April Wurster, Partner at Snell & Wilmer, helps clients navigate complex issues related to law and technology. Her day-to-day practice focuses on intellectual property and life sciences transactions.
April uses cross-functional knowledge and experience to build a thorough understanding of a company’s business, employees, products, customers, and competitors to provide strategic guidance. She works in new subject matter areas on a daily basis, assimilating information quickly and developing a deep understanding in those areas. April excels at distilling complex ideas into understandable concepts.
April assists clients from early- and mid-stage startups to public companies, as well as universities with protecting their intellectual property across a diverse range of industries, including cell and gene therapies, therapeutics, SaaS, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic tests, and medical devices. April has extensive experience conducting Freedom to Operate analyses, collaborating with scientific and technical personnel to identify patentable inventions, and drafting and prosecuting patents.
April advises international and U.S. companies on trademark matters, including trademark clearances, ensuring proper trademark usage on product marketing materials, trademark enforcement, licenses, filing, and prosecuting trademark applications. April routinely counsels clients regarding name changes and brand name selection.
April advises clients on trade secret protections, such as identifying key trade secrets, creating trade secret registries, and developing policies for protecting trade secrets, which may include amending contracts, marking documents as trade secrets, putting access restriction controls on documents containing trade secrets, and training employees.
April is also a member of the firm’s Life Science and Medical Technology Industry Group. She provides commercial contracting advice to regenerative medicine, CDMOs, CROs, medical device, and diagnostics clients. April is well-versed in the legal requirements of regenerative medicine and CDMO clients, including their regulatory framework requirements, rapidly evolving technology, and competitive landscape. She has vast experience negotiating pre-clinical and clinical trial agreements, material transfer agreements, master service agreements, master research and development agreements, joint development agreements, collaborative research agreements, licenses, strategic alliances, acquisitions, manufacturing and supply agreements, quality agreements (R&D, manufacturing, and clinical trial), data privacy agreements, clinical study agreements, and SaaS agreements.
April serves as a trusted advisor for matters related to trademarks, copyright, and patents, drawing upon her broad experience with each aspect of the litigation lifecycle, from filing and discovery to jury trial or settlements.
Breakthrough discoveries often receive the spotlight and intellectual property (IP) protection. Unfortunately, lesser, yet nonetheless valuable, contributions often go unrecognized and unprotected. Determining when to contact your institution’s Technology Transfer Office in order for them to assess research projects for IP protection is vital. Reaching out to Tech Transfer early and often will help researchers protect their accomplishments and receive the recognition they deserve.
The safe harbor provision set forth in 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1) immunizes many types of activities in pursuit of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submission from patent infringement claims. Research tools are frequently used in pursuit of an FDA submission, such as drug development, testing and screening. But research tools themselves generally are not subject to FDA or other regulatory approval. Depending on the circumstances, using research tools to submit data to the FDA may not be protected by the safe harbor provision and thus may expose companies to patent infringement claims.