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Deborah Sterling, Ph.D.

Director

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Deborah Sterling's headshot.
Deborah, chair of the firm's Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group, has in-depth experience in technical areas, such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, analytical instruments, agrochemicals, and clean technology.

Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., is a director and chair of Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group. Her practice is focused in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, where she counsels clients from around the world in all areas of patent procurement, including domestic and foreign patent preparation, and lifecycle management strategies. Her practice also includes counseling clients on intellectual property strategy, including freedom-to-operate and patentability issues, validity and infringement issues, and due diligence investigations in connection with acquisitions and investments.

Deborah’s experience includes representing clients in over 75 inter partes review and covered business method proceedings, and in multiple patent interferences and reexaminations. Deborah has also been involved in multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent litigations, including those brought under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Deborah leverages her experience in inter partes disputes to help patent owners craft and execute patent strategies that best align with their business needs.

Deborah’s intellectual property experience has been principally in technical areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, analytical instruments, agrochemicals and clean technology. She also counsels clients in emerging and regulated industries, including cannabinoid therapeutics. 

She has been recognized numerous times as a leading practitioner in the life sciences. Managing Intellectual Property named her an "IP Star" in 2020 and 2021. LMG Life Sciences listed her as a finalist for its "Post Grant Proceeding Attorney of the Year" in 2020 and named her as a “Life Sciences Star”  in both 2020 and 2019. She has also been recognized by DCA Live as an “Emerging Women Leaders in Law” (2019); by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a “Women Worth Watching” (2019); by Lawyer Monthly with a “Women in Law Award - Biotechnology Category" (2016-2019); and by Corporate LiveWire as a "Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year, Washington, D.C." for her work.

Deborah is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition, published in 2017, and the two-volume set Patent Office Litigation, published in 2012 by Thomson Reuters Westlaw. She is also a contributing author on the “Patentability Challenges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office” chapter in the Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook, 4th ed. published by the ABA in 2015 and authored a chapter of U.S. Chemical Patent Law: A Practical Guide, published by Bloomberg Law.

Deborah was previously the Chairperson of the firm's Professional Development Committee.

Deborah earned her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, her Ph.D. in molecular and cellular physiology from the University of Alberta, and her B.S., with first class honours, in biochemistry from Heriot-Watt University.

Achievements

  • Managing IP, "IP Star" (2021 - 2020)
  • Profiles in Diversity Journal, "Women Worth Watching®" (2019)
  • DCA Live, "Emerging Women Leaders in Law" (2019)
  • LMG Life Sciences, "Finalist - Post-Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year" (2020)
  • LMG Life Sciences, "Life Sciences Star" (2020 - 2019)
  • Lawyer Monthly, "Women in Law Award - Biotechnology Category" (2016-2015)
  • Corporate LiveWire, "Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year - Washington, D.C." (2015)

Representative Matters

District Court
  • Carestream Health, Inc. v. Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. – W.D.Wis. – (favorable settlement for our client Caliper)
  • Caliper Life Sciences, Inc., et al. v. Carestream Health, Inc. – N.D.Cal. – (favorable settlement for our client Caliper)
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals – D.N.J. – (ANDA case: Xyrem)
  • Reckitt Benckiser LLC, et al v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC – D. NJ. (ANDA case: Delsym)
International Trade Commission
  • In re Lithium Silicate Materials and Products Containing the Same, ITC Investigation No 337-TA-911; represented complainant Ivoclar Vivadent
Arbitration
  • Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. v. Fluidigm Corporation (arbitration)
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • 15-1317, In re: Gevo, Inc.: Appeal by Patent Owner of PTAB Final Written Decision in Inter Partes Review cancelling all claims; We represented Petitioner Butamax Advanced Biofuels in the IPR; PTAB Decision affirmed
  • 15-1824, Eveready Battery Co., Inc. v. Spectrum Brands, Inc.: Appeal by Patent Owner of PTAB Final Written Decision in Inter Partes Reexamination cancelling all claims; We represented Requester in the reexam; PTAB Decision affirmed
  • 18-1770, -1771, Ansell Healthcare Products LLC v. Iancu: Appeals by Patent Owner of PTAB Final Written Decisions in Inter Partes Reviews cancelling all claims; We represented Patent Owner in the IPRs; appeals dismissed
  • 18-1957, Creative Spark, LLC v. Kingsford Products Company: Appeal by Patent Owner of PTAB Final Written Decision in Inter Partes Review cancelling most claims; We represented Petitioner in the IPR; PTAB Decision affirmed
  • 20-1747, -1748, -1749, -1750, -1751, -1752, Teva Pharmaceuticals v. Eli Lilly and Co.: Appeals by Patent Owner of PTAB Final Written Decisions in Inter Partes Reviews cancelling all claims; We represented Patent Owner in the IPRs; Appeals pending
  • 20-1876, -1877, -1878, Eli Lilly and Co. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals: Appeals by Petitioner of PTAB Final Written Decisions in Inter Partes Reviews upholding all claims; We represented Patent Owner in the IPRs; Appeals pending
Post-Grant Proceedings Petitioner:
  • PGR2019-00048: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Corcept Therapeutics, Inc.
  • IPR2019-00741: Amgen, Inc. v. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • IPR2019-00740: Amgen Inc. v. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • IPR2019-00739: Amgen Inc. v. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • IPR2018-01370: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. et al v. The Regents of the University of California
  • IPR2018-01369: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. et al v. The Regents of the University of California
  • IPR2018-01368: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. et al v. The Regents of the University of California
  • IPR2018-01367: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. et al v. The Regents of the University of California
  • IPR2018-01347: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. et al v. The Regents of the University of California
  • IPR2018-01156: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. et al v. The Regents of the University of California
  • PGR2017-00034: Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Incyte Corporation
  • IPR2016-01831: The Kingsford Products Company, LLC v. Creative Spark LLC
  • IPR2016-01608: BioEQ IP AG v. Genentech, Inc.
  • IPR2016-01582: Wockhardt Bio AG v. Janssen Oncology, Inc.
  • IPR2016-00678: IntelGenX Corp. v ICOS Corp.
  • IPR2016-00370: Wockhardt Bio AG. v. Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • IPR2015-01560: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. The University of Chicago
  • IPR2015-01558: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. RainDance Technologies, Inc.
  • IPR2015-01163: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. The University of Chicago
  • IPR2015-01162: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. The University of Chicago
  • IPR2015-01158: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. The University of Chicago
  • IPR2015-01157: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. The University of Chicago
  • IPR2015-01156: 10X Genomics, Inc. v. The University of Chicago
  • IPR2015-00547: Amneal Pharms. LLC, Par Pharms., Inc. v. Jazz Pharms., Inc.
  • IPR2015-00546: Amneal Pharms. LLC, Par Pharms., Inc. v. Jazz Pharms., Inc.
  • IPR2015-00545: Amneal Pharms. LLC, Par Pharms., Inc. v. Jazz Pharms., Inc.
  • IPR2015-00154: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Univ. Utah Research Found.
  • IPR2015-00152: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Univ. Utah Research Found.
  • IPR2014-01316: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Univ. Utah Research Found.
  • IPR2014-01315: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01314: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01313: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01312: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01311: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Univ. Utah Research Found.
  • IPR2014-01310: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01301: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01299: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01298: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-01296: BioReference Labs., Inc.; GeneDx, Inc. v. Myriad Genetics
  • IPR2014-00876: Apotex Corp. v. VIIV Healthcare UK Limited
  • IPR2014-00581: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2014-00402: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2014-00250: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2014-00144: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2014-00143: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2014-00142: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2013-00539: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2013-00215: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • IPR2013-00214: Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo Inc.
  • CBM2014-00150: Amneal Pharms. LLC, et al. v. Jazz Pharms., Inc.
  • CBM2014-00149: Amneal Pharms. LLC, et al. v. Jazz Pharms., Inc.
Patent Owner:
  • IPR2018-01712: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01711: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01710: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01427: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01426: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01425: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01424: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01423: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-01422: Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH
  • IPR2018-00431: Forty Seven, Inc. v. Stichting Sanquin Bloedvoorziening
  • PGR2017-00018: BAYER CROPSCIENCE LP v. Exosect Limited
  • IPR2017-00807: Argentum Pharmaceuticals LLC et al v. Cipla Limited
  • IPR2017-00066: Reckitt Benckiser LLC v. Ansell Healthcare Products LLC
  • IPR2017-00063: Reckitt Benckiser LLC v. Ansell Healthcare Products LLC
  • IPR2016-01893: Kaz USA, Inc. v. Brita LP
  • IPR2016-01530: Forty Seven Inc. v. Stichting Sanquin Bloedvoorziening
  • IPR2016-01529: Forty Seven Inc. v. Stichting Sanquin Bloedvoorziening
  • IPR2016-00441: Aerospace Comms. Holdings Co., Ltd. v. IDQ Operating, Inc.
  • IPR2016-00442: Aerospace Comms. Holdings Co., Ltd. v. IDQ Operating, Inc.
  • IPR2012-00022: Ariosa Diagnostics v. Isis Innovation Limited.

Thought Leadership

Past Events

Contact Information

Phone Number

Education

J.D.
George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
Ph.D.
Molecular and Cellular Physiology
University of Alberta
B.Sc.
Biochemistry
Heriot-Watt University
first class honours

Admissions

District of Columbia
New York
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
United States Patent & Trademark Office

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • Pauline Newman IP American Inn of Court
  • PTAB Bar Association