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Maeve O’Flynn is a Partner with Finnegan. She is a European and UK patent attorney with more than a decade of in-house experience, having worked at some of the world’s largest multinational corporations in the oil and chemical industries. She has worked for a range of clients, from startups to multinationals, covering diverse technologies such as cosmetics, sustainable chemistry, and catalysis.
Maeve has helped clients develop commercially relevant intellectual property strategies. This includes developing and managing global patent portfolios, provisioning advice regarding trade secrets and defensive publications, and negotiating collaboration and licensing agreements.
Maeve has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications, from the initial invention harvesting sessions through to achieving allowance. She works with clients to assess and value their patent portfolios, and to develop filing strategies that support their commercial aims. She also represents clients at oral proceedings before the European Patent Office, representing both patentee and opponent.
Maeve has a first-class degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford, where she conducted surface chemistry research using scanning tunneling microscopy.
Earlier this year, the European Patent Office (EPO) updated some of its Guidelines for Examination in a way that potentially could affect U.S. patent litigation. These Guidelines instruct European patent examiners (and the public) on how the patent prosecution process works—much like the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. For example, the Guidelines detail what form a patent application must be in, what happens during a prior art search, and perhaps most importantly, what should be included in an application. Guideline F-IV 4.3 particularly focuses on the form, contents, and clarity of the claims.