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About Dorothy

Dorothy P. Whelan is a senior principal in the Twin Cities office of Fish & Richardson P.C. Ms. Whelan co-chairs the firm’s post-grant practice group. She was the first woman to serve on the firm’s management committee, and also served on the firm’s compensation committee.

Ms. Whelan’s practice emphasizes post-grant proceedings, client counseling, strategic patent portfolio design and management, due diligence investigations, and freedom-to-operate studies, particularly in the chemical and materials science areas. She has extensive experience in post-grant proceedings, having provided the strategic direction for hundreds of post-grant matters involving both challenging and defending patents. When the patents are also the subject of co-pending litigation, Ms. Whelan works closely with the firm’s litigation team to design and implement an integrated strategy.

Ms. Whelan develops creative, cost-effective solutions for her clients, which range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Representative technologies include batteries, fuel cells, medical devices and materials, adhesives, optical films, polymer processing, pharmaceuticals, and filtration devices.

Ms. Whelan writes and speaks extensively on topics related to post-grant proceedings and is the co-host of Fish’s Post-Grant for Practitioners webinar series, as well as being a frequent speaker and panelist at industry and legal seminars. In previous years, Ms. Whelan spoke regularly at Fish’s Challenging Patent Validity in the USPTO webinar series. Ms. Whelan is also a frequent contributor to the firm’s dedicated post-grant website, www.fishpostgrant.com.

Publications

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Named a “Leading Patent Professional” and recommended for post-grant proceedings by IAM Patent 1000 (2012-2013, 2016-2021)
  • Recognized as a notable practitioner in Intellectual Property, Chambers USA: Minnesota (2020-2021)
  • Named a “Life Science Star” by LMG Life Sciences (2017-2020)
  • Named  to the “Top 50 Women in PTAB Trials” by the PTAB Bar Association (2019)
  • Named a “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property (2013-2020)
  • Named “Post Grant Proceedings Attorney of the Year” by LMG Life Sciences (2018)
  • Named “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer (2017-2018)
  • Named to the “Top 250 Women in IP” by Managing Intellectual Property (2016-2020)
  • Named “Life Sciences MVP of the year” by Law360 (2017)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America– Intellectual Property (2014, 2013, 2011, 2008, 2007) and Patent Law (2021, 2020, 2019, 2016, 2015, 2011), and Minneapolis Patent Law Lawyer of the Year (2014 and 2020)
  • Named to the “Top 250 Women in IP” by Euromoney (2013)
  • Named a “Top Patent Prosecutor” by Patent Research Review/Patent Buddy (2011)
  • Received “Women in Business/Industry Leader Award” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (2010)
  • Named a Super Lawyer (2003, 2006-2013)
Focus Areas
Education

J.D. magna cum laude, Boston College Law School (1987) Member, Boston College Law Review


S.M., Polymers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1984)


B.S., Chemistry, Yale University (1981)

Admissions
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 1989
  • Massachusetts 1987
  • Minnesota 1995

What's trending with Dorothy

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News
July 7, 2021
Fish & Richardson Receives Top Rankings in 2021 Edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals
Recognition
News
Event
June 23rd, 2021 | 1:00 pm EDT
Post-Grant for Practitioners Webinar | After Arthrex: What the Supreme Court's Decision Means
Webinar
News
May 26, 2021
Fish & Richardson Ranks in Top “Band 1” Nationwide Rankings for Intellectual Property and ITC Practices in Chambers USA 2021
Press Release
Recognition
News
News
March 11, 2021
Legal Alert: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Arthrex
Legal Alerts
News
News
February 2, 2021
Fish & Richardson Releases 2020 Post-Grant Report
News
News
January 25, 2021
Fish & Richardson Named #1 PTAB Law Firm of 2020 by Managing Intellectual Property
Press Release
Recognition
News
Event
January 28th, 2021 | 2:00 pm EST
2021 PTAB Bar Association Thought Leader Summit
Speaking Engagement
Sponsorship
Event
January 14th, 2021 | 1:30 pm EST
Post-Grant for Practitioners Webinar | Post-Grant: 2020 Year in Review
Webinar
News
November 18, 2020
Dorothy Whelan Interviewed By Minnesota Lawyer, "Breaking the Ice: Practice reinvented with patent challenges"
Media Mention
News
News
October 21, 2020
Legal Alert: USPTO Requests Comments on Discretion to Institute Trials Before the PTAB
Legal Alerts
News
News
September 29, 2020
Fish & Richardson Receives Top Firm Rankings and 14 Principals Named 2020 “Life Sciences Stars” by LMG Life Sciences
Press Release
Recognition
News
News
August 24, 2020
Fish & Richardson Ranked #1 PTAB Law Firm in the U.S. for First Half of 2020 by Managing Intellectual Property
Press Release
Recognition
News
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