Erik Chmelar earned his PhD from the Center for Reliable Computing at Stanford University and spent 15 years in R&D before becoming a patent attorney. He has subject-matter expertise in hardware and software systems, and over 30 granted patents in areas that include high-speed digital circuits, complex algorithms, and PHY interfaces. Erik has been a practicing patent attorney for 5 years, focusing on harvesting inventions, drafting patents, and creating/analyzing claim charts for licensing and litigation.

Erik has hands-on R&D experience in many industries and with many technologies, from medical robotics to silicon photonics. As a consequence, he naturally engages with scientists and engineers at a deeply technical level and quickly establishes productive relationships.

Erik takes pride in simplifying complicated inventions and sophisticated opinions into manageable parts and describing them with accessible language. His technical writing is clear and precise, and his legal writing is compelling and persuasive.

Selected Work History

  • Xilinx
  • Cisco Systems
  • LSI/Broadcom
  • Stanford University
  • Stryker Instruments
  • Interdigital
  • Several startups, law firms, and consulting


  • Granted more than 30 patents as inventor
  • Prosecuted more than 100 patent applications
  • Taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in electrical and computer engineering
  • Served as an Expert Witness for litigation/IPR in the field of semiconductor memory
  • Created licensable patent portfolios for 5G technologies through external innovation partnerships
  • Mentored and instructed for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps (innovation) program
  • Founded a company that achieved $1M revenue prior to negotiating an IP licensing/royalty deal

Technology Areas


  • Digital/mixed-signal hardware/design (VLSI)
  • Reconfigurable computing (e.g., FPGA)
  • Sensors (semiconductor, optical, photonic, biometric)


  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML, AI)
  • High-performance computing (HPC)
  • Automation (Autonomous vehicles, IoT)


  • High-speed serial (SerDes PHY)
  • Wireless radio area networks (LTE, 5G RAN)
  • Standards-essential patents (3GPP SEPs)