Lee is a versatile intellectual property attorney and registered patent agent who advises clients on a broad spectrum of IP matters, from patent prosecution and portfolio management to disputes to transactions. He represents clients across a variety of industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and AgTech and FoodTech.
In his multifaceted work for companies and IP innovators, Lee drafts and prosecutes US and international patents, develops patent strategies, and serves in an advisory role to clients facing disputes before courts in the United States and Canada, and the USPTO. Lee also acts on behalf of investors, emerging companies, and transactional IP counsel in licensing and technology transfer arrangements, research collaborations and partnerships, initial public offerings (IPOs), mergers, and acquisitions.
Lee regularly counsels clients at all stages of growth in order to secure funding, develop and protect their IP portfolios, create long-term strategies, and achieve desired business outcomes. He is often a company’s first lawyer and has deep experience working alongside founders to obtain funding, scale the business, and create profitable exit strategies. Lee is embedded in the life sciences ecosystem and has developed strong relationships with investors, strategic partners, universities, and other incubators, and he frequently writes and speaks on how companies can access capital and maximize their assets.
Prior to joining Mintz, Lee was a partner in the Patents & Innovations group of a leading Silicon Valley-based law firm. He started his career practicing IP law with an international firm based in Canada.
- Advised Zymeworks on patent issues in connection with its exclusive licensing agreement with Jazz Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize zanidatamab, an antibody being studied as a treatment option for biliary tract cancer and gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA).
- Represented biotechnology company BELLUS Health in IP matters covering diligence through initial public offering and follow-on financing. BELLUS develops novel therapeutics for the treatment of refractory chronic cough and other disorders associated with hypersensitization.
- Advised molecular testing company ChromaCode on patent matters related to its $10 million Series C financing from Adjuvant Capital, which is backed by health care investors Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Finance Corporation, and Novartis, among others.
- Represented Northern Biologics, a preclinical company focused on therapeutic antibodies targeting the tumor microenvironment, in all patent matters until it was acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim.
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Co-author, Major Change to European Patent System in 2023 to Impact Patent Owners' Portfolios, IP Litigator (November/December 2022)
Lee Johnson contributed to an overview of the Unitary Patent System (UPS), a major change to the European patent system expected to take effect in the second quarter of 2023 at the earliest. The article also discusses how patent owners can opt out of the new system during a transitional period.Read less
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
- Plant Biotechnology Subcommittee, American Intellectual Property Law Association