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Mark S. Ellinger PhD

Senior Principal


Mark S. Ellinger is a Senior Principal in Fish & Richardson's Twin Cities office. He was the Managing Principal of the Twin Cities office from 2002 to 2009. Dr. Ellinger's practice emphasizes patent prosecution, opinions, due diligence investigations, licensing and counseling in the medical biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, and medical science fields.

Dr. Ellinger's projects have involved subject matter such as genomics, proteomics, gene therapy, xenotransplantation, transgenic animals, transgenic plants, metabolic engineering, immunoassays, nucleic acid-based assays, antisense technology, nucleic acid analogues, microarrays, vaccines, stem cells, medical devices, food science, and potential treatments for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, allergy, arthritis, diabetes, and Alzheimer's Disease.

His litigation experience includes immunodiagnostics, cardiac assays, microsatellite DNA assays, plant genetics, and transgenic animals.

His licensing experience includes university/industry collaborations, patent outlicensing and inlicensing programs, and joint ventures.


  • Minnesota 1989
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office 1991

Memberships and Affiliations

Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School (2011-present). Course: Biotechnology and Patent Law.

Assistant/Associate Professor (tenured), Southern Illinois University (1977-1986). Visiting Scientist, Virus and Cell Biology Research Department, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories (1983-1984). Listed in the 2007 and 2008 editions of Best Lawyers in America in Intellectual Property Law. Named as one of the "Top 40 Intellectual Property Attorneys," Minnesota Law & Politics, June/July 2009.   Named as a "Top Patent Prosecutor" by Patent Research Review/Patent Buddy in 2011. Named the Best Lawyers’ 2013 Minneapolis Patent Law "Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers 2013-2015, and recognized as a Top Rated - AV® Preeminent™ Lawyers in Intellectual Property Law since 2003.

Other Distinctions

Selected publications and presentations
Dr. Ellinger is the author of nineteen scientific publications. The following is a selection of his legal articles.

"DNA Diagnostic Technology: Probing the Problem of Causation in Toxic Torts," Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, 3, 31-73 (1990).

"Genome Projects And Gene Patents: What's Left To Claim?" Technology Law Alert, 27, 1-4 (December 2000).

"Patents And Post-Embryonic Stem Cells: Is There Anything New Under The Sun?" The Journal Of Life Sciences (May 2007).

"Patent Protection For Stem Cells In A Changing Scientific And Legal Environment" Burrill Stem Cell Report, 2, 121-124 (October 2007).

"Patent Protection For Combination Products In The USA" MedTech Business Review, 2, 48-53 (2007).

"U.S. Patent Law Changes Appear Imminent," Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review 2011: 46-47 (co-author with John B. Pegram).

Co-author of treatise and lecturer for Patent Resources Group advanced course, "Pharma & Biotech Strategies for Patent Prosecution, Hatch-Waxman, Litigation and Licensing" (2000-present).


  • BA, Augsburg College 1971
    magna cum laude
  • PhD, University of Minnesota 1976
    Developmental Biology
  • JD, Harvard Law School 1989