John Van Amsterdam chairs the firm's Biotechnology Group and has over 20 years’ experience in worldwide intellectual property practice. John advises clients in essentially all areas of patent practice, including patent prosecution; counseling; portfolio development and management; post-grant proceedings including inter partes review and reexamination; patent term adjustment and extension; interferences; due diligence for investment and acquisition; patent landscape studies; freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity opinions; and agreements. 

John takes a comprehensive view of intellectual property to ensure that clients obtain meaningful protection that suits their business needs. John has particular proficiency in designing and implementing strategies to obtain strong and strategic patent protection, and to evaluate and develop strategies to remove obstacles to freedom to operate. 

John's experience extends to all areas of biotechnology, medical and pharmaceutical technologies. He has particular understanding of antibody technologies, metabolic engineering of microorganisms, medical technologies, applications of synthetic biology, and sequencing technologies. 

John represents clients from all over the world, including large and mid-size pharmaceutical corporations, innovative biopharmaceutical and biotech companies, start-ups, and cutting-edge academic institutions. He also contributes to several new business and innovation programs at MIT, including the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition.

Prior to joining the firm, John was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Princeton, NJ.

Client testimonial:
"John knows more about our cases than any other patent attorneys anywhere. He remembers the business context of what we have talked about, too."
  • For a biopharmaceutical client concerned its main competitor was going to obtain a patent that could block a key drug candidate, pursued a strategy to obtain claims based on older application that pre-dated competitor’s application, resulting in client obtaining a patent with claims that established a position blocking competitor from obtaining broad claims.
  • To maximize patent term for a client’s licensed drug candidate, developed a strategy using multiple applications to provide flexibility in maximizing both Patent Term Adjustment and Patent Term Extension, resulting in one issued patent and several pending patents (to date).
  • For a client seeking the most appropriate candidates for developing biosimilar drugs, conducted clearance studies, eliminating some as candidates based on patent landscape, thereby saving client money and resources otherwise used to develop the biosimilars.
  • For a client with possible freedom to operate issues based on competitor’s patents, evaluated strategies for eliminating blocking patents, then determined that inter partes reviews would be best and most cost-effective option to provide freedom to operate.
  • For a pharmaceutical client in a crowded technology area, pursued and obtained allowed claims on its next pipeline drug, raising company share price.
  • For client concerned its Japanese corporate partner would not renew its partnership, possibly leading to reduced share price, traveled to meet with and convince partner of patents’ value, resulting in partnership renewal worth several hundred million dollars to client.
  • For a client that had a contentious relationship with a competitor that owned blocking patents, prosecuted several interferences—including successful appeal to the Federal Circuit—which resulted in destroying all competitor’s patents while leaving client’s intact. 
  • Boston Patent Law Association
  • Lemelson-MIT Student Prize - Screener
  • MIT $100K Competition - Judge and Mentor
  • MIT Clean Energy Prize Competition - Mentor

John is also chair of the firm's Hiring Committee.



Scientific Publications

Gruda MC, van Amsterdam J, Rizzo CA, Durham SK, Lira S, Bravo R. (1996) Expression of FosB during mouse development: normal development of FosB knockout mice. Oncogene. 16;12(10):2177-85.

Van Amsterdam JR, Wang Y, Sullivan RC, Zarbl H. (1994) Elevated expression of the junB proto-oncogene is essential for v-fos induced transformation of Rat-1 cells. Oncogene. 9(10):2969-76.

Zarbl H, Kho CJ, Boylan MO, Van Amsterdam J, Sullivan RC, Hoemann CD, Afshani VL. (1991) Functional in vitro assays for the isolation of cell transformation effector and suppressor genes. Environ Health Perspect. 93:83-9.

Friedman BA, van Amsterdam J, Fujiki H, Rosner MR. (1989) Phosphorylation at threonine-654 is not required for negative regulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor by non-phorbol tumor promoters. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 86(3):812-6.

Fitts R, Reuveny Z, van Amsterdam J, Mulholland J, Botstein D. (1987) Substitution of tyrosine for either cysteine in beta-lactamase prevents release from the membrane during secretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 84(23):8540-3.

Winslow JW, Van Amsterdam JR, Neer EJ. (1986) Conformations of the alpha 39, alpha 41, and beta.gamma components of brain guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. Analysis by limited proteolysis. J Biol Chem. 261(16):7571-9.
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John Van Amsterdam chairs the firm's Biotechnology Group and has over 20 years’ experience in worldwide intellectual property practice. John advises clients in essentially all areas of patent practice, including patent prosecution; counseling; portfolio development and management; post-grant proceedings including inter partes review and reexamination; patent term adjustment and extension; interferences; due diligence for investment and acquisition; patent landscape studies; freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity opinions; and agreements. 

John takes a comprehensive view of intellectual property to ensure that clients obtain meaningful protection that suits their business needs. John has particular proficiency in designing and implementing strategies to obtain strong and strategic patent protection, and to evaluate and develop strategies to remove obstacles to freedom to operate. 

John's experience extends to all areas of biotechnology, medical and pharmaceutical technologies. He has particular understanding of antibody technologies, metabolic engineering of microorganisms, medical technologies, applications of synthetic biology, and sequencing technologies. 

John represents clients from all over the world, including large and mid-size pharmaceutical corporations, innovative biopharmaceutical and biotech companies, start-ups, and cutting-edge academic institutions. He also contributes to several new business and innovation programs at MIT, including the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition.

Prior to joining the firm, John was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Princeton, NJ.

Client testimonial:
"John knows more about our cases than any other patent attorneys anywhere. He remembers the business context of what we have talked about, too."
  • For a biopharmaceutical client concerned its main competitor was going to obtain a patent that could block a key drug candidate, pursued a strategy to obtain claims based on older application that pre-dated competitor’s application, resulting in client obtaining a patent with claims that established a position blocking competitor from obtaining broad claims.
  • To maximize patent term for a client’s licensed drug candidate, developed a strategy using multiple applications to provide flexibility in maximizing both Patent Term Adjustment and Patent Term Extension, resulting in one issued patent and several pending patents (to date).
  • For a client seeking the most appropriate candidates for developing biosimilar drugs, conducted clearance studies, eliminating some as candidates based on patent landscape, thereby saving client money and resources otherwise used to develop the biosimilars.
  • For a client with possible freedom to operate issues based on competitor’s patents, evaluated strategies for eliminating blocking patents, then determined that inter partes reviews would be best and most cost-effective option to provide freedom to operate.
  • For a pharmaceutical client in a crowded technology area, pursued and obtained allowed claims on its next pipeline drug, raising company share price.
  • For client concerned its Japanese corporate partner would not renew its partnership, possibly leading to reduced share price, traveled to meet with and convince partner of patents’ value, resulting in partnership renewal worth several hundred million dollars to client.
  • For a client that had a contentious relationship with a competitor that owned blocking patents, prosecuted several interferences—including successful appeal to the Federal Circuit—which resulted in destroying all competitor’s patents while leaving client’s intact. 
  • Boston Patent Law Association
  • Lemelson-MIT Student Prize - Screener
  • MIT $100K Competition - Judge and Mentor
  • MIT Clean Energy Prize Competition - Mentor

John is also chair of the firm's Hiring Committee.

Scientific Publications

Gruda MC, van Amsterdam J, Rizzo CA, Durham SK, Lira S, Bravo R. (1996) Expression of FosB during mouse development: normal development of FosB knockout mice. Oncogene. 16;12(10):2177-85.

Van Amsterdam JR, Wang Y, Sullivan RC, Zarbl H. (1994) Elevated expression of the junB proto-oncogene is essential for v-fos induced transformation of Rat-1 cells. Oncogene. 9(10):2969-76.

Zarbl H, Kho CJ, Boylan MO, Van Amsterdam J, Sullivan RC, Hoemann CD, Afshani VL. (1991) Functional in vitro assays for the isolation of cell transformation effector and suppressor genes. Environ Health Perspect. 93:83-9.

Friedman BA, van Amsterdam J, Fujiki H, Rosner MR. (1989) Phosphorylation at threonine-654 is not required for negative regulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor by non-phorbol tumor promoters. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 86(3):812-6.

Fitts R, Reuveny Z, van Amsterdam J, Mulholland J, Botstein D. (1987) Substitution of tyrosine for either cysteine in beta-lactamase prevents release from the membrane during secretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 84(23):8540-3.

Winslow JW, Van Amsterdam JR, Neer EJ. (1986) Conformations of the alpha 39, alpha 41, and beta.gamma components of brain guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. Analysis by limited proteolysis. J Biol Chem. 261(16):7571-9.