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Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D.



Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D.
"A life sciences champion who is really distinguishing herself at the PTAB, Eldora has an instinct for the approaches that will lead to the best outcome in each case and has gotten a lot of fantastic results." - "IAM Patent 1000," 2018

Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology & Chemical and Trial & Appellate Practice Groups. Over the course of her 26-year career, Eldora has gained extensive experience in inter partes patent matters, building on a strong foundation in patent prosecution. Her experience includes representing clients in over 70 inter partes review and post-grant review proceedings, more than 15 patent interferences, and in various patent reexaminations and district court litigations. For example, Eldora was lead counsel on behalf of patent owner ImmunoGen in Phigenix v. ImmunoGen, 845 F.3d 1168 (Fed. Cir. 2017), in which the Federal Circuit — for the first time since the Court’s inception — established the legal standard for demonstrating standing in an appeal from a final agency action. The Court subsequently dismissed Phigenix’s IPR appeal for lack of standing. Eldora’s practice also includes preparing and prosecuting patent applications; evaluating patent portfolios (e.g., for due diligence analyses, invalidity, non-infringement, or freedom-to-operate); counseling clients on intellectual property strategy, including Hatch-Waxman issues; and resolving inventorship disputes. She represents a variety of types of clients, including large multinational corporations, start-up companies, and not-for-profit organizations.

Eldora has been recognized as a leading practitioner in the life sciences, and she has served as an expert witness on patent matters. In 2018 and 2017, The Legal 500 recognized Eldora as a "Recommended Lawyer" in the U.S. for reexamination and post-grant proceedings. In 2018, she also received the Haverford College Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to her field. In 2019 and 2017, LMG Life Sciences named Eldora their "Post Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year." The National Law Journal recognized her as one of its "Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers." Law360 named her an "MVP in Life Sciences" in 2015. Managing Intellectual Property nominated her for its "PTAB Litigator of the Year" award, and it has named her an "IP Star" in 2019 for the seventh year in a row, while also including her in their "Top 250 Women in IP." LMG Life Sciences nominated her for its "Patent Prosecutor of the Year" award as well as "PTAB Litigator of the Year" in 2016, and it has named her a "Life Sciences Star" since 2012. In 2016, Profiles in Diversity Journal listed her among "Women Worth Watching." In 2016, IAM Patent 1000 named her as one of the world's leading patent professionals and "highly recommended" for post-grant and procedures and litigation. Eldora has often been quoted in publications such as IPLaw360 and The Washington Post for her analyses of developments in patent law.

Eldora co-chairs the firm's Patent Office Litigation Practice and is a contributing author of Patent Office Litigation, Second Edition, published in 2017. Additionally, she is an editor of Patent Office Litigation, a two-volume set focused on the new contested proceedings under the America Invents Act, published in 2012 by Thomson Reuters Westlaw. This book examines how the proceedings interact with other aspects of patent procurement and enforcement, and it delivers practical analysis and advice.

Eldora’s intellectual property experience has been principally in technical areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, therapeutic methods, diagnostic assays, analytical instruments, immunology, virology, bacteriology and vaccines. But she is also called upon to represent clients in other technical areas, given her specialized legal expertise.

She lectures and publishes frequently on topics such as the America Invents Act, patent interferences, patent reexaminations and concurrent patent litigation, and patents and licensing. Eldora has also served on the faculty for the District of Columbia Bar's Continuing Legal Education Program.

Eldora is a member of the firm's Executive Committee, and she previously chaired the firm’s Professional Development Committee and the Diversity Committee. She also previously served as a Member of the Board of Directors for Turning Point Academy Public Charter School in Maryland.

Eldora earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, her Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology from Cornell University, and her B.S. in biology from Haverford College.


  • World Intellectual Property Review, "WIPR Leaders" (2020 - 2018)
  • IAM Patent 1000, "National: Highly Recommended - Post-Grant Proceedings; Washington, DC: Patent Litigation (Silver Band)" (2019 - 2018)
  • Managing IP, "Top 250 Women in IP" (2019 - 2016)
  • Managing IP, "IP Star" (2019 - 2013) 
  • Haverford College, Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award (2018)
  • LMG Life Sciences, "Finalist - Post Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year" (2018)
  • The Legal 500, "Highly Recommended Lawyer - Patent Prosecution (including reexamination and post-grant proceedings)" (2018 - 2017)
  • IAM Patent 1000, "Washington, D.C.: Patent Litigation (Silver Band)" (2018 - 2017)
  • LMG Life Sciences, "Life Sciences Star" (2019 - 2012)
  • LMG Life Sciences, "Post Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year" (2019, 2017)
  • Profiles in Diversity Journal, "Women Worth Watching" (2016)
  • IAM Patent 1000, "Highly Recommended Lawyer - Post-Grant Procedures and Litigation" (2016)
  • National Law Journal, "Litigation Trailblazer" (2015)
  • Law360, "'MVP' in the Life Sciences category" (2015)

Thought Leadership

Past Events

Contact Information

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Georgetown University Law Center
Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology
Cornell University
Haverford College


District of Columbia
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
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • Women's Bar Association