Richard's Experience

Richard Smith


J.D., University of Houston Law School

            B.A., cum laude, University of St. Thomas (Biology/Chemistry/Education)

                      University of Notre Dame (Biology/Chemistry/Engineering)


            State Bars of Texas and California; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; American Association of Patent Judges.

Supported Organizations

St. John Neumann Catholic Church

Mobile Loaves & Fishes (Homeless) – Core Team, St. John Neumann Commissary

St. Gabriel’s Catholic Elementary School

Central Texas Food Bank

The 100 Club

Eremos – A Center of Contemplative Life (Austin)

Texas Alliance for Life

The Gathering at Community First!

Center for Action and Contemplation

Heritage Foundation

Lost Creek Neighborhood Association

Save Barton Creek Association

Barton Creek Conservancy

Hungry Souls

Red Oak Hope

The Other Ones Foundation

Austin Bridge Builder’s Association

Work Experience

May 2021 – present

City of Austin – Board of Adjustment

March 2021 – present     

Law Office of Richard J. Smith (Austin) – Owner

        Intellectual property projects and consulting for select clients and law firms.

 August 2015 – March 2021        

Administrative Patent Judge (APJ)

        United States Patent and Trademark Office, Silicon Valley, CA, Austin, TX; decided PTAB appeals and AIA trials.

March 2007 – August 2015      

 Law Office of Richard J. Smith (Austin) – Owner           

        Private practice of intellectual property (IP) and innovation.  Counseled companies in strategic development of IP portfolios, optimization of innovation and IP assets, and strategic IP risk management.  Provided litigation and pre-litigation counseling and assistance.  Served as on-site IP counsel for a financial services company.  Volunteer work with Austin Chamber of Commerce in support of patent reform efforts in Congress and the USPTO.        

April 2002 – February 2007    

 Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner L.L.P. (Palo Alto) – Partner

        Patent litigation and opinions, focusing on bioscience and biopharmaceuticals.  Responsible for leading several patent litigations and mentoring attorneys.

May 1995 – March 2002    

  Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld L.L.P. (Austin) – Partner

       Patent litigation and licensing; patent and trademark prosecution.  Led teams of patent attorneys in support of litigation efforts; managed patent prosecution; strategic patent analysis in various art areas.

May 1993 – April 1995     

Gambrell, Wilson & Hamilton L.L.P. (Austin) – Partner

        Patent litigation and prosecution, including in mechanical arts.  Merged into Akin Gump in May 1995.

January 1989 – April 1993        

Matthews & Branscomb, P.C. (now part of Dykema) (San Antonio) – Shareholder

        Patent litigation and prosecution, including in mechanical arts; collaboration with corporate and general litigation attorneys.

February 1986 – December 1988  

 Sisson & Smith, P.C./Hamilton & Smith, P.C. (San Antonio) – Shareholder

         Co-founder of IP firms.  Merged into Matthews & Branscomb in January 1989.

         Litigation and patent prosecution in mechanical arts.

March 1982 – January 1986    

 Gunn, Lee & Jackson, P.C. (San Antonio) – Associate

         Federal and state IP litigation, including patent litigation in electrical and mechanical arts; patent and trademark prosecution; patentability opinions.


Teaching and Writing

           Adjunct Professor University of Texas Law School (1994 – 1995) and St. Mary’s University Law School (1992 – 1999); developed and taught biotechnology law course.

           Patent Reform – Texas Style.  Expert Analysis published in IPLaw360, TexasLaw360, and Public Policy Law360 (March 2015).

            Appeal of Claim Construction Rulings.  Presented at West LegalWorks Claim Construction seminar in Palo Alto (January 2007).

            Protecting Your IP Against Infringers and Patents.  Presented at the American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco (September 2006).

          Hatch-Waxman 2003 Patented v. Generic Drugs: Regulatory, Legislative, and Judicial Developments, 20 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 695 (2004).

          Damages in IP Litigation ― Reasonable Royalty and Lost Profits.  Corporate Counsel Program, Palo Alto (May 2004).

          Patented v. Generic Drugs: Regulatory, Legislative and Judicial Developments Relating to Hatch-Waxman.  Institute for Law and Technology (November 2003).

         Trademark and copyright law presentation to TEXAS NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE NETWORK (Fall 1999).

          Ethics, Trade Secrets and the Former Employee – What Did The Employee Know and When Did He Know It? ABA, SONREEL 2nd Fall Meeting (September 1994).

           Protection of Biotechnology Under Mexico’s Industrial Property Law: Can El Raton de Harvard Speak Spanish? JPOS (June 1993); Biotechnology Law Report (Sept. – Oct. 1993).