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Betsy Haanes, Ph.D.


Washington, D.C.
202 585 6920 direct
314 667 3633 fax

Betsy offers 20 years of legal experience and 10 years as a professional researcher to firm clients, especially those in the life sciences industries.

Her technical experience gives her a deep understanding of the priorities, concerns and objectives of her clients and allows her to communicate extremely efficiently and effectively with clients. Betsy advises biotechnology companies on best practices for the worldwide protection of their intellectual property. In all aspects of her practice, she focuses on creating innovative, long-term legal strategies that integrate seamlessly into her clients' technological and business objectives.

As an accomplished scientist with a Ph.D. in microbiology, Betsy speaks the same language as today's biotechnology innovators. For more than 15 years, she has helped these innovators protect their technological assets even in the face of recent court opinions that have posed significant challenges to patent holders. She counsels her clients on the creation and management of high-value patent portfolios, freedom-to-operate and patentability issues, validity and infringement issues, and due diligence investigations in connection with acquisitions and investments. She represents a diverse body of entities in technology areas such as vaccines, infectious diseases, medical diagnostics, biomarkers, personalized medicine, therapeutic antibodies, therapeutic nucleic acids, genomics, proteomics, and gene therapy.

Betsy has lectured and written extensively on the problem of patent eligibility for innovations in the areas of biomarkers, medical diagnostics, and personalized medicine. She co-authored an article in the journal Nature Biotechnology discussing the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Mayo v. Prometheus. She also co-wrote an amicus brief in Merck v. Integra, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case focusing on the patent infringement safe harbor for drug development research.

As a scientist, Betsy previously performed infectious disease and vaccine research, both in academia and industry. She published widely in the areas of microbial pathogenesis, molecular virology, and vaccines and is an inventor on numerous patents and published applications relating to recombinant vaccines.

Thompson Coburn Publications

USPTO publishes new (and largely improved) guidance for subject matter eligibility


Survival Tools to Protect Biotechnological Innovation


"Refashioning IP Asset Protection Strategies for Biotechnology and BioPharma Clients in View of the New Legal Realities of Subject Matter Eligibility," a chapter in "Inside the Minds: Developing a Patent Strategy";
Aspatore, May 2015

Co-Author, "Double Trouble: The expanding application of the judicial doctrine of obviousness-type double patenting";
Newsletter of the Biotechnology Committee of The American Intellectual Property Law Association, June 2014

"Stealing Fire: A Retrospective Survey of Biotech Patent Claims in the Wake of Mayo v. Prometheus";
Nature Biotechnology, August 2012, Vol. 30