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Background

Richard A. Sterba, a Principal in Fish’s Washington, D.C. office, leads, manages and tries complex patent cases in district courts, from the Eastern District of Virginia to the Southern District of California, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Experienced in all phases of litigation, his specialty is handling and trying cases at the ITC, having worked on more than twenty Section 337 investigations, including more than ten trials. Mr. Sterba has received several accolades for his trial experience, including having been named a Law360 International Trade Rising Star and having been recognized by The Legal 500 for his impressive ITC experience and track record. He also has successfully argued a case to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit obtaining complete vindication for a small business owner whose entire business had previously been permanently enjoined.

A courtroom lawyer with first-chair experience, Mr. Sterba’s litigation experience runs the gamut from representing some of the largest and most respected companies in the United States and Asia to representing start-up companies and individuals, and from the highest-stakes litigation involving competitors to “nuisance” litigation often involving non-practicing entities. He recognizes that in litigation one size does not fit all, and that “winning” can take on many different forms. By partnering with his clients to define success and identify goals, he is able to lead cases of varying scopes appropriately consistently producing successful results while managing cases with remarkable efficiency.

Mr. Sterba’s background in physics and mathematics enables him to handle cases spanning a wide range of technologies including mobile phones, telecommunications, networking, digital signal processing, microprocessors, integrated circuits, display devices, semiconductors, memory, medical devices, and various mechanical and software inventions. He also has been involved in cases implicating various technical standards, and is experienced in handling the unique issues, such as FRAND requirements, associated with litigating standards essential patents.

Mr. Sterba is a leader of Fish’s ITC practice. He regularly speaks and lectures, in the United States and Asia, on the International Trade Commission, its practices and procedures, and related strategic considerations for both complainants and respondents.

Prior to joining Fish’s litigation group, he spent several years preparing and prosecuting patent applications, primarily in the fields of semiconductor fabrication and MEMS. His patent prosecution background facilitates a deeper understanding of patents, helping him to spot both their strengths and weaknesses.

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Sterba is active in the American Inns of Court. He has served as president of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the largest and oldest Intellectual Property Inn of Court in the United States, and assisted in the formation of the Pauline Newman American Inn of Court, where he is currently an officer. He is also an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA).

Education

J.D., George Washington University Law School 1998


B.S., Westminster College 1995
Physics, Mathematics
magna cum laude

Admissions

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 1998
  • District of Columbia 1999
  • Virginia 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Memberships & Affiliations

​Mr. Sterba served as executive managing editor of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal (1997-1998).

Mr. Sterba is active in several professional organizations including as President of The Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the largest and oldest Intellectual Property Inn of Cou​rt in the United States (having previously served as Inn Administrator for six years); International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association (ITCTLA); and American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Other Distinctions

Awards
Selected as a 2012 International Trade "Rising Star" by Law360, and recognized by The Legal 500 for his impressive ITC experience and track record, Mr. Sterba is considered one of the top patent litigators practicing at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Publications and presentations
"The 5th LES Asia-Pacific Regional Conference" (November 5-6, 2014 – Seoul, Korea).

"ACI 6th Expert Forum on ITC Litigation & Enforcement" (February 25-26, 2014 – Washington, DC).

"Overview of 2011 Patent Reform: What You Need to Know About The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act," (September 30, 2011 – Washington, DC).

"Guide to The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act," (February 3, 2012 – Washington, DC).

"Patent Litigation at the ITC," with Joseph V. Colaianni, Jr., George Washington University Law School (March 10, 2010 – Washington, DC).

"Small Entity Status: Who’s Small, Who Isn’t, Who Should be, and Why?", AIPLA Q.J., 25, 425 (1997).

Experience

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