Press Release

Ballard Spahr Adds Noted IP Team to New York Office

January 8, 2020

Noted patent attorneys Dr. Kenneth H. Sonnenfeld and Dr. Margaret Bolce Brivanlou have joined Ballard Spahr in the firm’s New York office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Drs. Sonnenfeld and Brivanlou focus their full-service patent practice on life science patent law involving both small molecule and biologic therapeutics. In addition to handling complex patent prosecution, their practice includes patent due diligence in various types of financial transactions, patent litigation in district court and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, licensing, and supervising foreign patent prosecution and oppositions.

Drs. Sonnenfeld and Brivanlou represent multi-national corporations, mid-cap companies, non-profits, start-ups, and investment funds around the world. They have handled due diligence matters ranging in value from tens of millions of dollars to more than a billion dollars. In addition to representing clients, Drs. Sonnenfeld and Brivanlou have been active in efforts to address patent eligibility issues concerning certain types of life science inventions.

Dr. Sonnenfeld is a Chambers-ranked attorney with more than 30 years in patent practice. He has been involved in vaccine, protein expression, serum pooling technology, and abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) litigation. He has also managed companies’ patent portfolios in various technologies including oncology, neurologic and neuropsychiatric therapeutics, biologics, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal therapeutics.

Dr. Brivanlou has extensive experience representing clients in antibody and gene therapies. She advises clients regarding immunotherapeutics, cell-based assays and therapies, genomics, bioinformatics, vaccines, and small molecule pharmaceuticals. She has been involved in gene amplification litigation, serum pooling technology, as well as ANDA litigation.

Said Mr. Stewart: “Ken and Peg bolster our established life sciences team and share the qualities that have become Ballard hallmarks—excellence, a dedication to responsive and personalized service, and a deep understanding of the industries we serve.”

Lynn Rzonca, Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department, added, “Ballard’s extensive IP team does sophisticated work for clients who are technology leaders. Ken and Peg will perfectly complement our current team with their deep and specific experience.”

Joining Ballard Spahr along with Drs. Sonnenfeld and Brivanlou are technical specialist Dr. Maria Kleppe and attorney Kristine Waddell. Dr. Kleppe holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and has extensive research experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, and in vivo animal modeling. Ms. Waddell is a licensed patent attorney with nearly a decade of experience, as well as four years of prior professional laboratory experience in the pharmaceutical industry. All join the firm from King & Spalding, where they were members of the intellectual property practice.

Ballard Spahr’s Intellectual Property Department has more than 50 lawyers—including nearly two dozen registered patent practitioners—across nine offices. The firm offers industry-wide services in patent prosecution, patent portfolio development and management, trademarks, copyrights, and IP litigation matters.

Ballard Spahr intellectual property lawyers have worked with clients on groundbreaking innovations in DNA and protein therapeutics, genetic engineering, cancer and HIV therapy, bioinstrumentation, stem cell therapy, crop science, and other technologies. They also advise venture capitalists and others who invest in this rapidly developing industry and assist in transactions. Since 2018, the firm has been ranked in the highest tier nationally for both patent law and patent litigation by U.S. News and World Report-Best Lawyers.

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