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Sterne Kessler’s interferences success stems from technology, law and experience in procedure - from pre-declaration activities to final hearings and appeals.

Interferences remain a fact of life despite the switch to a first-inventor-to-file system. Sterne Kessler has successfully handled dozens of interferences — experience that runs the gamut from pre-declaration activities to successful appeals to the Federal Circuit. We deliver cost-effective service from a seasoned and knowledgeable team.

Acting on behalf of either junior or senior parties, Sterne Kessler has represented U.S. and foreign clients in two-party and multiparty interferences. We have successfully represented patentees in defending against post-issuance interferences and also have successfully represented applicants against both patentees and other applicants.

Sterne Kessler's seasoned, efficient and knowledgeable team has successfully handled dozens of interferences, especially in high technology areas such as biotechnology and electronics. Competent and cost-conscious legal representation in this complex area of patent law requires a keen understanding of the technology, the substantive law of interferences and — quite critically — interference procedure.

Sterne Kessler is experienced in all phases of the practice, including the copying of claims, motions, count formation, testimony period, depositions, corroborated proofs, etc., as well as final hearings before the Board and appeals to the court.

Pre-Interference Procedures

Our practice includes counseling clients on various issues that precede the declaration of an interference:

  • Preparing and filing requests for interference
  • Filing reissue applications of our clients' issued U.S. patents
  • Provoking interferences with the issued patents of opponents during the reissue process
  • Prosecuting applications that present interference issues before the Examiner while successfully avoiding an interference upon patent issuance
  • Preparing our clients to be favorably positioned by watching for the publication of patent applications of competitors


In our experience, most interferences settle rather than get to Final Hearing — settlement is certainly the most cost effective and expedient means to finalize what has become in recent years a long, drawn-out and potentially quite expensive procedure.

We have expertise in:

  • Negotiating interference settlement agreements
  • Mutual exchanges of proofs and mutual decisions on allocation of priorities
  • Licensing agreements that normally accompany settlements

We also maintain an extensive library of past settlement agreements that can be referenced as a basis for a cost-effective settlement agreement.