Salima A. Merani, Ph.D. has nearly two decades of experience in building patent portfolios for life sciences companies, including several medtech and biotech companies. She also has extensive experience in conducting patent due diligence for investors, such as venture capital and investment firms. Recognized in prestigious publications as "a great strategic advisor with a proven track record" and deemed "a favorite of venture capitalists", Salima has been lead IP counsel in deals valued at nearly two billion dollars in just the last few years.
Salima provides a unique perspective to both investors and emerging growth companies with her wide-ranging experience in US and international patent and trademark portfolio management, licensing, strategic offensive positioning, infringement analysis, IPOs, acquisitions, and managing global patent risk.
Her technical experience in medical devices includes strategic guidance in the fields of aesthetics, orthopedics, cardiovascular and neuroscience, including medical implants, denervation and tissue ablation, regenerative technology, antibody technology, hypertension, diabetes, ophthalmic and dermatological conditions. Salima's technical work outside the medical arena includes a deep knowledge in the fields of cosmetic formulations and nutraceuticals.
Salima has received multiple awards and has been honored in both national and international forums for her legal accomplishments. In 2018-2020, she was recognized in the Daily Journal's list of "Top IP Lawyers in California" and designated as a 2020 IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property, which also honored her in their global “Top 250 Women in IP” list in 2020. Salima was also included in the prestigious Chambers USA Guide (both in 2020, 2017, and 2016), where she was lauded as an exceptional strategic advisor. She won the coveted "2016 Client Choice Award" for Intellectual Property (Patents, California) by International Law Office (ILO). Legal Media Group named her "Patent Prosecution Attorney of the Year" in 2015 in the "LMG Life Sciences Annual Awards". She was featured in The National Law Journal's 2015 "IP Hot List". In Intellectual Asset Management's "IAM Patent 1000" lists (honored 2012-2020), Salima was praised for her skills in brokering blockbuster life sciences deals and described as "a true global leader in medical device patenting." Salima was also honored in the "Life Sciences" survey for Intellectual Property, The Recorder's list of Women Leaders in Tech Law, and the Daily Journal's list of the Top Women Lawyers. For the past several years, Salima has been recognized in the Daily Journal's list of the Top Intellectual Property Attorneys, where she has been identified among the Top 25 Portfolio Managers & Patent Prosecutors of Intellectual Property. The Legal 500 "United States 2020" guide highlighted Salima's extensive experience in conducting patent due diligence. She has also been named as one of Orange County’s top lawyers, published in OC Metro magazine. Salima's accomplishments are detailed in the Recognition section.
Salima is past Vice Chair of the AIPLA (American Intellectual Property Law Association) USPTO Inter Partes Patent Proceedings Committee, which oversees the Interference, Reexamination, and Derivation subcommittees. She also served on the AIPLA’s Special Task Force on AIA (America Invents Act) Rulemaking. Salima is also a founding member of the Firm's USPTO Trials and Post Grant Proceedings Practice Group (previously the Interference and Derivation Committee), and has represented clients in multiple patent inventorship and ownership disputes before the USPTO and international patent and trademark offices. She is an author and speaker on strategic patent portfolio management.
Salima has received multiple awards and has been honored in both national and international forums for her legal accomplishments:
- Named in the 2016 and 2017 "Chambers USA Guide" Life Sciences: Intellectual Property category by Chambers & Partners, where she was recognized as an exceptional strategic advisor, with interviewees praising her top-quality work, responsiveness, and ability to "get things done". In 2020, Merani was individually ranked for patent prosecution and was described as delivering "a highly focused and commercial approach".
- Included in the 2018-2020 Daily Journal's list of "Top IP Lawyers in California".
- Named one of "The World's Leading Patent Professionals" in the Patent 1000 guide by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine (2012-2020). In the 2019 guide, she was recognized for her impressive transactions and prosecution work and lauded as a “neuroscience PhD and global thinker”. In 2018, clients described Salima as "a really fine drafter with rock-solid prosecution skills" and was praised for being able to "keep up a sprinter's pace in the transactional and due diligence area without breaking a sweat". In 2017, she was recognized as a "true global leader in medical device patenting" and "in particularly hot demand at the moment, especially among clients with multifaceted needs." In 2016, Salima was recognized for both her ability to broker blockbuster life sciences deals and her excellent skills in patent drafting. She was deemed "a great strategic advisor with a proven track record of success and innovation" and someone that is "truly at the top of her game."
- Recognized in the Legal 500 “United States" in 2014-2015 and 2019-2020 as being an outstanding practitioner. In the 2020 guide, she was identified as a Leading Lawyer for both Patent Prosecution and Patent Licensing and lauded by clients as “a doyen of med tech IP,” “SoCal’s go-to patent partner for medical devices,” and “one of the top 3 outside counsels I’ve ever worked with,”
- Recognized as a Patent Star in Managing IP's "IP STARS" guide for her outstanding intellectual property legal work in 2018-2019. In the 2020 guide, Merani was further named a Transactions and Trademarks Star.
- Honored in Managing IP's prestigious "Top 250 Women in IP" international list in 2018-2020.
- Received "Star" distinction in the LMG "Life Sciences" survey for Intellectual Property from 2014-2020. She was recognized in the areas of patent prosecution, advisory, strategy and management, and was specifically credited in the guide as "a vital part of our global strategy" by a key client. In 2017 and 2018, Salima was once again named a "Life Science Star".
- Named "Patent Strategy & Management Attorney of the Year" at the 2018 and 2016 "LMG Life Sciences" Awards by Legal Media Group (LMG).
- Named to the Daily Journal's list of the Top Intellectual Property Attorneys from 2012 to 2017. In this list, she was recognized among the Top 25 Portfolio Managers & Patent Prosecutors.
- Named to The Recorder's "Women Leaders in Tech Law" list in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In these lists, she was recognized for demonstrating that she can lead major cases and deals within the tech industry.
- Recognized in 2016 as the exclusive winner of the "Client Choice Award" in the Intellectual Property: Patents, California category by International Law Office (ILO). "Client Choice Awards" are based solely on nominations and feedback from corporate in-house counsel.
- Named "Life Sciences Lawyer of the Year" in Lawyer Monthly magazine's "2016 Women in Law Awards"
- Named "Patent Prosecution Attorney of the Year" in 2015 "LMG Life Sciences Annual Awards" by Legal Media Group (LMG). This awards ceremony recognized the industry's leading professionals, across North America and Europe, for their accomplishments over the past 12 months.
- Featured in the National Law Journal's 2015 "IP Hot List."
- Named to Diversity & the Bar's 2014 "Rainmakers" List. In this list, she was highlighted among successful minority attorneys who continue to lead the industry.
- Named to the Daily Journal's list of the Top Women Lawyers in 2014. In this list, she was recognized amongst the Top 75 Litigators & the Top 25 Corporate Transactions and Regulatory Specialists.
- In a survey of her peers published in Los Angeles magazine and Super Lawyers magazine, Salima was named as one of Southern California’s “Rising Stars” in intellectual property law and was named one of Orange County’s top lawyers, published in OC Metro magazine.
Contributor, 7 Intellectual Property Issues Startup Entrepreneurs Should Not Overlook, JD Supra Legal Perspectives (September 2015).
Quoted in 7 Intellectual Property Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Often Make, JD Supra Legal Perspectives (February 2014).
Co-author, "Understanding Legal Trends in the Private Equity and Venture Capital Market, 2013 ed.: Leading Lawyers on Navigating the Current Economy, Managing Risks, and Understanding Changing SEC Regulations (Inside the Minds)," Aspatore Law Books from Thomson Reuters (2013).
Speeches & Seminars
Salima has been an invited speaker on various IP topics, including due diligence and the America Invents Act, at the IP Impact Silicon Valley Conference, the OCTANe Medical Device & Investor Forum, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Berkeley.