VINCENT (VINCE) K. SHIER, Ph.D., a partner in the firm's Chemical Patent Prosecution and Post Grant Patent practice groups, leads the team responsible for reexaminations and reissues in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, biomedicine, genetics, molecular biology, and pharmaceuticals.
As the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Central Reexamination Unit has become a viable alternative to traditional litigation-based validity challenges, a significant portion of Dr. Shier’s work has become focused on post-grant proceedings. This includes reexamination and reissue practice on behalf of patent holders and third-party challengers. Additionally, he counsels patent holders on the strategic benefits of self-initiated and third-party requests for reexamination.
Consistent with his role as a team leader in the Post Grant Patent practice group, Dr. Shier actively contributes to the firm’s Patents Post Grant Law Blog, sharing insights and commentary on a complex array of existing and proposed post-grant options, observed trends, practice tips and news relating to patent reexamination, reissue and the new post grant procedures introduced by the Leahy Smith America Invents Act. He also speaks throughout the world to clients, attorneys and the chemical industry on reexaminations conducted concurrently with litigation, obviousness, and general patent prosecution in the United States.
Dr. Shier has also worked in other high-stakes areas before the USPTO where he has experience in interference proceedings. Additionally, he has worked extensively in the patent prosecution highway and accelerated examination programs before the USPTO.
As a prosecuting attorney, Dr. Shier’s work also involves preparing and prosecuting patent applications in diversified technologies within the chemical and biotechnology disciplines involving genetics, molecular biology, therapeutic methods, pharmaceuticals, DNA microarray technology, plants, food products, and a diverse array of chemical products and processes. Another aspect of Dr. Shier’s practice entails client counseling and the development of patent portfolio management strategies.
While earning his Ph.D. in biological chemistry, Dr. Shier conducted his thesis research under the direction of Professor Stephen J. Benkovic (a member of the National Academy of Sciences), which focused on the characterization and inhibition of an essential, non-restriction/modification adenine DNA methyltransferase from Caulobacter crescentus. This enzyme served as a paradigm for cell-cycle regulation in alpha-proteobacteria and served as the model for the targeted development of novel antibacterial agents to selectively target pathogenic members of this class of bacteria, including the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and the animal pathogen Brucella abortus. He also conducted extensive research involving kinetic analysis, surface plasmon resonance, and analytical ultracentrifugation.