Photo of Jonathan P. OPhoto of Jonathan P. O

Jonathan P. O'Brien, Ph.D.

Chair, Intellectual Property Department
Leader, Patent Practice Group


Michigan State University College of Law, J.D.
  • magna cum laude; Full Merit Scholar
  • Jurisprudence Awards in Intellectual Property in the Internet Age; Intellectual Property; and Research, Writing and Advocacy; First-Year Moot Court Competition, 2nd Place Award
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D.
  • Chemistry
  • Teaching Award for General Chemistry Recitation
Hope College, B.S.
  • Chemistry
  • cum laude

Prior Employment

  • Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., Senior Partner, 2007-2008; Senior Attorney, 2005-2007
  • Pfizer/Pharmacia Corporation, Patent Agent, 2001-2004
  • Fish & Richardson, P.C., Technology Specialist, 1997-2001

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan

American Bar Association

  • Subcommittee on biotechnology 
  • Intellectual Property Law Section 

Biotechnology Industry Organization 


American Intellectual Property Law Association

News & Resources


Dr. O'Brien is an experienced IP attorney with a particular emphasis on global IP portfolio management and strategy for domestic and multinational companies. He has written and prosecuted several hundred patents throughout the world.  Dr. O'Brien offers a pragmatic business perspective and has successfully assisted clients with leveraging their IP portfolios by identifying improvements and solutions to minimize risks and maximize their IP budget. He has experience rendering legal opinions on patent validity and/or non-infringement, as well as helping to coordinate global opposition, reexamination, nullity and infringement proceedings. Dr. O'Brien also has extensive experience with IP due diligence, and drafting and negotiating a variety of agreements, including patent licenses, co-development and commercialization, material transfer, clinical trial and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs). 

Dr. O’Brien focuses his practice in the following sectors:

  • Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Life Sciences
    • Assisted clients with the development and global commercialization of 13 drug products, including devising and implementing global IP procurement, enforcement and patent-related regulatory strategies
    • Assisted pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients in defending more than a dozen patent oppositions, reexamination and nullity proceedings in Europe and Asia
  • Material Science
    • Prepares and prosecutes patents in a variety of technical areas, including batteries, fuel cells and nanotechnology
  • Chemical
    • Procures and enforces domestic and international patents relating to inorganic chemistry and polymers
  • Mechanical
    • Prepares and prosecutes patents in a variety of technical areas, including optics, medical devices and automotive components
  • IP Due Diligence in M&A Transactions
    • Conducts intellectual property due diligence for venture fund clients regarding potential investments; large pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations concerning potential asset purchases and mergers; and start-up companies about potential licensing of university or third-party owned technologies


  • Drafted and prosecuted patents in a variety of technical areas such as pharmaceutical, inorganic and polymer chemistries; biotechnology; material science; physics; nanotechnology; and mechanical engineering 
  • Represented a multinational pharmaceutical company in developing a global patent strategy for a Phase III drug candidate, which involved obtaining patent issuances on the drug substance and implementing a life cycle management plan 
  • Assisted a multinational pharmaceutical company and its European counsel in defending the company’s European patent during opposition proceedings
  • Drafted and negotiated a variety of agreements: patent license, co-development and commercialization, material transfer, and non-disclosure agreements; and clinical trial agreements, including CRADAs 
  • Conducted intellectual property due diligence for venture fund clients regarding potential investments; large pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations regarding potential asset purchases and mergers; and start-up companies regarding potential licensing of university or third party owned technologies


Stuart Area Restoration Association, Chairman

  • Recipient Special Appreciation Award 2008 

3rd Coast Metro Trek, Planning Committee

News & Resources


Press Releases


Seminars & Events


  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Recognized as a Leader in the Law, 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2017
  • Managing Intellectual Property
    • Recognized as an "IP Star," 2013-2016
  • Intellectual Asset Management (IAM)
    • Recognized as one of the "World’s Leading Patent Practitioners," 2014-2016
    • IAM states: "He benefits from being located in an area where he can take advantage of lower cost structures, but is doing work for high-end and high-value clients in the pharmaceutical space.  He has a wealth of in-house experience in the industry."
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2011 and 2013-2016
    • Recognized as a Rising Star, 2011, 2013 and 2014
  • 2007 Selected Business Leader Under 40 as Recognized by Business Review

Academic Appointments

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry
    • T.A. Training Workshop, Assistant, Spring 1993-1996
    • Principles of Quantum Mechanics (5.61), Recitation Instructor, Fall 1994
    • Thermodynamics and Kinetics (5.70), Recitation Instructor, Spring 1992
    • Principles of General Chemistry (5.11), Recitation Instructor and Head Teaching Assistant, Fall 1991