Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC is a leading IP law firm, based in Washington DC and distinguished by the strong technical experience and knowledge of its team. Sterne Kessler has 40 years’ experience helping companies to strategise, build and enforce worldwide IP portfolios, including inter partes matters (lawsuits, appeals, oppositions and post-grant proceedings such as inter partes review and covered business method patent review); preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications before the US and foreign patent offices; and advice on portfolio strategies (valuation, acquisition and due diligence).

Sterne Kessler launched its USPTO litigation service as a response to the implementation of the America Invents Act, beginning in 2012. The law ushered in a variety of ways to either challenge or strengthen patents at the PTAB of the USPTO, including inter partes review, post-grant review, covered business method patent review, derivations, interferences and re-examination. The firm was named the 2017 and 2015 PTAB Firm of the Year by a leading IP journal, and  Legal 500 United States recommended Sterne Kessler as a “Top Tier” firm in Intellectual Property – Patent Prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) in the 2018 edition of rankings.

Sterne Kessler attorneys and agents are carefully recruited for their technical expertise and industry experience. Most have earned an advanced technical degree (more than 55 hold a PhD) and have significant industry or academic experience across a wide spectrum of technical areas, including electronics, software, biotechnology, clean technology, pharmaceuticals, chemical products and processes and consumer products. Many of the firm’s patent prosecution attorneys have previously worked as patent examiners and have unique insights into the inner workings of the USPTO.

Sterne Kessler lawyers are trained to evaluate intellectual property in the context of client business issues to ensure alignment with company goals. Strong patent claims constructed around strategic goals are invaluable as companies commercialise ideas or defend leadership positions against interferences, re-examinations and oppositions. In 2017, the firm was named Patent Strategy and Management Firm of the Year.

Practising in Washington DC is a distinct advantage. The firm’s proximity to the USPTO, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the International Trade Commission (ITC), the US Supreme Court and Congress gives it the opportunity to help to shape the IP landscape. Attorneys can easily conduct in-person interviews at the USPTO and form substantive professional relationships with examiners, given their regular presence at the USPTO.

Sterne Kessler’s client base includes emerging and established companies, venture capital firms, individual entrepreneurs and universities, from technology fields such as carbon footprint technologies, to pharmacogenomics, nanomedicine, biofuels, next-generation electronics and other consumer products.

While the firm provides the full range of services, it is organised internally around four main practice groups:

  • the biotechnology/chemical group;
  • the electrical group;
  • the mechanical/consumer products group; and
  • the trial and appeals (litigation) group.

In total, more than 350 people are employed by the firm.

The firm’s main service areas include business methods filings, design patents, due diligence, Hatch-Waxman, generic and proprietary, IP valuation, inventorship dispute resolutions, ITC Section 337 investigations, licensing, litigation and appeals, patent forensics, USPTO litigation, patent prosecution, product lifecycle management, opinions, oppositions, strategic IP advice, trademarks and trade secrets/unfair competition.

Key industries serviced by the firm include biosimilars, biotechnology, chemistry, clean technology, consumer products, electronics, food science and packaging, industrial products, medical devices, nanotechnology, software, pharmaceuticals and automotive.

The firm is consistently ranked among the most premier IP firms in the United States. Awards and recognition for the firm range from over 16 consecutive years of Band 1 rankings in Chambers & Partners USA to consistent top-tier rankings in the IAM Patent 1000 and other market recognition programmes. In 2015, 2016, and 2018, the Financial Times awarded the firm as one of the most innovative law firms in the USA. Law360 and the National Law Journal have recognised Sterne Kessler for its diverse partnership, and the firm is distinguished as a “Top Workplace”, based on attorney and employee surveys administered by the Washington Post.

Contact details

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC
1100 New York Avenue NW
Washington DC 20005
United States

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