Melanie L. Mayer, Ph.D.

Industry Co-Chair, Life Sciences

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, Update on U.S. Biosimilars Litigation and Other Recent Developments, March 2017​
  • 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.