Leanne M. Rakers

Principal / St. Louis Metro Office

As a firm leader, Leanne manages Harness Dickey’s BioPharma practice, mentors and coordinates client teams, and prepares the firm’s BioPharma bi-monthly publication. Leanne is appreciated by her clients worldwide for her creativity in drafting “outside of the box” patent applications, particularly at a time when courts are limiting patent eligibility. Her practice includes IP portfolio strategy and management, client counseling, freedom-to-practice opinions and due-diligence assessments. Leanne also provides FDA regulatory counsel including patent drug FDA advice, Patent Term Extension applications and Orange Book assessments.

Leanne’s technical prowess is a rare blend, ranging from chemistry to biotechnology. Her client portfolio includes large and small pharmaceutical, life science, chemical and biotechnology companies. More specifically, Leanne focuses her talents on a wide-range of innovations involving small molecule chemistry, biologics, therapeutic methods and formulations, organometallic chemistry and recombinant DNA technologies.

Prior to practicing law, Leanne studied cell cycle inhibitors and suppressors of cytokine signaling at Pennsylvania State University and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. She subsequently focused on recombinant protein expression at Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, and is a co-inventor of U.S. Patent No. 6,902,914 (Recombinant DNA Processes Using A dNTP Mixture Containing Modified Nucleotides).

An invited speaker in the U.S. and abroad, Leanne educates both clients and colleagues on the nuances of patent prosecution and enforcement strategies. Her passion for the America Invents Act (AIA) has spawned many presentations across the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Overall, her clients profess that Leanne consistently delivers poignant legal counsel, workable solutions and excellent work product delivered in a timely manner.

awards & Distinctions

  • St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40 Class of 2016
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly “Up and Coming Lawyer,” 2013
  • In July 2013, she successfully argued the patentability of broad method claims involving a commercial active agent in an Oral Hearing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board


  • Managing IP’s “Women In IP Network”
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Issues Committee
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association


J.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2005

B.S., Microbiology, cum laude, Pennsylvania State University, 2000

Bar & Court Admissions


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office