Melissa Nowak is a member at COJK, focusing her practice on developing patent portfolios to secure patent protection for her clients' inventions. Melissa works with life science and biotechnology companies, universities, and non-profit research organizations to successfully obtain patent protection using practical and cost-efficient approaches.

Melissa's areas of particular technical expertise include molecular biology, immunology, genetics, and neurosciences. Representative client technologies include applications relating to kinase inhibitors, fluorophore-protein conjugates, pH monitoring systems, microfluidic devices, DNA isolation and purification, high throughput drug screening, bacterial inhibitors, peptides, nanoparticles, antibiotic compounds, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, transcription modules, somatic embryogenesis, cellulose fibers, and dietary and nutritional supplements.  In addition, Melissa has experience handling appeals before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Prior to entering law school, Melissa's graduate research in comparative immunology focused on the genetic diversity of antibody light chains in monotremes. Melissa also worked as a research assistant in the field of neurosciences, where her research focused on neuronal-specific RNA binding proteins and neuronal plasticity. The results of her research have been published in prominent scientific journals.

Melissa is a member of the firm's trademark practice group and has experience in all aspects of trademark practice including worldwide trademark search and clearance, preparation and prosecution of trademark applications, and trademark enforcement and defense. Melissa has worked with clients in many different industries including video games, online media, music, consumer electronics, sporting goods, pharmaceuticals, and dietary and nutritional supplements, and has provided valuable in-house attorney services for trademark clients. In addition, Melissa has handled appeals and opposition proceedings before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Melissa also counsels clients in the areas of copyright protection and infringement.

Melissa is a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and currently serves as vice chair of the organization’s Public Information Committee, which prepares and publishes information on trademarks and brands for the general public. Melissa is recognized for her skill in trademark law by World Trademark Review in the 2017 - 2019 editions of WTR 1000 – The World's Leading Trademark Professionals, and is recommended for patent prosecution in Intellectual Asset Management's guide, IAM Patent 1000 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals in 2018.  Melissa is proficient in French.

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  • Professional Experience

    • Christensen O'Connor Johnson KindnessPLLC
      Seattle, WA, 2006 – present
  • Technical Experience

    • Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant
      Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, 2000 – 2002
    • Research Assistant
      Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico, 1997 – 2000
    • Laboratory Technician
      Rock-Tenn Corporation, 1996 - 1997
  • Professional Affiliations

    • Washington State Patent Law Association
    • International Trademark Association (INTA)
      Vice Chair, Public Information Committee
  • Presentations & Publications

    Publications

    • “TCR Gamma Chain Diversity in the Spleen of the Duckbill Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus),” Developmental & Comparative Immunology, Vol. 30, Issue 8, 2006, pp. 699-710, Parra, Z.E., Arnold, T., Nowak, M.A., Hellman, L., and Miller, R.D.
    • “The Complexity of Expressed Kappa Light Chains in Egg-Laying Mammals,” Immunogenetics, Vol. 56, Issue 8, 2004, pp. 555-563, Nowak, M.A., Parra, Z.E., Hellman, L., and Miller, R.D.
    • “Increased Expression and Localization of the RNA-Binding Protein HuD and GAP-43 mRNA to Cytoplasmic Granules in DRG Neurons During Nerve Regeneration,” Experimental Neurology, Vol. 183, Issue 1, 2003, pp. 100-108, Anderson, K.D, Merhege, M.A., Morin, M., Bolognani, F., and Perrone-Bizzozero, N.I.
    • “Overexpression of HuD, but Not of Its Truncated Form HuD I+II, Promotes GAP-43 Gene Expression and Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells in the Absence of Nerve Growth Factor. J,” Neurochemistry, Vol. 75, Issue 3, 2000, pp. 1103-1114, Anderson, K.D, Morin, M.A., Beckel-Mitchener, A., Mobarak, C.D., Neve, R.L., Furneaux, H.M., Burry, R., and Perrone-Bizzozero, N.I.
    • “The RNA-Binding Protein HuD Is Required for GAP-43 mRNA Stability, GAP-43 Gene Expression, and PKC-dependent Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells,” Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 11, Issue 9, 2000, pp. 3191-3203, Mobarak, C.D., Anderson, K.D., Morin, M., Beckel-Mitchener, A., Rogers, S.L., Furneaux, H., King, P., and Perrone-Bizzozero, N.I.
    • “Overexpression of HuD Accelerates Neurite Outgrowth and Increases GAP-43 mRNA Expression in Cortical Neurons and Retinoic Acid-Induced Embryonic Stem Cells in Vitro,” Experimental Neurology, Vol. 168, Issue 2, 2001, pp. 250-258, Anderson, K.D., Sengupta, J., Morin, M., Neve, R.L., Valenzuela, C.F., and Perrone-Bizzozero, N.I.

Education

    • J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law, 2005
    • M.S., Biology, University of New Mexico, 2002
    • B.S., Biology, University of Georgia, 1996

Bar & Court Admissions

    • United States Patent and Trademark Office
    • Washington State Bar
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