News
October 22, 2020

Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli welcomes new Shareholder, Melissa M. Harwood, Ph.D., to its Biotech/Life Science Patent Prosecution Practice and growing Seattle office. Harwood becomes the first life science IP attorney in the Seattle office. Also joining Harwood’s Seattle team are JP Meyer, Ph.D., and Lisa Lippert, Ph.D.

Harwood counsels companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device industries. She provides legal counseling to companies at various stages of growth, from pre-financing start-ups to public companies. Her expertise includes strategic IP counseling, patent prosecution, and IP due diligence for financings, mergers and acquisitions, and public offerings. She works closely with licensing, litigation, corporate and regulatory counsel to provide clients with comprehensive and holistic IP representation.

“Melissa’s credentials and depth of expertise in life science patent prosecution and counseling bring great value to clients in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and nationally,” said Intellectual Property Department Chair Patrick C. Woolley. “With Melissa’s strong life sciences background, we are glad to have her on our team – particularly during this time where there is a renewed emphasis on vaccines, therapies and other COVID-related issues.”

“I look forward to building upon the momentum of Polsinelli’s Seattle office, particularly as we continue to expand our IP capabilities in the Pacific Northwest region where the demand for life science patent work is greater than ever,” said Harwood. “Polsinelli has an established and comprehensive IP Department that has been recognized by many leading industry organizations, and I am proud to join this great group of seasoned professionals.”

Harwood becomes the first life science IP attorney to join Polsinelli’s Seattle office, which opened in 2018. She adds depth to the office’s established IP team, which includes Shareholders Emily Peyser and Margie Aoki, who joined Polsinelli last fall and bolstered the Seattle office’s IP capabilities. Polsinelli also added Lori Oliver, a healthcare industry veteran, and Aaron Wagner, a financial services litigator, to the Seattle-based team this year, demonstrating a concentrated effort on strategic growth in key sectors for the growing demand in the Pacific Northwest.

“We remain committed to growing our Seattle team in areas that best align with our increased client demands in the region,” said Polsinelli Seattle Office Managing Partner Jane Pearson. “Melissa is a recognized leader in the life sciences IP field. We are thrilled to add her to our team and look forward to the additional capabilities she brings to the firm.

Harwood received her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law, her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington, and her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Utah. She is admitted to practice in Washington and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Harwood expands Polsinelli’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences Patent Prosecution Practice. The Department ranks among the Top 1-2% of patent firms overall and the Top 100 for Biotech by Patexia’s Patent Prosecution Intelligence Report, 2020 Edition. Polsinelli’s Intellectual Property Department continuously earns national recognition such as its inclusion in the IAM Patent 1000.


About Polsinelli

Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with 900 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Recognized by legal research firm BTI Consulting as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client relationships, the firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, middle-market corporate, labor and employment and business litigation. Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California.