Jennifer Burnette
Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP
Chemical and pharmaceutical patent prosecution
40 Under Class – 2019

Jennifer Burnette ranks as one of the top practitioners in the field of chemical and pharmaceutical patent law in the Chicago area. Why? She knows this field in depth – from the most complex polymers and plastics systems, coatings, packaging, and absorbents to pharmaceutical formulations and microfluidics diagnostic systems.

She is creative when developing strategies for her clients, and she is committed to developing IP portfolios for clients that both protect their inventions and drive value for their business. What truly helps set Jennifer apart from her peers is her ability to bridge the gap between the business and technical aspects of a patent.

She has a deep understanding of the science underlying her clients’ inventions, and is able to bring that knowledge, along with passion and strategic thinking, to her work.

Although Jennifer is only 37, she has already made equity partner at Marshall, Gerstein & Borun. “Jenn is a true leader within the firm” says Jeff Sharp, managing partner at the firm. “She has been a valuable member of numerous committees and now leads the chemical practice group. Clients and colleagues love her for being whip-smart and exceedingly personable, and she easily of bridges the gap between inventors, tech teams, business people and the patent office.”

For Linda Friedman, executive vice president and general counsel with Northbrook-based Astellas, Jennifer is more than just an attorney. She is also a strategic business partner to her clients.

Jennifer spends time with her clients so that she can both understand the underlying science and their business needs, and tailors the IP strategy with such understanding. By studying her clients’ businesses, she can effectively bridge the gap between scientific development and business to help clients make strategic and value-driven IP decisions. All with the innate ability to explain complex IP and scientific issues in a way that even non-patent or non-scientific professionals can understand.

“Jenn is very passionate about the science and loves to dig deep into the nitty gritty of the invention so that she can fully appreciate the purpose of it,” Friedman said. “Her demeanor and style also instill confidence. As a general counsel, these are traits that I very much value in my outside counsel.”

Pamela Paziotopoulos, chief legal counsel at the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, said that in addition to Jennifer’s legal successes, this young attorney is also an inspiration and mentor to other young women.

Jennifer sits on the woman’s board of the Adler Planetarium and has helped develop programs to support young women interested in pursuing STEM careers.

“She has personally encouraged hundreds of young students now through these programs to find passion in STEM and to pursue careers in the sciences,” Paziotopoulos said. “Being such a great role model to young students has been an incredible asset to Adler. The growth of these inspiring programs are due to Jennifer’s hard work and dedication to inspiring female students.”