Jonathan Spadt ('93) honored as Outstanding Engineering Alumni
Jonathan Spadt (B.S. ‘93) has been awarded the Outstanding Engineering Alumni (OEA) Award by the College of Engineering. Established in 1966, the OEA Award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Engineering and recognizes graduates who have reached exceptional levels of professional achievement.
Before coming to Penn State, Jonathan Spadt considered two career paths equally appealing: engineer and lawyer. He recalls, “I thought I’d have to choose between the two. I didn’t realize until my dad introduced me to a patent lawyer that I could do both.”
As a student, Jonathan completed two internships at Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Following graduation, he worked there full time for a year before enrolling at Villanova University’s School of Law.
Jonathan earned his J.D. in 1997 and joined RatnerPrestia as an associate. He says he immediately fell in love with the firm’s culture. “Founder Paul Prestia was a great mentor. In fact, after two years I told him I plan to retire from the firm.”
Throughout his career, Jonathan has focused on intellectual property law with expertise in global protection strategies, IP business management, risk-avoidance, and general IP planning and portfolio development.
Jonathan’s leadership has resulted in new client relationships in Europe and Asia, and he plans to grow RatnerPrestia’s presence in those markets. He has become licensed by the state of Hessen, Germany, as an approved trainer of German lawyer trainees.
Four years ago, after assuming the helm as the firm’s president and CEO, Jonathan opened a RatnerPrestia office in Washington, DC, to aid in developing stronger international client relationships. He explains, “When people from Europe and Asia travel to the U.S., they want to go one of two places: New York or DC. Two thirds of our clients were from those two jurisdictions. We were missing opportunities.”
Jonathan has been recognized as a three-time Super Lawyers magazine Rising Star. In 2006, he received a “20 Under 40” Award from the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal and was honored as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly News.
Many Penn State graduates have gone on to work at RatnerPrestia, says Jonathan. He observes, “They and I are successful because of the University’s level of support, resources, and sense of community. Penn State produces exceptional people.”