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South San Francisco, California, United States
Associate Director, Legal Operations
At Lyell, our vision is to develop curative cell-based immunotherapies for solid tumor cancers. We have innovative science originating from our founder’s world class labs and a unique and disruptive approach to research and development. Our company is first and foremost focused on understanding the science. We are a learning organization, dependent on deep collaborative relationships between all of our colleagues, partners and founders. Our culture is based on Science, Respect, Collaboration and Courage and it reflects who we are and the environment we are creating.

The incumbent is responsible for a broad range of patent tracking activities, with an emphasis  on developing, implementing and maintaining the electronic patent and trademark database.  This role will lead the continuous improvement of IP operations driving efficiencies and improve  coordination of patent and trademark cases with internal and external counsel. The incumbent  will support the organizations Legal group to develop, implement and maintain systems and  process to gain efficiencies and improve document handling and tracking. 


  • Develop, implement and maintain electronic patent and trademark database, including  entering new patent data, liaising with internal and external counsel to keep patent database and electronic files current, performing analysis of reports from patent  database, resolving gaps and errors in patent database 
  • Monitor IP deadlines, generate docket reports, and work closely with the IP team to  coordinate patent and trademark cases 
  • Work independently to secure formal documents to meet obligations for patentability and  enforcement, and trademark registration, including assignments, patent declarations,  and powers of attorney. 
  • Generate IP data reports used to make patent portfolio decisions which include potential  applications for filing, convention and national phase dates, European validations and  annuity/maintenance information 
  • Communicate directly with United States Patent and Trademark Office and/or other national patent office(s) to address procedural matters, including filing of formal papers Develop, implement and maintain electronic document database across the Legal group, liaising with internal and external counsel to keep electronic files current, performing  analysis of reports, resolving gaps and errors as required 


  • BA/BSc with a minimum of 13 years’ experience; or 
  • MBA or MSc with a minimum of 10 years’ experience  
  • Minimum 8 years legal operations experience at a life science/biotech company Notary certification  


  • Self-motivated team player with excellent communication and leadership skills. 
  • Able to make decisions quickly and effectively.  
  • Detail-oriented and organized.  
  • Able to work cross-functionally and prioritize multiple responsibilities in accordance with  business objectives. 
  • Ability to keep abreast of relevant law and rule changes and how these changes affect  patent department practice.  
  • Able and willing to take on additional roles and functions to support the law department  and company operations.  
  • High personal and business ethics. 
  • Understands and supports a “patients-first” mentality

At Lyell, we believe that highest performing teams include people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences who respectfully challenge each other. We are committed to building an open, diverse and inclusive culture for all employees.

Lyell is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristics protected under applicable federal, state and local laws.
The Company complies with all laws respecting equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants with regard to any protected characteristic as defined by federal, state, and local law.  This position requires you to work onsite at the Company’s facilities and the Company requires that all employees working in its facilities be fully vaccinated (except as required by applicable law).  Therefore, this position requires you to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.  The Company considers you fully vaccinated once 14 days have passed since you received either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.  The vaccine must have been FDA approved, have emergency use authorization from the FDA, or, for persons fully vaccinated outside of the U.S., be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.”
We’ve learned from experience that some of the best people don’t always match our requirements perfectly - if you’re interested and think you could fit, please don’t hesitate to apply.
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