Harvard Law School
JD, 1998, cum laude

University of California at San Francisco
PhD, 1993, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Harvard University
MA, 1988, Chemistry, magna cum laude

Harvard University
AB, 1988, Chemistry, magna cum laude




US Patent & Trademark Office

US Court of Appeals, First Circuit

Publications & Events

Brenda Jarrell Speaks on Entrepreneurial Innovation

Brenda Jarrell Speaks on Drug Discovery

Brenda Jarrell, PhD Speaks on Life Sciences

Brenda Herschbach Jarrell Featured in IP Law360 Q&A Session

Brenda Jarrell Presents Patent Overview at Harvard Business School

Choate Sponsors BIO IPCC Fall Conference 2013

Brenda Jarrell and Rolando Medina on Myriad in Law360

Choate’s Intellectual Property Group Receives Top “Tier 1” Ranking in Managing Intellectual Property’s 2013 “IP Handbook”

Choate's Intellectual Property Group Named to IAM Patent 1000

Brenda Jarrell Speaks on Biotech Patent Strategy

Choate Sponsors BIO IPCC Fall Conference 2012

Brenda Jarrell, William Haulbrook and John Rearick Speak on Biomarker Discoveries

2013 Best Lawyers in America

Choate’s Intellectual Property Group Named to IAM Patent 1000

Brenda Jarrell Quoted on Sequenom and the '540 Patent in BioPharm Insight

Brenda Jarrell Quoted on Patents on Genetic Data in Bloomberg

2011 Top Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Choate Sponsors BIO IPCC Fall Conference

Brenda Jarrell on IP in Emerging Markets

Choate Sponsors Half-Day Program at BIO IPCC Fall Conference, Eric Marandett and Brenda Jarrell Moderate

Choate Sponsors Global Biopharmaceutical Symposium

Brenda Jarrell and Fangli Chen on the Patentability of Genes

Brenda Jarrell on New Biotech Investments

Choate Sponsors BIO IPCC Fall Conference

Choate Sponsors International Biopharmaceutical Symposium

Stephen Hurwitz and Brenda Jarrell Published in Mass High Tech

Brenda Jarrell Speaks on Careers in Science

Brenda Jarrell on Gene Patents in the Post-KSR Era

Brenda Jarrell and Fangli Chen on Recent Rulings Effect on Personilized Medicine

Brenda Jarrell Speaks on Science Career Opportunities Outside Academia

Choate Sponsors Canadian Biopharmaceutical Partnership Symposium

Brenda Jarrell Named Top 50 Under 45

Brenda Jarrell Named to Prestigious 40-Under-40 List

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    Over one-third of equity partners and majority of practice areas recognized for excellence

  • legalTV

Brenda Herschbach Jarrell, PhD

Practice Group Leader

t 617-248-5175   f 617-248-4000

“smart and business-savvy with an invaluable understanding of her clients’ industries”

Chambers USA

Dr. Jarrell is an IP lawyer with keen business savvy.  Her extensive technical credentials make her well versed in a wide variety of technologies in the biotech, pharmaceutical and specialty chemical industries.  Dr. Jarrell has experience representing all types of companies and institutions at all stages of the life sciences business lifecycle, as well as those who invest in them.  Through this broad experience she has gained a unique and valuable perspective on the progression of intellectual property assets, and she is able to see and take extra steps to align a company’s or institution’s IP portfolio with its business objectives. 

Dr. Jarrell is co-chair of the Life Sciences Group and the Intellectual Property Group.  She was named the 2012 Boston “Lawyer of the Year” for Biotechnology Law by Best Lawyers.  She was also ranked among the top 50 women Massachusetts Super Lawyers.  Dr. Jarrell is listed by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and The Legal 500.  She has been named a World’s Leading Patent Practitioner by IAM Patent 1000 and has been recognized by Managing Intellectual Property as an “IP Star” and among the “Top 250 Women in IP” nationwide. 

Practice Focus

Intellectual Property Prosecution:  management of complex patent portfolios, strategic landscape and freedom-to-operate reviews, patentability, infringement and inventorship opinions with specific expertise in small molecule, protein, nucleic acid and antibody therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostic agents and genetic engineering.

Intellectual Property Litigation:  assist in patent infringement cases within the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

Technology Transactions & Licensing:  assist clients in structuring and negotiating license agreements, research collaborations and strategic alliances based on technology and intellectual property assets.

Investment Counsel:  assist investors of all types in assessing the technology and intellectual property assets and risks associated with potential target investments.

Representative Engagements

  • Ongoing representation of several biotech and pharmaceutical companies with respect to IP protection and strategic partnerships.
  • Advise international pharmaceutical company with respect to managing IP portfolio protecting commercial products and with respect to ongoing relationship with collaborator. 
  • Advise university client with regard to portfolio of clinical-stage pharmaceuticals licensed to small pharmaceutical company and sublicensed to large multinational company.
  • Advise various biotech clients with respect to strategic positioning of IP portfolios in light of potential biosimilar statutes. 
  • Advise agricultural clients morphing their focus and strategy to protect and partner green-technology initiatives.
  • Advise several clients with staged product portfolios including pharmaceutical, cosmetic and/or nutraceutical products based on proprietary active ingredients. 
  • Strategic representation of small clinical stage pharmaceutical company with regard to protection of its key product and management of its relationship with large pharmaceutical partner.
  • IP counsel to major pharmaceutical company for several product portfolios in areas of small molecule therapeutics, biologics and vaccines.     

Publications and Presentations

  • "Patents and Drug Discovery: Do They Help of Hurt?," speaker, Harvard University, February 2015.
  • "Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Choate's Brenda Jarrell," featured, IP Law360, January 2014.
  • “Patents 101,” presenter, Harvard Business School, Boston, November 2013.
  • "Does Myriad Matter?" moderator, BIO IP Counsels Committee Fall Conference and Meeting, November 2013.
  • “The Noneffect of Myriad on Personalized Medicine,” co-author, IP Law360, July 2013.
  • “Formulating a Biosimilars Patent Strategy Following the Implementation of the FDA’s Approval Pathway,” speaker, American Conference Institute’s Advanced Forum on Biotech Patents, Boston, November 2012.
  • “Will Prometheus & Myriad change the world? What do they really mean for the Biotechnology Industry?” moderator, BIO IP Counsels Committee Fall Conference and Meeting, Charleston, SC, November 2012.
  • “Innovation Spotlight: All About Biomarkers,” speaker, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, November 2012.
  • “Sequenom: Breadth of ‘540 Patent Creates Vulnerability to Validity Challenge Despite Strength of Claims – Attorneys,” quoted, BioPharm Insight, February 2012.
  • “Patent on Genetic Data Raise Legal Questions on Rights to DNA,” quoted, Bloomberg, February 2012.
  • “Intellectual Property in Emerging Markets,” speaker, BIOtechNOW podcast, December 2010.
  • "Getting Funded: Canadian Success Stories," panel co-moderator, BioContact, Quebec, October 2010. 
  • “Are Biotech Inventions Still Protectable?,” co-author, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, June 2010. 
  • "Is Ariad v Eli Lilly good or bad," co-author, Choate News Alert, March 2010. 
  • "Are your biotech inventions still patentable?," co-author, Choate News Alert, March 2010.
  • “After years of shoring up portfolio companies, VC funders are slowly regaining their appetite for new biotech investments,” quoted, Boston Business Journal, February 2010.
  • “Recent Decisions Curtail Personalized Medicine,” co-author, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, May 2009. 
  • “Entering the World of Industry and Other Non-Academic Careers” panelist, National Symposium on the Advancement of Women in Science, Harvard University, February 2009. 
  • ”Quanta & Patent Exhaustion: the Effects on the Life Sciences Industry,” panelist, Bio IPCC Conference, Orlando, FL, October 2008. 
  • “Partnering with Big Pharma: 2007 Global Perspective,” panelist, Biomedex 2007,  Montreal, Canada.
  • “Seismic Shift: Groundbreaking Changes in Patent Development, Licensing and Protection” panelist, Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Chapter Seminar, Boston, January 2007.
  • “Practical Tips for Initiating Strategic Partnerships in the US,” co-moderator, BioContact, Quebec, 2006.
  • “Under Your Very Nose: US VCs with offices in Montreal,” presenter, Biomedex, Montreal, 2006.
  • “Life Cycle-Management,” presenter, IQPC Pharmaceutical & Biotech Patent Strategies, Philadelphia, September 2006.
  • “Biotech Hot Topics,” panelist, Boston Bar Association CLE Seminar, Boston, May 2004.
  • “FDA Regulation and the Military: Is There a Compromise in the Battle over Investigational Drugs?”  first author, Food & Drug Law, 1997.
  • “The Yeast a2 Protein Directs Transcriptional Repression In Vitro,” first author, Nature, 1994.
  • “Transcriptional Repression in Eukaryotes,” first author, Annual Review of Cell Biology,1993.
  • “The Yeast a2 Protein Can Repress Transcription by RNA Polymerases I and II But Not III,” first author, Mol. Cell. Biol., 1993.
  •  “The Yeast a2 Protein Can Repress Transcription by RNA Polymerases I and II But Not III,” presenter, Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference, 1992.
  •  “Studies of Transcriptional Repression in Yeast,” presenter, JAMS Conference, Aomori, Japan, 1990

Professional and Community Involvement

Dr. Jarrell has served on the firm’s Executive Committee.


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