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Laura Smalley


Harris Beach PLLC

Laura Smalley is a Partner for Harris Beach PLLC where she represents and counsels her clients, which include individual inventors, universities, start-up and established companies, in protecting their inventions, particularly in the medical device and life sciences industries. In her practice, she also assists businesses in securing and enforcing their intellectual property rights.

Experienced in patent prosecution, trademark prosecution, licensing and litigation, Laura’s background allows her to see both the beginning and potential end of intellectual property strategies. That perspective allows her to craft long-term solutions for clients. While obtaining a patent or securing trade secrets is important, looking forward to the implementation and potential enforcement of those rights is important.

Laura is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office with a technical background in chemistry, including organic and analytical chemistry.

Laura has published countless articles and written Harris Beach Legal Alerts on a wide range of patent and trademark topics in a number of technical fields, as well as numerous articles for American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Biotech Buzz newsletter.

Laura’s areas of focus include: Patent law; registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I also practice in the areas of patent and trademark litigation, business and commercial litigation and electronic discovery.

Recent Articles by Laura Smalley

Best Practices for Conquering the Enablement Requirement After Amgen

The Supreme Court’s decision in Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi, 143 S. Ct. 1243, 1248 (2023), found that antibody claims defined by their binding and blocking function lacked enablement…. The Supreme Court’s decision relied highly on the unpredictability of the art—scientists cannot always predict how substitutions of even single amino acids will affect the binding and/or blocking function of an antibody. The disclosed methods of identifying species within the scope of the claim were little more than “trial and error.”… The consensus seems to be that Amgen generally forecloses broad genus claims in the biotechnology field. The remaining questions are: Are patent applicants limited to claiming species (e., sequence listings)? What steps may a patent applicant take to obtain broader coverage?

Patent Eligibility and the Life Sciences Industry – The Impact of Law on Innovation in the Industry

One of the panels at last year’s IPWatchdog’s Life Sciences MastersTM Series addressed the thorny problem of patent eligibility.  I moderated the panel, titled Patent Eligibility and the Life Sciences Industry–What Next?, where the speakers, with input from passionate audience members, discussed the impact of section 101 jurisprudence on innovation in the life sciences industry. Do the limits on what is patent-eligible subject matter created by the courts strike the proper balance or do unpredictable court decisions harm investment and research in the life sciences? While the majority view appeared to be that patent-eligibility reform is necessary, both to provide clarity and to incentivize certain type of inventions, the panel also expressed the idea that some form of section 101 jurisprudence is necessary to prevent “discoveries” from being monopolized, which could also harm innovation.

Past Events with Laura Smalley

IPWatchdog LIVE 2023

September 17-19, 2023

Life Sciences Masters™ 2022

October 25-26, 2022