John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon has had a career in government, academia, and private practice that spans more than half a century. After working briefly as a chemist, in 1960 John joined the DuPont Company’s patent law offices in Washington, where he worked full-time while attending night school at Georgetown. Following law school, he became a law clerk to Judge Rich. He then practiced patent law with a firm in Washington. In 1971, he was appointed by the President to be an Examiner-in-Chief and to serve on the then Board of Appeals in the Patent Office. He returned to private practice in 1978 and continued practicing law until he retired in 2016.

In 1992, John was invited to join the adjunct faculty at George Mason law school as Distinguished Professor of Intellectual Property Law. He headed the School’s intellectual property law program and taught courses in patent law. He has also taught at Georgetown. Upon retiring from teaching in 2003, John was accorded the title: “Professor and Director Emeritus, Intellectual Property Program, George Mason University School of Law.”


Posts by John Witherspoon


Giles Sutherland Rich: The patent legacy that started with a failed eye exam

One summer night in 1926, while staying at the Willard Hotel, Giles Sutherland Rich made a decision that set in motion a chain of events that account for …
By John Witherspoon
3 years ago 22