Steven W Lundberg
What led you to pursue a career in intellectual property – and what advice do you have for anyone considering a similar path?
As an undergraduate, I had a keen interest in both law and engineering. After graduating as an engineer, I started to consider combining these two interests by pursuing a career in patent law. I enrolled in law school following two years in engineering and started working as a law clerk at a patent firm. I found that I loved working with inventors on the latest and greatest innovations!
Could you share what Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner is doing to future-proof itself as a firm in terms of recruiting the next generation?
Our firm has worked hard to recruit a diverse group of IP professionals and now has a large contingent of talented attorneys and staff who help lead and operate the firm at all levels. We are confident that the next several generations of our firm are and will be well mentored and positioned to adapt to the continuing changes in the industry, carrying forward our strong tradition of top-quality services, diversity, leadership in the profession, interdependence, mutual respect and automation.
The current legal services landscape is competitive and high-quality legal work is considered a minimum. How do you add value for clients in such an environment?
We focus on mission-critical deliverables such as high-quality services, particularly in patent prosecution and portfolio development, recruiting, training and mentoring a diverse attorney team, deep focus and depth in all high-technology areas, the ability to draft an impressive number of quality applications in a short period of time, and maintaining exceptionally efficient and automated operations that enable our attorneys to focus on core value-added work as opposed to administrative tasks.
The issue of patent eligibility in the United States continues to lack certainty, particularly when it comes to software patents – what action should rights holders be taking to put themselves on a more secure footing?
While the margins and boundaries of patent eligibility remain murky, our practical experience in drafting and prosecuting large numbers of software patents (and studying litigation case law regarding their enforcement) enables us to help our clients avoid wasting resources on clearly ineligible subject matter and maximise chances for the enforcement of software inventions that may be on the margins. In addition, we use differences in eligibility between different international jurisdictions as much as possible to our clients’ advantage.
Which emerging technologies are currently having the biggest impact on your clients – and how is this shaping your practice?
Machine learning and AI applications are increasingly ubiquitous across all industries. Outside of software applications, many other technology areas are experiencing growth, including new manufacturing materials and techniques, drone technology, automation in general (eg, robotics) and biotech. Our firm has an existing and growing pool of experts in all these areas.
Steven W Lundberg
Principal & Chief Innovation Officer [email protected]
Patent attorney Steven W Lundberg is a founding partner of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner. He works with entrepreneurs, Fortune 100 companies and a wide range in between, providing legal counselling and time-tested IP strategies. Mr Lundberg received his BSEE from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He has published and spoken widely on software and electronic patent protection and is a principal contributor to the Patents4Software blog.