Lorna L. Tanner



Lorna Tanner is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices and also serves as the Team 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.


•Top Intellectual Property Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2018
•Women Leaders in Tech Law, The Recorder, 2017
•Recognized for patent prosecution work, Legal 500, 2011


•Gilead Sciences, Inc. - Prosecuting numerous patent portfolios directed to hepatitis C and cardiovascular approved drugs and drugs in development.
•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.
•Symic Biomedical, Inc. - Developing and prosecuting patents directed to various proteoglycan products in development.
•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.


•Co-author, America Invents Act: Law & Analysis, Wolters Kluwer, 2012

Life Sciences Law Blog Posts

• PTO Cancer Immunotherapy Fast Track, July 6, 2016

Media Mentions

•Aridis Pharmaceuticals’ $26 Million Initial Public Offering
Global Legal Chronicle, September 25, 2018
•Women Leaders in Tech Law: Lorna Tanner, Sheppard Mullin
The Recorder, October 2, 2017
•Sheppard Mullin Adds Finance, Patent Pros In Bay Area
Law360, August 13, 2013


•Drug Repurposing: Opportunities and Challenges
Presented by UCSF-CTSI Catalyst Awards
September 16, 2014

Areas of Practice (4)

  • Healthcare
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patent Prosecution and Counseling
  • Life Sciences and FDA

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
650.815.2658  Phone
650.815.4692  Fax
University Attended:
University of California, Berkeley, B.S., Chemistry, 1999
Law School Attended:
Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., Articles Editor, Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, 2002
Year of First Admission:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; 2002, California

Peer Reviews

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Palo Alto, California

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