Giovanna H. Fessenden, J.D./LL.M '02

Adjunct Professor
Patent Practice & Procedure II
Giovanna Fessenden

Giovanna H. Fessenden has been teaching a section of Patent Practice and Procedure II since 2010. She is also Of Counsel with the intellectual property law firm of Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds in Concord, Mass.

Fessenden’s legal practice at Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds focuses in all areas of intellectual property law with an emphasis on patents relating to computer software and architecture, including the following: search engines, ad serving systems, web crawlers, web indexing systems, VoIP systems, video conferencing systems, video compression, video codecs, encryption, Video on Demand (VOD) systems, social networking tools, peer-to-peer systems, instant messaging systems, digital rights management, database systems, network intrusion detection systems, recommendation systems, pattern recognition, integrated development environments (IDEs), iPhone, Android, and tablet applications, voice recognition, compilers, interpreters, supply chain management forecasting systems, CT imaging technologies, CAD systems, and semi-conductor manufacturing systems.

Her areas of concentration include object-oriented software and Internet technologies. Fessenden is fluent in several programming and scripting languages including Java, C++, C#, Perl, CGI, Lisp, C, C Music, Javascript, XML, and HTML.

She has also handled patent inter partes and ex parte patent reexamination proceedings, patent litigation, trade secret misappropriation, copyright and trade dress infringement matters, trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings, and breach of contract actions. Fessenden has prepared validity and infringement opinions and software license agreements, technology transfer agreements, copyright publishing agreements, film production agreements, website terms of use agreements, and employee intellectual property agreements.

As a Communications Systems Analyst for the International Co-operative Alliance Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, she worked on software development, GUI and database development, application programming, server maintenance, database driven website creation and network administration. She has also worked as a Technology Consultant to the United Nations Committee for Advancement of Cooperatives in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked in software development and animation. As a programmer at Harvard University, she developed Java Applets and performed Flash ActionScript programming for an e-learning project.

While studying for her law degree, Fessenden held an internship at the United States Copyright Office where she assisted with the promulgation of regulations concerning webcasting transmissions and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Giovanna H. Fessenden is Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds’ Berkshire Representative and helps the firm maintain its presence in Western Massachusetts.


  • B.A., Art History and Computer Science, Smith College 
  • J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the University of New Hampshire School of Law 
  • M.A., Intellectual Property Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the University of New Hampshire School of Law 


Peer-to-Peer Technology: Analysis of Contributory Infringement and Fair UseIDEA: The IP Law Review, May 2002 

Speaking Engagements 

“Software: To Patent or Not To? Algorithms and Automation as Patentable Subject Matter”, Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds Lecture, Waltham, MA, November 8, 2012 



  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 
  • U.S. District Court for District of Massachusetts 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for First Circuit 

Professional Associations 

  • Berkshire Bar Association Boston Patent Law Association