For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

Fenwick & West handles significant cross-border legal and business issues for a wide range of technology and life sciences who operate internationally..  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney


We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200

Melanie L. Mayer, Ph.D.

Partner, Litigation  

Seattle 206.389.4569


Melanie Mayer focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation. She also prepares and prosecutes patent applications, analyzes patent issues for various due diligence matters, advises on freedom to operate issues, and provides non-infringement and validity opinions, including opinions for Paragraph IV certifications.

Melanie has represented clients in litigations involving a range of technological fields, particularly in biotechnology, including polymers, polypeptide variants, nucleotide analogs and chemical compounds. Melanie has a strong record of success at trial.

Prior to joining Fenwick & West, Melanie was an associate with Darby & Darby P.C. in Seattle. Prior to that she worked as a legal intern for Rosetta Inpharmatics, a subsidiary of Merck and Co., Inc. Melanie has many years of scientific research experience and has published numerous articles in her field of expertise.

Legal Publications and Presentations

  • BIO Intellectual Property Counsels Committee Conference, How Corporate Engineers Derail the Patent Train, March 2016
  • Fenwick & West’s Patent Law Year in Review, January 2016
  • Melanie L. Mayer and David K. Tellekson, U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Post-Patent Expiration Royalties, September 2015
  • Melanie L. Mayer, Navigating § 101: Patentable Subject Matter, April 2013
  • Melanie L. Mayer, Reverse Payment Agreements, April 2013
  • Melanie L. Mayer and David K. Tellekson, IP Litigation Alert: U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh In on Reverse Payment Deals, April 2013  
  • Ewa M. Davison, Melanie L. Mayer and Stuart P. Meyer, Final Patent Rules Provide Few Surprises, August 2012
  • Ewa M. Davison, Melanie L. Mayer and Stuart P. Meyer, IP Litigation Alert: PTO Publishes Final Rules for Contested Patent Cases, August 2012

Scientific Publications

  • Mayer, ML, Pot, I, Chang, M, Xu, H, Aneliunas, V, Kwok, T., Newitt, R, Aebersold,  R, Boone, C, Brown, GW, and Hieter, P, “Identification of protein complexes required for efficient sister chromatid cohesion,” Mol. Biol. Cell. (2004) 15(4): 1736-45.
  • Mayer, ML, Gygi, SP, Aebersold, R, and Hieter, P, “Identification of RFC (Ctf18p, Ctf8p, Dcc1p): an alternative RFC complex required for sister chromatic cohesion in S. cerevisiae,”  Mol. Cell. (2001) 7(5): 959-70.
  • Mayer, ML and Hieter, P, “Protein networks – built by association,” Nat. Biotechnol. (2000) 18(12): 1242-3.
  • Nava, VE, Cheng, EH, Veliuona, M, Zou, S, Clem, RJ, Mayer, ML, and Hardwick, JM, “Herpesvirus saimiri encodes a functional homolog of the human bcl-2 oncogene,” J. Virol. (1997) 71(5): 4118-22.
  • Bassett, DE Jr, Basrai, MA, Connelly, C, Hyland, KM, Kitagawa, K, Mayer, ML, Morrow, DM, Page, AM, Resto, VA, Skibbens, RV, and Hieter, P, “Exploiting the complete yeast genome sequence,” Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. (1996) 6(6): 763-6.