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Leading the way for biotechnology IP protection

As the research and scientific discoveries of the past decade have moved beyond the lab into the commercial application of biotechnology, explosive growth has occurred in related sectors that require intellectual property (IP) protection for survival. Finnegan has advised biotech pioneers on every aspect of IP, including patenting ground-breaking advancements, enforcing patents in litigation, and defending against claims of infringement or ownership by others. In fact, Finnegan successfully represented Eli Lilly and Company in a lawsuit involving the first marketed product produced by biotechnology—human insulin. Finnegan has worked with its clients to develop and execute successful IP strategies. We have provided counseling or litigation services in a range of technologies such as automated DNA sequencing, the cloning of Dolly the sheep, noninvasive methods for detecting fetal aneuploidy, platform antibody design, PCR-based diagnostics, biologically produced fuels and chemicals, protein therapies, and advancements in genetically modified crops designed to resist pests and disease.

Established biotech sectors such as human therapeutics, agriculture, diagnostic testing, and drug development have turned the promise of biotech into reality. But with success have come new challenges in the form of greater numbers of competitor patents, the prospect of generic biologics, as well as complex joint-development and marketing collaborations. The so-called third wave of the biotech movement is also developing new, biotech-based alternatives for materials and energy, environmental remediation, and more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and raw ingredients. Finnegan has a proven track record of staying abreast of rapid advancements in science and changing legal issues in this fast-paced, multidisciplinary industry.

Sophisticated industry advancements supported by IP

Strong IP protection has been essential to the advancement of the biotech industry and remains key to its continued growth.

  • More biotech companies than ever are developing human therapies that will be tomorrow’s blockbuster drugs. 
  • The first generation of antibody-based therapies are in the marketplace and revolutionizing treatment in areas like arthritis and cancer. 
  • Genomic research has led to advanced discoveries in proteomic and cell-based research with expansive application in diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease, and in moving the healthcare field toward a more targeted approach to treating patients. 
  • Diagnostics companies are using research to better identify and classify diseases and responses to therapeutic treatments. 
  • Through the development and application of complex computational techniques and theories, bioinformatics is dramatically enhancing the understanding of biological processes. 
  • Pharmaceutical companies are partnering with biotech firms in drug-discovery efforts to find more effective, targeted, and less-invasive ways to treat and prevent diseases.
  • The threat of bioterrorism and the rise of new infectious diseases have led to renewed interest in vaccines and antibiotics. 
  • Scientists are using biotechnology to manufacture polymers for medical devices and industrial uses, such as biodegradable plastics, vitamins, and enzymes, and to grow feedstocks for biofuels.
  • Farmers are exponentially increasing yields using fewer resources with the planting of genetically modified crops. 
  • Labs are using biotechnology to perform more sophisticated chemical analyses for a wide range of applications.
Understanding the law, science, and technology

Finnegan’s mastery of IP law, coupled with our professionals’ backgrounds in biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular biology, and their experience in the industry, provides us with the requisite resources and expertise to address the most complex biotech issues. Our experience in litigating complex biotechnology cases—both before the district courts and on appeal—is unparalleled in the field. Half of the professionals in the practice hold doctorate degrees in relevant sciences, such as molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, and pharmacology, and just as many joined Finnegan after holding positions in the industry or at universities, or having served as examiners with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Finnegan provides a full range of services to our biotechnology clients, including:

  • Drafting and prosecuting patents for high-value products and technologies 
  • Assessing and navigating the dense patent thicket surrounding many new technologies 
  • Writing opinions and providing ongoing counseling for new and existing technologies 
  • Advocating for, and defending clients’ interests in, complex patent interferences, reexamination proceedings, and post-grant review proceedings at the USPTO 
  • Litigating high-value current products in district and appellate courts 
  • Conducting due diligence for mergers, acquisitions, licensing, and partnering opportunities 
  • Structuring, drafting, and negotiating IP license agreements 
  • Providing trademark prosecution and counseling services
Global presence

As emerging markets demand more sophisticated healthcare programs, and as global markets and biotech investments expand, clients need a law firm that understands the industry’s issues and concerns related to formulating and executing global IP strategies. We frequently coordinate a strategic global approach for patent prosecution and contentious proceedings around the world for our clients. Our experience, combined with our presence in Asia, Europe, and offices across the United States, allows us to respond to our clients virtually around the clock. We regularly appear on behalf of our global clients in the International Trade Commission, courts throughout the United States, and the USPTO.

Far-reaching experience

Finnegan’s experience in the biotechnology industry is broad. We work with clients on the cutting edge of scientific advancement:

  • Antibody therapy 
  • Assay development 
  • Biofuels 
  • Bio-IT 
  • Cancer therapy 
  • CRISPR technology 
  • Gene therapy 
  • Genetic engineering 
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • (NGS) platforms 
  • Recombinant growth factors 
  • Synthetic biology 
  • Vaccines