Skip to main content

Melissa J. Brayman, PhD


Special Counsel

[email protected]



Melissa’s practice focuses on the preparation and prosecution of US and international patent applications. A registered patent attorney, Melissa has managed patent portfolios involving a wide range of technologies, including biofuels, personalized medicine, cancer therapeutics, tissue grafts, biological products, immunology, plant biotechnology, and stem cells.

Her experience includes preparing freedom to operate and patentability reports for biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients, conducting due diligence and evaluating patent portfolios in preparation for capital investment, preparing memoranda on inventorship, and interviewing cases at the USPTO. Prior to joining Mintz, she was an associate in the San Diego office of another international law firm.

Before she earned her law degree, Melissa was a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego, where she studied the regulation of hypothalamic GnRH neurons by steroid hormones. Her PhD thesis was titled, “Progesterone Regulation of the Human MUC1 Gene in Uterine Epithelial Cells.” She also earned an MBA with a concentration in new venture creation.

In addition to her intellectual property practice, Melissa has an active pro bono practice, and has worked on a number of immigration cases for pro bono clients.


  • University of San Diego School of Law (JD, magna cum laude)
  • University of Delaware (MBA)
  • University of Delaware (PhD, Biological Sciences)
  • University of Delaware (BA, Biological Sciences)

Recognition & Awards

  • Order of the Coif
  • CALI Awards: Property, Evidence, Corporations, and Public International Law


  • Committee Member, Biocom Intellectual Property and Patent Law Committee
  • Chair, Industrial Biotechnology Subcommittee, Biotechnology Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (2016 – present)
  • Co-chair, Mintz Pride Steering Committee


Pro Bono Viewpoint
Read the story of a transgender woman who fled her village in Mexico, was then kidnapped, drugged, and forced into sex work in San Diego. Years later, a client helped her jump out a window to freedom and a better life. Partnering with Casa Cornelia, a public interest law center, Special Counsel Melissa Brayman provided pro bono legal services to help the woman secure a T1 visa — an immigration option for victims of human trafficking — and work authorization to get a job.
Read more
Viewpoint-Landing Intellectual Property Mintz

Year in Review: The Most Popular IP Posts of 2019

January 6, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

As 2020 begins and intellectual property (IP) strategies are being developed for the new year, it is a good time to reflect on what IP issues were prominent in 2019.  According to many readers, hot topics included § 112 written description, prosecution history estoppel, and venue in the wake of TC Heartland.
Read more
Practice Hero Patent Prosecution Mintz
Claim construction, the process by which a court interprets the scope and meaning of a patent’s claims, is a crucial part of patent litigation. In fact, claim construction can make or break a patentee’s case for infringement and/or validity.
Read more
Viewpoint Thumbnail

Director Iancu Roundtable with BIOCOM San Diego

May 20, 2019 | Blog | By Marc Morley, Melissa Brayman

Andrei Iancu, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, believes that the U.S. needs a strong patent system in order to excel and thrive in the global economy.  He has made strengthening the U.S. patent system a core part of his mission responsibilities. Director Iancu has been travelling across the country and speaking with various patent stakeholders. As part of this effort, he met with BIOCOM’s Board of Directors and Intellectual Property Committee in San Diego on April 18, 2019. 
Read more

When Public Use Qualifies for the Experimental Use Exception to 35 U.S.C. § 102(b)

July 24, 2018 | Blog | By Marc Morley, Melissa Brayman

Some inventions require testing before they are ready for patenting, and sometimes that testing requires use by the public. A recent decision from the Federal Circuit provides additional guidance on what activities qualify for the experimental use exception to the public use bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
Read more