AJ Teigen is an Associate with Rothwell Figg who’s practice covers all aspects of patent law, including patent litigation, patent prosecution, post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, licensing, opinions, and counselling. She handles matters mostly in the life sciences field, including the biomedical, chemical, biological, and pharmaceutical technologies.
Prior to joining Rothwell Figg as an associate, Ms. Teigen was a summer associate at the firm in 2017. During this time, she assisted with legal research, patent applications, office action responses, drafting briefs, IPRs before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and pro bono counseling. She is also a former judicial intern for the Honorable J. Michelle Childs of the District of South Carolina. In that role, she spent the majority of her time drafting memos for intellectual property cases. Additionally, Ms. Teigen has prior experience in engineering and research, including as a student researcher and design engineer at Applied Bioengineering Design, and as an assistant researcher at University of Tokyo, Ushida-Furukawa Tissue Engineering Laboratory.
Ms. Teigen graduated with a J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where she was the IP director of the Sports, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property Law Society and the recipient of both the Washington & Lee Intellectual Property Law Fellowship and the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s 2015 Helen W. Nies Scholarship. She received her B.S. in bioengineering, with a concentration in biomaterials, from Clemson University.
In the wake of the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the Biden-Harris Administration has suggested major shifts in U.S. policy concerning patent protection. In May of this year, Ambassador Katherine Tai, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the Administration’s support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Most recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins accused Moderna of excluding three NIH scientists as co-inventors of a key patent for the COVID-19 vaccine. This article explores an alternative possibility of the Administration exercising certain rights in the COVID-19 vaccine invention under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act—one day after the bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Bob Dole, passed away—and whether such an exercise of rights is in line with past precedent or would be a violent disruption to the status quo.