Robert W. Downs is a patent agent in the firm’s Electrical/Mechanical practice group. With a strong foundation in 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, as well as represented clients in Appeals to the USPTO Patent Trial & Appeal Board. Utilizing his background in artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Database Management, Mr. Downs prepares patent applications in technologies including robotics, machine learning, self-driving cars, Internet-of-Things, Smart Grid technology, and cybersecurity. Mr. Downs previously worked at a boutique law firm, where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications before the USPTO for leading 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, Deep Learning, and 3D printing.

Mr. Downs brings over ten 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