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Rachel K. Pilloff • Partner

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Rachel K. Pilloff co-chairs Hauptman Ham’s Life Sciences practice, and she has substantial experience procuring, protecting, and enforcing inventions in the Agriculture, Biotech, and Chemical industries, particularly those involving plants, agricultural products, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and small molecules.

Formally trained in Agriculture and Plant Molecular Biology, Rachel routinely counsels clients on how to protect new plant varieties, genetically modified plants, cut flowers, breeding methods, fertilizers, and related products, both in the U.S. and abroad. She regularly prepares and prosecutes utility patents, plant patents, plant breeder’s rights, plant variety protection certificates, and design patents.

As part of her diverse and strategic counseling practice, Rachel regularly provides freedom-to-operate opinions, as well as patentability, non-infringement, and validity opinions across the Life Sciences.   She also counsels on related issues pertaining to design protection, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, and unfair competition.

In addition to her patent prosecution and counseling practice, Rachel has appellate experience before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as well as experience litigating patent and trademark infringement cases in Federal Court.

Rachel graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Plant Biology, and received the Appleton-Norton Prize for excellence in the Life Sciences. Rachel holds graduate degrees in Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology from The Pennsylvania State University, and a law degree from American University.

Rachel is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, as well as before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. District Courts for District of Maryland and Eastern District of Virginia; and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She is a member of the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA), International Trademark Association (INTA), and The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI).

Practice Highlights & Technologies

Practice Highlights: Rachel assists independent inventors, emerging companies, and large Fortune 500 corporations across the Agriculture, Biotech, and Chemical industries. Rachel provides strategic counseling on patent procurement and pre-litigation activities; opinions on issues relating to patentability, freedom-to-operate, infringement, and validity; as well as patent infringement litigation. In addition to managing worldwide patent portfolios, Rachel assists clients extract value from their portfolios through licensing and other strategies.

Technologies: Rachel counsels across the Agriculture, Biotech, and Chemical industries. She has successfully assisted clients obtain and enforce intellectual property rights for new plant varieties, transgenic plants, cut flowers, fertilizers, agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, and small molecules.

Teaching: A frequent lecturer on U.S. intellectual property law, Rachel has spoken before numerous Fortune 500 companies and organizations in the United States, as well as various multi-national companies and law firms throughout the world. Rachel enjoys teaching, and has served as adjunct visiting faculty at George Mason University for several years, where she co-taught intellectual property law to business students.

Publications & Presentations

Rachel frequently presents and lectures across the globe. Representative presentations and publications include:

Invited Speaker, Intellectual Property, UAE, February 2017.

Invited Speaker, Expediting Patents, Sao Paulo, Brasil, August 2016.

Invited Speaker, U.S. Restriction Practice, Tokyo, Japan, March 2016.

Invited Speaker, World IP Congress, Dubai, UAE, January 2016.

Invited Speaker, “Biotech Patent Law Post-Myriad?” Campinas, Brasil, November 2015.

Rachel K. Pilloff, “Helping or Hurting the Harvest?” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, Vol. 5, Issue 3, May 2015.

Invited Speaker, “Protecting Plant Varieties,” Brasilia, Brasil, April 2015, .

Invited Speaker, Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, March 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Lecturer, Patent Application Drafting & Infringement Avoidance Seminar, Osaka, Japan, December 2014;.

Invited Speaker, “Introduction to U.S. Patent Law for Chemical Translators”, Osaka, Japan, October and November 2014.

Invited Speaker, “Intellectual Property Law,” Abu Dhabi, UAE, September 2014.

Rachel K. Pilloff, “From Root to Shoot: Cultivating & Harvesting Intellectual Property” American Hort, September 5, 2014.

Invited Speaker, “U.S. Patent Law,” Sao Paulo, Brasil, May 2014;.

Invited Speaker, “Patent Law for Chemists” Genentech Chemical Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 2014.

Invited Speaker, “Protecting Plant Innovation” INFORMA Crop & Chemical Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, August 2012.

Rachel K. Pilloff, et al. The Arabidopsis gain-of-function mutant dll1 spontaneously develops lesions mimicking cell death associated with disease. Plant J. 30:61-70 (2002).