John Bednarz is an Associate at a law firm. Judging only from the title of his position, one might not immediately realize that John is a computer scientist with extensive technical experience and training. John is a Bucknell alumnus, having earned a BS in Computer Science, in 2005. Today, he works with law in the protection of intellectual property in a range of technology topics including internet systems, communications, mobile systems, databases, computer architecture, user interfaces, and graphics processing.
John chose Bucknell because of its strength in both engineering and liberal arts as well as for its intimate class sizes. He understood that here one has the opportunity to develop close life-long relationships with professors, as well as with fellow students.
Asked about why he chose to study Computer Science at Bucknell, John stated:
"Although Bucknell is not a very large campus and it is isolated, this serves as a strength rather than a weakness, because the focus in Lewisburg is on Bucknell. The campus provides a one-of-a-kind academic and social experience that I wish I could do-over. I chose to major in Computer Science rather than Computer Science and Engineering for a very particular reason. When I began at Bucknell, I wanted to have the opportunity to be exposed to all facets of computer science and learn the foundations of software development. However, I wanted to a major that allowed me to take advantage of Bucknell's strength as a liberal arts school, to take courses in German, and which would prepare me well for law school. The BS degree program gave me the rigor and the flexibility that I was looking for."
After graduating from Bucknell, John participated in the "Transatlantic Program," which took him to Augsburg, Germany, to work as a software engineering intern at NCR GmbH for three months. After this experience, he attended law school for three years developing the background to become a patent attorney. As John explains, "In order to become a patent attorney, you have to pass the 'patent bar,' an entrance exam which allows those with engineering and science backgrounds to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office."
In 2008, he earned his J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law, moved to the Washington D.C. area, and passed the Virginia bar exam. Today, John is an Associate at Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC, where he prepares and "prosecutes" patent applications related both to hardware and software. He works with inventors from all over the world seeking to protect their intellectual property rights.
"While many computer scientists write code on a daily basis, I do not. I interface with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, inventors and attorneys. Although my computer science background sat slightly dormant during those three years in law school, the rigorous course load prepared me for law school. In addition, everything I do as a patent attorney revolves around the computer science background that I gained at Bucknell. My technical experience prepared me to work on patent applications related to many cutting edge technologies including ad-hoc robotic communications, three-dimensional display technology, user interface technologies, mobile technologies, networking technologies, database technologies and chip architecture and design among many others."
John continues to flex his creative and technical muscles by writing applications for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad), which are distributed via Apple's App Store.