Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law
As a former physics professor, I love explaining my client’s high technology to the Patent Office.

Steven P. Ruden, Ph.D.


At a Glance

  • J.D. Chapman University School of Law
  • Ph.D. Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of California - Santa Cruz
  • B.S. Astronomy, Case Western Reserve University

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Profile 

Steven P. Ruden is a partner in our Orange County office. He focuses on patent prosecution, patent portfolio management, and other forms of intellectual property protection for a variety of technologies, including lasers, optical fibers, telescopes and other optical systems, MEMS displays, laser microprocessing of surfaces, image processing, healthcare and electronic health record (EHR) information technology, satellites, e-commerce, computer software, and financial indices and funds.

Prior to joining the firm in 2005, Dr. Ruden was an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine.  Under grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation, he performed complex computer simulations of astrophysical fluid dynamics and the origin of planetary systems.  He also served on the NASA advisory subcommittee that recommended the strategic plan for scientific program development, technological objectives, and space science mission goals of the Astronomical Search for Origins and Planetary Systems program.

Dr. Ruden has counseled and helped build the patent portfolios of start-up companies during their early stages of development including Skybox Imaging (acquired by Google), Quest Software (acquired by Dell), General Fusion, Inc., Oncoscope, Inc., and Distrix (formerly Spark Integration Technologies).  Dr. Ruden also assists large and mid-size clients expand their patent portfolios including companies such as Qualcomm, Micron Technologies, PIMCO, IMRA America, Inc., and Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.

Dr. Ruden is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Blockchain Legal Association, the world’s first industry association focusing specifically on blockchain technologies (a cryptographically secure distributed ledger system that is the technological underpinning of Bitcoin and smart contracts).  Dr. Ruden is also a member of the Board of Advisors to the Fowler School of Law at Chapman University and a member of the executive board of the Orange County Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. 

Extern Experience

Judicial extern to the Honorable Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Fall 2004


  • Chapman University School of Law (J.D. 2005), summa cum laude, Honor Scholar, Notes Editor - Chapman Law Review
  • University of California - Santa Cruz (Ph.D. Astronomy & Astrophysics 1986), National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow
  • Case Western Reserve University (B.S. Astronomy 1980), highest honors, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Warner Prize in Physics and Astronomy
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