Brian Downing Image

Brian Downing

is a freelance patent agent and former artificial intelligence (AI) patent examiner (AU 2121). Before transitioning into patent law, Brian had over 17 years experience in analog and mixed signal integrated circuit (IC) design, electronic design automation (EDA) software, software development, web application development, and motorsports. Brian specializes in electronics, software, and artificial intelligence patent preparation and prosecution. Brian’s passion is helping start-ups obtain patents. Brian loves the startup environment, where passion is abundant, paradigm shifting technology is everywhere, quality is admired, and every penny gets stretched to it’s limits. Having been in the seat of the inventor and the patent examiner, Brian is efficient at going from an inventor’s idea to an issued patent.

Besides patent preparation and prosecution, Brian’s interests include using and developing software tools to speed up and improve quality of patent drafting and patent prosecution. Additionally, he enjoys applying big data techniques to patent data and applying a common sense filter to find the best path forward for clients.

Brian holds a Master of Engineering from Northern Arizona University, Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and an Associate of Science from Isothermal Community College.

Recent Articles by Brian Downing

From Agent to Examiner and Back Again: Practical Lessons Learned from Inside the USPTO

As a Patent Agent, the work product coming out of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seemed random to me. This article shares what I learned as a USPTO Patent Examiner that lifted the veil and shed light on that randomness. As a Patent Examiner I learned a powerful lesson: the approach that a Patent Examiner takes in interpreting claim language is learned by “on the job” training while working with USPTO trainers and other experienced USPTO examiners. The USPTO does not give new Patent Examiners detailed training on how to interpret claim language. Understanding the unique lens through which each examiner is viewing the application and prior art is critical to working effectively with Patent Examiners. Some Examiners interpret very broadly and allow fewer applications, while other examiners interpret more narrowly and allow more applications.