John M. Covert is a director in 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.

  • J.D., George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, with distinction
  • M.S., Chemistry, Lehigh University
  • B.S., Chemistry, St. Joseph's University

  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office


Patent Term Extension Considerations for BioPharma Patents

Virtual, December 13, 2023 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

2023 Focus on Pharma

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

Speaking Engagement

Patents in the Cross-Hairs of the Affordable Drug Conversation

Huntington Beach, CA, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, December 5, 2022 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM EST

Speaking Engagement

Comprehensive and Effective IP Due Diligence

Virtual, June 17, 2021 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM EST


JETRO New York Intellectual Property Group Seminar

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


Webinar: Fast Track Patent Examination Options and Strategies 2017

March 28, 2017 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST

Speaking Engagement

Israel Global Patent Litigation Forum

Tel Aviv, June 26, 2017

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From John M. Covert

Webinar Recordings & Materials

December 13, 2023

Patent Term Extension Considerations for BioPharma Patents

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August 2, 2021

Has Ex Parte Sauerberg Gutted the Patent Act’s Safe Harbor Provision?

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July 7, 2020

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July 7, 2020

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Bylined Articles

July 7, 2020

Federally Funded Inventions and Compliance with the Bayh-Dole Act

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Books and Chapters

October 1, 2019

U.S. Chemical Patent Law: A Practical Guide

Bloomberg Law Multiple Authors

Press Release

October 1, 2019

Sterne Kessler Attorneys Author U.S. Chemical Patent Law

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Client Alert

June 19, 2018

Updated Bayh-Dole Regulations Increase Certain Risks of Losing Title to Federally Funded Inventions

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In the News

June 8, 2018

Seeking outsized results

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September 15, 2017

Focus on Pharma Conference 2017 PowerPoint Presentations

Client Alert

November 16, 2015

Obama Administration Releases Much Anticipated Text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Jeremiah B. Frueauf, John M. Covert

In the News

August 26, 2015

PTAB Poised To Take Up Hedge Fund Hijinks in Celgene Cases


Webinar Recordings & Materials

January 15, 2015

USPTO 101 Guidelines: What Constitutes "Non-Naturally Occurring" Subject Matter?

Bylined Articles

September 16, 2014

Patent Armoring via Reissue Proceedings

Law360 Multiple Authors

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June 23, 2014

America Invents Act: For US IP, The Cheese Has Been Moved

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Webinar Recordings & Materials

May 22, 2014

Webinar Recording: Options for Accelerating Patent Examination