Jeffrey N. Townes


Jeff focuses his practice on the life sciences industry counseling clients in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and material sciences sectors. His clients include those with technology involving polymer chemistry, such as resins, plastics, fibers, elastomers and coatings, and adhesives; organic chemistry, including synthesis and uses of pharmaceutical compounds and small molecules; siRNA, including compositions relating to the chemical modifications of oligonucleotides and their methods of treatment; lipid nanoparticles, particularly in the use of mRNA vaccines and polypeptide delivery; organometallic chemistry, including metathesis catalysts; diagnostic testing, including the use of biomarkers for cardiovascular, diabetes, and related diseases; and nanotechnology.

A major aspect of Jeff’s practice involves drafting patent applications and strategically prosecuting those applications in the US and worldwide. Another significant aspect of his practice involves overseeing post-grant proceedings, including inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, ex parte reexamination, reissue applications, and European oppositions. Jeff played a key role in the petition, preparation, and trial of 10 of the first IPRs filed on chemical patents. 

In addition, Jeff regularly authors invalidity, non-infringement, and freedom-to-operate opinions; conducts due-diligence analyses; drafts and negotiates assignments and licenses; and handles inventorship disputes.

Jeff has been actively involved in the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) for several years. Jeff previously chaired the Chemical Patent Practice Committee of the AIPLA, chaired the IP Law Associations Committee, and was the vice chair of the PTAB Trial Committee. He speaks regularly at AIPLA-hosted events, as well as those hosted by the Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property (ABPI) and the American Chemical Society.

Jeff received his B.S. in chemistry from Bucknell University and his law degree from George Mason University School of Law.


Cozen O’Connor Patent Attorneys Represent, Pro Bono, Nonprofits Established by Parents of Children with Ultra-rare Genetic Disorder

October 14, 2019

Cozen O’Connor patent attorneys Jeff Townes and Hongling Zou represent, pro bono, three partner nonprofits established by parents of children with the ultrarare, and potentially fatal, alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC).

International Life Sciences Attorney Joins IP Department

March 27, 2018

Former LeClairRyan attorney Jeffrey N. Townes brings substantial experience in international life sciences IP to the firm's Washington, D.C., office.


Why and When Reexams Can Be a Better Option Than Inter Partes Reviews at the USPTO [IAM]

March 31, 2021

Jeffrey Townes and Hongling Zou co-authored an article about how there are indications that experienced patent litigants are taking a fresh look at the old post-grant friend ex parte reexamination, particularly when other challenges fail.

How PTAB Reviews Examiner Errors For IPR Institution [Law360]

July 23, 2020

Jeffrey Townes and Hongling Zou explore how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reviews examiner errors, because although the board has recently denied inter partes review based on issues presented during prosecution, petitioners have little guidance on when examiner error merits IPR institution.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

How Can I Protect My Ideas?

March 15, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

Health Law 2019

December 05, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

Interview with the Chief

July 09, 2018 - Detroit, MI


  • George Mason University School of Law, J.D., 2000
  • Bucknell University, B.S., 1997

Awards & Honors

Named to Virginia Businesses magazine’s 2012 “Legal Elite”, Intellectual Property

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office

American Intellectual Property Law Association- Vice-Chair of the PTAB Trial Committee, previously served as Chair of the Chemical Patent Practice Committee

American Chemical Society