Douglas L. Wathen


Doug works with clients to develop strategies for the protection of engineering related innovations. He has a background in automotive engineering and acoustics, and has more than two decades of experience as a patent attorney. He represents a number of U.S. and foreign technology companies and organizations, including universities, automotive suppliers, consumer product companies and a variety of manufacturers. A significant portion of Doug’s practice is dedicated to opinion work, including infringement and non-infringement analyses, “freedom to practice” reviews and the analysis of patent validity challenges. He also speaks to inventor groups and community groups on patent and IP law.

Clients regularly turn to Doug for a fresh perspective during difficult patent prosecution cases, including those that have been pending for years. He has learned the key to successful patent prosecution is ongoing dialog with the patent examiner, and Doug conducts an interview with the examiner before filing most responses.

Doug also files a large number of design patent applications and prosecutes U.S. applications based on International Design Applications. These foreign-priority applications often face difficult rejections based on the unique requirements of the U.S. Patent Office.

He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, with a concentration in vehicle design. Doug then worked as an engineer in Ford’s Advanced Vehicle Systems Engineering office specializing in powertrain engineering and noise and vibration (NVH) control. He earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.


  • University of Michigan Law School  (J.D., 1996)
  • Purdue University  (B.S., 1990)
    • Mechanical Engineering

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office


  • State Bar of Michigan, Intellectual Property Law Section
  • Association of University Technology Managers