Katherine A. ("Kassie") Helm, Ph.D., is a first-chair counsel who represents leading innovator pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in patent litigation and patent-adjacent litigation matters. Her doctorate in neuroscience allows her to leverage her scientific background alongside her legal acumen to develop and execute winning positions for life sciences companies in all phases of district court litigation and Federal Circuit and other circuit court appeals, and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She has prevailed in high-stakes cases representing life sciences companies as both plaintiff and defendant in patent infringement actions and as both petitioner and patent owner in Post Grant Reviews (PGRs) and Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) at the PTAB, as well as in interferences and appeals. Patent-adjacent matters are also a significant part of her practice, which includes domestic and international arbitrations, antitrust litigations and related complex commercial disputes in federal and state courts involving IP assets, with breach of contract claims, state law claims involving unjust enrichment and licensing disputes with various joint ventures and drug development collaborations and partnerships. Dr. Helm is fluent in French and frequently involved in patent disputes with multijurisdictional aspects, including post-issuance patent proceedings around the globe. She regularly plays a leading role in coordinated global patent disputes involving co-pending ex-U.S. proceedings involving biologic therapeutics in the European national courts in patent revocation, nullity and infringement actions, as well as in opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO) and on appeal before the Technical Boards. Dr. Helm and her team have also been successful in utilizing U.S. discovery mechanisms under 28 USC § 1782 to assist with foreign patent litigations and EPO proceedings.
Dr. Helm has been selected as a leading practitioner in Who’s Who Legal’s: Thought Leaders USA 2024 and listed as a Future Star by Benchmark Litigation 2024.
In 2023, Dr. Helm was the sole female named a Global Elite Thought Leader for Patent Litigation, individuals who receive the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources, across North America by Who’s Who Legal: Life Sciences. She was highlighted for her ability to “assess and define a global strategy and suggest winning tactics”. Dr. Helm was highly commended by the Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers Awards 2023 in the “Innovation in Healthcare & Life Sciences” category for her work on behalf of Eli Lilly & Co. in a transatlantic patent dispute with Novartis. She was also named among Managing Intellectual Property’s 2023 Top 250 Women in IP. She has been recognized by numerous publications for her expertise, including by IAM Patent 1000 for New York Litigation, where, in 2023, she was described as someone who “excels in biologics litigation and is a go-to for some of the industry’s major players to handle their most important disputes." Previously, in 2022, she was noted by IAM as the "fulcrum" around which Dechert’s Patent Litigation group turns, "who marshals the ensemble’s resources very effectively and gets difficult jobs done for her clients." In 2021, she was praised by the same publication for being "gifted at handling global lawsuits" and in "cases with concurrent patent office proceedings" and "An absolute dynamo who makes significant contributions both to the Dechert practice and to the wider IP community, she never fails to impress." ." In 2022 and 2021, Dr. Helm was appointed to Law360’s Life Sciences Editorial Board. She has also been listed for Patent Litigation and named a Next Generation lawyer for Life Sciences by The Legal 500 US (2021-2023), named a Global Leader in 2021 in life sciences patent litigation by Who’s Who Legal, an Intellectual Property Trailblazer in 2020 by the National Law Journal; the “Best in Patents” in the U.S. by Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards 2020; a leading female lawyer who breaks barriers in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2020 Women Worth Watching in STEM Awards; previously recognized as a Top Intellectual Property Litigator in New York by Super Lawyers; and is routinely listed as a Patent Star by Managing Intellectual Property and a Life Sciences Star by LMG Life Sciences.
Dr. Helm’s recent patent litigation trial successes were profiled as contributing matters to Dechert’s recognition as a Law360 Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year in each of 2022 and 2020, and she was previously named the 2019 winner of the "U.S. Rising Star – Intellectual Property" award from LMG Life Sciences.
Dr. Helm is an active participant in the IP community and an authoritative, sought-after speaker and writer on IP topics in the U.S. and Europe. She has authored over 100 articles, book chapters and commentary on legal and scientific topics, including as a former columnist for Law.com and the ALM media group. She is a current legal columnist on IP issues for Thomson Reuters/Westlaw.
Dr. Helm is committed to advancing women in the profession as a founder of the New York chapter of ChIPs (Chiefs of Intellectual Property), a global nonprofit organization with thousands of members dedicated to advancing and connecting women in law, technology and regulatory policy. She is also a founder of the Lead Counsel Summit, a forthcoming force in the industry for female lead trial counsel. She currently serves as a Vice Chair on the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s (FCBA) Bench & Bar Planning Committee and is the former chair of the FCBA’s Veterans Appeals Committee. In 2021, Dr. Helm was individually recognized as a winner of Dechert’s Samuel E. Klein Pro Bono Awards, for her work on behalf of military veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2023, Dr. Helm was appointed Vice Chair of the Patent Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL) for the 2023-2024 bar year and appointed to the ABA-IPL’s Task Force on Improving the Durability and Reliability of the Patent Right for the same period.
Katherine A. ("Kassie") Helm, Ph.D., is a first-chair counsel who represents leading innovator pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in patent litigation and patent-adjacent litigation matters. Her doctorate in neuroscience allows her to leverage her scientific background alongside her legal acumen to develop and execute winning positions for life sciences companies in all phases of district court litigation and Federal Circuit and other circuit court appeals, and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She has prevailed in high-stakes cases representing life sciences companies as both plaintiff and defendant in patent infringement actions and as both petitioner and patent owner in Post Grant Reviews (PGRs) and Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) at the PTAB, as well as in interferences and appeals. Patent-adjacent matters are also a significant part of her ...Continue Reading
IPO Annual Meeting — Boston, MA (September 11, 2023)
Speaker, "Increasing Lead Trial Counsel Diversity" panel.
Kisaco Research's European Summit on Patent & Biotech Litigation — Amsterdam, Netherlands (January 24-25, 2023)
Speaker, "Biologics Patent Litigation: Biosimilars Launch, Preliminary Injunction Relief and Section 112" panel hosted by Kisaco Research
Persistent Barriers Facing Women First Chair Patent Trial Lawyers — New York, NY (November 1, 2022)
Moderator, hosted by The Engelberg Center, The Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network and ChIPs (Chiefs of Intellectual Property) NY Chapter.
Fireside Chat at the Southern District of New York — New York, NY (October 3, 2022)
Moderator, hosted by ChIPs (Chiefs of Intellectual Property) NY Chapter.
Federal Circuit Bar Association® 2022 Bench & Bar® Conference — Sea Island, GA (June 15, 2022)
Moderator, Corporate Counsel panel.
ACI’s Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law Conference — Virtual Conference (July 28, 2021)
Moderator, "An Honest Discussion of What’s Working, What’s Not and How to Keep Our Strong Female Talent Once We’ve Gotten Them Through the Door" hosted by ACI.
ACI's Women Leaders in IP Law Summit — Virtual Conference (March 9, 2021)
Speaker, "Working Group on Fostering a Versatile and Diverse IP Team" hosted by ACI.
ACI's Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law — Virtual Conference (November 17-18, 2020)
Speaker, “Town Hall on Devising Your 5-Year Plan for Continued Success: Proactively Taking the Next Step in One’s Career” hosted by ACI.
Managing IP's Life Sciences Forum — Virtual Conference (September 23, 2020)
Speaker, "COVID-19 Impact on the Patenting System" panel hosted by Managing IP.
Strategies for Successful Virtual Courtroom Proceedings, with Judge Paul W. Grimm, United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Judge Emily Miskel, 470th District Court, Collin County, Texas and Michelle S. Kallen, Deputy Solicitor General, Office of Attorney General of Virginia — Virtual Event (August 20, 2020)
Speaker, hosted by WAWTA (Washington Area Women Trial Attorneys).
The Bravery Challenge, with Crista Samaras, Founder & CEO of Brave Enterprises — Virtual Event (July 28, 2020)
Moderator, hosted by ChIPs (Chiefs of Intellectual Property) NY Chapter.
Your Hidden Superpowers in Trying Times, with Dr. Becca North, researcher, author and teacher — Virtual Event (June 30, 2020) Moderator, hosted by ChIPs (Chiefs of Intellectual Property) NY Chapter.
C5’s 12th Annual Forum on Pharma & Biotech Patent Litigation — Amsterdam, Netherlands (February 25-26, 2020)
Speaker, “Developing Practical Strategies for Optimizing Patent Success In Europe and the U.S.” panel hosted by C5 Communications.
CIPA Life Sciences Conference 2019 — Brighton, England (November 11-12, 2019)
Speaker, delivered U.S. update on "Satisfying the Disclosure Requirements for Functional Genus Claims" hosted by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.
C5's Life Sciences IP Summit — Munich, Germany (October 15, 2019)
Speaker, "Focus on the U.S.: Antibody Patents Under 35 U.S.C. § 112 Written Description and Enablement" presentation hosted by C5 Communications.
Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Conference — Colorado Springs, CO (June 14, 2019)
Speaker, "Serving Veterans Pro Bono (Ethics)" panel. Dr. Helm spoke alongside the Honorable Robert Davis, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Affairs, and the Honorable Cheryl L. Mason, Chairman to the Board of Veterans Appeals’ in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Grow, Transform, and Succeed: Taking Charge of Your Career and Thriving with Change LIKE A BOSS —New York, NY (March 6, 2019)
Speaker, hosted by ChIPs (Chiefs of Intellectual Property).
2nd Annual Women in Law & IP Summit — Seattle, WA (January 31, 2019)
Speaker, "Cultivating Male Allies: Engaging, Educating & Motivating Men in Diversity" panel hosted by Centerforce.
Women in IPLS — New York, NY (November 6, 2018)
Speaker, "Women in IP" panel hosted by the Cardozo Intellectual Property Law Society.
Ethics, Social Media, and Jury Selection — (August 29, 2017)
Panelist, Webinar hosted by the American Bar Association.
Social Media and Jury Selection 101: Guidelines Every Litigator Should Know — (August 22, 2017)
Speaker, Webinar hosted by the American Bar Association.
Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Conference— Coeur d'Alene, ID (June 21-24, 2017)
Speaker, “Next Generation, Ethics & Diversity” panel hosted by the Federal Circuit Bar Association.
Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Conference — Nashville, TN (June 22-25, 2016)
Moderator, U.S. District Court Judicial Panel, “The Assessment on the 5th year Anniversary of the Patent Pilot Program,” hosted by the Federal Circuit Bar Association.
Louis D. Brandeis: An Interdisciplinary Retrospective Conference — New York, NY (March 31-April 1, 2016)
Speaker, “Brandeis and Lawyering,” hosted by Touro Law's Jewish Law Institute.
Suffolk Law School’s National Judicial Conference — Boston, MA (February 17, 2011)
Speaker, “Challenging Judicial Independence,” hosted by Suffolk Law School.
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Honorable Alvin A. Schall
United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel
The Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D., Full Scholarship, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada
Fordham University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Dean’s List, Parchomovsky-Siegelman Student Graduation Prize, Helen and Norman Burg Graduate Student Ethics Prize, Senior Articles Editor, Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
District of Columbia
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts