The intellectual property law community is mourning the sudden and unexpected death of Dmitry Karshtedt, a law professor and a celebrated scholar in the field. He was 45 years old. The cause of death is currently unknown, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
A Brilliant Scholar and a PhD Chemist
Dmitry Karshtedt was a law professor at the George Washington University Law School, where he joined the faculty in 2015. He quickly earned a reputation as a leading voice in patent law, publishing his legal scholarship in top-notch law journals and winning several awards for his academic work. He was also one of the few law professors with a PhD in chemistry, which he obtained from U.C. Berkeley. He worked as a staff scientist for a semiconductor materials startup, where he was the first-named author on five scientific publications and a co-inventor on 12 U.S. patents.
Dmitry Karshtedt received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 2011, where he served as the Senior Symposium Editor for the Stanford Law Review. He launched his legal career as an attorney in the Patent Counseling and Innovation Group at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto and clerked for the Honorable Kimberly A. Moore on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Before joining GW Law, he was a Fellow at the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School. In the fall of 2021, he served as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law in the Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law.
A Beloved Teacher, Mentor, and Friend
Dmitry Karshtedt’s legacy will live on at GW Law, where he made a profound and enduring impact on students and colleagues alike. He was a dedicated teacher, mentor, and friend, who was always willing to help others with his patience, kindness, and generosity. He had a wide range of interests and pursuits outside of the law, including chess, ping-pong, literature, and music. He was known for his laughter and enthusiasm, as well as his rigorous and intelligent reasoning.
His death has sparked (overdue) conversations about mental health in the legal profession, as many of his friends and peers expressed their shock and grief over his passing. His family requests that gifts in memory of Dmitry be directed to the George Washington Law School to establish a scholarship fund in his name.
Dmitry Karshtedt was a remarkable scholar, a wonderful colleague, and an incredible friend. He will be deeply missed by the IP community and the world.