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Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

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Areas of Practice
  • Medical Devices
  • Mechanical & Electromechanical
  • Clean Technologies
  • Electrical & Computers
  • Software & E-Commerce
IP Services
  • Patent Prosecution
Bar Admissions
Past Employment

Ron Gerber is a patent agent in Schwegman’s Minneapolis office. Ron’s practice includes preparation and prosecution of domestic and international patent applications in the optical, electrical, and mechanical arts, including medical devices.

Prior to becoming a patent agent, Ron worked as a senior design engineer for optical systems for several large multinational companies. His work experience included computer simulation of optical systems, mechanical budget analysis, component and system design and tolerancing for telecommunications, and fundamental research in optical data storage. As an inventor, he has 22 issued U.S. Patents to his name.

As an engineer and inventor, Ron was tasked with writing invention disclosures and explaining highly technical subject matter to upper management. Prompted by a compliment from a respected patent attorney, Ron left engineering to pursue a legal career as a patent agent. Nowadays, Ron still enjoys explaining and communicating.

Ron began his academic career studying mathematics, but found that he needed something more concrete. Optics was the answer. He earned a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Optics, as well as an M.S. in Optics, from the University of Rochester. He then received his Ph.D. in Optics from the University of Arizona.

For fun, Ron hosts a pop music radio show, which has been heard weekly since 1992 and has affiliates on two continents. Ron finds that comparisons can be drawn between writing invention disclosures and crafting a good talk break on his radio show. “For both of them, I need to tell a story in various constraints,” he explains. Ron is the author of a 2017 book about radio titled, “Between The Songs,” and a 2012 memoir titled, “Greatest Hits Vol. 1.”

University of Arizona

1995, Ph.D. Optics

University of Rochester

1992, M.S. Optics

University of Rochester

May 1990, B.S. Optics, Graduated with distinction

University of Rochester
1990, B.S. Physics, Graduated magna cum laude
Bar Admissions
Bar Admissions

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Past Employment
Past Employment
Seager, Tufte and Wickhem, Minneapolis, MN, 2009 – 2012, Patent Agent

Managed all aspects of patent prosecution, including drafting and filing complete U.S. and foreign patent applications, and drafting and filing responses to U.S. Patent Office Actions.

Altera Law Group, Minneapolis, MN,2003 – 2009, Patent Agent
Passed the Patent Bar Exam and registered to practice with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Registration No. 57,166.

Managed all aspects of patent prosecution, including drafting and filing complete U.S. and foreign patent applications, and drafting and filing responses to U.S. Patent Office Actions.

ADC Telecommunications, Shakopee, MN, 2001 – 2002, Senior Project Engineer
Performed optical modeling for telecommunications laser and fiber optic assemblies.  Used primarily self-written code (in MATLAB and Excel) for Gaussian beam analysis and diffraction modeling, in addition to off-the-shelf raytracing code (ZEMAX).
Responsible for mechanical budgets of dual-fiber collimators, plus the higher-level assemblies that use them as building blocks.

Contributed to eight records of invention, and was the chief technical writer for them.

Seagate Technology, Bloomington, MN, 1997 – 2001, Air Bearing Design Engineer (1999 – 2001)
Used proprietary code that finds a steady-state solution of the Reynolds equation to design and analyze air bearings for computer hard drives.
Responsible for air bearing design and support for current and future desktop products at Seagate.

Developed, documented, and supported code that performs analysis of the head/disk interface mechanical spacing budgets.  Inputs included sigmas from nearly 50 manufacturing processes.

Senior Optical Design Engineer (1997 – 1999)
Responsible for optical modeling of various subsystems in future-generation Quinta optically assisted Winchester drives.
Used optical design programs (ZEMAX, OSLO) to perform layout and tolerancing of various 1×12 optical MEMS switches and a pigtailed fiber laser pen.

Contributed to 18 Seagate invention disclosures and 14 U.S. patent applications.

Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, 1996 – 1997, Senior Research Scientist
Performed modeling of optical data storage heads.
Performed diffraction-based analysis of novel focus/tracking schemes and optical head designs.
Ordered components for custom optical heads, monitored and documented the head building procedure.

Contributed to four U.S. patents.

Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1992 – 1995, Graduate Research Assistant
Investigated optical data storage systems by examining the electric field distribution at the exit pupil of the objective lens.
Examined the effects of polarization orientation, disk birefringence and disk tilt on the focus and tracking systems.

Work involved vector and scalar diffraction modeling in C, MATLAB, DIFFRACT, and MATHCAD.

3M, Optical Recording Department, Vadnais Heights, MN, 1991 – 1992, Co-op
Continued work on a benchtop testbed that tests magneto-optical discs in the blue wavelengths.
Responsible for optical layout and alignment, GPIB and RS-232 programming for the equipment, and control electronics for the focus and tracking systems.

Showed experimentally that sending discs through the coating process does not change the substrate birefringence.

IBM, T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, 1989, 1990, Summer Student

Tested a Zeiss lithography lens at its design wavelength in the near UV.


Past President, current webmaster and member, MN Chapter of Optical Society of America.

Past Board of Directors member, past Program Committee member, current programmer, KFAI-FM Radio, Minneapolis, MN.

Host/writer/producer of weekly internationally-syndicated radio show with affiliates on three continents, 1992-present.

Author of memoir, “Greatest Hits Vol. 1”, published in 2012.