Carmella L. Stephens Ph.D. Partner

Dr. Carmella L. Stephens, a patent attorney with over 25 years experience, counsels a wide range of clients including biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations as well as academic institutions on issues relating to biotech and pharmaceutical patents.  Her experience includes development and management of complex U.S. and foreign patent portfolios based on assessment of the client’s business interests.  The majority of her patent practice focuses on patent prosecution, IP due diligence and preparation of opinions relating to patent eligibility, validity, infringement and freedom-to-operate.

Dr. Stephens’ patent practice covers an array of different life science technologies including those relating to endonuclease based genome editing systems; immunobiology; diagnostic and prognostic tests based on gene expression profiles; viral based expression systems for use in gene therapy and stem cell based therapies, to name a few.

Prior to pursuing a legal career, Dr. Stephens received her Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook after completion of her thesis research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory followed by a post-doctoral fellowship conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Her technical background in the life sciences provides her with the ability to successfully interface with scientists to maximize protection of their intellectual property.

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Education

  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law
  • Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory / SUNY Stony Brook
  • B.S., Adelphi University

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Associations

  • New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA)
  • Women in Licensing (WIL)
  • Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)

For over 25 years, Dr. Stephens has prepared and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications (US and foreign) in a number of complex biotech and pharmaceutical fields.  Her patent prosecution has included conducting interviews in the USPTO resulting in the successful issuance of patents.  She has successfully obtained strategic patent protection for clients, in some cases, leading to favorable settlement and cross-licensing as an alternative to litigation.  She has also prosecuted ex parte and inter partes reexaminations.  Dr. Stephens has conducted strategic due diligence for biotech and pharmaceutical companies including evaluation of patent portfolios and related technology.  Her experience also includes research and preparation of opinions relating to patent eligibility, validity, infringement and freedom-to-operate.

Dr. Stephens received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from SUNY Stony Brook after completion of thesis research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where she studied the transforming adenovirus E1A proteins.  As a post-doctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she investigated the transforming growth factor-ß (TGF-ß) including the design and implementation of strategies for cloning the TGF-ß receptor as well as the role of TGF-ß on expression of cell cycle regulated genes.

Publications

  • Seide RK and Stephens CL, Ethical issues and application of patent laws in biotechnology.  Who owns life? Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books (2002).
  • Williams DA, Rios M, Stephens C, and Patel VP.,  Fibronectin and VLA-4 in haematopoietic stem cell-microenvironment interactions. Nature (1991) 352:438-41.
  • Stephens C and Harlow E, Differential splicing yields novel adenovirus 5 E1A mRNAs that encode 30 kd and 35 kd proteins. EMBO J. (1987) 6:2027-35.

Kiwanis Club of Huntington.  The Kiwanis Club provides local services to the needy in the community with a primary focus on the needs of children.

Huntington Gateway Community Garden (Board Member and Board Vice-President ).  The garden provides over 100 raised beds to the residents of Huntington for organic gardening.  In addition, the garden provides educational programs to local children, expanding their knowledge of how vegetables are grown organically and how to incorporate them into their daily meals.

Gardeners grow food not only for themselves, but also donate fresh produce weekly to local food pantries.