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Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

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Areas of Practice
  • Electrical & Computers
  • Mechanical & Electromechanical
  • Medical Devices
  • Software & E-Commerce
IP Services
  • Acquisition Due Diligence
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Portfolio Management & Analysis
  • Post-Grant Proceedings
Bar Admissions & Associations
Publications & Presentations
Past Experience

Robert Hirning is a registered patent attorney in the Minneapolis office of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner. His practice involves nearly all aspects of patent application preparation, patent prosecution, and portfolio management for electrical, software, and mechanical technologies.

Robert has a talent for learning technology quickly. One of his favorite aspects of his career is working with new inventions and crafting patents to meet business needs. He explains, “Patent law is a great blend of business, technology and law.” He appreciates how at Schwegman, attorneys focus their expertise on certain technology areas. “By having us work in dedicated technical areas, we can be more precise and serve clients better. As patent attorneys, we can bridge the gap between business and technology by translating inventive concepts from inventors into tangible patent applications. This can help us be an effective conduit to pursue our clients’ interests.”

Robert’s practice has included work for large public corporations, mid-sized regional companies, startups, and solo inventors. His practice has included representation for a number of local software and med-tech clients in the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well national software clients in Silicon Valley and on both coasts.

Robert has experience in a variety of technology areas. These fields include: consumer electronic devices, software-driven medical devices, data storage, medical imaging products, applied artificial intelligence, health information systems, consumer products, agriculture technologies, and various niche fields. He enjoys when new technology crosses his desk. His legal experience also includes general intellectual property and transactional counseling, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, portfolio valuation and analysis, strategic licensing, and trade secret, copyright, and open source software license counseling.

In addition, Robert’s practice has involved a number of patent post-grant proceedings. These include inter partes review and ex parte reexamination petitions and patent owner responses, representing patent challengers and patentees. Further, Robert has been involved in a number of strategic filings, targeted continuations, accelerated and prioritized examination filings, and counseling for co-pending litigation and strategic licensing matters. He has experience in a prosecution and support role for a number of patent litigations and dispute settlements, including patent litigation for matters drafted and prosecuted by himself and other attorneys at Schwegman.

Robert went into patent law because he enjoys both analytical and technical projects. Outside of work, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family. His family has currently completed over half of its goal to visit all 50 states together.


William Mitchell College of Law
St. Paul, MN 2007, J.D.
Summa Cum Laude

North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND 2003
B.S., Major: Computer Science

Bar Admissions & Associations
Bar Admissions & Associations
Bar Admissions

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Associations
Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
American Intellectual Property Law Association
American Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property Law
Minnesota State Bar Association
Publications & Presentations
Publications & Presentations
Contributory and Vicarious Copyright Infringement in Computer Software – Harming One Form of Intellectual Property by Protecting Another

Chicago-Kent College of Law Journal of Intellectual Property, 6 CHI-KENT J. INTELL. PROP. 10 (Fall 2006)

10 Tips to Avoid a ‘Diehr in the Headlights’ Reaction to Bilski for Computer-Implemented Inventions

Intellectual Property Today (September 2009)

Practical Tips for Protecting Computer–Implemented Inventions Under Bilski and Section 101

Minnesota CLE Webcast, September 2009 (Co-presented)

Accelerated Examination: A Second Look – Reconsidering the Benefits of the USPTO’s New Accelerated Examination Program

Landslide Magazine, ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 2 No. 4 (March/April, 2010) (Co-authored)

Patent Protection for Medical Devices: Patenting Medical Device Software
Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, April 2011

Patents Editor, Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments 2010
American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (2011)
Past Experience
Past Experience

Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Patent Attorney, 2007-2011

Echelon Corporation, Web Developer / Software Engineer, 2002-2004, Web Developer, 2001-2002