the firm's post-grant practitioners are some of the most experienced in the country.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Digital Health
Digital Health
Energy & Renewables
Energy & Renewables

Fast Facts

About Our

Law Firm

About Our Law Firm

Headquartered within steps of the USPTO with an affiliate office in Tokyo, Oblon is one of the largest law firms in the United States focused exclusively on intellectual property law.

Get to know our


Get to know our History

Norman Oblon with Stanley Fisher and Marvin Spivak launched what was to become Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP, one of the nation's leading full-service intellectual property law firms.

Our Local and

Global Reach

Our Local and Global Reach

Outside the US, we service companies based in Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and farther corners of the world. Our culturally aware attorneys speak many languages, including Japanese, French, German, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Chinese.

A few of our


A few of our ACCOLADES

Oblon's professionals provide industry-leading IP legal services to many of the world's most admired innovators and brands.




From the minute you walk through our doors, you'll become a valuable part of a team that fosters a culture of innovation, client service and collegiality.

A few ways to

GET In Touch

A few ways to GET In Touch
US Office

Telephone: 703-413-3000
Learn More +

Tokyo Office

Telephone: +81-3-6212-0550
Learn More +


Patent Forms

Downloadable Patent Forms

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued final rules implementing the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) on August 14, 2012.

Derek  Lightner, Ph.D.

Derek Lightner, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
T: (703)2362680
Download Summary PDF
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Derek is a senior associate in the Chemical Patent Prosecution practice group and specializes in the preparation and prosecution of chemical patent applications. He also has substantial experience in mechanical and design application preparation and prosecution.  Dr. Lightner’s prosecution experience ranges in a wide variety of technologies, including synthetic and process chemistry, polymer chemistry and engineering, catalysis, mineral processing, toners, lubricants, LEDs, biochemical, metallurgy, basic chemicals, wallboard, petrochemistry and exploration, MTO/MTG, fabrics and bandage materials, semiconductors, mechanical seals, reactors, extruders, gas storage, automobile and aircraft parts and systems, cleaning equipment, elevator systems, lighting systems, and electrical components.  He has also prepared a variety of opinions on validity, avoidance-infringement, and freedom-to-operate, including Paragraph IV certifications.

Dr. Lightner’s doctoral research involved the synthesis and synthetic scale-up of bridged aliphatic heterocycles relevant in the pharmaceutical industry, and preparing novel analogs of PDE5 inhibitors for testing in collaboration with a local start-up drug company and a molecular modeling group.  His master’s studies involved research into industrial polymers and processes, as well as polysaccharide chemistry; and his undergraduate research experience is in pyrrole and aromatic chemistry. He continues to pursue his interest in synthetic chemistry in his free time.

Dr. Lightner has lived in German-speaking countries for nearly two decades, including EPO work for German intellectual property firms, and he is proficient in German.


  • Santa Clara University School of Law (J.D.)
  • Technische Universität - Wien (Dr. techn. - Ph.D.)
    •  Applied Organic Synthesis
  • Freie Universität - Berlin (M.Sc.)
    •  Polymer Science
  • Stanford University
    • Chemistry, B.S.
    • Germany Studies, B.A.


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • California
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia


“WIPO Sub-Regional Patent Drafting Course,” WIPO-Jordanian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, October 2019, Amman, Jordan

“WIPO Sub-Regional Patent Drafting Course,” WIPO-Jamaican Intellectual Property Office, June 2017, Kingston, Jamaica

“Federal Circuit revisits the ‘old’ written description requirement,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Sept. 5, 2013

“Mixtures of Heteropolycycles” US 10,231,970

“Methods of Producing Heteropolycycles via Bisepoxidation,” WO 2016/054123 A1/ US 9,937,172

“Diazabicyclo- und Diazaspiro-Alkanderivate als Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitoren,” AT 2011 01536 / WO 2013/057205 A1

 “Crystal Structure and Conformation of a Dipyrrylmethane: The gem-Dimethyl Effect,” Monatshefte für Chemie, 2000, 131, 452-461


  • German