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Searching beyond the bounds of human intuition to deliver novel products and materials

Patent Attorney

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Zymergen is looking for a patent attorney to help protect newly developed technologies, with a particular focus for the role on developing a patent portfolio around tools and techniques for high throughput genetic engineering of microorganisms.

The individual to fill this role will have the opportunity and should have the acuity to work with individuals throughout the organization including interdisciplinary research teams (e.g., software engineers, data scientists, and biologists), business development, and members of the legal team.

Successful candidates should have demonstrable skills in evaluating new technologies and seeing such technologies through the patenting process from invention disclosure to patent issuance. Candidates will preferably have a strong understanding of U.S. and foreign patent systems, including the patent development, filing and prosecution processes, invention review, patent searching, and freedom-to-operate analyses.

Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

  • Provide counseling on patent and related IP matters to the research community
  • Work with research teams to promote and develop new inventions from research projects, such as new techniques to improve genetic engineering of microorganisms
  • Search potential inventions for patentability, freedom-to-operate, and, as needed, independently draft informed patent applications
  • Work with outside counsel and foreign associates to prepare and prosecute patent applications, and, as needed, independently prepare and prosecute U.S. patent applications
  • Conduct IP audits for various business units and identify areas for protection
  • Support IP development and positioning for new products, including products with complex supply chains
  • Work with the IP Strategy Leader to prepare and implement IP strategy consistent with company development goals
  • Assist with patent portfolio development and management
  • Maintain awareness and contribute to other legal and commercial activities (e.g., customer contracts, licensing, and product development)


  • Must be Active and Registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and either a member of the State bar of California or another U.S. state and eligible to practice law as registered in-house counsel in California OR a **Registered Patent Agent. **
  • Proven experience with patent drafting and prosecution, including direct experience with patent applications directed to tools and techniques for genetic engineering (writing samples of drafted and prosecuted applications will be requested during the interview process)
  • At least three years of experience (or 5 years experience for Patent Agents) preparing and prosecuting U.S. patent applications at companies with a strong genetic engineering focus or law firms working directly for such companies, including familiarity with international patent laws and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
  • Ability to prioritize numerous projects and timely communicate results to diverse stakeholders
  • M.S. or higher degree in a discipline related to genetic engineering (e.g., genetics, microbiology, biochemistry) and a preferably J.D. from a U.S. law school.

Additional Details

  • Research experience in an academic or commercial setting a plus

  • Ph.D. strongly preferred

  • Patent Examiner experience a plus

  • Experience with computer science and algorithm-related patent applications a plus

Legal authorization to work in the U.S. is required. Zymergen may agree to sponsor an individual for an employment visa now or in the future if there is a shortage of individuals with particular skills for this job. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Founded in 2013 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zymergen is a technology company unlocking the power of biology. We deliver better economics for products made from biology that are used across industries, bring new products to market faster, and develop novel products. Our proprietary platform uses robots and machine learning to engineer microbes faster, more predictably, and to a level of performance previously unattainable. These microbes, and the products they produce, have broad applications across industries such as chemicals and materials, agriculture, and healthcare. For more information visit www.zymergen.com.

Zymergen at a glance

Searching beyond the bounds of human intuition to deliver novel products and materials

Zymergen focuses on Robotics, Machine Learning, Software, and Big Data Analytics. Their company has offices in San Francisco Bay Area and Emeryville. They have a large team that's between 501-1000 employees. To date, Zymergen has raised $576M of funding; their latest round was closed on December 2018.

You can view their website at http://zymergen.com or find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Product Hunt.