Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D.

Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D., is an Intellectual Property Attorney within the firm’s Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group. Tina is a licensed attorney in Iowa and has been a registered patent attorney before the USPTO since 2019. Tina handles drafting and prosecuting patent applications within large patent portfolios, with global patent prosecution experience in over 15 countries. Tina has also prosecuted applications for universities, corporations, and individual inventors throughout the country, protecting various chemical and life science technologies including, drug delivery systems, animal disease treatments, and chemical products for food service, food processing, healthcare, and industrial markets. In addition to drafting and prosecuting patents, Tina is also involved in providing due diligence analysis for portfolios involving patent protected assets.

Prior to joining McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC, Tina received her Juris Doctorate degree with honors from Drake University Law School, with an Intellectual Property Certificate. Prior to law school, Tina received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. During law school, Tina continued to work as a pharmacist in a community pharmacy practice setting in the Des Moines area.

Outside of work, Tina remains active with the Blackstone American Inn of Court and Polk County Women Attorneys. Tina enjoys opportunities in continuing her musical interests, particularly with the oboe, and is a member of the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble.

  • Biotechnology Patents
  • Chemical Patents
  • International
  • Trademarks
  • Animal Health
  • Chemistry, Material Sciences, and Nanotechnology
  • Food and Beverage Technologies
  • Pharma and Nutra

Professional Associations

Blackstone American Inn of Court

Polk County Women Attorneys

Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association

Iowa State Bar Association


Drake University Law School, J.D., Intellectual Property Certificate, with Honors, May 2018

Drake University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Doctor of Pharmacy, cum laude, May 2016

Publications & Presentations

“A Fresh Perspective, Advice from Young Lawyers, for Young Lawyers”, Legus International 2020 Fall Meeting, November 9, 2020

“Has the Federal Circuit Made it Nearly Impossible to Maintain Genus Claims?”, American Intellectual Property Law Association Chemical Practice Chronicles, Spring/Summer 2021


Bar & Court Admissions

Registered Patent Attorney United States Patent and Trademark Office (2019)

Iowa State Bar (2018)

Iowa Pharmacist License (2016)

Pending Opposition Case with the EPO Raises Caution Over Generalized Assignment Language Within Employment Agreements

The year 2020—and now 2021—has been a busy year for the European Patent Office (EPO) as it works through several oppositions and appeals involving a number of CRISPR patents belonging to The Broad Institute, Inc., Harvard College, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (hereinafter “Patentee”). The EPO Boards of Appeal has already revoked a patent […]

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Has the Federal Circuit Made It Nearly Impossible to Maintain Genus Claims?

A recent denial by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to hear an appeal by Merck’s Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC (Idenix), leaves unanswered questions regarding the overall validity of genus claims, particularly within the biopharma field. The SCOTUS denied a petition for writ of certiorari to clarify certain Section 112 requirements with respect to […]

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Roll Call: Are all Inventors Accounted for in a Foreign Filing with the EPO?

Earlier this month, the European Patent Office (“EPO”) explained why it upheld a decision revoking a patent applied for by Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard (“Broad Institute”) related to CRISPR gene editing. In particular, the decision cited a lack of novelty due to an invalid claim to priority—for inadvertently failing […]

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A New Standard for Multicolored Marks

Whether it is a light blue jewelry box, or a red sole on a high-heel shoe, certain colors allow consumers to immediately associate that color with a specific brand or product. However, whether a color can be trademarked is not simply black and white. As demonstrated by a long and complex history of case law […]

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Potential Rule Changes Affecting Post-Grant Proceedings at the USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proposing changes to a number of rules applied to post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board). The proposed rules, which were published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2020, would affect inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and the transitional program for covered […]

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Patent Pooling and its Contribution to Collaborative IP Attempts at Targeting Patent Access

Growing concerns surrounding effective treatment options for combating Covid-19 has sparked global discussion involving the issue of access to innovations directed toward eradicating the novel virus. Recently, the Costa Rican government requested that the World Health Organization (WHO) create a voluntary patent pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information to be […]

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Disappointment for DABUS as the EPO and UKIPO Conclude Artificial Intelligence Cannot be Named an Inventor

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) recently tackled an issue that has sparked much discussion involving artificial intelligence (AI) innovation. Two patent applications were recently filed via the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, China, Korea, and Taiwan, naming DABUS—an AI machine—as […]

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Meet DABUS: An Artificial Intelligence Machine Hoping to Maintain Two Patent Applications in its own Name

Three patent offices face questions stemming from the growing implications of artificial intelligence (AI) disrupting the intellectual property legal framework. The United States Patent Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), and United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) recently received two patent application filings directed to a beverage container and a flashing device used for attracting […]

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Drafting the Fine Print: Every Word is Significant in a License Agreement

Licensing agreements can be both complex and extensive, however, diligence must be exercised in ensuring that the scope of rights to be transferred are clearly defined. The failure to do so may result in disputes over the interpretation of licensing agreements, where each word and phrase may be painstakingly scrutinized in court. Such disputes arose […]

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First Cannabis-Related Patent Makes its Way through the Federal Courts: What it Teaches, and What it Does Not

In the past 25 years, there has been substantial growth surrounding the developments within the cannabis industry, particularly involving intellectual property protections. With legalization of cannabis gaining traction across the United States, any court guidance can provide a foundation for those seeking patent protection. Opportunely, on April 17, 2019, The District Court for the District […]

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Resolving Circuit Splits: Supreme Court Addresses Issues Regarding Legal Fees

On March 4, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest, Inc. to settle the debate over what “all the expenses” means under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) win-or-lose attorney fee policy. This controversial policy involves seeking attorneys’ fees from applicants, regardless of the outcome of a case. During […]

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