Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle




Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox -- 170+ IP professionals -- the right firm for right now.

Intellectual property issues have never been more complex or challenging than they are right now.  The passage of the America Invents Act only adds to the challenge.

The pace of innovation, too, has never been faster.  New technological inventions and scientific discoveries are being introduced daily and embraced almost as quickly.  The choice of IP legal counsel has never been more critical.

You're looking for experience and value.  Right?

  • We understand the importance of aligning IP with business strategy.
  • Our team understands technology and is known for anticipating the next big thing - from biotech to nanotech, cleantech, digital healthcare and so on.
  • We have 36 years of patent law experience - we were there for In re BeauregardIn re WandsKSR, Alice, AIA... and we continue there on the cutting edge.
  • We have appeared in district courts around the country, before the Supreme Court and at the International Trade Commission.
  • When it comes to counseling on trademarks, client focus is not just a buzzword we use.
  • We understand the forces at work in the marketplace - where is the demand, where are the chokepoints in your competitors' technologies - and advise on which ideas to patent, sell or license.

Depth of technical know-how is our intellectual property.

Founded in 1978 and based in Washington, DC, Sterne Kessler is dedicated exclusively to the protection, transfer and enforcement of intellectual property rights.  Our team of attorneys, registered patent agents, students and technical specialists include some of the country's most respected practitioners of intellectual property law.  Most of our professionals hold an advanced level degree, including more than 50 with a doctorate in science or engineering -- credentials wide and deep enough to fill the faculty of a science-oriented university.

We hire the best, brightest and most qualified personnel.

We recruit attorneys and agents specifically for their technical expertise, industry experience and litigation prowess.  All of our patent prosecution attorneys are registered to practice (or eligible to register) before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Many have previously worked as Patent Examiners and have unique insights into the inner workings of the Patent Office. More information regarding exciting opportunities to join the Sterne Kessler team are available on our careers page and on LinkedIn.

A broad range of clients in very specialized industries.

Our client base includes emerging and established companies, venture capital firms, individual entrepreneurs and universities -- from bleeding edge technology fields like carbon footprint technologies, pharmacogenomics, nanomedicine and  biofuels to next generation electronics and other consumer products.

Giving back is an important part of the culture.

In March 2012, we formally launched our Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice. It is the first of its kind and is singularly focused on the interplay of intellectual property principles and human rights. Learn more about our award-winning Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice and the compelling stories of our extraordinary clients

Life at Sterne Kessler is about more than IP law.

We believe that community and culture are as integral to our continued success as the depth of our legal knowledge. This is why we pride ourselves being a different kind of law firm, one dedicated to the happiness and well-being of our team. At Sterne Kessler we like to have a little fun in and outside of the office. For example, our directors hosted a Valentine's Day luncheon for our staff, and we go hiking in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. And our daily working environment is one of the highlights of coming to the office. Our newly renovated and architecturally heralded space located in the former Greyhound Bus Terminal is located in the heart of the city's Downtown. 

We love what we do!

We have unbridled passion for exploring the bounds of technology and the law to help you succeed.  We like what happens, every day, when 170+ IP professionals come to work in a firm that combines the focus of a boutique with the resources of a major IP practice. And it shows, Sterne Kessler has been recognized by The Washington Post and The Washington Business Journal as a "great place to work" based on votes by our exemplary attorneys and staff. 

(2) Why Washington D.C.?

Why Washington D.C.?

In the middle of it all, our office is located near government agencies, courts and organizations dedicated to Intellectual Property law.

(3) Awards + Accolades

  • Named by Corporate Counsel magazine as a “2013 Go-To Law Firm® for the Top 500 Companies.”
  • Recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of the top 50 best companies to work for in the Greater Washington area in 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Ten Sterne Kessler directors were named "IP Stars" by Managing Intellectual Property's IP Handbook in 2013 and 2014.
  • Sterne Kessler was named to The National Law Journal's Intellectual Property Hot List in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Sterne Kessler has been included in IAM Patent 1000 2013 and 2014 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, an extensive guide honoring leading private practice patent professionals.
  • Ranked in 2014 for the twelfth consecutive year by Chambers & Partners USA as one of America’s leading firms in IP.

(4) Firm Milestones

In a patent trial, the way the lawyer frames the question at issue will condition the jury's understanding of the science.
Defining the question is what
Sterne Kessler does best.


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