Kara K. Fairbairn
Assistant: Anne Johnson, 612.492.7547
"I enjoy learning my client’s business and providing strategic patent advice that focuses on business goals."
Kara is an experienced patent attorney working with life science, medical device and biotechnology companies.
Kara helps life science, medical device, biotechnology and food science companies by creating global patent protection strategies that include obtaining global patent protection for their products, performing freedom-to-operate analyses on their products, attacking and designing around competitor patents, and enforcing their patents against competitors. She also has a specialty in working with genetic tests and medical diagnostic tests (in particular cancer diagnostic and genetic susceptibility tests using DNA identification methods). Kara is also an experienced design patent attorney. She helps designers by creating global design patent strategies for protecting their designs and obtaining global design patent protection. She has filed hundreds of design patent applications covering a variety of designs.
- Representative medical diagnostic patent technologies include genetic tests (including tests using next generation sequencing methods), cancer diagnostic and genetic susceptibility tests, cancer treatment methods, blood control diagnostics, autoimmune diagnostics, gastric emptying and celiac disease breath test diagnostics and pulmonary disease diagnostics.
- Representative medical device technologies include drug delivery devices, surgical blankets, guidewires, hearing implants, delivery catheters, heart valves, intravascular ultrasound systems, vessel occluders, vascular probes, anastomic blood vessel couplers, intravascular blood flow detection devices, blood vessel clamps, dermatology treatment devices, ear suction devices, cross-linked animal tissue for suture buttressing applications
- Representative biotech technologies include human and animal bacterial vaccines, stem cell and blood cord technology, immunoassays, dietary supplements, cancer drug pharmaceuticals.
- Representative design patent experience include designs for medical devices, recording equipment, electronics, lighting, vehicles, punch tools, furniture, cookware, serveware, gardening equipment, landscaping materials, packages, containers, clothing, fashion accessories and footwear.
Articles & Presentations
April 26, 2016
In Genetic Technologies Ltd. v. Merial LLC, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently issued an opinion holding yet another biotech patent invalid. The Federal Circuit applied the two-step Alice/Mayo test for patent eligibility in upholding the district court’s finding of invalidity. The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 5,612,179 (the ‘179 patent), is directed to methods of analyzing DNA sequences to detect an allele of gene by amplifying non-coding regions of the DNA. The parties agreed that claim 1 is representative of all of the invalidated claims:Read More
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Patent on Cloned Animals to the Inventors of Dolly the Sheep
May 12, 2014
By Mia E. Mendoza and Kara K. Fairbairn
Last week, in the case of In re Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held that claims to cloned animals were not eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C §101 because the cloned animals are copies of products of nature. A key factor in the decision was that, although cloned animals are not completely identical to the animals from which they were copied, the differences between them were not claimed. The biotech community should take note of this decision which has important implications for the patentability of many biotech products as well as how to draft claims to avoid problems under §101.Read More
March 6, 2014
By Kara K. Fairbairn and Mia E. Mendoza
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) just published new guidelines advising examiners and the public of the factors for determining whether an invention satisfies the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of patent eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101 under their Myriad and Prometheus holdings.Read More
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Speaker, University of Minnesota Biology Colloquium, September 2016
- Co-Presenter, “Design Applications and the Hague System,” 2016 Midwest IP Institute, September 22-23, 2016
- Co-Presenter, “Design Patent Law and Practicing Under the New Hague System,” 2015 Midwest IP Institute, September 17-18, 2015
Honors & Education
- University of Nebraska School of Law, J.D., 2001
- University of New Hampshire School of Law, Franklin Pierce Center for IP, IP Summer Institute, 2000
- Pepperdine University, Biology, 1999
- Minnesota, 2002
- U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 2001
- 3-Time Attendee of USPTO Design Day in Washington D.C.
- Co-Chair of Women in Intellectual Property Law Association Committee, 2013
- LifeScience Alley Organization Women’s Roundtable Member, 2012-2014
- American Intellectual Property Law Association
- Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
- Co-Chair of School Auction, St. Thomas More Catholic School, 2015-present
- Former Board Member, Can Do Canines, 2006-2009