Yifan Mao focuses her practice on patent counseling, prosecution, and due diligence matters in the chemistry and life sciences industries, focusing on areas relating to diagnostics, large molecule therapeutics, devices, sequencing, and bioinformatics.

Ms. Mao was a senior patent agent at an agriculture biotechnology company where she developed the company’s patent portfolio on genomics, bioenergy and trait improvement technologies before joining the firm. She held research positions at Genentech and Genencor International (now DuPont Industrial Biosciences) prior to her legal career.

Ms. Mao is an executive board member for the Fremont Union High Schools Foundation, and she serves as the Foundation’s Grant Chair and Outreach Co-Chair.

Ms. Mao was recognized as a Northern California “Rising Star” in 2021 and the three years immediately preceding for Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine. Her native language is Mandarin Chinese.


Represented a biopharmaceutical company and secured patent protection in the US and beyond for its core oncology drug. The drug has been commercialized in China and is being reviewed by the FDA in the United States.

Procured patent protection on sequencing technologies and provided counseling on patent-related transactional matters for a large international company.

Represented and counseled an emerging company in procuring patent protection for digital diagnostics and devices and developing its global patent portfolio.

Provided patent procurement and freedom-to-operate counseling for international clients in Singapore, Korea, and China on technologies related to diagnostics and protein therapeutics

Counseled both public and private agriculture companies in protecting trait improvement technology, advising strategies on securing utility and plant patents.

Supported a patent infringement lawsuit for an agriculture chemical company on issues relating to claim construction, infringement analysis, defending against invalidity contentions.

Provided patent procurement and counseling to companies at all stages in protecting diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for oncology indications and infectious diseases.

Obtained clemency for a federal inmate serving a life sentence because of non-violent drug convictions.

Represented a youth facing school expulsion and secured withdrawal of the expulsion.


Santa Clara University School of Law J.D. (2014) High Tech Law Certificate with honors, magna cum laude, Dean’s List, Best Oral Advocate Award, CALI Awards, Witkin Awards, Emery Law Scholarship

Michigan State University M.S. (2000) Biochemistry

Wuhan University, PR. China B.S. (1995) Microbiology


California (2015)

Court Admissions

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2007)


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - Honorable Beth Labson Freeman (Aug-Dec 2014)

Professional & Community Activities

San Francisco Intellectual Property Inn of Court, Member

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley, Member

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