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About Heather

Heather Flanagan, Ph.D., pairs her strong scientific background with her experience in intellectual property to provide strategic, client-centered service. From patent prosecution and counseling to opinions and due diligence, with an emphasis on development and management of patent portfolios, her robust, value-driven approach stands out.

Startups, academic and research institutions, and Fortune 500 companies turn to Dr. Flanagan to protect their innovations in chemistry and related fields, including food additives and nutraceuticals, consumer products, petrochemistry, polymers, nanotechnology, and renewable energy. She has a particular interest in advanced materials, including electronic, energy, engineering, functional, healthcare, optical, and sustainable materials.

Dr. Flanagan enjoys advising and mentoring others who are considering or pursuing careers in intellectual property and embraces opportunities through alumni groups and professional organizations. She is also an enthusiastic drill sergeant at the firm’s Patent Boot Camp, a well-honed, practical training program designed to steep interested clients and new Fish legal staff in the firm’s collective patent prosecution wisdom across a range of technologies.

Committed to pro bono efforts in the Austin community, Dr. Flanagan volunteers through organizations such as Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas to help individuals and families with a variety of legal issues. She has a special interest in counseling clients at legal clinics.  In 2017, Dr. Flanagan was honored with the first pro bono award from the Honorable Lee Yeakel IP Inn of Court.

Dr. Flanagan has previous law firm experience in patent prosecution, with emphasis in the areas of petrochemistry and medical devices. Prior to joining Fish, she was director of intellectual property and grants at LabNow, Inc., a startup that licensed medical device technology from a major research institution.

Speaking Engagements

American Chemical Society Central Texas Local Section, Science at the Spa – Speaker

Austin IPLA: Ethics in Patent Prosecution, The Long Arm of the OED — Speaker

ACC Austin: Patent Valuation – Methods and Madness, October 2016 — Speaker

Women in Bio (WIB): Network with Purpose, June 2016 – Speaker

SXSW ECO 2016, Startup Coach

SXSW Interactive 2016 – Startup Village – Pub Quiz: It’s Too Soon to Worry About IP, Right? – Speaker

SXSW ECO 2015 – Startup Coach

SXSW Interactive 2014, Intellectual Property IQ

SXSW ECO 2013 – Breakout Session Leader

SXSW V2V 2013 – Mentor

USPTO Texas Regional Independent Inventors Conference 2012 – “Ask the Expert”

Publications

Client Alert: Written Description as Applied to Continuation Applications (May 25, 2010)

Presentations

IDS Best Practices: Has anything changed since Theresense?, January 2018

Ethics in Patent Prosecution, January 2017

Dow v. Nova: Take Two, October 6, 2015

From Redneck Sofas to Machine Guns: Written Description Requirement Redux, October 13, 2011

§ 112, ¶ 6 in the Life Sciences: Prosecution Hurdles, May 15, 2012

Susan P. Burton Award, Volunteer Legal Services, 2019

2016-2017 Pro Bono Award – The Honorable Lee Yeakel Intellectual Property Inn of Court

Focus Areas
Education

J.D., University of Texas Law School


M.B.A., Decision and Information Sciences, University of Florida


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Harvard University


B.S., Chemistry, University of Georgia

Admissions
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Texas
Memberships & Affiliations

American Chemical Society

American Inns of Court

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Austin Intellectual Property Law Association

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Pathfinder Program, 2017, Pathfinder Program Facilitator, 2018

National Association of Women Lawyers

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