Mr. Merkel has over 20 years of patent prosecution experience, with an emphasis on biotechnology and chemical arts. His prosecution experience encompasses the procurement of patents in both the United States as well as abroad, representing universities, privately held companies and publicly traded companies.
In the biotechnology field, he has prepared and prosecuted applications concerning novel compositions including recombinant and/or modified nucleic acids, proteins and peptides; drug formulations and drug delivery systems, including vaccine components and formulations; immunotherapeutics; new use therapies; diagnostic assays and diagnostic sensor platforms; assays for orphan drug identification; molecular technologies and processes including nucleic acid amplification assays and protein purification processes; transgenic organisms (both plants and animals); and therapeutic applications (for both plants and animals).
Mr. Merkel has prosecuted patent applications in the chemical arts for pharmaceutical compounds and compositions; industrial compounds and compositions such as glasses, glass ceramics, and polymer formulations; sol-gel and aerogel fabrication processes; combinatorial libraries; nano-fabrication techniques and the resulting nanoscale products obtained; and methods of using ligand and receptor technologies for diagnostic, therapeutic and industrial purposes.
In addition to his prosecution experience, Mr. Merkel has been involved in provoking and managing all phases of patent interferences. His representative interferences include a pair of related patent interferences involving recombinant genetic engineering used for generating pathogen resistant plants; three related patent interferences involving recombinant genetic engineering used for generating an empty protein shell, i.e., a virus-like particle (VLP) of a papillomavirus; a pair of related patent interferences that involved the human papillomavirus type 16 VLPs; an interference involving oligonucleotide arrays that include oligonucleotide analogue probes or targets; an interference involving a method of manufacturing a thin film transistor of a semiconductor device; and an interference involving a coaxial cable connector that includes a separate grounding element to ensure proper grounding of the connector. Mr. Merkel’s experience in managing interferences includes the use of alternative dispute resolution.
Mr. Merkel has also been involved in over ten Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings, representing both petitioners and patent owners. His representative IPR proceedings include those involving compositions of matter as well e-medicine methods and methods for propagating MIMO signals. In this capacity, Mr. Merkel has handled oral arguments before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr. Merkel also counsels clients on licensing and other transactional matters, as well as infringement and non-infringement opinions, validity and invalidity opinions, as well as Orange Book listability opinions.