Mary C. Till is a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) at the USPTO. Mary C. Till received a B.S. in Chemistry from Gannon University and her M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Virginia Tech. She began her career in patent law in 1993 serving as a patent examiner in what is now Technology Center 1600, examining patent applications in the field of organic chemistry, in particular, small molecules. Beginning in 1997, she worked in private practice at Foley & Lardner in Washington, DC. In private practice, Ms. Till was actively engaged in procuring patent protection for various life science corporations and universities, counseling the entities regarding product launches and providing opinions of counsel on freedom to operate, validity, infringement, invalidity and due diligence issues. While working as a patent agent, Ms. Till earned her J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law, cum laude. Ms. Till rejoined the USPTO in 2005. Ms. Till is primarily responsible for administration of the Hatch-Waxman Act provisions found in 35 U.S.C. 156 on behalf of the USPTO. Ms. Till was involved with various aspects of implementation of the America Invents Act, focusing on the First Inventor to File provisions, having co-drafted the guidance on first inventor to file. She worked on all phases of implementing the first inventor to file provisions at the USPTO, including examiner training and IT implementation. Her additional duties in the Office of Patent Legal Administration involve implementing case law and developing training for the examining corps, drafting responses and position papers on White House Executive Actions, acting as liaison with the Office of Data Management, updating the MPEP and providing assistance to the examining corps as necessary. During her tenure as a legal advisor in OPLA, she has received a Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award in 2015, a Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award in 2013, a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in 2014, and an Exceptional Career Award from the USPTO in 2016.
She is admitted to the bar of Virginia and to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.