John D. Higgins is an associate in Sterne Kessler’s Mechanical & Design Practice Group. His practice focuses on worldwide patent prosecution and portfolio management, strategic patent counseling and due diligence, and patent office litigation. John has experience preparing and prosecuting applications covering various mechanical, electrical, and biomedical technologies.

John also advises clients on offensive and defensive patent strategies that are tailored to the client’s needs. In particular, he has conducted extensive patent landscape and freedom-to-operate searches focused on various industries, such as automotive vehicles, consumer products, and medical devices. Informing and guiding clients’ management, he has drafted opinions regarding patentability, invalidity, and infringement.

Prior to joining Sterne Kessler, John was an associate at an IP boutique firm in D.C. and an examiner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). At his prior law firm, John was involved in many aspects of patent prosecution and counseling. Specifically, he counseled clients during the pre-application stage, drafted numerous utility applications, managed patent portfolios with applications filed in various countries, and prosecuted applications in a wide range of technologies, including agricultural equipment, automotive components, clinical diagnostic equipment, door lock security systems, fingerprint sensors, hydraulic assemblies, medical instruments, optical cable connectors, semiconductor processing, and steel casting.

While at the USPTO, John gained an inside perspective of the patent examination process. John prepared office actions analyzing the patentability of applicants’ claimed inventions and conducted prior art searches predominantly in the fields of heat exchangers, refrigeration, and electronic control systems. John was identified as a search and classification expert in his art.

John graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he served as a research editor for Tennessee Law Review and received the Excellence in Intellectual Property Award. While earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, John worked as a mechanical engineer intern for a utility company and as a research assistant for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where his research concentrated on lithium ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles.

  • Super Lawyers, “Rising Star – Washington, DC” (2023)

  • J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, summa cum laude

  • District of Columbia
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office
  • Virginia

Related Resources

From John D. Higgins

Bylined Articles

February 8, 2024

The Staying Power of Fintiv: The Effect of Parallel Litigation at the PTAB in 2023

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Richard M. Bemben, John D. Higgins

Reports

February 8, 2024

2023 PTAB Year in Review: Analysis & Trends

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Multiple Authors

Press Release

February 8, 2024

Award-Winning PTAB Team Publishes 2023 PTAB Year in Review: Analysis & Trends Report

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Multiple Authors

Press Release

April 24, 2023

Super Lawyers Recognizes 14 Sterne Kessler Attorneys as 2023 “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars”

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Multiple Authors

PTAB Strategies and Insights

December 15, 2022

PTAB Strategies and Insights Newsletter - December 2022

Multiple Authors

Bylined Articles

December 12, 2022

"LEAP to Chambers" Program: Associate Perspectives

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox John D. Higgins, Rebekah Holtz

Client Alert

March 7, 2022

IP Hot Topic: 2021 PTAB Year in Review: Analysis & Trends

John D. Higgins, Rebekah Holtz

Reports

March 7, 2022

2021 PTAB Year in Review: Analysis & Trends

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Multiple Authors

Bylined Articles

March 7, 2022

Discretionary Denial under § 325(d): Strategic Implications of the PTAB’s Advanced Bionic Framework

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Jason A. Fitzsimmons, John D. Higgins

Press Release

March 7, 2022

Sterne Kessler Publishes 2021 PTAB Year in Review: Analysis & Trends Report

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Jason A. Fitzsimmons, John D. Higgins

Press Release

April 16, 2020

Sterne Kessler Hosts Virtual Pro Bono Clinic for Small Businesses

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. Jason A. Fitzsimmons, John D. Higgins