Hongling Zou, Ph.D.


Hongling focuses her practice on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in technologies including chemical, polymer sciences, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. She also assists in strategic procurement and management of clients’ IP assets, including conducting patentability, freedom-to-operate, and due diligence analyses, as well as preparing invalidity and non-infringement opinions.

Hongling has extensive experience in a variety of technologies, including chemical, polymer sciences, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and nanotechnology arts. For instance, she has experience in the areas of novel compositions or formulations, polymers and materials, inorganic and organic syntheses, analytical and physical chemistry, electrical and photochemistry, diagnostic and drug screening assays, cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, medical devices, and nanotechnology.

Prior to entering the legal field, Hongling obtained research experience in organic chemistry, nanotechnology, and biophysical chemistry. Hongling received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania where her doctoral research focused on the design, modeling, and synthesis of artificial proteins to develop biomimetic electro-optical materials and to study inhaled anesthetics binding mechanisms. In her graduate studies at Peking University’s Center for Nanochemistry, she developed novel approaches to functionalize carbon nanotubes for fabrication of nanoelectronic devices. During her undergraduate studies, she synthesized and characterized a series of NAD(P)H coenzyme analogues. Hongling published numerous research articles in her field in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has also presented her work at several international meetings.

Hongling received her law degree, magna cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law. Hongling is a fluent speaker of Chinese and had experience translating articles of technology and innovation for Forbes published in China. 


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).


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.


  • American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2016
  • University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., 2008
  • Peking University, M.S., 2002
  • Nankai University, B.S., 1999
  • Virginia
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • District of Columbia

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Additional Language Biographies