By Jason Rantanen
George Washington University Law School Professor Dmitry Karshtedt has passed. Dmitry was a remarkable scholar, wonderful colleague, and incredible friend. We often had different ways of thinking about patent law, and I always hoped that some day we might have time to write something together. Sadly will never happen. The world was more with Dmitry and less without him.
Professor Karshtedt received an A.B from Harvard and a PhD from UC Berkeley, both in chemistry. After a few years working as a chemist for a semiconductor startup, he went to law school, receiving his JD from Stanford Law School in 2011. He worked for a short time at Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto before clerking for Judge Kimberly Moore on the Federal Circuit. He joined GW Law in 2015 after a fellowship at Stanford and received tenure in 2020.
Professor Karshtedt’s work was wide-ranging. He is named as an inventor on 13 patents, is the first-named author on five scientific publications, and spoke at dozens of conferences and presentations. His legal scholarship was deep and contemplative, and includes two articles published in the Iowa Law Review. His most recent work with Mark Lemley and Sean Seymore, The Death of the Genus Claim, 35 Harv. J. L. & Tech., is cited extensively in petitions for certiorari before the Supreme Court.
But more importantly, Dmitry was a wonderful colleague who contributed to every conference and workshop he attended. If you emailed him anything, whether a short question or a draft paper, he would always reply with a thoughtful response, including in depth comments on your work–comments that always made it better. I and many others had many wonderful conversations with Dmitry both over email and in person. I cannot speak personally about his teaching, but if it was any reflection of his professional interactions it must also have been terrific.
I have so many memories of Professor Karshtedt, but for now will end with a link to a PatentlyO guest post that he wrote just last year, in which he reconceptualized the framework for how courts should think about nonobviousness – an approach that will continue to influence my own thinking and make me sad for else might have been.