Practice Areas

Ben Dugan« full attorney list


Ben Dugan is a registered patent attorney specializing in computer-related technologies.  Ben provides services in patent preparation and prosecution; intellectual property portfolio development; patentability, non-infringement and invalidity opinions; and open source licensing issues. 

Ben is interested in the use of computers to improve the delivery of legal services.  He has mined patent prosecution records at the Patent Office to apply machine learning techniques to identify patent claims that are directed to ineligible subject matter under Alice v. CLS Bank.  He has employed machine learning to predict whether a patent claim will be rejected for reciting ineligible subject matter.  (Demo) He has also developed tools for computer-assisted patent application preparation and document search.

Ben received his B.S. in Values, Technology, Science and Society, with a concentration in Computer Science, from Stanford University in 1992. He received an M.S. in Computer Science (1995) and a J.D. (2005) from the University of Washington.

After receiving his M.S., Ben served for two years as Chief Architect for a San Francisco-based startup company, where he designed, developed, and deployed voice-activated Web browser technologies.  Ben also worked for five years as a Lecturer for the University of Washington Department of Computer Science and Engineering, in Seattle, Washington.  In that capacity, Ben taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses for majors and non-majors.  In 2002, the University of Washington Student Chapter of the ACM awarded him the UW ACM Teaching Award.

Ben has expertise in the areas of computer architecture, operating systems, programming language implementation, networking technologies, object-oriented design and development, and user interface design. 

Practice Areas

Patent, trademark, and copyright matters in the software, Internet, and e-commerce fields.


  • J.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2005)
  • M.S., Computer Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (1995)
  • B.S., Values, Technology, Science and Society, Stanford University (1992)


  • Washington State Courts
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Publications & Presentations

Representative Publications

  • Ben Dugan. Estimating the Impact of Alice v. CLS Bank Based on a Statistical Analysis of Patent Office Subject Matter Rejections.
  • Ben Dugan. Derivative Works Under the GPL.
  • Ben Dugan and John Zahorjan. “The Sloop-SMOK Toolkit.” Journal of Educational Resources in Computing: Special Issue on Computer Architecture Simulators, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Mar. 2002.
  • Benedict Dugan and Bob Dugan. “The Internet and the Law.” Victoria University Law Review, 2002.
  • Bob Dugan and Benedict Dugan. “Cookies and Electronic Crime.” New Zealand Law Journal, November 2001.
  • Benedict Dugan and Illah Nourbakhsh. “Vagabond: A demonstration of autonomous, robust, outdoor navigation.” Video Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 1993.

Representative Software

  • Ben Dugan and John Zahorjan. SMOK/Cebollita Toolkit. Used in Computer Architecture, University of Washington, 2002-2006.
  • Ben Dugan. Course Libraries. Used in Introduction to Programming I and II, University of Washington, 2001-2003.

Representative Instructional Materials & Presentations

Ben Dugan

Ben Dugan

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phone: 206.381.3300