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Intellectual Property: Life Sciences and Biotechnology Arts

LeClairRyan offers a broad range of intellectual property services that are particularly focused on the life sciences and biotechnology arts. We regularly assist clients with strategically managing their patent portfolios and work with them to protect and maximize the value of their intellectual property rights. Our team of attorneys, patent agents, and Ph.D. technical specialists offers a full range of intellectual property legal services, including:

  • Drafting patent applications and prosecuting them through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Managing foreign patent prosecution
  • Rendering invalidity, non-infringement, and freedom-to-operate opinions
  • Conducting intellectual property due diligence
  • Preparing and negotiating license agreements
  • Conducting inventorship analyses and managing inventorship disputes
  • Litigating patents in both national and international venues

We have substantial experience and knowledge in a variety of areas in the life sciences and biotechnology arts. For instance, we have significant experience in:

  • New use therapies
  • Vaccine components and their formulations, particularly recombinant vaccine components (e.g. proteins, chimeric polypeptides and virus-like particles)
  • Drug delivery formulations for delivery of biological or chemical agents
  • Recombinant and/or modified nucleic acid, peptide, and polypeptide products for therapeutic and diagnostic use
  • Recombinant expression vectors and systems
  • Antibodies and antibody mimics, including immunotherapeutic agents and immunodiagnostic reagents
  • Stem cells, methods for producing stem cells, and therapeutic uses of stem cells
  • Nucleic acid amplification processes
  • Protein purification processes
  • Filtration membranes and their use for purification and cell co-culture
  • Medical devices
  • Diagnostic assays and diagnostic sensor platforms
  • Screening assays for molecule identification
  • Transgenic organisms (including single celled organisms and multicellular organisms such as plants and animals)

We also possess substantial depth of experience in post-issuance practice (interferences, reexaminations, reissues and oppositions). Our group has handled a number of interferences before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on various biotechnology-related applications and patents, including:

  • Vaccine components (including proteins and virus-like particles)
  • Nucleic acid arrays
  • Transgenic plants with pathogen-derived resistance
  • Replicase-mediated resistance in transgenic plants
  • Microporous membrane filtration products and processes
  • Pharmaceutical products and formulations

We routinely prosecute reexaminations as a strategic means to attack a competitor’s patent, either alone or in parallel with patent litigation. We have also utilized reissue applications to broaden or correct an issued patent as well as handle inventorship disputes. In addition, we have worked with foreign counsel in both Europe and Australia to manage opposition proceedings, particularly in cases that involve corresponding U.S. patent disputes.

Our clients range from leading companies to mid-size life sciences companies to start-ups. We have experience working with technology transfer offices of large and small universities as well as the licensees that hold rights in university-owned patents.


  • 703.647.5911
  • 804.916.7160