Community News

Volunteer Spotlight: Jack Wessel

Published: August 11, 2021

Brian Focarino Cooley LLP Boston, Massachusetts, USA INTA Bulletins—North America Subcommittee

Jack Wessel

Jack Wessel (Foster City, California, USA)

An avid cyclist with many roles professionally and at INTA, Jack Wessel is going places.

Mr. Wessel currently serves as senior counsel, IP for Gilead Sciences (Foster City, California, USA), a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and delivering therapeutics for people with life-threatening viruses, cancers, and inflammatory diseases.

At INTA, he volunteers with the Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Industry Group, and is chair of the Member Resources—Survey and Benchmarking Subcommittee of the In-House Practitioners Committee.

Through his involvement with INTA, Mr. Wessel collaborated with eight other in-house practitioners and INTA staff to develop the In-House Practice of the Future Think Tank Report. The Report, resulting from detailed interviews and surveys with practitioners and other research, examines current and potential future practice trends, technological developments, core competencies, and obstacles.

Asked about his perspective as an in-house counsel on the impact the Association can have on its members, Mr. Wessel noted how INTA directly advocates for its members through active amicus work and Board resolutions drafted by various committees. He also said that INTA’s committee structure provides members the opportunity to identify, focus, and advocate in areas of greatest concern and need. In this regard, Mr. Wessel highlighted the In-House Practitioners Committee’s work on the 2020 In-House Practitioners Benchmarking Report, which provides brand owners with a comprehensive resource for benchmarking and identifying best practices.

Mr. Wessel also applauded INTA’s industry groups, where peers—in his case, members from life sciences companies—have the opportunity to develop relationships with peers and discuss issues specific to their industries.

Mr. Wessel went to law school with the pre-conceived notion that he wanted to practice in the intellectual property (IP) field. After spending his early IP career on the East Coast, he had the opportunity to move to the San Francisco Bay Area of California on the West Coast and join Gilead Sciences.

As a member of Gilead’s in-house team for six years, Mr. Wessel has seen the company and his own role within the legal department expand and deepen significantly in terms of breadth, work volume, and sophistication. He is part of a close-knit team of IP lawyers at the company that helps to clear, enforce, and protect hundreds of marks globally.

At Gilead, Mr. Wessel’s day-to-day responsibilities include oversight of the company’s antiviral portfolio for diseases, including HIV and COVID-19, as well as its inflammation portfolio. He oversees major international clearance programs, prosecution, portfolio management, oppositions, enforcement, and domain name matters worldwide. Mr. Wessel also focuses on IT security issues for Gilead relating to phishing and fraud, and assists with regulatory matters, contracts and licenses, and internal investigations.

Outside of work, Mr. Wessel enjoys on- and off-road cycling throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He also recently welcomed a new family member to his household, a Miniature Australian Shepherd named Lola.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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