Robert W. Downs is a patent agent in the firm’s Electrical/Mechanical practice group. With a strong foundation in mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science, Mr. Downs brings a skill set and perspective to his practice that includes drafting and prosecuting patent applications before the USPTO. Utilizing his background in artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Database Management, Mr. Downs prepares patent applications in technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, Internet-of-Things, Smart Grid technology, cybersecurity. In addition, Mr. Downs utilizes his background in mechanical and electrical engineering in preparing and prosecuting patent applications in vehicle drive systems and controls and heavy machinery, including paving machines, mining machines, and cranes. Mr. Downs previously worked at a boutique law firm, where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications before the USPTO, as well as represented clients in Appeals to the Patent Trails and Appeals Court, for semiconductor, telecommunications, software, and Internet companies.

In addition to work experience, Mr. Downs stays current in computer technologies through continued coursework and attending meetings in areas including cybersecurity, Amazon Alexa development, Amazon Web Services, Blockchain, Machine Learning including Deep Learning, and 3D printing.

Mr. Downs brings eleven years of patent examining experience having served in several positions at the USPTO. There Mr. Downs served as a primary patent examiner in the art of artificial intelligence, machine learning, software engineering, and computer security, served as a patent quality review examiner, then served as a patent trainer in the business methods art.

As a former systems engineer in the U.S. Department of the Navy, Mr. Downs worked in surface ship design projects, including reliability, maintainability and availability engineering, and management of projects in AI. Among projects in AI, Mr. Downs managed projects including: use of Bayesian reasoning for fault diagnostics, applying expert systems to improve maintainability of complex systems, pattern recognition using neural networks, natural language processing. AI programming projects used LISP, Prolog, Smalltalk, and Python programming languages. 


  • George Mason University (M.S.)
    • Bioinformatics
  • George Mason University (M.S.)
    • Information Systems, Electronic Commerce
  • Virginia Tech (M.S.)
    • Computer Science, minor in Artificial Intelligence and Database Management Systems
  • Virginia Tech (B.S.)
    • Mechanical Engineering


  • Registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computer Sciences Honor Society