, and welcome to the 90 T Report. I’m your host will Bachman and I’m excited to be here today with Anastasia finance. Anastasia. Welcome to the show. Happy to be here. So Anastasia, tell me about your journey since graduating from Harvard.


Anastasia Fernands  00:21

So I’m afraid for your listeners that I’m my journey has been a little a lot more boring than a lot of the people from our classmates you’ve talked to already, I set on the path to go to law school and when pretty promptly to law school at NYU, right. The year after graduation, graduated NYU in 96. started practicing in Boston at Hutchins Wheeler and Ditmar, which at the time was the oldest continuously running firm in Boston, having been founded in 1844, if I remember, and sadly which has not existed since 2002. Right, it’s it’s kind of sad that Weil, Gotshal and Nixon Peabody have the two large groups from what was the old Hutchins Wheeler in Ditmar. In still practicing in Boston, have a lot of really amazing friends from those days, went from went from Hutchins to Goodwin proctor in Boston, and then left Boston in 2005, to come down to New York. And I’ve been practicing at Quinn Emanuel in New York since 2007.


Will Bachman  01:28

Why are all law firms named after like some founding senior partners? I mean, most companies, a few do that, but not many outside of law firms. Why did law firms do that?


Anastasia Fernands  01:44

I don’t have a legal reason for it. I never thought about it, where I just speculate, I would think it’s because law firms are partnerships, or, or, you know, or at least originally restructured as partnerships, and they the sale of legal services is more personal than a company or you know, but I’m not sure. Okay, there are a few law firms. There are a few law firms who have tried to do names that are not, that are not the names of the founding partners, but very few. And of course, I don’t know, for those who are in Boston, at times, Some law firms have, on occasion felt the need to drop some names from from the, from the letterhead for various reasons, including that, you know, folks just Goodwin and proctor used to be Goodwin Proctor and hor H. o ar, they decided to rename as a two name firm at one point.


Will Bachman  02:43

I don’t think we need to explore why. But okay. All right. All right. So all right, I interrupted you, though. So tell me. Yeah, so just tell me a little bit more about the type of law that you practice.


Anastasia Fernands  02:59

So even though I did not get any sort of technical degree at Harvard, I was government major. I have been doing intellectual property litigation for most of my career, and primarily patent litigation in the mid to late 90s. While I was still at Hutchins, Wheeler, people, general practice litigators started thinking that rather than having there are two schools of thought on this, I will admit, or at least two, but some for the longest time patent litigation was largely technical people who really understood the technology, but not people who were necessarily litigators by trade. And there was a bit of a shift for litigators who weren’t necessarily the experts in the technology to be involved in patent litigation. And I walked up to a partner in 1998 and said, Hey, I want to do that. And that’s pretty much been most of my practice since then, to do patent litigations.


Will Bachman  04:02

Walk me through a kind of typical patent litigation from like, what are the different stages of it? And what does a patent litigator? Do? I imagine that there’s some point of it where it doesn’t it’s not at litigation, yet. They’re just sort of having some friendly, Attorney sponsored discussions between the parties to try to negotiate things and those fail and it finally gets to the litigator, but just kind of walk me through a case.


Anastasia Fernands  04:36

So I guess it all depends on whether it starts with a friendly discussion or not. So there are certainly cases where there are letters that go out or, you know, one company says thinks that another company is infringing a patent, it sends a cease and desist letter, or it sends a letter saying you know, you More often than not, I would say it’s probably a letter saying, Hi, we think possibly you might be infringing in our technology. And we’d like to talk to you in some way that doesn’t give them declaratory judgment jurisdiction for the party, you’re saying is an infringer to go and sue you where they want to. But that’s sorry, I went off in an odd tangent to start. So patent litigation, starts out with, you know, someone has received a patent from the patent office, I have no role in that as a patent litigator, that those are tend to be patent prosecutors, and they have to be admitted before the patent trademark office, which I am not as someone without who doesn’t have a technical degree. But then once the patent is issued, if, if the patent owner thinks someone is infringing, they either reach out, as you said in some sort of friendly business kind of way. Or frequently, if it is a hot head to head competition kind of situation. As soon as the patent issues a complaint gets filed. And sometimes even when the complaint gets filed. There’s also a motion for preliminary injunction to try to enjoin the competitor from selling the accused infringing product, even from the beginning of the litigation. So assuming no preliminary injunction, depending on your jurisdiction, and it’s different everywhere, there are a lot there are local patent rules in a lot of jurisdictions. There is once the complaint is filed, there is an answer. Then there is a scheduling conference. In jurisdictions that have patent rules, there are usually a number of specific deadlines. So you exchange information about how to interpret the patent. You exchange. The patentee says this is why I think you the accused infringer infringe the accused infringer says no, this is since then back invalidity contentions that say this is why I don’t think your patent is valid. All that goes on during the discovery phase of the litigation. There are also documents exchanged and depositions taken. And then there is an expert discovery phase where experts give their opinions about both infringement and invalidity and often about other issues depending on if there are if there are additional questions in that particular case that are not in every case, such as unenforceability, or maybe a latches question or something like that. I’m


Will Bachman  07:26

sorry, latches question.


Anastasia Fernands  07:28

Yeah, latches. So basically, you little You waited too long latches, as I as you know. So there are a couple of different types of latches there is in patent litigation, you can’t get damages back for more than six years at that statutory. So you can’t sort of wait and for someone to have been selling the product for a long time for I mean, six years is a pretty long time. But you can’t wait for the full lifecycle of a product and then sue and get damages for all of the sales if you win. But there’s also something called prosecution latches, where it’s basically a if during the lifecycle of you trying to prosecute the patent before the patent office in while you’re trying to get the patent. If you continue to file with the patent office, something called a continuation, where you keep getting additional patents off the same original application, there can come a point where you have been doing this prosecution process for so long, something called prosecution latches could kick in, where the party accused of infringing way down the line a patent that your original claims when you first filed the application maybe didn’t cover, but something that you filed 10 1215 years into prosecution arguably do called cover, you’ll say, I’m sorry. That’s like I’ve been building up this business, you didn’t have a claim that covered it. You. You waited too long latches.


Will Bachman  08:59

Okay, so I have a bunch of questions. So first one is some patents my understanding by laypersons understanding is they cover a process, and that you would do potentially internally to your company. It might be some kind of algorithm, or it might be some kind of way, you know, something in the software or something and how you run your assembly line or some kind of process innovation. How would the person who owns the patent on that if you see someone selling your product on the market, and the product is clearly infringing on your pet, you can tell right? But if it’s an internal process, how would you even know, to go complain?


Anastasia Fernands  09:48

So something that a party might do in that instance, is to is to plead in their complaint on information and belief, right. So and that sort of a little, and that is to say, we believe, you know, we based on knowing this, based on seeing the product, and perhaps it is some revolutionary new process, that you believe the only way to make the product is to use your process. So you could you could allege in your complaint, if that is the case, we, the patent owner, have this patent that is a process for you know, whatever it is. And that process results in this improved performance or in this improved characteristic or whatever, whatever the process gives you. And we have determined that this competitor has a product that exhibits that characteristic. Based on our own research and development, we believe that the only way to achieve that characteristic is using our process. And so that would be one way about going about, you know, in a process pattern, if you think if your think your process is being used.


Will Bachman  11:07

Okay. Tell me about if there’s any cases, you can talk about that, you can either share the details where you can share in a sanitized way that you’ve been involved with, what if some of your favorite case has been that you’ve been involved with?


Anastasia Fernands  11:21

So as a litigator, it is the case that once I once my name is on the docket, it is at least public that I have been involved in the case. So but I will still be very, very sanitized. A very long time ago, just because everybody heard about it. Quinn Emanuel, the firm that I’m with, was counsel for Samsung, in a number of cases with Samsung versus Apple. And that was all very public that Quinn Emanuel was representing Samsung in those matters. And I was one of the team of Samsung counsel on the Apple Samsung patent litigations, which had me traveling a lot. And it was definitely it. It was one of those things where as a patent litigator, you don’t. You don’t usually see your life in, for instance, you know, the Wall Street Journal, but there was a lot of coverage of that particular case back, you know, more than a decade ago when that was going on.


Will Bachman  12:21

And what was the what was the contention there? And what was your role?


Anastasia Fernands  12:25

Um, so the convention there were, there were patents going back and forth on both sides. And they were, those were the patent disputes about smartphones. So it was after the iPhone, had come out. And then after there were various other smartphones. And there were a number of litigations between Apple and other smartphone makers about various aspects of smartphone technology. And my role was to be, you know, a member of our team, there were a couple of trials that took place about this, and there were appeals before, various decisions. But I was on the, on the team from the beginning of the case through trial for the second one of the Northern District of California litigations between Apple and Samsung.


Will Bachman  13:14

All right. Oh, tell me about any other ones that you have been involved with. And, you know, that that maybe illustrate something that would be, you know, help help us understand patent law,


Anastasia Fernands  13:27

or illustrate something that helps you under help understand patent life, a tough line, I’ve I’ve been involved in a variety of pharmaceutical and biologics cases over the years as well, and had some very interesting, very interesting questions of validity of patents of who was the proper inventor? Just have what’s called Section 101, which is whether or not the patent actually Claims Patent eligible subject matter. There are any number of reasons a patent can be invalid. invalidity can be because the subject matter isn’t patent eligible. And that is, there is a I’ve tried to come up with the right word here it within the patent law, if something is naturally occurring or a large law of nature, then it shouldn’t it the naturally occurring element is not itself patentable, the there is a disfavoring of giving someone a monopoly of on something that occurs in nature. So So there’s one on one eligibility that has come up in my cases, there are everything we refer to everything by the section of the statute. So there’s also whether or not someone else had invented it before there is whether it would be obvious and all of These things have come up in cases, there are also issues of whether or not the patent adequately describes the invention, which are issues of written description and enablement. The deal, the deal between the patent office and the patentee is that in order to get your, you know, in order to get your exclusive rights for the term of your patent, you’re supposed to advance the art. And to advance the art your patent has to describe adequately, what your invention is, it has to provide a written description of and sufficient information such that a person with a skill in that field would be able to recreate your invention, once you’re once your exclusivity is gone, the world ought to be able to make what you’ve invented off of your patent. That’s kind of the deal of the system. And so the statute provides all of these, all of the different sections of the statute, set forth all of these requirements. And if the requirements aren’t met, those are a means by which to challenge the validity of the patent if you’re accused of infringing it.


Will Bachman  16:06

As you go about your daily life, I’m curious how you’re two and a half decades as a patent litigator, has just shaped your mental model and understanding of the world. The French call it different Marcion profesionales, which is like professional shaping, I guess. So how does your understanding of the world how is it shifted? Based on your training as a patent litigator? Like when you go throughout the world? Do you think to yourself all the time, like oh, okay, you know, what was the patent on that? Or I wonder, what’s the one patent on that? Or how would I patent that thing, or that thing clearly can’t be patented? Because it’s a law of nature? I’m curious sort of what you know now about the world and how it’s different from when, before you became a patent litigator?


Anastasia Fernands  17:00

I don’t usually wander around thinking about whether things are aren’t patented, for the most part, although now that I say that there are certainly times where I see something and I think, Wow, I wonder if someone patented it that and I hope they made a ton of money on it. Oh,


Will Bachman  17:18

give me an example. Give me an example.


Anastasia Fernands  17:20

I, you know, I, I’m not going to be able to come up with off the top of my head a time when I’ve had that thought. But I’ve absolutely had the thought when I see something really clever, produce something really clever, that’s maybe been around for a long time that you think that you know, that there wouldn’t be a patent on it anymore. But whoever did it the first time that you just think What a clever idea, who like and what a clever idea that? Maybe wouldn’t, you know, it would have been out of the box thinking, but has become so ubiquitous, and you just have the thought of, like,


Will Bachman  17:58

AI? Isn’t isn’t the windshield wiper? A classic example of that, like the person made a ton of money somehow windshield wiper?


Anastasia Fernands  18:06

I don’t actually know. But that makes sense. It’s actually, you know, I can’t pretend to have an exhaustive knowledge of all of the patented inventions of money. And then you also the flip side, you sometimes, you know, see, see memes or whatever, for lack or, you know, commentary that, you know, great scientists of the past, who came up with amazing advancements, particularly in medicine, made them public, you know, get put them into the public domain, purposefully. So that no one which, you know, certainly would be bad for my current profession. But seems sort of like a conceptually amazing thing to do. Oh, like,


Will Bachman  18:54

what are some examples? Was it like penicillin? Maybe or what? I’m


Anastasia Fernands  18:58

thinking I couldn’t be wrong on this. But I was thinking polio vaccine. I was thinking, right. Yeah, I think I have seen that. Although, please, no, I have not fact checked that if anyone is I have not currently fact check that I’m going from memory.


Will Bachman  19:14

Interesting. What are some mistaken beliefs that in your experience when you’re talking to lay people they have about the patent system, and that, you know, patent attorneys know, you know, is not true, but a lot of people think it is.


Anastasia Fernands  19:37

I get a lot of I have this great idea. I want to patent it via this conversation. And I think a lot of people have a very have a misconception about what patents are, are what can be patented. You know, just because it’s a great idea doesn’t mean that it meets all of the requirements that are the very geeky work. arguments I was talking about for statutory patentability, I think, you know, I think sort of more, so there’s really a mis misunderstanding of the various types of intellectual property and which ones apply. I frequently get a, I just did an in conversation, you know, the people who think that they can pat, like, who don’t understand the difference between trademark copyright and patent and which, which intellectual property rights each covers. And so, you know, someone will, you know, say, I, a company logo, for instance, and say that, you know, they think they want a patent, I’m like, Well, if you really want is a trademark on that, right, or perhaps a copyright, depending on the level of, you know, whether it’s just, in fact, a trademark, but or if it’s some sort of artistic or creative work. But there are, I think, depending on where you are in the general public, there is a misconception over what, what rights Patents protect, as opposed to other intellectual property or just things that are perhaps really great ideas, but not actually, but don’t actually rise to the level of patentable, like,


Will Bachman  21:12

what’s a great idea that you couldn’t patent?


Anastasia Fernands  21:16

So I’m going to refer to a this isn’t necessarily a great idea. Well, I mean, it’s a great discovery element referred to a Supreme Court case that I had nothing to do with, but it’s the one that comes up. And it’s the discovery of the link between the braca the BRCA gene and breast cancer. And it is the myriad is the name of the decision. And the Supreme Court is almost apologetic in the decision where they’re like, this is brilliant, right? This is brilliant. There are amazing discoveries in science, but the but an isolated naturally occurring gene isn’t patentable. Now, there are any number of other things that could be right. There are any number of other things that absolutely like evades jet, you know, this. So, and I’m going to do something really paranoid here. Nothing I have said, In this podcast represents the represent any view of my firm or any legal advice,


Will Bachman  22:15

not legal advice, disclaimer is confirmed and acknowledged, okay?


Anastasia Fernands  22:21

Don’t don’t get really paranoid moment. But you know,


Will Bachman  22:25

it’s good to get that out there. It’s good to get out there. No, there’s not not official consulting advice on the show either. So don’t take this for official consulting advice.


Anastasia Fernands  22:37

But you said that what I was referring to is the section 101. Earlier, this whole whether it’s patentable subject matter has been a very hot topic in the law over the last, you know, 10 to 15 years has been getting a lot of play. And there are actually two aspects to it. I didn’t even mention the second aspect, which is the abstract idea. abstract ideas also not patentable subject matter. Under 101. That aspect usually gets used for computer technology, where the analysis comes down to whether whether what you’ve basically done is assign a human thought process, and said and use a computer to do it, without any without any advance about the computer technology doing it. And it also falls under the section one not patentable, 101, not patentable subject matter. But, but I think really, right now, with the scientific dis, like discovery of something in nature, particularly with, you know, with the advancements, and what we know about the human genome, and with sort of these linking of specific genes to specific conditions, there, there’s a real tension of the remarkable advancements of, you know, knowing being able to identify a gene that correlates with some specific condition and the notion that you can’t patent a naturally occurring gene.


Will Bachman  24:10

Well, how about this? If I use Chachi, PT, for to come up with this great, patentable idea, but the AI comes up with it. Can I patent that?


Anastasia Fernands  24:29

Oh, that’s a hot area of the law right now. And it? I think the answer is going to be it depends. But it’s, it’s hard to say. And it’s a hot area of the law within copyright, intellectual property law as well. Right now, there’s, you know, it’s this is all so new. And if you know if you write a story, if you write a story That’s an computer assisted story, is that going to be copyrightable? And also, you know, relatedly if it is a computer assisted story, and let us let’s assume for the sake of argument just for this conversation that perhaps the computer assisted story use other people’s copyrighted work to help you make your copyrighted story. Very interesting questions. I don’t think any of them have been answered. Can you patent something? Can you a patent, something that you had chat via chat GPT help you with? I think the patent question is a little is very interesting, because if you used some other form of computer program, like to come up to help you formulate your idea. And then you wrote that up in a patent, like your your use of your use of technology to assist you to come up with your idea would not prevent the patentability of that. Right. I mean, there’s not there’s there’s nothing that says you have to use a slide rule and a yellow pad to come up with to come up with your patented invention, although


Will Bachman  26:11

that would be impressive to us.


Anastasia Fernands  26:16

I mean, we use we use technology all the time. And so I think there’s gonna be a lot of very interesting questions. Yeah. Because, you know, conception of your invention conception is a critical element of who is the proper inventor of a patented invention? And so is it your conception if you put your idea into chat? And I am just spitballing? Here, right? Not legal advice. Sorry, I have a little bit, you know, almost 30 years of doing this. I’m a little bit paranoid about that.


Will Bachman  26:52

No, I gotcha. I slept confidential and every document. So the Okay, so here’s even more, you know, advancing that. I can imagine not today. But in 2025, or 2026. There could be independent AI agents just sort of floating out there in the world, will they be able to come up with an idea and submit it to the patent office? Can an AI on its own agency submit a patent? Or does it have to be a human who owns it?


Anastasia Fernands  27:29

Well, as of the way we’re structured right now, for you as patents, there are humans identified as the inventors, as part of the patenting as part of the process of obtaining a patent. If I don’t, I would be I mean, I don’t know. It hasn’t been heard, it hasn’t been answered, It would strike me as interesting and odd if you could, as the inventor of a patent, identify, you know, a particular AI program as the inventor rather than an like an individual or a group of individuals who collaborated to invent. And that sort of analysis, again, just kind of thinking it through which could you name a group of humans plus an AI inventor? Does that mean? No? I don’t know. It’s a very interesting question.


Will Bachman  28:27

Well, it could be a new profession of individual humans who rent themselves out as agents to those AI bots, and say, I will put my name on it for you. And I will get like a 5% referral fee or something on your patent income to the AI bot. So it’s an interesting new world, I guess, that we’re about to head into, at


Anastasia Fernands  28:50

which point probably open and whole new interesting world about inequitable conduct in front of the patent office if you lie to the patent office.


Will Bachman  28:59

Again, not legal advice. So


Anastasia Fernands  29:00

no legal advice. We’re just I mean, I have no knowledge, I am not aware of any fact pattern that fits anything we have discussed. Why


Will Bachman  29:09

did you decide in 1998, raise your hand and say I want to be a patent litigator? What was it that appealed to you about that whole field?


Anastasia Fernands  29:20

Curiously, even though so as demonstrated by the fact that, you know, I decided to go to law school, and I’ve been on the straight path ever since I started out that way. Even earlier, I in somewhere in junior high or high school decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. And that’s why I was a gov major, because I wanted to be a lawyer and that seemed like the right thing to do. And my physics teacher in high school, was so upset with me, okay. Like, I was a math science person. I was supposed to go and do some wonderful thing with math or science. And Mr. Schwartz said to me, I was like, No, it’s just we’re So I want to be a lawyer and he said you could be a patent lawyer. And I didn’t know anything from patent lawyer at the time. And then when, when my firm in 98, started looking into expanding, they didn’t really have a patent litigation practice at the time. And they were looking to grow it. And they were hiring some partners in to develop that practice. Like that still stuck in my mind. And I knew that I had an aptitude for math science, I figured I could learn what I needed to know, for the cases on that side. And I was becoming a litigator. And so it seemed interesting. And once I started down the path, that’s the thing that I like most about the job is that every single case is something new. It’s new technology, I get to learn so many interesting things doing patent litigation.


Will Bachman  30:51

Does Mr. Schwartz did did Mr. Schwartz ever hear that his advice got followed.


Anastasia Fernands  30:57

I wish he had a he unfortunately died before I was able to tell him this. And I come from a small town in Maine where my mother taught in the school district. So it wasn’t a matter of not having been able to find him had he still been around. And I really do wish I could have been able to tell him that, you know, ultimately, he was right.


Will Bachman  31:21

If with pleasure, you are viewing any work a man is doing if you like him or you love him, tell him now. So that’s sad that he was not able to hear that. But what a tribute to Mr. Schwartz that his advice and 12th grade stuck with you? And tell me what was it in junior high school that led you to want to become an attorney.


Anastasia Fernands  31:45

Um, I think it was, you know, again, small town in Maine, small town in Maine and looking around, my mom was a teacher, I didn’t want to do that that much. I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher. And, and my worldview was pretty limited. And so this whole like go become an attorney thing seems like a really good idea. And unfortunately, for me, it did turn out to be a good idea. Because I can’t say that I put in a lot of really good due diligence. I just decided and kept going on my path.


Will Bachman  32:23

Like decided 6/7 grade, eighth grade, and just stick to it. Yep. Talk to me about any courses or professors or extracurriculars at Harvard, that continue to resonate with you. We heard about Mr. Schwartz in high school, what what has stuck with you, you know, either professionally or something that was just a side interest that you’ve that you’ve continued to be interested in? And


Anastasia Fernands  32:53

it’s really mostly the side interest courses that have Yeah, really opened me. So all of the Litton arts courses, right. The I took the I took Shakespeare, the early plays. And the later plays never fit into my schedule, which was, which I always regretted. I was just having a conversation within the last couple of weeks about with friends about amazing productions that we’ve seen. And we’re talking about the recent Oh, the Macbeth Frances mcdorman. And Denzel Washington from about they came out like three years ago, by the way, really brilliant if you haven’t seen it, the the film. And that led us down this path about Shakespeare and I was talking about how much that you know, Marjorie Garber era, or Sandra theater, enormous class. And it was just such a good class. And it’s a class where it’s just useful in life, weirdly, to sometimes be able to have almost intelligent conversation about Shakespeare’s plays. So similarly, I took the Eckhart Simon’s medieval court, and I have a lot of friends who read a lot of fantasy, like, a lot of fantasy. And it was never my genre. But, but I’ve got this weird, deep background to that stuff from having taken medieval court. And sometimes I can just pull some random thing out. And I remember in that class doing my final paper, basically linking the stuff we read through the class, which obviously is a very light, light overview of it. I ever had a good friend who had who actually was a medievalist, and had her PhD in it. So like my one medieval court class in undergrad was nothing, but it led me to this sort of interest in so my paper was a trip tracing what we read in that class up through the Marion Zimmer brown To the mists of Avalon, and the evolution of Morgan la fey through the medieval literature up to this modern literature, which was one of the favorite papers I’ve ever written. So, and then actually my third letting arts was Michelangelo, and I am obnoxious to be with in Italy and we see it when you see anything inspired by or done by Michelangelo, I will just set off for hours.


Will Bachman  35:29

That’s, that’s very cool that those ignited those interests. And in addition to the Macbeth, that you mentioned, any other Shakespeare productions that you’ve that have stuck with you.


Anastasia Fernands  35:43

Oh, tempest in Central Park. Years and years ago, you know, the Public Theater of Shakespeare in the park. Patrick Stewart as Prospero, heat lightning over the city during the production of Tempest, you like, absolutely, you know, chills performance.


Will Bachman  36:05

The Shakespeare in the Park is so, so great, so great. Anyone who hasn’t gone to it, definitely stand in line next hour this coming summer. It is so worth it. And my tip on that, by the way is look for the outer boroughs where they have the ticket production in the outer boroughs to condition bution, because those lines are often way shorter. So that’s the 92 report tip of the of the of the episode. Wow. And anything else in your life that you want to share about your journey since graduation? We’ve talked a lot about your patent experience.


Anastasia Fernands  36:50

I don’t know if there’s I said journey since graduation. And I’ve definitely tried to feel like I should shout out one more class, which was not letting arts. So I had some notion, sophomore year that I was going to be both history and God but that would have required a thesis that I didn’t get done. So I was taking both the government history tutorial and my tutor for sophomore tutorial, it was Michelle Friedman, who has remained who, after the class was over, became a good friend and has remained a friend for the, you know, 30 odd years. And sort of during the, during the New York COVID times, I had a Saturday afternoon zoom, sort of the lockdown times, I had a Saturday afternoon zoom with a four or five low aliens, classroom 92 And class of 91 friends who we would you know, making an eating our dinners in our respective homes. We would join each other on Saturday evenings well, when there wasn’t any socialization. So it sort of the the journey from Harvard has left me with some amazing people in my life who remain day to day in my life, which has been fantastic. It’s


Will Bachman  37:59

wonderful that you had that opportunity to reconnect with folks during during our lockdown. Anastasia for folks that want to follow up with you reconnect. Where would you point them online?


Anastasia Fernands  38:14

I would point them online to find a manual. It seems that and I can I think that you even enable if I send it to you, there’s a link. So I have I have an email at quite a manual. It turns out as far as I can tell, I’m the only Anastasia finance in the world. So if Google, may you find me and I’d be happy to connect with classmates. So I’ve lost touch with amazing,


Will Bachman  38:42

Anastasia, thank you so much for joining today. I was fascinated by her discussion. And it was incredibly interesting and it was great to speak with you.


Anastasia Fernands  38:51

Nice speaking to you. Thanks so much.