John McKeague, Ph.D.

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John McKeague is a Principal of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Department.  Dr. McKeague, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology, helps clients protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. He applies his in depth knowledge of technology and the law to obtain broad patent protection for their innovative products.  Dr. McKeague uses his knowledge of the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and biotech industries and regulatory compliance to identify issues and obtain favorable outcomes for clients.  He also assists clients in navigating crowded technology areas and regularly advises on product development.  Dr. McKeague also advises clients on in-licensing technology and evaluates the strength of intellectual property for new business initiatives.

Dr. McKeague has worked as a patent executive in Northern Ireland for a veterinary pharmaceutical company positioned as a global leader in the development of animal health medicines. During his time there, he managed global patent prosecution portfolios, advised on design around strategies in product development and instructed outside counsel in opposition/revocation proceedings of competitor patents at the European Patent Office, in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  Dr. McKeague also evaluated third party intellectual property for potential collaborations.

Dr. McKeague has extensive patent litigation experience, representing and assisting clients in technologies such as fermentation using recombinant bacteria, nucleic acid detection, clinical trial software, dietary supplements, medical devices and civil engineering/force protection structures. This litigation has been in both Federal District Courts and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Dr. McKeague has also assisted clients in disputes before the USPTO, including inter partes reexaminations, inter partes reviews and patent interferences, including developing strategies for potential interference proceedings concerning complex biotechnology inventions, including CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing.

Dr. McKeague prosecuted patents in a wide range of technologies, including recombinant antibodies, transgenic plants, peptides, nucleic acid sequences, coagulation proteins, hematopoietic stem cells and recombinant expression vectors. He has also advised clients in relation to invalidity and freedom to operate in the areas of nucleic acid detection, stem cells, oligonucleotide arrays, lentiviral expression vectors and dietary supplements. Additionally, Dr. McKeague has assisted clients with understanding FDA regulations related to dietary supplements and assisted with submissions to the European Food Safety Authority regarding health claims for dietary supplements.

Dr. McKeague’s strong science and technical background includes research in the areas of stem cell biology and genetic manipulation/therapy.  He has worked at both the National Human Genome Research Institute within the National Institutes of Health, and the American Red Cross' Holland Laboratory.  At both the NIH and Red Cross, Dr. McKeague worked with stem cells, such as human hematopoietic stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cells, viral vector mediated genetic manipulation of the stem cells and aseptic cell sorting of both clinical and non-clinical samples.

Dr. McKeague has also taken part in workshops and seminars for commercializing research in the UK and has received awards in the areas of immunology and science entrepreneurship.

Speaking Engagements
  • "When is a Scientific Discovery only a Scientific Discovery?  When the United States Patent and Trademark Office Tells You," Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC), Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK, May 20, 2015.
  • "Contributory and Induced Infringement - Relevancy to Pharmaceutical Patents and Litigation," Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, UK, May 18, 2015.
  • "Inter Partes Review - New Strategy for Challenging Patents and Gaining Market Entry," Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, UK, May 18, 2015.
  • "Patents and the Bayh-Dole Act," SRA International Conference, October 2010.



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Bar Admissions

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Admitted to practice in Virginia
Practice Limited to Federal Courts and Agencies


George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2008

University of Ulster at Coleraine, Ph.D. - Molecular Biology, 2002

University of Ulster at Coleraine, BSc Hons. - Molecular Biology/Biochemistry, First Class Honours Degree, 1998

University of Ulster at Jordanstown, BTEC HNC - Applied Biology, 1993

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