Coke Morgan StewartPrincipal Lecturer
Coke Morgan Stewart
Prior to joining the Regent University School of Law faculty in 2021, Ms. Stewart served as the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In that role, Ms. Stewart helped manage one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world and helped oversee the agency’s more than 14,000 employees and $4 billion budget. Ms. Stewart began her work at the USPTO in 2011, serving in a number of important roles, including as Associate Solicitor, Senior Advisor to the Director, Acting Deputy Solicitor, and Acting Chief of Staff. Ms. Stewart was appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in 2017.
Ms. Stewart has been counsel in over 50 cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, arguing over a dozen cases as lead counsel. She has advised the Department of Justice Civil Appellate Staff and the Office of the Solicitor General on numerous patent, trademark, and copyright cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the most recent constitutional challenge to the appointment of the agency’s administrative patent judges. Ms. Stewart has also handled many administrative law cases for the USPTO, defending agency regulations and procedures in federal court.
During her government service, Ms. Stewart earned the highest performance rating of “outstanding” each year of employment and received several significant honors and awards, including five Special Act Awards, such as for her work supporting the agency during the pandemic and the Presidential Transition, a Director’s Award for Excellence in Litigation, a Department of Commerce Award for Exceptional Service (“Attorney of the Year” Award), and a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Stewart practiced law for 14 years—most recently at Kaye Scholer LLP in Washington, D.C., litigating complex patent infringement cases on behalf of patent holders and accused infringers. Among other matters, Ms. Stewart participated in two patent cases culminating in successful jury trials, one in the Eastern District of Texas (Marshall Division) and one in the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond Division). The latter resulted in a jury award of $62.3 million and a finding of willful infringement, the eighth-largest jury verdict in federal court that year and the then-largest patent infringement jury award in Eastern District of Virginia. In pro bono matters, Ms. Stewart prevailed in two contested immigration trials in Arlington Immigration Court.
Ms. Stewart has been active in numerous professional and civic organizations, including the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, of which she is a permanent member; the Administrative Conference of the United States’ Artificial Intelligence in Federal Agencies project, the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, where she was co-chair of the Membership Committee, co-chair Intellectual Property Litigation Committee, and co-chair Section Annual Conference; the University of Virginia Law School Foundation; and the District of Columbia Bar, where she was elected to the Law Practice Management Steering Committee. Ms. Stewart served as a judge for the 2021 National Patent Application Drafting Competition Finals.
Ms. Stewart serves on the Board of Advisors for STEM for Her, a nonprofit organization encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and was a Founding Member, Director, and General Counsel for Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, a nonpartisan political action committee supporting young women running for state and federal public office, and a Founding Member of Running Start, a nonpartisan group providing leadership training to young women.
Ms. Stewart is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia School of Law. In law school, she served as Executive Editor of the Virginia Tax Review and Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Weekly. After law school, Ms. Stewart clerked on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., for the Honorable James T. Turner.
- AI and the Future of Innovation, 18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Law (ICAIL), Center for AI and Patent Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University (2021)
- Agency Lead, 2021 Heads of Office meetings, IP5 (meeting of five largest patent offices: US, Korea, Japan, China, and Europe) (2021)
- Industrial Design Protection, International forum on protection of industrial designs, USPTO (2021)
- The Role of Innovation Incentives for AI in Health Care, Trust, But Verify: Informational Challenges Surrounding AI-Enabled Clinical Decision Software, Duke University-Margolis Center for Health Policy (2020)
- Raise the Bar: Real World Solutions for a Troubled Profession (co-author, ABA 2008)