The firm has been based in Stamford since the 1960s, although its antecedents date back to the early 1900s.
In the early 1900s, a well-regarded litigator named Roy Steward practiced in Washington, DC, and New Haven, CT, and argued several noteworthy patent cases. As Roy’s practice grew, he welcomed his two sons, Don and Merrill, into the firm that became known as Steward & Steward.
At about the same time, a successful patent practitioner in New York City, John Blair, set up practice with his son, John, an English major at Dartmouth College. With no technical experience, he obliged his father by attending Fordham Law School and following in his father’s footsteps. While in NY, John met Richard Spencer, the Assistant Commissioner of Patents in the 1930s, and in 1955, Blair & Spencer formed a partnership and moved the NYC office to Connecticut. It was at this point that the international capabilities of the firm began to be recognized. Spencer, who had a French wife and an office in Paris, established a loyal following of European clientele. In fact, Spencer was appointed by the U.S. government to set up the modern German patent system.
In 1959, Ronald St. Onge joined the firm, which then included the partners of Blair, Spencer, Buckles, and Cesari. Since Cesari had studied electrical engineering at MIT and received his law degree from Harvard, he opened up a Boston office. The Boston division was spun off in 1966 and Blair retired in 1968.
Throughout this period the Stamford and New York offices continued to focus on patent, trademark, copyright, and related antitrust and trade matters. In 1970, Harry Mayers, the former chief patent counsel at General Electric joined the firm. The international clientele continued to grow with the addition of Louis Reens, a native of The Netherlands, in 1974. At this time, the firm officially merged with Steward & Steward of New Haven, CT, and in 1977, Al Johnston joined as a partner and the name of the firm officially became St. Onge Steward Johnston & Reens or SSJR® for short.
Today the firm practices as St. Onge IP. No matter what the name on the letterhead, the values of the firm remain the same: To partner with innovators to protect their IP, grow their businesses, and add value at every step providing customized solutions that are responsive to each client’s needs.