Yale University, LL.B., cum laude, 1959

  • Order of the Coif

Columbia University, B.S. in electrical engineering, 1954

Columbia College, A.B., cum laude, 1953

  • Eta Kappa Nu
  • Tau Beta Pi


Law Clerk, Justice Byron R. White, U.S. Supreme Court, 1962-63

Government Service

Chief, Patent Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1970-1977; and Chief, Intellectual Property Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1977-1978

Director, Compliance Division, Office of Foreign Direct Investments, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1968-1969

Trial Attorney, Bureau of Restraint of Trade, Federal Trade Commission 1964-1966

Attorney-Advisor to Commissioner A. L. Higginbotham, Federal Trade Commission, 1963-1964

Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, 1959-1962

Military Service

U.S. Army, 1955-1956, Signal Corps and Ordnance Corps, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen PG, MD

Photo of Richard H. Stern

Richard H. Stern

Of Counsel
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Richard Stern specializes in intellectual property, business torts, and antitrust law.  He spent two decades in government service, mainly in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.  He has taught computer-related patent and copyright law at The George Washington University Law School for more than two decades.

Justice Byron White at the United States Supreme Court selected him as his first law clerk, upon Justice White's appointment to the Court.  Stern served as Justice White's clerk during the October 1961 and October 1962 terms. Stern later worked at the Department of Justice in the Antitrust Division, at the Federal Trade Commission, and at the Department of Commerce.  He was chief of the Patent Section and then the Intellectual Property Section in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice from 1970 to 1978.

Other Experience

Professorial Lecturer in Law, The George Washington University Law School, 1992-present

Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota Law School, 1974

Admitted to practice before U.S. Patent & Trademark Office as registered patent attorney

Noteworthy Representations

(During Government Service)

Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63 (1972) – first computer software patent case in Supreme Court, established that abstract software concepts could not be monopolized

Lear, Inc. v. Adkins, 395 U.S. 653 (1969) – established that patents held invalid in any final judgment could not be relitigated in a different circuit

FTC v. Sperry & Hutchinson Co., 405 U.S. 233, 243 (1972) – established that FTC can prohibit “unfair” conduct beyond scope or spirit of antitrust laws

Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co., 365 U.S. 336 (1961) – established unconditional right of purchasers to repair patented products

FTC v. Dean Foods Co., 384 U.S. 597 (1966) – established right of federal agencies to get injunctions in federal court under All Writs Act to prevent threatened actions that will prevent agency from effectively remedying threatened action

United States v. Glaxo Group Ltd., 410 U.S. 52 (1973) – overruled doctrine that government cannot seek to overturn patents unwisely issued; allowing validity challenges against patents used to further antitrust violations

Parker v. Flook, 437 U.S. 584 (1978) – established that an invention that departs from the prior art only in its use of a computer algorithm or a principle is patent-eligible only if the implementation is novel and nonobvious rather than conventional or trivial


Semiconductor Chip Protection, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Law & Business (1985)

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