Head of Intellectual Property & Licensing

Palo Alto
Nov 17, 2023
Dec 15, 2023
Trademark Agent
Contract Type

About Arc Institute

The Arc Institute is a new scientific institution that conducts curiosity–driven basic science and technology development to understand and treat complex human diseases. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Arc is an independent research organization founded on the belief that many important research programs will be enabled by new institutional models. Arc operates in partnership with Stanford University, UCSF, and UC Berkeley.

While the prevailing university research model has yielded many tremendous successes, we believe in the importance of institutional experimentation as a way to make progress. These include:

  • Funding: Arc will fully fund Core Investigators' (PIs') research groups, liberating scientists from the typical constraints of project–based external grants.
  • Technology: Biomedical research has become increasingly dependent on complex tooling. Arc Technology Centers develop, optimize and deploy rapidly advancing experimental and computational technologies in collaboration with Core Investigators.
  • Support: Arc aims to provide first–class support–operationally, financially and scientifically–that will enable scientists to pursue long–term high risk, high reward research that can meaningfully advance progress in disease cures, including neurodegeneration, cancer, and immune dysfunction.
  • Culture: We believe that culture matters enormously in science and that excellence is difficult to sustain. We aim to create a culture that is focused on scientific curiosity, a deep commitment to truth, broad ambition, and selfless collaboration.

Arc scaled to nearly 100 people in its first year. With $650M+ in committed funding and a state of the art new lab facility in Palo Alto, Arc will continue to grow quickly to several hundred in the coming years.

About the position

We're looking for a strong intellectual property attorney with extensive scientific knowledge of our research areas who can build and lead the legal strategy for protecting and deploying our intellectual property. A successful Head of Intellectual Property and Licensing will be highly proactive and collaborative, with a positive approach and a passion for changing the way science is done. This position reports to the Institute's General Counsel.

About you

You have one foot in the law and one in science, not wanting to leave your science background behind even as you dive deep into global intellectual property law and strategy. You are energized by having researchers as your colleagues, with a client–service orientation that prizes enabling scientists to do their best work while you protect their discoveries. You are comfortable reaching out to form bonds with a wide range of co–workers and take satisfaction in finding the best way to connect with each person. You have previously built a team and processes from scratch or are excited to have that opportunity now.

In this position you will

  • Develop and maintain a broad understanding of the Institute's research activities.
  • Collaborate closely with Institute scientists to identify potentially patentable inventions and proactively guide the invention disclosure process.
  • Own the strategic decision on which Institute inventions to patent, taking into account the existing patent landscape as well as potential impact of the IP.
  • Determine the optimal claim strategy for each patent family.
  • Select and manage external IP counsel who will draft and prosecute patent applications.
  • Design and maintain a global patent filing strategy reflecting legal options and market conditions in the relevant jurisdictions.
  • Negotiate intellectual property agreements with third parties, including out–licensing.
  • Collaborate with IP counsel at our partner universities – Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCSF – to successfully navigate joint IP filing and licensing.
  • Educate Institute scientists on intellectual property law and Institute policies and procedures relating to intellectual property.
  • Present on intellectual property matters to Institute leadership and other audiences.
  • Manage the Institute's global intellectual property budget.
  • Handle occasional trademark, copyright, and trade secrets matters.


  • JD Degree and admission to at least one state bar.
  • Strong educational background in biology or chemistry including a bachelor's degree, preferably completion of an advanced degree.
  • Strong understanding of molecular biology/ biotechnology.
  • 7+ years of patent law experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology field, or an equivalent combination of patent and pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry experience.
  • Significant experience applying an intellectual property strategy (relating to both patent prosecution and IP transactions) within an organization, preferably from an in–house position.
  • Excellent analytical, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Service–oriented focus and comfort working as part of cross–functional teams to drive results.
  • Highest integrity, excellent judgment, and the ability to proactively recognize and effectively communicate legal issues to audiences with a variety of backgrounds.

The base salary range for this position is $262,000–$316,500. These amounts reflect the range of base salary that the Institute reasonably would expect to pay a new hire or internal candidate for this position. The actual base compensation paid to any individual for this position may vary depending on factors such as experience, internal equity, market conditions, education/training, and skill level, and does not include bonuses, commissions, differential pay, other forms of compensation, or benefits. This position is also eligible to receive an annual discretionary bonus, with the amount dependent on individual and institute performance factors.