Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group and was the group’s former chair from 2018-2023. Her practice is focused on 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 post-grant proceedings and multiple patent interferences and reexaminations. She 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 IP has named her an “IP Star” 2020-2024; the IAM Patent 1000 has ranked her among the top Washington, D.C. patent prosecution attorneys 2021-2024; and World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) has listed her as a “WIPR Leader” 2023 – 2022. LMG Life Sciences named her a “Life Sciences Star” every year from 2019-2023. LMG Life Sciences also honored her as the “Patent Strategy Attorney of the Year (DC Metro)” in 2021, listed her as a finalist for “Patent Strategy Attorney of the Year (DC Metro)” in 2023, and a finalist for “Post Grant Proceeding Attorney of the Year” in 2020. DCA Live has also recognized her as an “Emerging Women Leaders in Law” (2019) and by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a “Women Worth Watching” (2019).

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 of 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.

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.

  • IAM Patent 1000, “Washington, DC: Recommended – Patent Prosecution” (2024 – 2021)
  • LMG Life Sciences, “Finalist – Patent Strategy Attorney of the Year (DC Metro)” (2023)
  • World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), “WIPR Leaders” (2023 – 2022)
  • Managing IP, “IP Star” (2024 – 2020)
  • LMG Life Sciences, “Patent Strategy Attorney of the Year (DC Metro)” (2021)
  • PTAB Bar Association, “Top 50 Women in PTAB Trials” (2021 & 2019)
  • LMG Life Sciences, “Life Sciences Star” (2023 – 2019)
  • LMG Life Sciences, “Finalist – Post-Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year” (2020)
  • Profiles in Diversity Journal, “Women Worth Watching®” (2019)
  • DCA Live, “Emerging Women Leaders in Law” (2019)
  • Lawyer Monthly, “Women in Law Award – Biotechnology Category” (2016-2015)
  • Corporate LiveWire, “Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year – Washington, D.C.” (2015)
  • Super Lawyers, “Super Lawyer – Washington, DC” (2024)

  • 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

  • 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

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

Speaking Engagement

10th LSX World Congress

London, UK, April 29, 2024

Speaking Engagement

FDA and PTO Panel

Colorado Springs, CO, The Broadmoor, July 1, 2023 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM EST

Speaking Engagement

Successfully Claiming Antibody Patents in Europe and the U.S.: Incorporating Takeaways From the Latest Case Law Into Your Prosecution Strategy

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station, May 24, 2023 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

2023 Focus on Pharma

Washington, DC, April 14, 2023 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Written Description Enablement After Juno v. Kite

London, England, De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, November 29, 2022 1:40 PM - 3:05 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Mitigating IP Risks In Business Transactions

Virtual, December 7, 2021 12:45 PM - 1:15 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Evolving Strategies in View of Discretionary Denial

Washington, DC, The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC, September 23, 2021 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Strategic Business Deals: Building a Best in Class IP Litigation Strategy

Virtual, June 8, 2021 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

The Trial: Stop Spinning Your Wheels & Start Winning

Virtual, April 21, 2021 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Webinar

JETRO New York Intellectual Property Group Seminar

VIRTUAL, April 15, 2021 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Strategic Updates for Managing your Litigation Strategy

Virtual, February 24, 2021 2:20 PM - 3:05 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Protecting Cannabis Intellectual Property

Virtual, November 16, 2020 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Never Tell Me the Odds: Trial Strategy

Virtual, September 23, 2020 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

USPTO Post-Grant Patent Trials 2019: New Challenges & Tactics

New York, NY, September 11, 2019

Speaking Engagement

MIP Life Sciences Forum

New York, NY, September 13, 2017

LES 2016 Annual Meeting

October 23, 2016

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PTAB Nixes Gevo Renewable Jet Fuel Patent In AIA Review

Law360

Client Alert

February 5, 2015

Federal Circuit Supports USPTO Rules in Post-Grant Proceedings

Deborah Sterling, Ph.D.

In the News

August 27, 2014

Legal Experts Assess Potential Impact of GeneDx's IPR Challenge of Myriad Patents

GenomeWeb’s Pharmacogenomics Reporter

In the News

August 20, 2014

Defense to Myriad Patent Infringement Claim Now Moved to Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Bloomberg BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Daily Bulletin

Books and Chapters

January 1, 2012

Patent Office Litigation

Thomson Reuters Westlaw Multiple Authors