Daniel Hegner

Daniel Hegner is an intellectual property law attorney specializing in preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications in the electrical, mechanical, and software arts. In addition, Dan provides a variety of other services, including preparing and prosecuting federal trademark applications and advising clients on patent and trademark portfolio development and management. His technical expertise includes experience in the fields of automotive connectivity and safety systems, situational awareness and autonomous vehicle control, vehicle fuel systems, mobile telecommunications, light and optical devices, small engine carburetors, and defense industry special projects.

Prior to his legal pursuits, Dan was a sights and electro-optical sensors engineer for General Dynamics Land Systems, where he developed and integrated subsystems for the M1A1/M1A2 Main Battle Tank, Stryker family of vehicles, and Future Combat Systems (FCS) Mounted Combat System (MCS) vehicle.  Within the Abrams’ program, Dan was a project lead for integrating thermal weapon sights and situational awareness cameras for the U.S. Army’s and U.S. Marine Corps’ Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK)—being a recipient of the 2004 Engineering Team of the Year Award.  This included weapon sights for the commander’s hatch and loader’s hatch, as well as cradle-to-grave development and integration of a taillight camera used by the Abrams’ driver (the camera now being in production by BAE Systems).  When Dan left GDLS, he was working to integrate a selectively-replaceable thermal imaging system for the Abrams’ driver (now referred to as Driver Vision Enhancer or DVE manufactured by DRS).  This integration required modification to the existing hard optic periscope and driver hatch design. 

With respect to Stryker vehicles, Dan assisted integrating what is now referred to as the Protector Remote Weapon System (RWS) provided by Kongsberg Defense.  This included integrating a multi-function optic that included a laser range finder, illuminator, and laser pointing device all configured to operate with the 50 caliber weapon on the RWS.  He also supported laboratory testing and trouble-shooting of the Commander’s Panoramic Viewer (CPV) for the Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS)—which provided hard optic and thermal vision to this vehicle’s commander.

On the FCS program, Dan was a project leader in the development of a dynamic muzzle reference sensor (DMRS) for the U.S. Army.  While conventional MRS devices are passive, the DMRS was an active sensor that provided real-time gun tube position change data to the vehicle’s ballistic computer for superior accuracy—minimizing soldier recalibration.

Dan is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2010) and University of Detroit Mercy College of Engineering and Science (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 2004).

Dan actively promotes public education regarding intellectual property matters. He is a former President to the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA) and currently serving on the Board of Managers. Dan was an executive organizer of World IP Day Detroit in 2014, 2015, and 2016. On a national level, Dan published a quarterly newsletter for the Patent Law Committee for the American Intellectual Property Law Association from 2013-2014.

Blog Posts By Daniel Hegner

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Publications and Speaking Engagements

"Functional Claiming" (Cincinnati Bar Association, November 13, 2018)

"Functional Claiming: Pitfalls and How To's" (B2 IP Webinar, October 18, 2018)

"Functional Claiming" (San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association, October 16, 2018)

"Using Broadest Reasonable Interpretation to Your Advantage in Patent Prosecution" (Strafford, September 27, 2018) 

"Functional Claiming" (Indiana Bar Association, September 20, 2018)

"Functional Claiming" (Grand Rapids Bar Association, April 11, 2018)

"Best Practices for Drafting Patent Specifications" (B2 IP Webinar, October 29, 2017)

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Phone: 313.246.2807


University of Detroit Mercy Law School
J.D., cum laude, (2010)

University of Detroit Mercy College of Engineering and Science
B.S., Electrical Engineering (2004)


State Bar of Michigan

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Organizations & Affiliations

Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association

Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court

Tau Beta Pi
Michigan Delta Chapter Advisor (UDM)

Medals 4 Mettle
Back to the Beach Half Marathon Organizer