Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
Michelle K. Holoubek

Mind + Muscle

Michelle K. Holoubek



Ms. Holoubek is a director in our Electronics Group. With a background in relativistic physics, she specializes in software, digital healthcare, and optical technologies. Having handled hundreds of software and business method applications at the PTO, patent-eligible subject matter (aka "101") is her special area of expertise. In addition to the preparation and prosecution of patents to develop portfolios for startups and Fortune 100 companies alike, she has been lead counsel in IPRs, CBMs, and reexams for both patent owners and challengers. She has also provided infringement and invalidity analysis in opinions for a variety of technologies.

She works with clients in a number of technical fields, including: web interfaces, Internet communications systems, software development, telecommunications systems, lasers, photolithography, cryptographic messaging, semiconductor fabrication and devices, electronic design automation, biometric devices, implantable medical devices, catheter location systems, sensor communication systems, financial products, and various other electrical, optical, and software/business method inventions.

In conjunction with her work in business methods and software, Ms. Holoubek co-drafted an amicus brief for In re Bilski at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on behalf of American Express Co. She also co-drafted an amicus brief for Bilski v. Kappos at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of several Entrepreneurial Software Companies.

Ms. Holoubek is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition, published in 2017. 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. This second edition of Patent Office Litigation is the follow up to the first version of the book that was published in 2012 by Thomson Reuters Westlaw that focused on the contested proceedings that were introduced under the America Invents Act that year. Ms. Holoubek is the Chapter Chief for the chapter on Covered Business Method Patent Review (CBM) in the 2012 edition. Additionally, she is a contributing author of the chapter on "Patentability Challenges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office" in the ABA's Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook, 4th Edition (2015).

Prior to joining Sterne Kessler, Ms. Holoubek studied physics with a concentration in astronomy at Louisiana State University, focusing her research on gravitational wave detection. While at LSU, she also assisted in the development of software simulation and analysis programs for laboratory and educational use, and participated in a summer research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. From 2008-2013, Ms. Holoubek served on the Executive Committee for LSU's College of Science.

  • "Amdocs: An 'I Know It When I See It' Test for Abstract Ideas," Salvador M. Bezos & Michelle K. Holoubek, Law360, November 2016
  • "Is it Time to Amend 101?" Jorge Goldstein, Ph.D., Michelle K. Holoubek, and Krishan Thakker, IP Watchdog, September 2016
  • "McRo Syncs Automation Software With Patent Eligibility," Michelle K. Holoubek, Law360, September 2016
  • "The Time Has Come to Amend 35 U.S.C. § 101," Jorge A. Goldstein, Ph.D., Michelle K. Holoubek, and Krishan Y. Thakker, American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, May 2016
  • "CAFC Finds Software Patent Eligible," Michelle K. Holoubek & Lestin Kenton, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, May 2016
  • "Patent Cases To Watch in 2016," Michelle K. Holoubek, Law360
  • "A Means-Plus-Function Looking-Glass into Statutory Subject Matter Post-Alice," Michelle K. Holoubek and Donald J. Featherstone, Bloomberg BNA: Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, December 2015
  • "USPTO Points to Case Law and Gives Examples to Determine "Abstract in New Guidance," Michelle K. Holoubek, Managing IP, August 2015
  • "5 Observations on UPSTO's Updated 101 Guidelines," Michelle K. Holoubek, Law360, August 2015
  • "USPTO Patent Guidance Has Attorneys Fearing Wave of Rejections," Michelle K. Holoubek, Law360, July 2015
  • "Digital Health: Issues of Patentability," Marsha Gillentine & Michelle Holoubek, Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, June 2015
  • "Can Digital Healthcare Innovation be Patented?" Michelle K. Holoubek and John H. Curry, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2015
  • "USPTO 101 Guidelines: Effects on Software Patents," Salvador M. Bezos and Michelle K. Holoubek, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2015
  • "USPTO Issues New Subject Matter Eligibility Examination Interim Guidelines - Abstract Idea Guidance," Michelle K. Holoubek & Lestin Kenton, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, December 2014
  • "DDR Holdings - A Beacon of Hope for Software Patents?" Michelle K. Holoubek & Lestin Kenton, IP Law360
  • "Observations on Covered Business Method Patent Review," Michelle K. Holoubek and Michael V. Messinger, World Intellectual Property Review," June 2014
  • "12 Observations on Covered Business Method Review," Michelle K. Holoubek and Michael V. Messinger, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2014
  • "USPTO Issues First Decision Instituting CBM," Michelle K. Holoubek, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, February 2013
  • "America Invents Act: The 5 New Post-Issuance Procedures," Robert Greene Sterne, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Michelle K. Holoubek, Deborah A. Sterling, Ph.D., henry Hadad, and Todd Spalding, The Sedona Conference, October 2011
  • "Special Post-Grant Review for Business method and Software Patents," Michelle K. Holoubek and William P. Ladd, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, September 2011
  • "One year post-Bilski: How the decision is being interpreted by the BPAI, District Courts, and Federal Circuit," Robert Greene Sterne adn Michelle K. Holoubek, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2011
  • "Statutory Subject Matter: Case Summaries June 28, 2010 - October 1, 2010," Robert Green Sterne, Michelle K. Holoubek, Sedona Patent Litigation Conference, October 2010
  • "Fine-Tuning the Test for Patent-Eligibility," Peter A. Jackman, Michelle K. Holoubek, Maryland State Bar Journal, July 2010
  • "Diagnostic Testing in the Wake of Bilski v. Kappos," Michelle K. Holoubek and Eric K. Steffe, IPWatchdog.com, July 2010
  • "Bilski v. Kappos Decided on June 28, 2010 - Claims Were to an Abstract Idea and Not Patent-Eligible Subject Matter," Michelle K. Holoubek, The National Law Review, July 2010
  • “Software Patents in a Post-Bilski World," Michelle K. Holoubek, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, July 2009
  • Admissions
      • District of Columbia

      • Virginia

      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

      • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

      • United States Supreme Court

  • Education
    • J.D., George Mason University

    • B.S., Physics, Louisiana State University


    Unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. will not be considered confidential or privileged, may be disclosed to others, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Sterne Kessler.  If you are not already a client of Sterne Kessler, do not include any confidential information in this message.