Debora Plehn-Dujowich has extensive experience as a patent attorney focusing on life sciences technologies. She began her career as a biochemist and molecular biologist, and now focuses her patent law practice on the biomedical sciences. She assists clients in identifying, protecting, and enforcing their intellectual property in the life sciences space and is experienced in handling IP matters involving immunotherapy, immunology, antibodies, antibody architecture, chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), therapeutics, biological entities, development of biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biochemistry, tissue culture, vaccines, oncology, virology, microbiome, plants, seeds, agriculture, food chemistry, consumer products, medical devices, protein chemistry, organic chemistry, small molecules, material science, nanotechnology, electronics, polymers, natural products, chemical processes, water treatment, environment, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics.
She regularly conducts patent preparation and prosecution, due diligence, and prepares patentability opinions, landscape opinions, and freedom to operate opinions. Debora has conducted appeals before the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Debora has also participated in reexamination and interference proceedings. Debora obtained her Ph.D. in biology from Yale University, where she researched the inhibition of influenza virus infections by use of external guide sequences and RNase P in a laboratory led by Sidney Altman, a winner of the Noble Prize in Chemistry. She was also a post-doctoral fellow of structural biology at the Wistar Institute, a nonprofit research institute focused on oncology, immunology, infectious disease, and vaccine research. Debora also taught college biology and chemistry as a tenure track professor at Northampton Community College and was a visiting professor at Lehigh University before attending law school.
Prior to law school, Debora earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biochemistry from Geneva University in Switzerland, and a master’s degree in life sciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, as well as a Ph.D in biology from Yale University.
Debora is a past Chair of the AIPLA Biotech Committee and is currently a member of the AIPLA Harmonization Committee. Debora is a frequent speaker at AIPLA meetings and recently spoke on the patentability of diagnostic methods at the AIPPI World Congress.
- Conducts due diligence review of patent portfolios for several large and small pharmaceutical companies;
- Drafts freedom-to-operate opinions for several large and small pharmaceutical companies;
- Drafts patentability opinions for several large and small pharmaceutical companies;
- Prepares and prosecutes patents in the small molecule and pharmaceutical fields for several large and small pharmaceutical companies;
- Prepares and prosecutes patents in the immunology, virology, and oncology fields for large and small pharmaceutical companies;
- Prepares and prosecutes patents in the life sciences, chemistry, biotechnology, and synthetic biology fields for a research institute;
- Prepares and prosecutes patents in the life sciences, chemistry, and biotechnology fields for a research university.
- Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Associations’ Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Task Force
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2024 for Patent Law
- Women in Law Awards for Biotechnology Practice, Lawyer Monthly, 2015
- Israeli Endocrine Society Prize for the best abstract for basic research, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Israeli Endocrine Society, 1993
- European Community of International Schools Prize for International Understanding, 1986
News and Insights
- “Claim Drafting Issues for Biotech, Chemical and Pharma Patent Applications, Part I: Claim Construction, Markush Groups, Dependent Claim Invalidation,” IPWatchdog, December 21, 2022.
- Editor, AIPLA Biotech Buzz 2016-2017
- Editor, AIPLA International Headlines Newsletter 2018-present
- Overview and Licensing and Agreement Aspects Related to Genetic Resources, article in LES Insights
- “Patent Term Extension (PTE), Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs),” panel moderator, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Annual Meeting in National Harbor, October 2023.
- “Strategic Considerations for Life Sciences Claim Drafting,” presented during the IPWatchdog Life Sciences Masters 2022 webinar program, October 2022.
- “Biotech/Chem/Pharma Claim Drafting,” presented during the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s 2022 VIRTUAL Patent Prosecution Boot Camp (PPBC), March 2022.
- “Biotech/Chem/Pharma Claim Drafting,” presented during the joint American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)-Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA) meeting, August 2021.
- Panelist, AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp in March 2021
- “Patentability of Diagnostic Methods in the U.S.,” panelist, AIPPI World Congress Online, October 2020
- Panelist, AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp in February 2020
- Panelist, AIPLA Women in IP breakfast at the 2019 AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute
- Panelist, AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp in May 2019
- Panelist, AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp in February 2018
- Panelist, AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp in October 2016
- AIPLA Representative at the World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly in October 2017
- AIPLA Representative at the World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore 2015-2017
- Webinar on Emerging Biotech for AIPLA Biotech Committee in September 2017
- Webinar on Trade Secrets in Biotech, Biosimilars and Medical Devices in March 2016