Published May 1, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC Finnegan is pleased to announce that Mary Till has joined the firm after spending nearly 20 years in the Office of Patent Legal Administration at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Serving as Senior Legal Advisor, her responsibilities included implementing case law, developing pilot programs, drafting responses and position papers on White House Executive Actions, administering the Hatch-Waxman Act provisions found in 35 USC 156, and updating the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). Till was instrumental in implementing the First Inventor to File (FITF) provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA), where she co-drafted the guidance on FITF and worked with a multidisciplinary team to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) new standard (ST.26) for presenting biotechnology information in patent applications to the USPTO.

Till’s work implementing the AIA’s first inventor to file provisions and the WIPO standard led her to receive two gold medal awards from the Department of Commerce; a silver medal for streamlining publication to reexamination certificates; and a bronze medal for outstanding career service. She also received the Exceptional Career award from the USPTO and a Director’s award for the USPTO-FDA Collaboration Group’s Listening Session from January 2023.

Prior to her work at the USPTO, Till’s legal practice focused primarily on patent portfolio management and strategy in the life sciences sector. She has represented large corporations, startups, and universities on patent procurement, portfolio evaluations, and portfolio management services, and her technical background encompasses diverse technologies, including small molecules, drug formulations, antibodies, and vaccines.

“We are excited to welcome Mary to Finnegan,” said Finnegan’s managing partner, Erika Arner. “Her deep knowledge of patent policy is a real value-add for our clients.”

“I look forward to applying my skillset at Finnegan,” said Till. “I have always admired the firm as an authority on patent law, particularly in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical space, and I’m excited to transition back into private practice.”

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