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Changed long-standing law setting the scope of patent claims, which helps companies, particularly in software, combat overbroad patents. (Federal Circuit. Williamson v. Citrix Online LLC, et al. (Federal Circuit, 2016-1714))

Defended an energy company’s innovation against infringing overseas competitors that threatened the U.S. company’s existence. (International Trade Commission, 337-TA-1003)

Developed a global litigation strategy to ensure consistent positioning across highly intricate multi-case proceedings. (International Trade Commission, 337-TA-1059)

About Kurt

As the leader of Fish’s litigation practice group, which includes more than 250 trial lawyers in 14 U.S. and international offices, Kurt and his team consistently secure more high-profile intellectual property wins than any other firm. His engineering background gives him perspective as a technological historian and informs his foundation in the ever-evolving world of technology—proficiencies he uses to help clients achieve both their litigation and business objectives.


Kurt demands—of himself and his team—meticulous preparation at every stage of a case. Such intense preparation gives him extraordinary control to entertain settlement negotiations from a position of strength and to provide ongoing expertise in creating solid appellate court arguments to affirm contested wins.

Kurt’s formidable courtroom experience is best illustrated by the extremely complex, high-stakes disputes some of the world’s most innovative companies entrust to him. He has won numerous cases involving novel litigation strategies throughout patent law. He led the appellate teams in two precedent-setting cases—one modifying patent law to make it easier to avoid infringement or argue invalidity for many thousands of overbroad patents (Williamson v. Citrix), and another rejecting the use of the 25% rule-of-thumb for calculating a reasonable royalty for infringement damages (Uniloc v. Microsoft). He also leads the team representing Carl Zeiss AG in a massive high-stakes global litigation against Nikon Corp.

Trailblazer in AFA’s and Team Approach

Kurt’s innovation extends to his approach to client relationships. Years before most law firms were thinking about alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), Kurt began tailoring AFAs to meet clients’ business needs. In 2009, long-time Fish client Microsoft established a fixed-fee pricing approach for patent cases that formed the basis of Microsoft’s 2017 announcement that it planned to move 90% of its legal work to AFAs.

Kurt is one of the architects behind the renowned Fish teamwork approach—developing customized, seamless, scalable groups with deep fluency across technologies and venues for each case. This technique helps Fish dominate across venues—U.S. district courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit , the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Kurt first-chairs trials and key hearings, including Markman hearings, and stays on the front lines of his cases.

He has a deep understanding of myriad technologies, such as mechanical and electrical products; autonomous vehicles; industrial devices; lasers and fiber optics; robotics; computer software technologies; embedded systems; and electrotherapeutic, diagnostic, and coronary technologies.


Speaking Engagements

  • “MIP European Patent USA Forum” New York, New York (December 2019)
  • “Arthur J. Gajarsa and Boston IP Inns of Court & Contested Matters Committee Present: Decision Makers” Boston, Massachusetts (September 2018)
  • “Intellectual Property Litigation: United States and Europe” STC Conference, Hangzhou, China (May 2018)
  • “Leadership in Transition: The Practice Group Chairs Evolving Role in Driving Revenue,” 23rd Annual Marketing Partner Forum, Orlando, Florida (January 2016)

Media Mentions

International Trade Commission Cases

Won a closely watched ITC patent infringement case—part of a massive, high-stakes global litigation—for client Carl Zeiss AG (ZEISS) and its customer ASML Netherlands BV against Nikon. The case, which resulted in excluding numerous Nikon digital cameras from the U.S., was the first big win in the series of U.S. cases. It was particularly challenging because every decision needed to align with a carefully developed global litigation strategy to ensure that no position taken would jeopardize any other international litigation. (International Trade Commission, 337-TA-1059)

Scored a major ITC victory for client Aspen Aerogels, Inc. after two overseas competitors, Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co. Ltd. and Nano Tech Co. Ltd., opened knockoff businesses by directly copying everything from Aspen—from products to promotional materials. The ITC issued a limited exclusion order barring the importation of Alison and Nano’s aerogel composite insulation blankets into the U.S. market, protecting Aspen’s innovative thermal management solutions in the $3.2 billion energy insulation market. (International Trade Commission, 337-TA-1003)

Federal Circuit Cases

Won a precedential Federal Circuit decision upholding the validity of client Aspen Aerogels’ patent, which Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co. Ltd. (Alison) was found to infringe at the International Trade Commission (ITC). Fish initially won the ITC case which resulted in a limited exclusion order barring the importation of Alison’s and Nano’s knockoff aerogel composite insulation blankets into the U.S. market. (Guangdong Alison Hi-Tech Co. v. ITC (Federal Circuit, 2018-2042))

Convinced the Federal Circuit to go en banc, a rare event, to affirm changing long-standing law on setting the scope of patent claims that are defined largely or wholly by functions that an invention performs. The win makes it easier to avoid infringement or to argue invalidity for many thousands of overbroad patents, particularly in the software area. Fish represented defendants Microsoft, Adobe, and Citrix. (Federal Circuit. Williamson v. Citrix Online LLC, et al. (Federal Circuit, 2016-1714))

  • The Best Lawyers in America© list (2022-2023)
  • “Go-To Intellectual Property Lawyer,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2021)
  • “Leading Patent Professional,” IAM Patent 1000 (2020-2022)
  • “IP Star,” Managing Intellectual Property (2013-2022)
  • “Client Service All-Star,” BTI Consulting Group (2020)
  • “New England Trailblazer,” The American Lawyer (2019)
  • “Litigation Trailblazer,” The National Law Journal (2018)

Kurt is regularly recognized as among the best in his field. Chambers and Partners 2020 quotes clients who refer to Kurt as, “… by far the best attorney I have ever worked with,” noting that he “understands our business and quickly identifies reasonable positioning in cases.”

Focus Areas

J.D. magna cum laude, Harvard Law School (1993) Executive Editor, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 1992-1993 Managing Editor, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, 1991-1992

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Controls, University of California (1990)

B.S. Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988)

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 1996
  • Massachusetts 1994
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

What's trending with Kurt

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September 8, 2022
Fish & Richardson Receives Top Rankings in 2022 Edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals
Press Release
August 22, 2022
96 Fish Attorneys Included in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
Press Release
June 2, 2022
Fish & Richardson Named a Top ITC and Life Sciences Firm by Managing IP; Attorneys Named IP Stars
Press Release
May 25, 2022
Lex Machina Lists Fish & Richardson as Most Active Firm for Defendants and at the PTAB
March 21, 2022
Fish Tops List of Most Active Firms for Patent Defense and PTAB Petitioner Work in 2021
January 18, 2022
Fish & Richardson Named Law360 2021 IP Practice Group of the Year
Press Release
October 21, 2021
Fish & Richardson Secures Rare Win in ITC Trade Secrets Case
Press Release
September 27, 2021
Fish Principal Kurt Glitzenstein Named “Go-To Intellectual Property Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Press Release
August 19, 2021
Fish Attorneys Recognized in 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America
July 7, 2021
Fish & Richardson Receives Top Rankings in 2021 Edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals
April 12, 2021
Fish & Richardson Named 2021 IP Boutique Firm of the Year and ITC Firm of the Year by Managing Intellectual Property
January 26, 2021
Kurt Glitzenstein Quoted in The American Lawyer "Litigation Leaders" Article
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