• vcard
D 314.622.6630
F 314.754.9124
  • Education
    • J.D., magna cum laude, Saint Louis University, 2001, Dean's Scholarship; Sigma Alpha Nu Honor Society; Order of the Woolsack; Law Review
    • Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1992, Physiology; Bartlett Prize in Neuroscience
    • A.B., Brown University, 1984, Biomedical Ethics
  • Bar Jurisdictions
    • Missouri, 2001
    • Admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Dr. Tara Nealey is a member of the Science and Technology practice group, with a background in academic physiology research. She focuses on advising clients with intellectual property questions related to life science technologies. After completing her Ph.D. in neurophysiology followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in retinal research, she moved to the practice of patent law. Her experience encompasses a decade of providing patent counsel to clients ranging from individual inventor, to public and private universities and research institutions, start-up companies, mid-size firms and Fortune 500 companies including generic and branded pharmaceutical companies. She prepares and prosecutes U.S. and international patent applications, provides patentability reviews and opinions, freedom to operate and clearance opinions and product design arounds, does patent landscaping, and analyzes in- and out-licenses of patented technologies. She recently assisted a Fortune 500 company in analyzing the patent landscape relating to RNAi molecules and products in support of a complex multi-party licensing and business strategy. She has also recently assisted two start-up companies in securing the IP protection necessary for successful rounds of venture capital funding.  

An important aspect of Tara’s practice involves advising clients on developing a comprehensive patenting and patent portfolio strategy, legal aspects of licensing and commercialization strategies, and also reviewing technology and “know-how” licenses, confidentiality agreements, and material transfer agreements. She also counsels clients on trade secret protection and unfair competition, and related copyright and trademark issues.

Tara’s areas of technological expertise include biotechnology and medical technologies including:
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nucleic acids including RNAi molecules and delivery technologies
  • Peptides and proteins
  • Cell membrane permeable molecules
  • Vectors including viral vectors
  • Protein-tagging methods and labels
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Cell-based therapies including stem cell therapies
  • Medical imaging compositions and techniques
  • Neural therapies
  • Brain-computer devices
  • Antibodies
  • Vaccines
  • Smart catheters and stents
  • Low level laser therapy devices
  • Orthopedic devices
  • Functionalized biocompatible nanoparticles
  • Nano-engineered bioassay techniques
  • Cell cultures
  • Engineered tissues
Tara is also an active member of the firm's multi-disciplinary practice which focuses on emerging technology companies having varied legal needs relating to their technology focus. Clients benefiting from this practice include those developing technologies in the life sciences, information technology and energy. In St. Louis, members of the group include corporate and IP attorneys with a wide range of experience, who also work closely with a variety of organizations to support programs fostering tech-based entrepreneurism in the region, including Arch Grants, Capital Innovators, Olin Cup, and the RCGA.
  • Drafted and filed a family of issued patents covering one of the client's core technologies.
  • Researched and analyzed patents and patent applications held by key pioneers in technology, and counseled the client as to which to pursue for possible licensing.
  • After a detailed analysis of a competitor's complex biotechnology patent, prepared and drafted opinion of counsel that client's proposed activity did not infringe the claims of the patent.
  • Analyzed key patents and prepared and drafted opinion of counsel that a key patent is not valid and, thus, unenforceable against the client, after medical professionals in one of the client's hospitals received an indication that a pharmaceutical supplier might attempt to enforce a patent against them.
text icon Publications & Presentations
Featured, St. Louis Business Journal (subscription required):
September 16, 2020
text icon Publications & Presentations
Speaker, American Conference Institute Summit on Biosimilars
June 24-25, 2019
text icon Publications & Presentations
Missouri Lawyers Weekly
May 2, 2018
eAlerts Updates
October 2017
eAlerts Updates
June 2017
eAlerts Updates
June 4, 2015
podcast icon Podcasts
February 7, 2014
text icon Publications & Presentations
Intellectual Property: Understanding the New Paradigm - the America Invents Act
St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association
Presentation given in St. Louis, Missouri
August 2012
text icon Publications & Presentations
Intellectual Property: Understanding the New Paradigm - the America Invents Act
Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Presentation given in Kansas City, Missouri
August 2012
text icon Publications & Presentations
Intellectual Property: Understanding the New Paradigm - the America Invents Act
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
August 2012
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