Stuart A. Nelson focuses his practice on patent prosecution, strategic intellectual property counseling, and portfolio management. With extensive experience in post-grant proceedings, his record includes 100+ inter partes review proceedings.

Stuart manages patent portfolios for companies ranging from new and emerging entities to some of the largest players in their industries. He has helped medical device and tech startups acquire their very first patents and then grow their portfolio to attract acquisition. He has also helped large tech companies strategically grow their portfolios to better meet their strategic objectives in the U.S. and abroad, all while sensibly managing their budget.

Stuart’s experience extends to developing strategies for success in post-grant, litigation, mediation, and arbitration, and then leading his team to execute tactics to achieve success. He works with clients long before litigation, conducting freedom-to-operate studies, issuing opinion letters, and offering other sage counsel through litigation. 

He practices extensively before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and has represented both petitioners and patent owners in IPR and other post-grant proceedings in well over 100 cases. He is also extremely successful in post-grant proceedings, with one of the highest success rates around.

Stuart speaks and writes on developments in post-grant jurisprudence and was the founding host of Fish & Richardson’s post-grant podcast series, Fish Post-Grant Radio.

His technical experience spans a variety of mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical industries, including:

  • Medical devices
  • Mobile and connected devices
  • Bed and sleep systems
  • Mechanical and electrical aerospace applications
  • Electronics and controls
  • Sensors and industrial control systems
  • Renewable energy
  • Sports training equipment
  • Electromechanical machinery

Companies in wide-ranging industries, including consumer products, digital health, software, semiconductors, electrical and computer technology, Internet, telecommunications, transportation, and aerospace and defense, rely on Stuart to help them make smart decisions that protect and optimize the value of their IP assets.


  • “From day one during our very first face-to-face meeting, we knew that we would be all right. Though he took our case on a pro bono client basis, Stuart treated us just as well as his more prestigious clients, and we were delighted by the kindness and sincere consideration he showed us.” — Pro bono client testimonial
  • "[Stuart is] a really good patent prosecutor and really good in taking the company's strategic aims and goals when helping develop patent strategy." — Client testimonial, Thomson Reuters Stand-Out Lawyers List (2023)

Professional associations

  • PTAB Bar Association – Trials Committee
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA)
  • MIPLA IP Law Revision & PTO Co-Chair (2014-present)

Pro bono activities 

Stuart maintains an active pro bono practice. He works with the Great North Innocence Project to represent clients in post-conviction relief matters to help overturn wrongful convictions. In conjunction with the Tahirih Justice Center, he assisted a group of Afghani female students to gain asylum in the U.S. In conjunction with the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota, he helped a family of permanent residents originally from Ukraine to become U.S. citizens. Stuart’s past pro bono work also included a variety of patent matters and helping indigent people amicably resolve housing disputes. He serves as the pro bono coordinating attorney for Fish’s Minneapolis office.  

Stuart has been named a North Star Lawyer for providing 50 or more pro bono hours in a single year (2013, 2015-2016, 2018-2020, 2023).

Case work

  • Along with a team of Fish attorneys, Stuart represented a group of Afghani female students fleeing oppression. As a result of the team’s advocacy, the women were granted asylum in the U.S.


  • Great North Innocence Project 

  • Tahirih Justice Center  

  • Immigration Law Center of Minnesota