Professional Biography
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Nathan Kelley Partner



Nathan Kelley is one of the country’s leading intellectual property lawyers, having served for more than a decade at the top levels of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, most recently as Solicitor and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law.  In that capacity, Nate managed all IP litigation for the USPTO and participated in many of the most significant patent and trademark cases in recent years, including Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLCMatal v. Tam; Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal; In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC; Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple, Inc.; Life Techs. Corp. v. Promega Corp.; Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l; Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.; Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc.; and B&B Hardware v. Hargis Indus., Inc.

At the USPTO, Nate also acted as the USPTO’s Chief Administrative Patent Judge, leading the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) during a critical period as it was coming up to speed with its jurisdiction over inter partes reviews under the America Invents Act. Before his time in the Solicitor’s Office and PTAB, Nate worked for six years at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, first as a member of its permanent legal staff and then as a law clerk for Circuit Judge Randall Rader.  His career in intellectual property law began over 25 years ago as a patent examiner in the semiconductor field.

In his counsel to clients, Nate offers his deep experience managing high-profile patent litigation appeals, inter partes reviews at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and related USPTO work. He has personally argued dozens of Federal Circuit appeals, including several en banc cases while overseeing the defense of hundreds of decisions of the PTAB and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) before the Federal Circuit. Nate’s experience includes significant Supreme Court work, appearing on many U.S. Government amicus briefs while also having advocated the USPTO’s position during internal government deliberations over major IP cases.

Beyond litigation both in the federal courts and at the PTAB, Nate’s experience includes helping develop USPTO rules and guidelines, shaping federal policy on various IP matters, and internally counseling the USPTO on the implementation of the America Invents Act.

Nate possesses an exceptional command of intellectual property and administrative law and provides a strategic, practical approach to counseling clients on their intellectual property concerns. He is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences on various intellectual property topics, drawing on his years of experience navigating the highest levels at the USPTO and other federal agencies.

Professional Leadership

  • Member of The Advisory Council for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2013 - 2018

Related Employment

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA
    • Solicitor and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law, 2013 - 2015; 2016 - 2018
    • Chief Administrative Patent Judge (acting), 2015 - 2016
    • Deputy Solicitor and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property, 2012 - 2013
    • Associate Solicitor, 2006 - 2012
    • Patent Examiner, 1993 - 1999
  • George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C., Professional Lecturer in Law, 2012 - 2013
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington, D.C., Technical Assistant, 2000 - 2005
  • Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, Washington, D.C., Associate, 1999 - 2000
  • Defense Information Systems Agency, Reston, VA, 1990 - 1991


  • Hon. Randall R. Rader, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2005 - 2006




Bar and Court Admissions

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


  • George Mason, Antonin Scalia Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1999
  • George Mason University, B.S., 1993