Dmitry Karshtedt

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.

Guest Post by Prof. Dmitry Karshtedt: Nonobviousness and Time


12 thoughts on “Dmitry Karshtedt

  1. 7

    Some of us, like myself, only know him through his writings. What I knew, I liked.
    Brilliant mind and also tells us that you can touch peoples lives without ever meeting them!

    1. 4.1

      Agreed – while we may not have agreed, he was gracious and that ages is much, much too young.

      Condolences to those he left behind.

  2. 3

    Dmitry was someone who sought out differing views, would consider them, and would bring new insights based on his own understanding. He was generous with his time and person.

    I didn’t know him well, but what I did know, I really liked. I am sorry I did not get to know him better. The patent law community has lost someone who already gave so much, and had so much more to give.

  3. 1

    Sad to hear this. We were working on our Ph.D.’s at Cal around the same time and although I don’t remember him from back then, I’m sure we crossed paths.

    Seems worth noting that he was born in Moscow in 1977 and immigrated to San Francisco in 1990, when he was 13. Quite a life! And maybe just getting started in some respects.

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