Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.

Oliver joined McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. in August 2017 after graduating from George Mason University law school. Prior to law school, Oliver graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. degree from Drake University in Biology and Psychology, and a minor in Biochemistry. It was during his undergraduate years that he began performing research and studied the difference between hypertensive and normotensive resuscitation on the energy status of organs following severe hemorrhage. During and just following his undergraduate years, Oliver also worked for Pioneer Hybrid and Kemin Laboratories, assisting with various research projects and performing quality control. Following his undergraduate degree, Oliver attended Iowa State University as a Multidisciplinary Graduate Education Training Fellow and a Biotechnology Fellow. Oliver received a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Genetics, and received the Excellence in Research Award and Excellence in Teaching Award. His graduate work included research in the embryonic development of hindbrains in mice, the effects of feed restriction in pigs, and the innate immunity in pigs by utilizing various molecular and bioinformatic techniques. Following graduating, Oliver then started a postdoc at Midwestern University. His postdoc research was focused on studying the changes in expression and the mechanisms of control between normal cells and osteosarcomas. Oliver also helped to mentor students with a wide variety of backgrounds in research.

Following his years of research, Oliver then decided to attend law school to study patent law. He went to the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. There he focused on intellectual property. While at school, he spent one summer working at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC and another summer clerking for the Administrative Patent Judges on the Patent Trial and Appeals Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

While not working, Oliver enjoys traveling, kayaking, rafting, camping, and hiking. When he is not out exploring, he also enjoys grilling and cooking, especially Cajun, or catching a movie with friends.

  • Biotechnology Patents
  • Chemical Patents
  • International
  • Licensing
  • Academic Research and Technology Transfer
  • Agritech
  • Animal Health
  • Chemistry, Material Sciences, and Nanotechnology
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharma and Nutra

Professional Associations

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Bar Association

American Chemical Society, Division of Chemistry and the Law

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association


George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, J.D., May 2017

Iowa State University, Ph.D. in Genetics, with honors

Drake University, B.S. in Biology and Psychology


Article, Couture O, Lombardi E, Davis K, Hays E, Chandar N. 2013. Gene expression profiles resulting from stable loss of p53 mirrors its role in tissue differentiation. PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082494.

Article, Chen H, Reed G, Guardia J, Lakhan S, Couture O, Hays E, Chandar N. 2013. Vitamin D directly regulated Mdm2 gene expression in osteoblasts. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 430(1): 370-374.

Dissertation, Prediction and Verification of NF-kB Targets in the Procine MHC Through the use of Sequence Similarity and Pathway Inhibition, Iowa State University, 2011

Article, Couture O, Callenberg K, Koul N, Pandit S, Younes R, Hu Z-L, Dekkers J, Reecy J, Honavar V, Tuggle C. 2009. ANEXdb: an integrated animal ANnotation and microarray EXpression database. Mamm Genome, 20(11-12): 768-777.

Article, Engrav LH, Tuggle CK, Kerr KF, Zhu KQ, Numhom S, Couture OP, Beyer RP, Hocking AM, Carrougher GJ, Ramos MLC, Klein MB, Gibran NS. 2011. Functional Genomics Unique to Week 20 Post Wounding in the Deep Cone/Fat Dome of the Duroc/Yorkshire Porcine Model of Fibroproliferative Scarring. PLoS One, 6(4):e19024.

Article, Uthe JJ, Qu L, Couture O, Bearson SMD, O’Conner AM, McKean JD, Torres YR, Dekkers JCM, Nettleton D, Tuggle CK. 2011. Use of bioinformatic SNP predictions in differentially expressed genes to find SNPs associate with Salmonella colonization in swine. J Animal Breed and Genetics, 128(5):354-365.

Article, Tuggle CK, Bearson SM, Uthe JJ, Huang, TH, Couture OP, Wang YF, Kuhar D, Lunney JK, Honavar V. 2010. Methods for transcriptomic analyses of the porcine host immune response: application to Salmonella infection using microarrays. Vet Immunol Immunopathol, 138(4):280-291.

Article, Towfic F, VanderPlas S, Oliver CA, Couture O, Tuggle CK, West Greenlee MH, Honavar V. 2010. Detection of gene orthology from gene co-expression and protein interaction networks. BMC Bioinformatics, 11:S3.

Article, Barb CR, Hausman GJ, Rekaya R, Lents CA, Lkhagvadorj S, Qu L, Cai W, Couture OP, Anderson LL, Dekkers JC, Tuggle CK. 2010. Gene expression in hypothalamus, live and adipose tissues and food intake response to melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) agonist in pigs expressing MC4R mutations. Physiological Genomics, Physiol Genomics, 41:254-268.

Article, Lkhagvadorj S, Qu L, Cai W, Couture OP, Barb CR, Hausman GJ, Nettleton D, Anderson LL, Dekkers JC, Tuggle CK. 2010. Gene expression profiling of the short-term adaptive response to acute caloric restriction in liver and adipose tissues of pigs differing in feed efficiency. AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 298(2):R494-507.

Article, Lkhagvadorg S, Qu L, Cai W, Couture OP, Barb CR, Hausman GJ, Nettleton D, Anderson LL, Dekkers JC, Tuggle CK. 2009. Microarray gene expression profiles of fasting induced changes in liver and adipose tissues of pigs expressing the melanocortin-4 receptor D298N variant. Physiol Genomics, 38(1); 98-111.

rticle, Ross JW, Ashworth MD,Stein DR, Couture O, Tuggle CK, and Geisert R. 2009. Identification of Differential Gene Expression during Porcine Conceptus Rapid Trophoblastic Elongation and Attachment to the Uterine Luminal Epithelium. Physiol Genomics, 36(3); 140-148.

Article, Tuggle CK, Wang YF, Couture OP, Qu L, Uthe JJ, Kuhar D, Lunney JK, Nettleton D, Dekkers JC, Bearson SM. 2008. Computation integration of structural and function genomics data across species to develop information on the porcine inflammatory gene regulatory pathway. Dev Biol 132; 105-113.

Article, Wang Y, Couture O, Qu L, Uthe J, Bearson S, Kuhar D, Lunney J, Nettleton D, Dekkers J, and Tuggle C. 2007. Analyses of the porcine transcriptional response to Salmonella enterica servovar Choleraesuis suggests novel targets of NF-kB are activated in the mesenteric lymph node. 2008. BMC Genomics, 9;437.

Article, Zhu KQ, Carrougher GJ, Gibran NS, Couture OP, Tuggle CK, Engrav LH. 2008. Expression of Collagen Genes in the cones of skin in the Duroc/Yorkshire porcine model of Fibroproliferative scarring. J Burn Care Res, 29(5); 815-827.

Article, Wang Y, Qu L, Uthe J, Bearson S, Kuhar D, Lunney J, Couture O, Nettleton D, Dekkers J, and Tuggle C. 2007. Global transcriptional response of porcine mesenteric lymph nodes to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. 2007. Genomics, 90(1); 72-84.

Article, Tuggle C, Wang Y, and Couture O. 2007. Advances in swine transcriptomics. International Journal of Biological Sciences, 3(3); 132-152.


“Section 101 Update in Biotech: Recent Patent Eligibility Cases, Procedures, and Guidelines” 255th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, Mar. 2018

“Improved Annotation of the porcine Affymetrix Porcine GeneChip® and Functional Comparison to QIAGEN-NRSP8 Oligonucleotide Array Data” International Society for Animal Genetics, Porta Segura, Brazil, Aug. 2006

O Couture, E Lombardi, K Davis, E Hays, N Chandar. Gene expression profiles resulting from stable and transient loss of p53 mirrors its role in tissue differentiation. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Washington DC, April 2013

O Couture, K Callenberg, N Kaul, S Pandit, R Younes, Z-L Hu, J Dekkers, J Reecy, V Honavar, C Tuggle. ANEXdb: An Integrated Animal ANnotation and EXpression Database. Summer Joint Symposium, Ames, IA, July 2009

O Couture, K Callenberg, N Kaul, R Younes, J Dekkers, V Honavar, C Tuggle. ANEXdb: An Intuitive Animal Microarray Expression and Functional Annotation Database. International Society for Animal Genetics, Amsterdam, Holland, August 2008

O Couture, N Freese, Y Wang, C Tuggle. Confirming bioinformatic prediction of NF-kB target genes in the porcine immune response to Salmonella. Midwest Symposium on Computation Biology and Bioinformatics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, Oct 2007

O Couture, B Brown, J Recknor, S-H Zhao, T Scheetz, D Nettleton, T Casavant, C Tuggle. Bioinformatic Integration of two Commercially Available Porcine Transcript Profiling Platforms. International Society for Animal Genetics, Porta Segura, Brazil, August 2006

O Couture, X Zhao, S-H Zhoa, J Recknor, S Lkhagvadorg, L Qu, D Nettleton, J Dekkers, C Tuggle. Improved Annotation of the Porcine Affymetrix Porcine GeneChip® and Functional Comparison to QIAGEN-NRSP8 Oligonucleotide Array Data. Summer Joint Symposium, Iowa City, IA, Sep 2005

Bar & Court Admissions

District of Columbia 2017

Awards & Recognition

Graduate Research Excellence Award, Iowa State University, 2011

Graduate Teaching Excellence Award, Iowa State University, 2011

Teacher’s Assistant at Iowa State University for Dr. James Colbert in Principles of Biology I Laboratory (2009-2011) and Dr. Phillip Spike in Animal Breeding (2007)

Mentor for the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Iowa State University (2005-2009)

Mentor for the National Institute of Health Computational and Systems Biology Summer Institute, Iowa State University (2007)

Multidisciplinary Graduate Education Training Fellowship, Iowa State University (2005-2007)

Biotechnology Fellowship, Iowa State University (2004-2005)

Right to Repair: Infringement or Exhaustion Part 2

This post is part 2 of a series of posts relating to a person’s right to repair your purchased products. Part 1 discussed the general background and several policy arguments surrounding both sides of this issue. This post will discuss the main patent laws and legal doctrine related to the right to repair. The central […]

Read Post →

Right to Repair: Can you fix your own things? Part 1

This post is part 1 of a set of posts relating to a person’s right to repair your things. When you buy a thing, you expect the thing to at least work as intended. The thing is usually even warranted for at least a little while to be useable as intended by the manufacturer. However, […]

Read Post →

Comparing Apples to Pears

Earlier this year, Apple, the holders of one of the strongest and most recognizable trademarks in the world, filed an opposition on the last day possible to a trademark application filed by Super Healthy Kids. Super Healthy Kids is a small business, currently only having around five employees, and created an iOS and Android application […]

Read Post →

USPTO Publishes Revised Ninth Edition of the MPEP

In June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the newest revisions to the Ninth Edition of the Manuel of Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP). The revisions update the MPEP to include all the changes that became effective as of October 2019. This revision updates every section of the MPEP, except for Chapters 1100 […]

Read Post →

Strong Patents Encourge Research into Emergent Diseases

Scientists have been asked many questions over the past few months, such as why the current pandemic was not prevented or what would be needed to prevent future outbreaks of emergent diseases. The short answer is vastly more research needs to be done. Emergent diseases are, by definition, diseases which have not appeared before within […]

Read Post →

Supreme Court Declines to Further Deal with 101

On January 13, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in five additional patent cases involving 101, including Athena, Vanda, and Berkheimer. Many sides, including industry, academics, and the government, were encouraging the Supreme Court to uptake at least one case in order to help clarify or define the Alice/Mayo framework. However, even given the pressure, the Supreme Court still denied every case. Further, […]

Read Post →

Update from the AIPLA Biotech Committee Meeting

At the recent American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conference the AIPLA Biotechnology Committee met to discuss two biotechnology issues: 35 USC 101 legislation and treatment of genetic resources (GR) and traditional knowledge (TK). Bob Stoll, former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO and member of AIPLA’s 101 taskforce led the 101 discussion as part […]

Read Post →

Update from the AIPLA Biotech Committee

At the recent American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conference, the AIPLA Biotechnology Committee met to discuss two biotechnology issues: 35 USC 101 legislation, and treatment of genetic resources (GR) and traditional knowledge (TK). Bob Stoll, former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO and member of AIPLA’s 101 taskforce, led the 101 discussion as part […]

Read Post →

US Courts Tripping over TRIPS

This summer, the Australian Federal Court went the other way in Sequenom, Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. than the US, finding that the method of detecting fetal DNA in maternal blood to be eligible subject matter and that the patent was valid and infringed. While the Federal Circuit described the invention as “truly meritorious” and […]

Read Post →

40 Years on, Bayh-Dole is Stronger than Ever

The Bayh-Dole Act was passed in 1980 and is arguably one of the most successful pieces of bipartisan legislation ever passed. The first line of the Act says, “It is the policy and objective of the Congress to use the patent system to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federally supported research or development….” […]

Read Post →

Is Congress Finally Doing their Constitutional Duty?

On June 4, 5, and 11, 2019 the Senate Intellectual Property Sub-Committee held hearings regarding the new proposed changes to patent statutes, including to Sections 100, 101, and 112. The Sub-Committee will be hearing from a total of 45 witness on both sides of the debate. Most of the attention during the June 4th and […]

Read Post →

USPTO Updates 112 Guidance: Presumption Shift of Functional Limitations

Recently, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced plans to update their guidance on functional claim language under 112 and will after a period of public input. This update will likely require a more detailed specification for functional claims or result in narrower claims. Under the proposed 112 guidelines, which are aimed […]

Read Post →

USPTO Updates 101 Guidance: Making Abstract More Concrete

Recently the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced plans to update their guidance on 101 issues and will do so after a period of public input in order to increase clarity during prosecution. This update will replace, not just update, several sections of MPEP 2106. The update will also provide practitioners a […]

Read Post →

Has Alice Killed all the Fun?

Games, both the physical board and the methods of playing them, have had a long history of patent eligibility. For example, in 1904 Elizabeth Phillips patented the game board for Landlord’s Game, which was then later controversially patented by Charles Darrow in 1934 as Monopoly. While both of these patents were to the physical boards […]

Read Post →

The Rollercoaster Ride of Gene Therapy

Gene therapy has had several ups and downs since the idea of editing genes for therapy was first published in 1972. While there have been several instances of successful attempts of treatment in humans, there have also been cases failures which have, at times, temporarily halted clinical studies. One of the main issues with gene […]

Read Post →

PTAB Makes Broadest Interpretation on Estoppel in IPRs

Drafting post grant proceeding petitions needs to be done carefully due to their limited space. Last week, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) further increased the pressure to use the limited number of words effectively when Kingston Technology Company, Inc. v. Spex Technologies, Inc. (Case IPR2018-01002) was entered. Kingston, the petitioner, attempted to file […]

Read Post →

CRISPR: Broad Institute Holds onto its Piece of Pie, and it’s Delicious!

On Monday, September 10th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) upheld the decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on the interference between the Broad Institute and the University of California. The PTAB held, and the CAFC upheld, that given the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, one skilled in […]

Read Post →

AUTM’s Recommends Narrow Changes to NIST on the ROI Initiative

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently issued a public Request for Information for the Return on Investment (ROI) Initiative. The Association of Technology Managers (AUTM), who supports the ROI Initiative, stresses in their response that the fundamental principles of the Bayh-Dole Act be preserved. As pointed out by AUTM, Bayh-Dole has significantly […]

Read Post →

USPTO Director Andrei Lancu Takes a Look at Early Prosecution

This week, the USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. In his written statement Director Iancu wrote on topics related to early prosecution that would result in lower costs to clients and would speed up the process of obtaining a patent. A new pilot program that will allow for a pre-search Examiner […]

Read Post →

Patentability and Patent Protection: Is the Pendulum Starting to Swing Back?

The latest US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center’s International IP Index still places the US on top overall for intellectual property. However, this is due to strength in enforcement of copyrights and trademarks, and improvements in identifying counterfeit goods before they enter the country. According the to Index, the US has dropped to […]

Read Post →

Stay in Touch

Receive the latest news and updates from us and our attorneys.

Sign Up