Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-846-8317

As an experienced patent attorney, Morgan Heller is a passionate defender of intellectual property (IP) and effective project manager of all aspects of the patent process. In his practice, Morgan assists companies of all sizes and major universities with patent matters ranging from advising on establishing internal IP management practices and obtaining patent protection in the U.S. and around the world, to enforcing patent rights and avoiding patent infringement.

In a time when some view patents as mere commodities and others seek patents at the lowest possible cost, Morgan continues to see the negative impact that poorly drafted patent applications have on their owners. These impacts include applications dying at patent offices, patent claims needing to be too narrow, patent litigations failing, financing deals falling through, and company valuations being lower than expected, to name a few. Morgan is ardent about counseling clients about these pitfalls and is even more zealous about helping clients obtain high-quality patents, while at the same time being mindful of clients’ financial constraints.


Morgan’s career is peppered with accomplishments such as these:

  • Regularly obtains patents for large U.S. and international corporations, universities, and small companies, as well as for high- and low-tech startups. He has also been successful in defending clients against IP infringement claims and in asserting clients’ IP rights against suspected infringers.
  • Currently assisting a client to develop a “patent factory” to create large strategic portfolios of 40+ high-quality patents each in a cost-effective manner.
  • Morgan’s diverse background allows him to effectively work with a variety of technologies, including microelectronics, nanotechnology, mechanical devices, electro-mechanical devices, optics, optoelectronics, medical devices, business methods and healthcare and educational software. When clients desire foreign IP protection and circumstances permit, Morgan works closely with Downs Rachlin’s network of foreign associates that enables clients to seek IP protection in virtually any country in the world.
  • Performs freedom-to-operate, (non)infringement and (in)validity studies as appropriate for each situation. He also prepares formal opinion letters based on these studies when advisable. If needed, Morgan prepares or responds to “cease and desist” letters, depending upon the client’s position in the dispute. Morgan also assists in settlement negotiations and, if litigation is unavoidable, he provides patent litigation support to Downs Rachlin’s experienced IP trial lawyers, especially skilled legal analyses of the patent-law issues at hand.
  • Provides general IP counseling, including IP management and strategy counseling, and works with Downs Rachlin’s other IP and non-IP lawyers to provide clients with a vast array of legal services backed by the field-specific focused experience that the other Downs Rachlin lawyers bring to the table.
  • Prior to becoming a patent attorney, Morgan had seven years of practical experience as an engineer with Raytheon Engineers & Constructors on many large and small projects in the fossil-fuel power generation industry. During his time as an engineer, Morgan co-authored one of Raytheon’s in-house design manuals for flue-gas desulfurization facilities, which became essential for many fossil fuel generating plants under the Clean Air Act of 1990.

University of New Hampshire Law School, The Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, J.D., 1998 IDEA: Journal of Law and Technology, Senior Editor

Carnegie Mellon University, M.S., Robotics/Structural Engineering, 1988

Tulane University, B.S., Structural Engineering, summa cum laude, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma, 1986

Admissions & Clerkships

Pennsylvania, 1998 (Inactive)

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1999

Vermont, 2002

U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, 2014


Professional Engineer (Inactive)

Publications & Presentations
  • Speaker, Introduction to Intellectual Property: An Overview of Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets, University of Vermont Honors Class (Burlington, Vermont, 2005)
  • Speaker, Patent Infringement, InventVermont Educational/Networking Session (Colchester, Vermont, January 12, 2006)
  • Speaker, Product Design: Trademark, Patent or Public Domain Webinar, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC (Burlington, Vermont, January 14, 2011)
Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-846-8317

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