Choate Partners Dr. Brenda Jarrell and Dr. Charles Lyon Named “Intellectual Property Trailblazers” by The National Law Journal

Choate Press Release

 | May 31, 2016

Choate announced today that partners Dr. Brenda Herschbach Jarrell and Dr. Charles E. Lyon have been named “Intellectual Property (IP) Trailblazers” by The National Law JournalDr. Jarrell and Dr. Lyon were selected for the IP Trailblazers annual list for their “deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way.”

As co-chair of Choate’s Intellectual Property and Life Sciences Groups, Dr. Jarrell “helps her clients protect revolutionary discoveries” and loves “helping inventors and companies bring their ideas to life.”  Whether it’s a new approach to controlling gene expression or an advancement in personalized medicine, Dr. Jarrell excels at helping clients design IP strategies to protect and commercialize potentially groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Looking ahead, Dr. Jarrell sees recent changes to US patent law, which declared key features of traditional detection technologies patent ineligible, “creating real challenges in the industry.  Helping clients navigate that is very important.”

Dr. Jarrell brings extensive technical credentials and scientific training – spanning multiple disciplines from synthetic organic chemistry to molecular biology to theoretical quantum physics – to her practice.  She is well versed in many technologies in the biotech, pharmaceutical and specialty chemical industries, including cutting edge areas such as immuno-oncology gene editing and nanotherapeutics.

Dr. Jarrell has served on Choate’s Executive Committee. S he received her JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1998, her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, San Francisco in 1993, and both her AB and MA in chemistry, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1988.

Dr. Lyon, co-chair of Choate’s IP Group, has led or been involved with hundreds of IP due diligences on behalf of investors, investment banks and potential acquirers or partners.  “It can be an investor, a venture capitalist or a business development team at a pharma company looking to do a strategic deal,” Lyon said. “The deals are often large, so it’s an important decision.”

Over the past year alone, Dr. Lyon has handled over 40 due diligences, assessing the strength of the target company’s IP, the competitor landscape, the risks of future litigation, and the potential for changes in the underlying technology.  He is noted for his ability to clearly communicate issues that are most likely to affect the risks and overall valuation of the underlying transaction or product. 

Dr. Lyon has represented clients across the life sciences, with specific expertise developing portfolios relating to diagnostic tests, medical imaging, immunotherapies, vaccines and drug delivery.  He is particularly sought after for his expertise in gene therapy.  “Delivering a healthy gene, or repairing or editing a genetic mutation, is a hot area, and there has been a lot of investment activity,” he said.

Dr. Lyon foresees a greater role for post-grant reviews, “which allow for broader types of challenges including patent-eligibility.  Recent Supreme Court decisions have weakened patent-eligibility for diagnostic inventions, so PGRs will likely play an increasing role in this area.” 

Dr. Lyon has served on Choate’s Hiring Committee. He received his JD from Boston College Law School in 2006, his DPhil in chemistry from Oxford University in 1999, and his MA and BA, first class honors, in natural sciences from Cambridge University in 2000 and 1996.


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