Kirk Ekena is a registered patent agent and experienced patent prosecutor with Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property – Biotechnology, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Patents Group. Before joining the firm, Kirk obtained nearly two decades of experience honing his patent procurement skills at multiple biotech companies and a multinational pharmaceutical company. As a director of intellectual property, he was responsible for the management of a global portfolio of more than 600 patents and patent applications. Kirk also supervised associates in more than 30 countries in the prosecution of foreign applications, filed multiple appeals with the USPTO, and examined new developments to identify potential inventions and evaluate patentability. He has an established record of preparing and prosecuting domestic and international patent applications in the fields of small molecule pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, polymer systems, protein and nucleic acid, and drug development. Kirk has also conducted IP due diligence reviews for several companies.
Kirk received a B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Oregon. After receiving his Ph.D., Kirk was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois.