Stephen A. Merrill is counsel in Sterne Kessler’s Mechanical & Design Practice Group. His practice focuses on U.S. and foreign preparation and prosecution of utility patent applications. Steve has experience preparing and prosecuting applications in a variety of mechanical arts, including footwear, athletic apparel, physiological sensor systems, electronic devices, light fixtures, packaging, display systems and architecture, engines, vehicle system technologies, beverage dispensing systems, and other consumer products.
Steve also assists clients with other stages of the patent cycle. He has extensive experience in post-grant proceedings at the USPTO, including defending patents in inter partes review proceedings and challenging patents in both inter partes review and reexamination proceedings. He also performs patent landscape, patentability, freedom-to-operate, and infringement analyses to counsel clients on offensive and defensive patent strategies.
Steve is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition, published in 2017 by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the book provides a fresh and comprehensive exploration of patent office litigation proceedings, including how the proceedings interact with other aspects of patent procurement and enforcement, while delivering practical analysis and advice.
During law school, Steve served as an associate member of The George Washington Law Review and completed coursework in a variety of classes focused on patent drafting and prosecution strategies, patent licensing, and intellectual property legal writing. Steve earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University. As an undergraduate student, he completed a capstone project for a medical device company, in which his team developed a device for testing cathodes for use in X-ray applications.