In 1978, at just 26 years old, Robert Greene Sterne set out to create a different kind of law firm — one that would recognize the contribution every person makes and one that would place a high value on technical competency and service. It took just a few years and the addition of Edward Kessler, Jorge Goldstein, and Samuel Fox to reach that initial goal with the establishment of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox in Washington, D.C.
Now, over four decades later, the firm has grown from two attorneys to over 150 attorneys and 250 professional staff serving clients around the globe — and guided by the founding principles of teamwork, respect and quality of service with an emphasis on scientific and technical knowledge.
In May 2023, Sterne Kessler earned the Midsized Mansfield Certification (2021-2023), which acknowledges cultivating and achieving more diverse and inclusive leadership. The firm was among more than 70 midsize law firms recognized for their commitment to diversity.
Sterne Kessler hit the milestone of handling 1,000 matters at The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, less than ten years after its establishment.
A four-person delegation from the firm traveled to Lusaka, Zambia in support of the "SKGF Cares" partnership with World Bicycle Relief (WBR).
Marked the firm’s 40th anniversary
Launched new website featuring updated logo
Significant growth of firm’s Trial & Appellate Practice. The firm handled almost 100 Federal Circuit Appeals and was one of most active at the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Named first-ever PTAB "Firm of the Year" by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.
Renovated our offices located in the historic former Greyhound Bus Terminal, including the installation of our famous barista bar.
Firm published Patent Office Litigation, a two-volume set. It was written in response to the biggest changes in patent law in 60 years stemming from the 2012 AIA.
Launched the Grid Industry Group and passed the 350 employee mark
Recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of the 50 best companies to work for in the Greater Washington area.
Firm celebrated its 30th anniversary and reached the 100 attorney mark
Co-counsel for KSR v. Teleflex at the U.S. Supreme Court
Launched the CleanTech Industry Group
The Sterne Kessler Stem Cell Taskforce was formed
Launched the Nanotechnology Practice Group
Passed the 200 employee mark
Developed the "technical specialist" position in response to demand for highly qualified, technically adept candidates.
Instrumental in In re Beauregard, the case that led to the USPTO developing guidelines for patenting software.
Office featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie "True Lies". A scene was filmed at Sterne Kessler.
Moved into the historic Greyhound Bus Terminal at 1100 New York Avenue, NW
Began representation of first Silicon Valley client
Secured a win on appeal in In re Wands, still today the fundamental decision on enablement for biological patent claims.
Samuel L. Fox joined the firm, and the name became Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox.
Growth constituted a move to 1225 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Jorge A. Goldstein joined the firm
Edward J. Kessler joined the firm
Office moved to 910 17th Street, NW
The firm is founded by Robert Greene Sterne on October 2 with one other attorney.