John M. Covert is a director and co-chair of Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group. His practice is focused on technologies that involve organic chemistry, such as pharmaceuticals, coatings, fuels, lubricants and pesticides. John is experienced in a number of interdisciplinary areas, including computer-aided drug design, combinatorial chemistry and medical devices. He provides counseling with regard to patent portfolio strategy and management with issues that range from licensing, collaborations and technology acquisitions, to patent validity, infringement and design around strategies.
John has performed intellectual property due diligence investigations on behalf of clients seeking to acquire early and late stage pharmaceutical product candidates, drug design platforms, technology for controlling biological reactions, and has assisted in all aspects of technology transfer in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. Additionally, he has created and managed patent portfolios for a number of emerging companies; performed freedom-to-operate clearances for potential commercial products in the pharmaceutical field; created patent strategies for protection of developmental candidates as they progress through pre-clinical and clinical development to commercial stage; cleared biological targets for clients to begin new drug discovery; resolved inventorship disputes; and worked with clients to design products that avoid third party patents.
Prior to joining the firm, John worked as an examiner in the Special Laws Administration Group of the USPTO where he examined patent applications directed to a variety of chemical compositions and processes. He also has experience working as a chemist in both small and large company settings.
John earned his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, with distinction, an M.S. in Chemistry from Lehigh University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Joseph’s University.