Leon Yankwich formed the firm of Yankwich & Associates in 1997 to meet the particular needs of Cambridge-based and Boston area biotechnology clients. The firm's philosophy of maintaining close contact with the intellectual property operations of its clients and offering highly efficient and expert service has caused the firm to grow rapidly, so that it now serves clients' needs all over the world.
Before founding Yankwich & Associates, Mr. Yankwich was of counsel to Banner & Witcoff (Washington-Chicago-Boston), where he built a biotechnology practice group for the firm's Boston office. His practice focused on providing prosecution, counseling and licensing services to biotechnology clients. Mr. Yankwich's group enhanced the biotechnology practice capabilities of that firm’s Boston office to complement the similar practice groups established in the Chicago and Washington offices.
Mr. Yankwich began his legal career in private practice in New York City and moved to the Boston area after twelve years of practice there. Mr. Yankwich gained what he considers invaluable in-house experience serving as the first Patent Counsel for Biogen, Inc. (Cambridge) and later as Chief Patent Counsel for ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corporation (Waltham, Massachusetts).
Mr. Yankwich earned a double Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) in 1976, and a Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School (New York) in 1979. He is admitted to practice before the New York and Massachusetts state courts, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Yankwich is also registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and he is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
Tom Berka joined Yankwich & Associates in 1999. Dr. Berka’s practice focuses on securing, protecting, and managing intellectual property for innovators and established leaders in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Enthusiastic and detail-oriented, Dr. Berka provides personal attention and dedication to the advancement of his clients' IP interests and has advised a wide range of enterprises, from biotech start-ups to well-established Fortune 500 companies. With his extensive experience and knowledge of both domestic and foreign patent practice, Dr. Berka seeks to work with every client to develop valuable and enforceable intellectual property that fits optimally with the client's aspirations and resources.
Prior to joining Yankwich & Associates, Dr. Berka was in-house Patent Counsel at the Boston-based biotechnology company, Creative Biomolecules. Dr. Berka also served as an attorney in the Boston office of Banner & Witcoff, as an associate attorney at the Atlanta law firm of Kilpatrick & Cody, and as a technical specialist in the New York intellectual property law firm of Fish & Neave.
Dr. Berka received his Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School in May 1993, where he graduated cum laude. Prior to attending law school, Dr. Berka worked as a molecular biologist in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the SmithKline Beckman Corporation and as a staff molecular biologist at the Eastern Regional Research Center of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Berka earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology with high distinction from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Dr. Berka is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts and Georgia state courts, the District of Massachusetts, the Northern District of Georgia, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He also is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
David O'Brien joined Yankwich & Associates in 1998. Mr. O’Brien’s practice focuses on the drafting and prosecution of patent applications and counseling in the areas of biotechnology and biochemistry as well as the filing and prosecution of trademark applications. Immediately prior to joining Yankwich & Associates, Mr. O'Brien acted as the patent coordinator for Cytomed, a Cambridge, Massachusetts biotechnology company.
Mr. O’Brien graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1984 with a B.A. in Biology and received a Master of Science in molecular biology from the Laboratory of Maize Genetics at the University of Rhode Island in 1991. He has worked as a scientist in cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and in kidney disease research at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mr. O'Brien received his Juris Doctor from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1997, where he focused his studies in Intellectual Property law. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and is a member of the American Bar Association. Mr. O’Brien is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.