Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
Endorsed "for his tactical product launch advise, post-issuance know-how and portfolio management skill"
IAM Patent 1000 2015
Recognized as one of only ten "Leading Lawyers" in the U.S. by The Legal 500 2016.
Eric K. Steffe

Mind + Muscle

Eric K. Steffe



Eric Steffe is a Director in the Biotechnology/Chemical Group at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, an IP specialty law firm based in Washington, D.C. He also serves as the Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Patent Prosecution Group. Mr. Steffe’s practice involves providing strategic counsel to his clients in various areas of patent law, with special emphasis on therapeutic antibodies, vaccines, diagnostics, antisense technologies, personalized medicine, and cell culturing/bioprocessing methods.

Mr. Steffe has extensive expertise in inter partes review proceedings, patent reexaminations, managing complicated multi-family patent portfolios protecting pipeline and FDA-approved biotech products, preserving freedom to operate, interferences, and the IP issues arising out of industry collaborations and ongoing research. Additionally, his practice includes providing strategic advice to numerous companies seeking to launch products. In 2017, The Legal 500 recognized Mr. Steffe as a "Leading Lawyer" in the U.S. for his patent prosecution work; a distinction awarded to ten other attorneys in the entire country.

Mr. Steffe has published and lectured extensively in the field, testified before Congress as a legal expert regarding the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act, and was recently recognized by IAM Patent 1000 (2017) as a leading practitioner in patent prosecution.

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Eric K. Steffe, Marsha Rose Gillentine, Brenda Crabtree, "Divided Infringement After Eli Lilly V. Teva," Law360, April 2017
  • Eric K. Steffe & Pauline Pelletier, Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Illumina, Inc. (PTAB. Jan. 7, 2017), Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest (March 2017)
  • Eric K. Steffe & Pauline M. Pelletier, "Biologics and the Right to Exclude During the Patent Term Extension Period" Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property, 02.01.2017
  • Pauline M. Pelletier & Eric K. Steffe, Coalition for Affordable Drubs II LLC v. Cosmo Technologies Ltd. (PTAB Oct. 5, 2016), Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest (October 2016)
  • Eric K. Steffe & Pauline M. Pelletier, Praxair Distribution, Inc. v. Ino Therapeutics (PTAB. Aug. 25, 2016), Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest (September 2016)
  • Eric K. Steffe & Pauline M. Pelletier, Leapfrog Product Development, LLC v. Lifefactory, Inc (PTAB Aug. 17, 2016), Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest (August 2016)
  • "The Politics of Patent Law: Why Patent Reform Failed in 2015 and Prospects for 2016" American Bar Association Landslide, July-August 2016
  • "5 Ways to Avoid Obviousness-Type Double Patenting" Law360, 05.13.16
  • "The uncertain prior existence of disclaimed patent claims" Wolters Kluwer, 04.22.16
  • "Biodelivery Sciences Int'l, Inc. v. Monool RX, LLC (PTAB. Mar 24, 2016)" Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest, April 2016
  • "Patent Term Extension Considerations for Regulated Products" Law360, 03.21.16
  • "The Impact of Reformulation Strategies on Pharmaceuticals, Biologics" BioProcess Online, 03.17.16
  • "Front Row Technologies, LLC v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (PTAB. 22, 2016)" Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest, March 2016
  • "Congressional Outlook 2016: Patents" Law360, 02.21.16
  • "Drug Label, Method-of-Use Patents and Infringement by Inducement" Bloomberg BNA Life Sciences Law & Industry Report, 02.05.16
  • "US Endodontics, LLC v. Gold Standard Inst., LLC (PTAB. Jan. 29, 2016)" Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest, February 2016
  • "Amending Claims in Post-Grant Proceedings and Information Disclosure"Bloomberg BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal,01.15.16
  • "Inguran, LLC d/b/a Sexing Technologies v. Premium Genetics (UK) Ltd (PTAB. Dec. 22, 2015)" Federal Circuit Bar Association Reviewed Adjudicators Digest, January 2016
  • "What to Know About Patent Reform Bills as We Head Into 2016" Law360,12.28.15
  • "Using Priority to Challenge § 112 Support and Pre-AIA Status in Post-Grant Proceedings Before the PTAB Bloomberg BNA: Patent, Copyright & Trademark Journal,11.13.15
  • "Use IPR Decisions to Better Write and Prosecute Patents,” Eric K. Steffe and Jason D. Eisenberg, IP Law360, 01.13.15
  • “The Federal Circuit Expands Obviousness-Type Double Patenting in Gilead v. Natco,” Gaby L. Longsworth, Ph.D., Eric K. Steffe, and Marsha Rose Gillentine, Ph.D., The Patent Lawyer Magazine, July 2014
  • "Another Layer of Complexity," Gaby L. Longsworth, Ph.D., Marsha Rose Gillentine, Ph.D., and Eric K. Steffe, Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, June 2014
  • "Proceed with Caution," Gaby L. Longsworth, Ph.D. and Eric K. Steffe, Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, June 2014
  • "Federal Circuit Grants Patent Term Adjustment After Allowance When Continued Examination Requested," Lori M. Brandes, Ph.D. and Eric K. Steffe, 01.16.14
  • "Rainmaker Q&A: Sterne Kessler's Eric Steffe," IP Law360, 08.16.13
  • "IP Issues Associated With Drug Development," 08.08.13
  • "BIO IP & Diagnostics Symposium," 07.22.13
  • "USPTO Issues Inter Partes Reexamination Certificate of Key LNA Patent," Santaris Pharma A/S, 04.05.13
  • "USPTO Announces Revisions to Patent Term Adjustment Rules," Eric K. Steffe and Lori M. Brandes, Ph.D., 04.05.13
  • "Inter Partes Review - a Useful Tool for Overcoming Freedom-to-Operate Obstacles," Eric K. Steffe, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Todd Spalding, and Deborah Sterling, Ph.D.,  BIOtechNOW, 12.07.12
  • "BIO IPCC 2012 Pre-Conference Workshop," 11.12.12
  • "District Court holds filing of Request for Continued Examination does not reduce patent term adjustment," Lori M. Brandes, Ph.D. and Eric K. Steffe, 11.09.12
  • "Mayo v. Prometheus - Implications for Diagnostics, Biomarkers, and Personalized Medicine," Eric K. Steffe; Elizabeth J. Haanes, Ph.D., 10.23.12
  • "Patent Office Litigation Under the AIA," Eric K. Steffe and Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., 10.05.12
  • "The Evolving Patent Term Adjustment Landscape," Lori M. Brandes, Ph.D. and Eric K. Steffe, IP Law360, 08.02.12
  • "A New Framework: Challenging Patents in Changing Times," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Eric K. Steffe,  Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, 06.25.12
  • "IP Issues Associated with Clinical Trials in Biopharma," Eric K. Steffe, 06.18.12
  • "Managing Intellectual Property's US Patent Reform Forum 2012," 03.27.12
  • "Strategies for Challenging Patents in Pharma and BioPharma In the Wake of the In re NTP Decision," Bloomberg BNA's Pharmaceutical Law & Industry Report, 02.03.12
  • "The America Invents Act: A Comprehensive Overview," 12.20.11
  • "USPTO Upholds Santaris Pharma A/S Patents in Two Reexamination Cases Brought by Isis Pharmaceuticals," 12.01.11 
  • "Intellectual Property Issues Associated with Progression Through Clinical Trials," 06.29.11
  • "Clinical Trials in Biopharma," Eric K. Steffe,  Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review 2011, 06.17.11
  • "Federal Circuit Reaffirms the Patentability of Isolated DNA in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad," Robert W. Esmond, Ph.D. & Eric K. Steffe, 08.16.10
  • "Diagnostic Testing in the Wake of Bilski v. Kappos," Michelle K. Holoubek and Eric K. Steffe, IPWatchdog.com, 07.02.10
  • "Federal Circuit Affirms a Longer Patent Term Extension," Sheri Qualters, The National Law Journal, 01.12.10
  • "Federal Circuit Affirms Wyeth v. Kappos Resulting In The Extension Of Patent Protection Where The USPTO Has Taken More Than Three Years To Issue A Patent, 01.08.10"
  • "ACI Webinar: Tafas v. Doll - Dissecting the Decision and Preparing for Resurgence of USPTO Rules Limiting Patent Claims," 05.20.09
  • "2009 AIChE Annual Meeting," 11.08.09
  • "Best Practice: Recent Patent Law Cases That Have Altered Best Practices and Strategies for Biotechnology Companies," Eldora L. Ellison & Eric K. Steffe, Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, 06.14.08
  • "Therapeutic Antibodies: Top Three Intellectual Property Issues," 06.14.08
  • "Case Law Developments in the United States," Gillian M. Fenton & Eric K. Steffe, 04.15.08 
  • "New Rules 75, 78 Unfairly Penalize Research Entities," Eric Steffe, IP Law 360, 10.29.07
  • "Patenting Antibodies," Eric K. Steffe, 09.27.07 
  • "Patent Board Challenges Federal Circuit to a Duel," Eric K. Steffe and Elizabeth J. Haanes, IP Law 360, 07.27.07
  • "Intersection Between Biodefense and Patent Law: Federal Research Grants," Project Bioshield, and 28 USC Section 1498(a), Eric K. Steffe and Matthew E. Kelley, Biotechnology Law Reporter, 06.01.05
  • "Patent Prosecution and Joint Ownership of United States Patents," Eric K. Steffe & Grant E. Reed, Intellectual Property Today, 05.01.05
  • The Common-Interest Doctrine and Intellectual Property Due Diligence, Eric K. Steffe, W. Blake Coblentz and Jessica Parezo, Biotechnology Law Report, 02.17.05
  • "Comments in Reply to the Interim Rule entitled 'Changes To Implement the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement Act of 2004,'" 01.11.05
  • Drug Discovery Tools and the Clinical Research Exemption from Patent Infringement, Eric K. Steffe & Timothy J. Shea, Jr., Biotechnology Law Report, 08.01.03
  • Protecting Innovation in Biotechnology Startups, Eric K. Steffe & Timothy J. Shea, Jr., Nature Bioentrepreneur, 07.01.03
  • "Testimony of Eric K. Steffe Regarding a Bill Proposed by Mr. Smith Amending 35 U.S.C. Sections 102(f) and 103(c) (CREATE)," 06.10.03 
  • The Interplay of 35 USC Sections 102(e), 103(c) and 122(b) Under the American Inventors Protection Act: A Special Problem for Biotech and Chemical Patent Practitioners, Eric K. Steffe & Heidi L. Kraus, Intellectual Property Today, 10.01.00
  • Biotech Collaborations and Maximizing Patent Protection: Two Hypotheticals, Eric K. Steffe and Robert C. Millonig, Jr., Ph.D., AIPLA Quarterly Journal 149 (Spring 1999), 01.01.99
  • Admissions
      • District of Columbia

      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

  • Education
    • J.D., George Mason University

    • M.S., Molecular Genetics, University of Georgia

    • B.S., Physics, University of Georgia


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