Life Sciences

What do you want to do?

  • patent your idea
  • analyze technology options or opportunities
  • spin off part of your business
  • set up a new business
  • contract with your employees, suppliers, consultants, or contractors
  • find investment opportunities
  • take your product to market
  • deal with regulators
  • license your technology
  • merge or join efforts with another company
  • contract with the government
  • grow your business

We handle the law so you can concentrate on business.

We have the experience you need to help you succeed. Through our multi-disciplinary approach, we serve companies at every stage in their life cycles. We deal with your legal questions in the context of your total business goals.

Our credentials

We have a seasoned understanding of the challenges faced by Life Sciences companies, investors in these companies and technology transfer offices. We have worked closely with clients in agro-biotechnology, chemical, bio-fuels, biotechnology, diagnostics, environmental remediation and carbon sequestration, medical devices, molecular biology, pharmaceuticals and research tool development arenas. Our clients include start-up companies and large corporations, trade organizations, researchers, technology transfer offices, technology incubators, universities, and venture capital funds. To effectively serve the industry, we bring together lawyers with a variety of experience, including technology and intellectual property, corporate, FDA and USPTO administrative law, litigation, banking and finance, construction, labor, health and so on.

Four of our lawyers are members of the patent bar and have degrees in chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, mechanical engineering and math. The lawyers in our group are active in scientific, legal and technology associations. Some have developed corporate or litigation practices focused on technology clients. As part of our involvement in the Life Sciences, our lawyers serve on boards of incubators, technology councils, trade associations, and civic and business promotion organizations. Our attorneys have been recognized in national and international publications, including the Chambers USA guides, The Legal 500, and Best Lawyers in America.

Administrative Law

Our attorneys have years of experience in representation at the USPTO, IRS, insurance boards, construction permits, obtaining green standard certifications, EPA, EEO and other agencies.

Intellectual Property

Our technology and intellectual property attorneys work closely with Life Sciences clients to help them identify, protect, expand, license and leverage their assets. Our proven experience and capabilities include, among others:

  • patent and trademark procurement
  • IP audits
  • IP asset analysis
  • counseling in regard to freedom-to-operate, validity, enforceability, infringement, and the designing around commercialization blocks
  • the design and implementation of IP protection strategies and policies
  • negotiating domestic and international licenses, R&D agreements, tech transfer agreements, strategic alliances, joint ventures and other partnering agreements
  • the interface of antitrust, unfair competition and other trade regulation matters
  • litigation in federal and state courts, and in proceedings before a wide range of administrative agencies, including the Patent and Trademark Office, the International Trade Commission and the Internet Corporation for Assigned names (ICANN).

Our IP attorneys have prosecuted hundreds of patents in a number of arts, including biology, chemistry, and medical devices. They have over 170 patents under current active prosecution in national and international jurisdictions, including prosecution under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, at the European Patent Office and in countries around the world.

Food and Drug

We have experience with medical devices, pharmaceuticals (including innovator, generic and biologics), foods and dietary supplements, regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Our team includes patent practitioners and products liability attorneys. From the bench to the bedside, Whiteford attorneys can assist you navigate through the complex world of food and drug law.

We have the experience to assist your company with regulatory challenges including:

  • prepare and submit product applications, including Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies
  • review labeling and promotional materials for compliance with the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), the Public Health Service Act, and related Federal statutes
  • engage in or defend patent challenges under the FD&C Act's Hatch-Waxman patent certification provisions
  • defend state tort claims based on the FDA-approved labeling of your product

Business & Corporate

Our business and corporate services range from the selection and formation of an appropriate business entity tailored to your individual situation and needs, through the services required at the end of a business's life, including succession planning, business sales and mergers, or liquidation and dissolution. We advise our clients on all aspects of financing, securities offerings, stockholder and employment agreements, stock incentive programs, tax planning and many other legal issues as they arise.

International Capabilities

In addition to prosecuting both national and international patents, our biotechnology attorneys have also conducted global product clearance studies, participated in Life Sciences litigation before tribunals in foreign countries, and overseen work conducted by foreign law firms. Attorneys in our International practice offer strategic business services, dispute resolution, regulatory guidance, and development assistance.


Our Litigation lawyers practice before a wide range of tribunals, including all state and federal trial and appellate courts in the region as well as a wide variety of administrative agencies, and alternative dispute resolution forums. They are well experienced in handling cases involving technology and intellectual property, product liability, business, commercial, government contracts, bankruptcy, and labor and employment, among other matters.

Real Estate and Construction

Every business needs a base. Whether you rent or own, our Real Estate attorneys are ready to help you get the space you need. Our Construction attorneys have been involved in the creation of specialized spaces, including hospitals and laboratories. The LEED certified lawyers in our Green Building group can help you save energy and costs for years to come.

Client Alert: Maryland General Assembly Maintains $6 Million Biotechnology Tax Credit

The Maryland General Assembly has approved funding of the Biotechnology Tax Credit for FY 2010 at $6 million, the same amount allocated last year.  While the Budget Bill has yet to be signed by Governor Martin T. O’Malley, it does not appear that he will reject the allocation.  The General Assembly also passed HB493/SB880 extending the credit to individuals who invest in Maryland biotechnology companies.

Marking Goods as "Patented" Will Likely Come Under More Scrutiny as the Penalty for False Marking is Increased

Patent marking refers to the practice of labeling an article sold in commerce with words implying that a patent or a patent application covers those goods. False marking covers situations where the articles are marked as "patented" or "patent pending" and this is not true. 35 U.S.C. ยง292. Recent court decisions discussed below have reinterpreted the false marking statute.

Client Alert: Recovery Act Reporting Requirements May Harm Recipients

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed in 2009 with the goal of stimulating the economy. Twenty-eight different agencies were allocated a portion of the Recovery Act funds and they awarded grants and contracts to different entities. Beginning in October, recipients of money from the Act are required to report quarterly on how they spend funds they received. These reports will be made available to the public on the website to "achieve an unprecedented level of transparency into how Federal funds are spent." (See NSF's Recovery Act Recipient Reporting Information, While it is important for the public to know how the Recovery money is being spent, this unparalleled level of transparency may be harmful to some recipients.