Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
"To protect our intellectual property, we rely on the technically skilled lawyers at Sterne Kessler who fully understand our cutting-edge innovations.  Their level of responsiveness and rapport with our inventors have earned Sterne Kessler our confidence."


Andrew L. Filler, Esq.
Vice President of Intellectual Property
Nanosys, Inc.
Donald J. Featherstone

Mind + Muscle

Donald J. Featherstone



Whether it’s the next-best-thing in electronics, nanotech, or changes to the patent laws, being intellectually flexible is core to Don’s practice.  (In his full length photo, Don is holding a wafer used in the manufacturing of new flexible electronics.  He is using concrete imagery to convey what clients expect of their patent attorney– flexibility– characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements.)

Don is a director in the firm and chairs the recruiting committee, with managerial responsibility for the identification and hiring of associates and technical staff. He also chairs the Nanotechnology practice.  Prior to his role as recruiting chair, Don served six years as the Practice Group Leader of the Electronics Group with responsibility for administrative and business development matters.  He also served as chair of the Support Services Committee, with oversight of the firm's docketing and foreign filing departments, and served many years on the firm's Patent Office Practice Committee.  Prior to joining the firm in 1988, Mr. Featherstone examined patent applications in the field of semiconductor devices at the USPTO.

Don specializes in patent preparation and prosecution counseling for a wide range of entities from start-ups and emerging growth companies to large multi-national corporations. He emphasizes the interaction between sound business practices and intellectual property to help his clients leverage their IP and create shareholder value. 

In addition to strategic patent portfolio creation and management, Don prepares opinions (including patentability, state-of-the art, infringement and validity opinions), licenses and other technology agreements.  He also performs IP audits, due diligence investigations, reexaminations and other post-grant proceedings.  

Don has done patent work in the following technical fields: 

  • computer architecture (including RISC microprocessors)
  • computer memory systems
  • computer graphics
  • control systems
  • digital signal and image processing
  • discrete digital and analog circuits
  • electromagnetics
  • fiber optics
  • graphical user interfaces
  • mechatronics
  • MEMS
  • nanotechnology (inorganic semiconductor, such as nanowires, quantum dots)
  • photolithography (including maskless and immersion techniques)
  • piezoelectric devices
  • semiconductor devices and manufacturing
  • ultra-wideband communications and radar
  • various business methods/e-commerce/Internet related applications

Mr. Featherstone is co-Editor-in-Chief of Nanotechnology Law and Business. Additionally, Mr. Featherstone is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Editionpublished 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.

  • "A Best Kept Secret: AIA Allows Patenting of Trade Secrets," Robert W. Esmond, Ph.D., Donald J. Featherstone and Joel F. Aldrich, Ph.D., Bloomberg BNA: Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, February 2016
  • "A Means-Plus-Function Looking-Glass into Statutory Subject Matter Post-Alice," Michelle K. Holoubek & donald J. Featherstone, Bloomberg BNA: Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, December 2015
  • "Flexible Display Patent Landscape and Implications From the America Invents Act," Donald J. Featherstone, Raymond J. Werner, Christian A. Camarce, and Susan E. Cullen, Nanotechnology Law & Business, August 2014
  • "Carbon Nanotubes: Survey of Smalley Patent Portfolio," Donald J. Featherstone, Raymond J. Werner, And Christian A. Camarce, Nanotechnology Law & Business, June 2012
  • “A Brief Review of U.S. and Korean Patent Invalidity Decisions for CMP Slurry Patents," Patrick P. Hansen and Donald J. Featherstone, Nanotechnology Law & Business, September 2011
  • Admissions
      • District of Columbia

      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

  • Education
    • J.D., George Mason University Intellectual Property Law Specialty Track

    • B.S., Electrical Engineering, Lafayette College


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