Melissa Harwood, Gary Hood, Jennifer Johnson, & Emily Peyser
Melissa M. Harwood, Ph.D. | Shareholder | Polsinelli
Dr. Melissa Harwood provides strategic intellectual property counseling to both private and public companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device industries. She works closely with licensing, litigation, corporate, and regulatory counsel to provide her clients with comprehensive IP representation.
Melissa’s practice includes offensive and defensive patent strategy development, patent prosecution, opinion preparation, and patent due diligence for partnering deals, venture financings, public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. She provides patent counseling in support of products in all stages of development, from proof of concept to regulatory approval and product launch.
Melissa has significant experience litigating patent matters in federal court and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including reexamination and inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. Prior to her legal career, she worked as a synthetic bench chemist for a life sciences company and a postdoctoral research scientist in the University of Washington’s Department of Chemistry.
Melissa frequently lectures at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and for the Practising Law Institute (PLI) on various intellectual property topics, including patent strategy and IP due diligence.
Gary E. Hood | Shareholder | Polsinelli
Gary Hood is a highly successful, practical trial lawyer. His clients count on him to determine, early in a case, what is at the heart of the dispute, and how to win. His 25 years of courtroom experience trying cases involving a range of legal issues have given Gary perspective and insight on judge and jury persuasion, for which clients seek him out. This experience has enabled him to develop a unique case preparation method that identifies strategic direction early, which Gary uses to lead his teams efficiently and effectively.
Gary views the conventional “no stone unturned” approach that many employ in complex cases as inefficient and ineffective. In contrast, Gary’s approach is targeted and direct – he firmly believes that the key to success is strategic and detailed early case evaluation, coupled with relentless focus on identified objectives.
Gary has experience in a broad array of civil and criminal matters, and now focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation. He is particularly versed in pharmaceutical/Hatch-Waxman patent litigation, and leads the firm’s Hatch-Waxman and Biosimilars practice. In fact, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) recently recommended Gary for “his pragmatic approach to patent litigation, stating that “you won’t meet a better person, or a smarter litigator.
Gary’s practice is national in scope, and he regularly appears in courtrooms throughout the United States. He is a frequent speaker at various conferences and seminars on topics related to intellectual property generally, and the pharmaceutical industry specifically. Gary is a former United States Naval Officer, and lifelong competitive swimmer.
Jennifer K. Johnson, M.S., J.D. | VP of Legal and Intellectual Property
Ms. Johnson is an experienced corporate and IP attorney with over 25 years of diverse experience in biotechnology and agriculture companies. Prior to joining Blaze Bioscience, Ms. Johnson was Head, IP Biology & Traits at Syngenta where she served as a leader in the global IP Management Team, and strategically managed the biotech IP portfolio, corporate policy initiatives, collaborations, and M&A due diligence and integration. Prior to Syngenta, she was Chief IP Counsel for ZymoGenetics responsible for the company IP portfolio strategy and development, major collaborations and option agreements, and IP due diligence including leading such in its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Her experience includes broad legal and IP involvement in all aspects of biotechnology business from discovery research through product commercialization.
Ms. Johnson holds a BA degree from the University of California Berkeley, an MS from the University of Washington, and a JD from the University of Washington Law School.
Emily C. Peyser | Shareholder | Polsinelli
Emily Peyser partners with clients to offer strategic and comprehensive intellectual property strategies to help build, monetize, and protect their patent and trademark portfolios. She places a high value on working closely with clients to establish long term relationships and a deep understanding of their business objectives. Emily advises her clients at every stage in the lifecycle of their intellectual property assets with an emphasis on planning, procurement of U.S. and foreign patents, opinions, enforcement and licensing.
With a technical background in electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering, Emily focuses her practice in a variety of technology areas, including launch vehicle and satellite components and systems, antennas and RF communication systems, robotics, semiconductor manufacturing tools and metal deposition processes, large-scale electrical energy storage systems, electrochemical ion exchange systems, nuclear fuel cycle products and services, biofuels, commercial vehicles, food processing, medical devices, pulp and paper, timberland management, wood products, and recreational equipment.
Before becoming a patent attorney, Emily worked in chemical engineering roles at several industry leading companies, including one of the largest global aerospace manufacturers and one of the largest multinational consumer goods corporations specializing in personal/consumer health products.
Emily served as an extern to Judge Richard C. Tallman, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa. Emily currently volunteers with the International Rescue Committee mentoring refugee families.