Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
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Eldora Ellison, Ph.D. is an editor of Patent Office Litigation


"A master of technology and of advocacy"
IAM Patent 1000 2017 

Named 2015 "Litigation Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal

Named 2013 - 2017 "IP Star" by Managing Intellectual Property




Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D.

Mind + Muscle

Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D.



Dr. Ellison is a Director in the Biotech/Chemical and Litigation Practice Groups. Over the course of her 23-year career, Dr. Ellison has gained extensive experience in inter partes patent matters, building on a strong foundation in patent prosecution. Dr. Ellison’s experience includes representing clients in over 60 inter partes review and post-grant review proceedings, more than 15 patent interferences, and in various patent reexaminations and district court litigations. For example, Dr. Ellison was lead counsel on behalf of patent owner ImmunoGen in Phigenix v. ImmunoGen, 845 F.3d 1168 (Fed. Cir. 2017), in which the Federal Circuit — for the first time since the Court’s inception — established the legal standard for demonstrating standing in an appeal from a final agency action.  The Court subsequently dismissed Phigenix’s IPR appeal for lack of standing.Dr. Ellison's practice also includes preparing and prosecuting patent applications; evaluating patent portfolios, e.g., for due diligence analyses, invalidity, non-infringement, or freedom-to-operate; counseling clients on intellectual property strategy, including Hatch-Waxman issues; and resolving inventorship disputes. Dr. Ellison represents a variety of types of clients, including large multinational corporations, start-up companies, and not-for-profit organizations.

Dr. Ellison has been recognized as a leading practitioner in the life sciences, and she has served as an expert witness on patent matters. In 2017, LMG Life Sciences named Dr. Ellison their "Post Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year." The National Law Journal recognized her as one of its "Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers." Law360 named her an "MVP in Life Sciences" in 2015. Managing Intellectual Property nominated her for its "PTAB Litigator of the Year" award, and it has named her an "IP Star" in 2017 for the fifth year in a row, while also including her in their "Top 250 Women in IP." LMG Life Sciences nominated her for its "Patent Prosecutor of the Year" award as well as "PTAB Litigator of the Year" in 2016, and it has named her a "Life Sciences Star" six times. In 2016, Profiles in Diversity Journal listed her among "Women Worth Watching." In 2016, IAM Patent 1000 named her as one of the world's leading patent professionals and "highly recommended" for post-grant and procedures and litigation. Dr. Ellison has often been quoted in publications such as IPLaw360 and The Washington Post for her analyses of developments in patent law.

Dr. Ellison co-chairs the firm's Patent Office Litigation Practice and is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition, published in 2017. Additionally, she is an editor of Patent Office Litigation, a two-volume set focused on the new contested proceedings under the America Invents Act, published in 2012 by Thomson Reuters Westlaw. This book examines how the proceedings interact with other aspects of patent procurement and enforcement, and it delivers practical analysis and advice.

Dr. Ellison's intellectual property experience has been principally in technical areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, therapeutic methods, diagnostic assays, analytical instruments, immunology, virology, bacteriology and vaccines. But she is also called upon to represent clients in other technical areas, given her specialized legal expertise.

She lectures and publishes frequently on topics such as the America Invents Act, patent interferences, patent reexaminations and concurrent patent litigation, and patents and licensing. And she has served on the faculty for the District of Columbia Bar's Continuing Legal Education Program.

Dr. Ellison is a member of the firm's Executive Committee, and she previously chaired the firm’s Professional Development Committee and the Diversity Committee. She also serves as a Member of the Board of Directors for Turning Point Academy Public Charter School in Maryland.

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • "How District Courts Treat Patent Eligibility in Life Sciences," Eldora Ellison, Paul Golian and Jaume Canaves, Law 360, October 2017
  • “5th Anniversary Webinar Series: Lessons Learned and Best Practices Adopted,” Webinar, October 2017
  • “USPTO Post-Grant Patent Trials 2017 - New York,” September 2017
  • “A Survey Of Patent Owner Estoppel At USPTO,” Eldora Ellison and Jacob Rothenberg, Law360, September 2017
  • Managing Intellectual Property IP Forum, “Patent Trial and Appeal Board: Life Science Focus,” September 2017
  • “2017 IPO Annual Meeting- Biosimilar Litigation Panel,” September 2017
  • “Sterne Kessler's Jorge Goldstein Inducted to LMG Life Sciences "Hall of Fame" while the Firm and Director” Eldora Ellison Earn Top Accolades, September 2017
  • “PTAB's Petition Limits Are Good News For Patent Owners,” Law360, September 2017
  • “Things We've Learned As The PTAB Turns 5,” Law360, September 2017
  • “PTAB At 5: Part 1 — Surprises And Lessons Learned,” Eldora Ellison, David Roadcap and Pauline Pelletier, Law360, September 2017
  • PLI USPTO Post-Grant Trials 2017 Conference, "The Article I Trial Court: Mechanics- Discovery, Motion Practice & Amendment," September 2017
  • “Patent Pool Seeks to Ease Gene-Editing Tech Licensing” Bloomberg BNA - Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, August 2017
  • “More PTAB Fights Between Big Pharma Could Be Looming,” Law360, July 2017
  • “Patent Prosecution Tool Kit” Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, June 2017
  • “Life Sciences Patent Network” June 2017
  • “Pharma Lessons from the PTAB: Litigation and Prosecution” Webinar, June 2017
  • “AIA Constitutionality Case Could Create Patent Law Chaos,” Law360, June 2017
  • “Sterne Kessler Directors Named to IAM Patent 1000” Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, June 2017
  • “The Evolving Scope of Estoppels Arising from Inter Partes Reviews,” Bloomberg BNA, June 2017
    “Sterne Kessler Ranked Among Best IP Firms In The U.S.” The Legal 500, May 2017
  • “Managing Intellectual Property PTAB Forum 2016” May 2016
  • “Four Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Directors Named Among Top 250 Women in IP” May 2017
  • “Sterne Kessler Ranked Among Top Firms and Firm's Directors Recognized as "IP Stars", Managing Intellectual Property, May 2017
  • “The Impact of IPRs and Other Post-Grant Proceedings on BioPharma” April 2016
  • “Hedge Fund Drug Patent Challenges In Doubt After Bass' Test”, Law360, April 2017
  • “Sterne Kessler Directors Recognized Among the World’s Leading IP Practitioners” March 2017
  • “Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition,” Thomson Reuter, February 2017
  • “AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute” January 2016
  • “Patent Board's Immunity Finding A Win For State Universities” Law360, January 2017
  • "Federal Circuit Dismisses IPR Appeal for Lack of Standing," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Eric K. Steffe, and Olga A. Partington, Ph.D., Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, January 2017
  • "The Post-AIA Battleground For Patent Challenges," Eldora L. Ellison Ph.D., Robert Greene Sterne, Ralph Wilson Powers III, Ph.D., Mark Consilvio, Law360, September 2016. 
  • Managing Intellectual Property PTAB Forum, "PTAB After Four Years: State of Play," May 2016
  • AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute, "The IPR Hurdle," January 2016
  • "Inter partes reviews: the effect of estoppel," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., David H. Holman, Ph.D., World Intellectual Property Review, December 2015
  • "Diagnostic Method Patents — Not All Hope is Lost," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D, David W. Roadcap, Ph.D., Westlaw Journal: Intellectual Property, November 2015
  • "The Curious Case of RPIs & NPEs in IPRs," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Krishan Thakker, Bloomberg BNA: Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, August 2015
  • "Post-Grant Proceedings: The Top Seven Things You Should Know About the Proposed Rule Changes," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., R. Wilson Powers III, Ph.D., JD Supra, Lexology, National Law Review, August 2015.
  • "The 1st IPR Institution Decisions For Biosimilars," Law360, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Paul A. Calvo, Ph.D., August 2015
  • "Post-Grant Proceedings Are Important For Biosimilars," Law360, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Paul A. Calvo, Ph.D., March 2015
  • "Impact of IPRs on the Pharmaceutical Industry." 4th Annual Pharma IPR India Conference," Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., H. Keeto Sabharwal, Dennies Varughese, February 2015. 
  • "USA Expert Insight Into Biotechnology," Lawyer Monthly, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., January 2015 
  • "USPTO Post-Grant Patent Trials 2014 – San Francisco", Robert Greene Sterne and Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., April 2014
  • "29th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference", Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., April 2014
  • "USPTO Post-Grant Patent Trials 2014 – New York", Robert Greene Sterne and Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., March 2014
  • "Inter Partes Review Strategy After a Year's Worth of Experience," BIO IPCC Pre-Conference Workshop, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Keeto H. Sabharwal, November 2013.
  • "USPTO Post-Grant Patent Trials 2013 – Austin", Robert Greene Sterne and Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., April 2013
  • "IP: Lessons Learned From Contested Proceedings at the USPTO" InsideCounsel Magazine, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., January 2013.
  • "IP: Options for Contesting Patentability at the USPTO," InsideCounsel Magazine, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., November 2012.
  • "Inter Partes Review – a Useful Tool for Overcoming Freedom-to-Operate Obstacles," BIOTechNOW, Eric K. Steffe, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., November 2012.
  • "Picking the Best Tools From Your Tool Box: Responding Strategically to Freedom to Operate Obstacles Under the AIA," BIO IPCC Pre-Conference Workshop, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Eric K. Steffe, November 2012.
  • "Advantages Of Inter Partes Review In Hatch-Waxman Cases," Law360, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., H. Keeto Sabharwal, Dennies Varughese, November 2012.
  • "America Invents Act: Derivation Proceedings," Sterne Kessler fact sheet, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., October 2012.
  • "Fundamentals of Patents and Licenses for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Products: The New Life Sciences Frontier," Faculty Member for the District of Columbia Bar CLE Course, July 2012.
  • "A New Framework: Challenging Patents in Changing Times," Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., Eric K. Steffe, June 2012.
  • "Patent Prosecution Strategies for Life Sciences Companies Under the AIA," Boomberg Law Reports - Intellectual Property, 3/7/12
  • "Bayh-Dole After Stanford v. Roche - Revising Research Agreements with Academic Institutions," ACI's 16th Advanced Forum on Life Sciences Collaborative Agreements and M&A, 2/28/12
  • "Strategies for Challenging Patents in Pharma and BioPharma In the Wake of the In re NTP Decision," Bloomberg BNA's Pharmaceutical Law & Industry Report, 2/3/12
  • "Impact of The America Invents Act on Patent Challenges at the USPTO," World Intellectual Property Review, 11/4/11
  • "America Invents Act: The 5 New Post-Issuance Procedures," The Sedona Conference, 10/13/11
  • "What You Need to Know About The America Invents Act of 2011," Sterne Kessler webinar, 10/12/11
  • "America Invents Act Panel," Eastern District Bench Bar Conference, 9/26/11
  • "Patent Litigation at the PTO Under the America Invents Act of 2011," BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, 9/23/11
  • "Post-Grant Review Under the America Invents Act of 2011," a podcast from Legal Talk Network of Suffolk University Law School, 9/16/11
  • "America Invents: Immediate Changes to Patent Law Start Today," IP Watchdog blog, 9/16/11
  • "Best Practices for Building IP and Conducting Due Diligence Investigations," FX Conferences webinar, 5/4/11
  • "Licensing and Intellectual Property Workshop," One Med Forum- San Francisco 2011, 1/11/11
  • "Patent Reform's Effects On Hatch-Waxman Litigants," Law360, 10/19/10
  • "Post-Grant Review: How Will It Affect Your (Client's) Business?", Bloomberg Law Reports, 08/02/10
  • "Challenging Patents Before the USPTO: Looking Ahead to a World of Patent Reexaminations, Post-Grant Reviews and Inter Partes Reviews," The National Law Review, 07/12/10
  • "Use of Interferences to Challenge Patents Before the USPTO," The National Law Review, 07/08/10
  • "Litigation or re-examination?" World Intellectual Property Review, Jan/Feb 2010
  • "Monetization of Intellectual Property," National Bar Association Corporate Counsel Conference, February 2010.
  • "No Data, No Patent? - establishing a credible utility for therapeutic method patents," published by Financier Worldwide in Strategies for Growth, Survival and Patent Protection, January 2010.
  • "Emerging Infectious Disease- What We Have Learned from the "Swine Flu" Outbreak" San Diego BioPharma Conference, 2009.
  • "Fundamentals of Patents and Licenses for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Products: The New Life Sciences Frontier," Faculty Member for the District of Columbia Bar CLE Course, March 2009.
  • "Best Practice,"  Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, June 2008.
  • "Patent Litigation & Interferences," Guest Instructor, The National Institutes of Health, Technology Transfer Course, March 2008 & 2009.
  • "Fundamentals of Patents and Licenses for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Products: The New Life Sciences Frontier," Faculty Member for the District of Columbia Bar Continuing Legal Education Course, March 2008.
  • "Patent Reform Act of 2007.  Or 2008??  Or 2009??"  Georgetown University Law Center, Guest speaker to the Student Intellectual Property Law Association, February 2008.
  •  “U.S. Supreme Court Urges a Less Rigid Approach in Assessing the Obviousness of Inventions,” The Commercial Law Connection, National Bar Association, Summer 2007.
  • “Client Development for Women Lawyers – How to Get the Clients You Want and Build Your Book of Business,” Women’s Bar Association, District of Columbia, May 2007.
  • “Introduction to Patents & Licensing in the Life Sciences,” Instructor, District of Columbia Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Course, April 2007.
  • “Is Your Career on Track,” The Young Lawyer, American Bar Association, February 2007.
  • “Managing Your Intellectual Property in a Changing, Perhaps Flatter, World,” National Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Conference, February 2007.
  • “US Patent Reform – Will 2006 be Different than 2005?” The CIPA Journal, February 2006.
  • “Protecting Your Company’s Assets – Strategies for Positioning Your Product or Brand in the Marketplace – and Keeping it There!”  National Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Conference, February 2006.
  • “Patent Reform – Where is it Going and When Will it Get There?”  Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, November 2005.
  • “Patent Act of 2005,” The Biojudiciary Project Open House at BIO Convention, June 2005.
  • "Natural Resources in Biotechnology," University of Baltimore School of Law, Intellectual Property Law Symposium, 2004.
  • "Patentability of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms," IBC USA Symposium on Pharmacogenomics, SNPs & Genetic Patenting, 2000.
  • "Biotechnology: Patents, Licensing & FDA Practice," Patent Resources Group's Advanced Biotechnology Patent Law Course Textbook, 2000.
  • IBC USA Conference on Genetic Patenting - The State of the Law - The Effect on Science & Medicine - The Impact on Life; Speaker & Chairperson, 1999.
  • "Interaction of the Intron-encoded Mobility Endonuclease I-PpoI with its DNA Target Site, Molecular and Cellular Biology 13:7531-7539 (1993).
  • "Properties of the Intron-encoded Endonuclease I-PpoI," Invited Speaker, Promega Corporation, Madison, WI , 1993.
  • "Characterization of I-PpoI, an Intron-encoded Endonuclease that Mediates Homing of a Group I Intron in the Ribosomal DNA of Physarum Polycephalum," Molecular and Cellular Biology 10:3386-3396 (1990).
  • Admissions
      • District of Columbia

      • Maryland

      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

      • Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

      • United States District Court for the District of Columbia

      • United States Supreme Court

  • Education
    • J.D., Georgetown University

    • Ph.D., Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University

    • B.S., Biology, Haverford College


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