- J.D., cum laude, Wayne State University Law School
- B.S.M.E., Purdue University
- State Bar of Michigan
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
Intellectual Property Attorney
Robert “Bob” Johns started tinkering as far back as he can remember. He recalls how he would spend hours disassembling things to understand how they work and how to improve upon them. This fascination with complexity led him to study mechanical engineering and, eventually, to the practice of patent law. Today, he employs curiosity, competency, and economy as he helps major international corporations, U.S.-based companies, and individual inventors obtain patents and protect their work across the spectrum of patent-related intellectual property law.
Clients appreciate Bob’s creativity and legal savvy as well as his responsiveness and quality of work. They trust his ability to quickly grasp the essence of an invention and simplify it in writing to be easily understood by any examiner.
His appreciation for the creative process pushes him to think beyond the box. Not only can he quickly understand an invention, but he will also look for ways in which the invention could evolve. Asking the right questions of the inventor can lead to a path for broadening the patent and strengthening its protection against validity challenges and design-around strategies.
“What I like most about being a patent lawyer is my proximity to engineers, inventors, and engineering – my first love,” explains Bob. “I get to talk to the engineers and use my background to not only protect their ideas but also to make sure they have clearance for their inventions and envision broader uses.”
In addition to drafting and filing new patents, Bob handles infringement matters, validity challenges, and freedom to practice opinions. In some cases, clients come to Bob for proactive advice. For example, his ability to look at things from a different angle helps him strategize ways for clients to avoid infringement before proceeding with projects or inventions. In other cases, he can help companies revise the claims of pending applications to cover their competitors’ products.
Having read thousands of patents and shepherded dozens through the process, Bob is efficient at hunting for that one detail that makes his application different than a prior art piece. In this regard, he is fully committed to ensuring that the invention is accurately and clearly represented in negotiations with patent offices around the globe, sticking with it until his client receives the patent protections they deserve.
Bob’s early experience as an engineer focused on the mechanical and electro-mechanical areas of the automotive and aerospace industries. Prior to practicing law, he was employed in the product design, manufacturing, and test facility departments of a multinational corporation where he worked on both commercial and military applications, including hydraulic and fuel systems for aircraft and other vehicles. Since becoming a patent attorney, he has channeled this experience to guide the intellectual property portfolios of his automotive and aerospace clients while expanding his knowledgebase to include work on complex heating systems and other mechanical and electro-mechanical inventions.