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Dr. Teresa Lavoie’s national practice focuses on strategic patent counseling, prosecution, and portfolio development advice, including patent opinions, due diligence, freedom-to-operate analyses, and life cycle management strategies. Her clients range from start-up and emerging companies developing life-saving therapeutics and diagnostics to academic and research institutions inventing disruptive platform technologies for the biotechnology and biopharma industries. She has extensive experience in the areas of small-molecule and biologic pharmaceuticals (including antibody technologies and immunotherapies, such as CAR-T therapies), drug formulation and drug delivery technologies, diagnostics, clean and alternative (animal- and environmentally-friendly) food technologies, protein biochemistry and engineering, cell systems engineering, nanotechnologies, plant biotechnology and genomics, and green/environmental chemistries. Dr. Lavoie also has significant transactional experience in various aspects of IP licensing, including sponsored research, feasibility, and development and commercialization agreements.

A Principal in the Twin Cities office of Fish & Richardson, Dr. Lavoie’s clients are located in the major biotechnology, academic/research institution, and start-up clusters around the country and the world, including San Francisco, Cambridge/Boston, and San Diego. Representative clients include: Array BioPharma, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Carmot Therapeutics, Cell Design Labs, Compass Therapeutics, Concert Pharmaceuticals, Cocoon Biotech, IFM Therapeutics, Impossible Foods, Loxo Oncology, Melinta Therapeutics, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and Samumed.

In addition to her work on behalf of clients, Dr. Lavoie runs the firm’s well-regarded Patent Boot Camp, an immersive 2.5-day program designed to intensely train junior attorneys and patent agents of the firm and firm clients in the skills of strategic and value-focused patent prosecution.

Dr. Lavoie’s passion for advancing women in the legal industry and her involvement in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in both STEM and law has been a hallmark of her legal practice and volunteer commitments throughout her career. She is currently Chair of Fish & Richardson’s EMPOWER Initiative. EMPOWER (Enrichment, Mentorship, Partnering, Opportunities, Wisdom, Excellence, and Responsibility) seeks to address issues of unique importance to women in the legal profession and provide expanded professional and business development opportunities, mentoring, training, and support to the firm’s female legal staff. She is also a member of the firm’s Compensation Committee. In addition, Dr. Lavoie serves as Co-Chair of the Equity Committee for Minnesota Women Lawyers, a volunteer organization dedicated to advancing the success of women attorneys and striving for a just society.

Recently, Dr. Lavoie endowed The Anna E. Lavoie Memorial Lectureship at Providence College in tribute to her late mother. Its purpose is to encourage undergraduates to consider a wide array of career paths in the sciences through interaction with distinguished scientists and other professionals. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, teaching Biotechnology Patent Law.

Prior to joining Fish, Dr. Lavoie worked as an Intellectual Property Specialist for Epix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1996-2000), as a Special Projects Coordinator for Environmental Waste Management Associates, Inc. (1995-1996), and as a Research Assistant at Princeton University (1990-1995).

Personal photo


J.D., University of Minnesota Law School 2002
magna cum laude, Order of the Coif

Ph.D., Princeton University 1996

M.A., Princeton University 1993

B.S., Providence College 1989
summa cum laude


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 1998
  • Minnesota 2003

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Global Board
Co-Chair, Equity Committee, Minnesota Women Lawyers

Other Distinctions


Minnesota Lawyer named Dr. Lavoie “2017 Attorney of the Year” (2017).

Dr. Lavoie is recognized as a 2017-2019 WIPR Leader, a 2016-2018 “Top Women in IP” by Managing Intellectual Property, an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property (2013-2018), and a 2016-2018 “Life Sciences IP Star” by LMG Life Sciences. In 2015, she received a “Women Worth Watching” Award from Profiles in Diversity Journal. In 2009, she was named a Top 25 “Women to Watch” by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and in 2006 she was voted an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Minnesota Lawyer.

Selected presentations and publications

Dr. Lavoie has numerous scientific publications directed to her doctoral research studying the structure-function implications and energetics of protein folding and protein-DNA interactions.

Recently, she was co-author of “Beyond Checklists: A Framework for Biopharma Startups,” Minnesota Lawyer, December 14, 2015.

Dr. Lavoie was interviewed for the article “Women Worth Watching,” by Profiles in Diversity Journal (August 2015).

Dr. Lavoie also routinely presents at various life science patent and industry meetings, including the firm’s Life Science Summits, its Boston Biotech Seminar Series, and its Twin Cities Patents on Tap Series.


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