Lorna Tanner is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices and is the former leader of the firm’s Life Sciences team.

Areas of Practice

Lorna develops global patent portfolios for drugs and biologics. Her practice is centered on counseling dynamic startups and mid-size pharma companies. She has a highly focused practice that aligns patent portfolios for late stage and approved therapeutics with specific business needs, such as product launch, asset acquisition, and third party challenges. She performs due diligence analyses on patent portfolios for financings, mergers and acquisitions, and renders opinions on infringement, inventorship, and freedom-to-operate.

Lorna’s technical emphasis is in pharmaceutically active small molecules in clinical development with a primary focus on developing and executing patent strategies for late-stage and approved drugs. She has experience in a variety of other technologies, including: biologics such as antibodies, modified proteins and viruses; biopolymers; drug delivery, including pulmonary, topical, and pharmaceutical formulations; and medical devices, including aesthetic devices, syringes, catheters and embolic coils. Lorna also has experience with green technologies and agricultural products.



  • Gilead Sciences, Inc. - Prosecuting numerous patent portfolios directed to hepatitis C and cardiovascular approved drugs and drugs in development.
  • Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. - Developing and prosecuting patent portfolio directed to voxelotor and other
    compounds in the pipeline.
  • Denali Therapeutics, Inc. - Prosecuting numerous patent portfolios directed to several targets.
  • Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Developing and prosecuting patents directed to anticoagulant drugs and biologics.
  • Plexxikon Inc. – Developing and prosecuting patents directed to oncology drugs and drug candidates.
  • Outside patent counsel to publicly traded biopharma company, prosecuting patents relating to drug candidates for treating anemia.
  • Outside patent counsel to numerous emerging biopharma companies developing and prosecuting patents directed to drug discovery assays, medical devices and combination drug products.



Top 250 Women in IP, Managing Intellectual Property, 2023

Global IP Strategist, IAM Strategy 300 Global Leaders, 2022-2023

Leading IP Strategist, IAM Strategy 300, 2022

Leading Lawyer, Intellectual Property: Patent Prosecution – California, Chambers USA, 2022-2023

Patent Strategy Attorney of the Year - California, LMG Life Sciences, 2021

Leading Life Sciences Lawyer - Intellectual Property (Patent Strategy & Management), 2021-2022

The World's Leading Patent Professionals, IAM Patent 1000, 2019, 2021-2022

Patent IP Star, Managing Intellectual Property, 2020-2022

Intellectual Property Star, Patent Strategy & Management, LMG Life Sciences, 2019

Top Intellectual Property Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2018-2019

Women Leaders in Tech Law, The Recorder, 2017

Recognized for patent prosecution work, Legal 500, 2011


Media Mentions



J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 2002, Articles Editor of the Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal

B.S., University of California, Berkeley, 1999


  • California
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
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